Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jameson (ST)

Mutants & Masterminds - [Review] Gadget Guides: Archaic Weapons & Asian Weapons

Recommended Posts

113384-thumb140.jpg 112583-thumb140.jpg

,,

Gadget Guides: Archaic Weapons & Asian Weapons

,,

Vitals: Published By Green Ronin • 6(5) pages • $1.29 • full color PDF

,,
In my previous reviews of the first two Gadget Guides I mentioned how a lot of the material feels like it should have been in the core rule book. That isn’t as much the case with these two Guides. Granted some of the weapon features from the Archaic Weapons guide (the better of the two IMO) is handy, and maybe even useful for what it is a “guide”, but the unfortunate truth is that there is rather sparse value for the price to be had here.
The Archaic Weapons guide covers all pre-modern weapons. From swords and clubs to bows and arrows. The guide breaks these weapons down to their most basic, giving quick descriptions of basic weapon types (for those of you who had no idea what a spear or a sword was).
The list of weapon qualities is somewhat useful, mostly for the features that aren’t simple Advantages from the original rules. In general though the six pages are largely wasted. A page long table that largely re-prints weapon stats from the core book. A page of the aforementioned descriptions of weapon types.
Unfortunately as disappointing as the Archaic Weapon guide is the Asian weapon guide is largely the same. I’ll grant that there may be some subset of gamer who has no idea what a Kukri is, or what climbing claws are, but much of this guide is once again given over to basic description of weapon types.
Between the general internet in general, and Wikipedia specifically, there is no reason why somebody unfamiliar with a Kusari-Gama (which is not in this product) should not be able to find out what it is. Back twenty odd years ago when Palladium Books put out their own weapons guides (which at least had the advantage of being exhaustive and providing pictures for nearly every weapon they listed) there was no internet; but nowadays if you don’t know what a Yuri looks like you can find out with a Google search faster than you could load and read this guide.
What is left is a page long table of Asian weapons and their game effects. Useful, perhaps, to benchmark stats, and for those too lazy or untrained in the system to build their own, but hardly worth the price of admission. The first few paragraphs discussing hidden/concealed weapons, and Paired Weapons, is perhaps useful, but again, too little for the value.
Closing Thoughts
I think that this could, and indeed should, have been a single product combining all non-firearm weaponry. The weapon trait tables aren’t un-useful, but their value alone cannot carry these guides. Likewise the weapon traits can be helpful, and I think a combined product might have been a better buy for the price of a single guide. Comparing these against even the worst of the Power Profiles finds them lacking in content and value.
Ratings:
Archaic Weapons - 35% - limited utility in the form of some useful weapon traits and features
Asian Weapons - 20% - extremely limited usefulness, mostly as benchmarks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the book meant to introduce the weapons to people that have never heard of them?

,,

Is there really enough variation in weapons to make a difference in most games?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly I'm not sure who the target audience is.

,,

As for variation between weapons? Mechanically it depends on the system. For M&M the difference between 99% of mundane swords comes down to a rank or two of damage. Between weapon types it comes down to damage and extras like reach, or Improved Grapple, or the like. Had the descriptions been focused more on the mechanical and less on some seriously basic knowledge maybe it would have come out better.

,,

As for familiarity, I think that even a true novice knows what a sword and a mace and a spear are. We're not talking about discussion of the difference between a Voulge and a Bec dé Corbin here (both are polearms, the voulge has a more axe or hatchet like head, while the Bec de Corbin is more like a warhammer).

,,

Even in the case of the Asian weapons guide, is there a roleplayer out there who doesn't know what a Katana is? Or Shuriken? Seriously? I really just felt like this was a case of two dropped balls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...