Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Post Apocalyptic Toys #1

Post Apocalyptic Toys is Occult Moon’s newest line of publications, following in the tradition of Toys for the Sandbox and Captain’s Log from the Sandbox by providing inexpensive system neutral adventure location, npcs, story hooks, some random encounters, and rumors. As the title indicates, this new line is designed for games set in a near future post apocalyptic world.

Issue #1 - The Last Refuge, details a former church turned that has become a haven to those who need it, presided over by “Gramps” a no-nonsense curmudgeonly old fart who seems to be always fair, if not kind.

In addition to being systemless, Post Apocalyptic Toys also refrains from making too many assumptions about the apocalypse itself. No crazy mutants or weird races, nothing about zombies, radiation, or nano-plagues. This isn’t much of a limiting factor, as it isn’t hard to turn goats into spider-goats or bandits into zombies, but it will require a bit of work. It would also be fairly easy to convert this for a fantasy or even sci-fi game.

The Good:
For $1.99 (on sale for $0.99 right now) you get what you’ve come to expect from Occult Moon’s various toys - an interesting location, a variety of NPCs, and some hooks for your PCs to get them involved in the action. You get 9 pages of solid material to work with.

The Bad:
Not much art to speak of, and a fair amount of white space. No real reason the rumor table couldn’t be expanded, or a bit of stock art added, or even an ad for the next issue tucked into a corner.

The Ugly:
The map of the compound is highly pixilated. It looks like it was done really small in MS Paint, saved in a bad format, and blown up to mostly fill the page. I printed this out in booklet format, and even at that size it’s a terrible map, and if it weren’t for the very clear numbers, would be nearly completely useless.

Final Verdict:
If you’re running a post apocalyptic game, and you didn’t have much time to come up with something this week, this would be worth a buck or two. Due to the map, it doesn’t quite step up to the level of the previous Toys I’ve gotten, but other than that, it’s a solid value.

Occult Moon just revised their issue #1 with an updated cover and internal map, thus addressing my major concerns about this issue.

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this product from Occult Moon.

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