Well, one got by me! I was advised by one of my players that the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow had a bundle available through Drive Thru RPG that gives you all of the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow books to date that have been released (it is great value by the way). I went and had a look and I spotted a book I did not have by Matt Banach. Rectifying that mistake I grabbed it and have just finished reading it.
The Tetsujin Shogunate Worlds book is an alternate Earth world where two alien races crashed into Earth, the Oni and the Kappa. They are warring races and that war has exploded across Earth. The Oni have taken much of humanity into slavery by using pheromones to enslave them whilst the Kappa have allied with the humans and are teaching them to make giant samurai robots to fight the Oni and take back the planet.
Yes, that is right. GIANT FREAKING ROBOTS FIGHTING ALIENS PEOPLE. Not sure I should review it any further. That sentence says it all. But I must continue. They are not just giant robots but giant robot samurai…
I just want to play it right now.
The world has a political edge to it all also and ninjas and an Eastern setting and (wipes drool from corner of the mouth) so much goodness all in one little 8 page book. The setting is great, and while I have been getting involved in eastern settings of late with the honor caste and effects I have found this twist on it exciting.
What I did want is more detail in the book. But the way that these are set up is really to give you just enough information to get the game rolling. They leave the blanks for you the GM to fill in. That is all good but I am not really a hundred percent confident with eastern traditions yet and a lot of political detail needs to be fleshed out in that regard so I would have liked to see maybe a list of houses or political factions that I could start to build on. I only know that the structure is built around the shogun, daimyo and the alliance with the Kappa from really one small part of the book and to do that justice I feel would require a lot of work on my part (I am a bit of a perfectionist though).
That said though this book is excellent. One of my favorite world books so far. It may just be the fact that I loved Pacific Rim that is urging me on here but I think it is a little deeper. In fact if I were to run this world in game I think I would focus a lot more on the ninja culture than I would on the giant robots that battle the Oni. Having stealth missions into the encampments of the Oni would make for a tense and drama filled game.
At a $1.49 for the Gossamer Worlds: Tetsujin Shogunate is definitely worth shelling out for. Matt Banach has done a great job of bringing a world based on an alternate history of our own to life and it is not going to break the bank. I give this book a healthy four giant samurai robots out of five!