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jameson (ST)

Mutants & Masterminds - [Review] Gadget Guide: Spy-Tech

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Gadget Guide: Spy-Tech
Vitals: Published By Green Ronin • 6(5) pages • $1.29 • full color PDF
"What appears to be an ordinary gentleman's wristwatch conceals a fifty watt laser, a powerful electromagnet, one once of high explosive, a tracking device, three lock picks, one hundred feet of high tensile carbon fiber rappelling line ..."
What's in it?
All kinds of stuff. This is definitely a guide containing gadgets. From swing lines to lock picks to biometric spoofers, Gadget Guide: Spy-Tech contains the tools of the trade for spies, thieves, secret agents, and the like. The Guide is broken into six major sections discussing: Hidden & Concealed Tech, Infiltration, Surveillance, Concealment & Stealth, Disguise, and Forgery. Two sidebars covering Burglary Skills and Infiltration Challenges round out the product.
With the exception of the first section on hidden and concealed devices each major section has one or more examples of items used within its purview. The discussion length varies from section to section, with little given to some, but a great deal (relatively) given to Forgery and Infiltration (especially when one considers the sidebars).
Example gadgets run the gamut from, obvious items like swing lines and cameras to clever twists on common gear like bugging equipment and disguises. Nothing stands out as missing, but there are likewise no stand out "that is cool" gadgets either (at least not from my view). Still this Guide provides a welcome resource for certain hero types and will no-doubt be indispensable for GMs wishing to use M&M for espionage and spy themed games rather than the usual straight up superhero fare.
Closing Thoughts
Gadget Guide: Spy-Tech is generally good, but not great. It covers all its bases well and ensures that players and GMs planning to use stealth, infiltration, and surveillance techniques (among others) in their games will have access to a ready-made pool of items to use, or to inspire. Capable discussion and writing makes this a solid purchase, but the lack of any real stand out items or rules expansions may drive down the utility of the product for some.
Rating: 85% - Thorough coverage of the subject without any stand out misses, but neither any stand out hits.

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