Interesting update on one of my favorite game systems. Actually I think the choices taken are good, and the average rating is due more to the lack of...moreInteresting update on one of my favorite game systems. Actually I think the choices taken are good, and the average rating is due more to the lack of actual playable information in the book, which I find insufficient to market as a "stand-alone" system.
More of a money-making scheme, actually, as I suppose I will have to buy several more books to be able to play.(less)
Maybe it is tradition, but most RPGs based on Michael Moorcock's worlds are based on Chaosium simple system. This last incarnation is no exception, be...moreMaybe it is tradition, but most RPGs based on Michael Moorcock's worlds are based on Chaosium simple system. This last incarnation is no exception, being based on Runequest 4.
This book replaces the RQ core (and probably the companion as well, considering the limited magic accesible to players in the setting) with a much more useable information. It still assumes more than a passing knowledge of the described world, but that is a logical assumption.
Unlike the Core rules, it is possible to play perfectly with only this book, which is a very good thing in my opinion.
The mechanics are the well thought, streamlined system from RQ4, and they fit quite well the power level of the novels.
A well done adaptation of the setting with a well fitted system, maybe lacking some background but nothing a good read of the original source cannot solve.(less)
Although it is presented in the form of two parts it is actually a single message, presented I would say under two packagings. A first one, allegorica...moreAlthough it is presented in the form of two parts it is actually a single message, presented I would say under two packagings. A first one, allegorical and allusive, and a second one, realist and direct. However I much may agree with Sampedro's message of universalism and the need for a true global approach to the world's problems, the quality of the writing is low for a man as gifted as him.
He does not believe in the characters, except, a little on the narrator, though that is because there are parts of himself in it. As for the rest, they are either archetypical or topical, which is appropiate for propaganda, but not for a novel.
William Gibson always wrote about the present, but now he wants us to really see it.
Although it resembles superficially a standard thriller, this boo...moreWilliam Gibson always wrote about the present, but now he wants us to really see it.
Although it resembles superficially a standard thriller, this book is much more ambitious. It also tries to showcase some of what is wrong in the USA, while making a serious effort to remain cool, artistic and full of insights on where technology and people will evolve certain applications, from GPS to wireless internet, from hotels to cars.
He has gone back to his often used differing viewpoints, three main characters. In a way, one looks to the past and explains why we are where we are, another looks inside, at why things change, as we change (and is the only character that can really say to evolve), and the last one just sees the outside, plays witness to the plot, the modernity, the tech, while remaining mostly untouched by it all.
As usual with Gibson, it is the secondary characters who really drive the story and get the best literary moments. I hope we meet some of them again, in what is (again) starting to look as a trilogy, paired with his previous novel, Pattern Recognition.
It does not get five stars because two of the main characters do not really fly, despite all the support from the secondary characters, and too much exposition rather than the clipped descriptions he has us used to. It is supposed to be a book to google things about, but instead, at times, he gives us his own google results, breaking the spell.(less)
Actually I probably first read it in a bowdlerized version sometime in the late seventies, and a Spanish translation of the full book in 1980. It was...moreActually I probably first read it in a bowdlerized version sometime in the late seventies, and a Spanish translation of the full book in 1980. It was the first book I tried in French, because I knew that it had to be a book I love, to really make me push through and not give up.
The real magic of this book is how normal people the main characters, in all aspects where they are not exceptional. They are human, many angled, complex, layered... And most of the cast gets this deep characterization, often (Milady, Richelieu) more than the musketeers themselves.
The plot is already well known, and not the main thing compared to the characters and the setting, but it has enough turns and detours to justify all the characterization.
The main pity is that so many people have read (or seen) abridged, bowdlerized, modified, graphic or other versions, that they avoid this great book, believing they already know what there is to know. And so they miss Dumas' portrait of Paris and the XVIIth century, not necessarily accurate but terribly attiring. The very human but exceptional characters move in that stage, forced by their own nature and the plots of the few true powerful individuals into a series of adventures.
When you get older you may enjoy more the discussions on wine and taverns than the battles at La Rochelle, but it still offers a very rich canvas, with something new to discover in every re-read.(less)