I recently downloaded the free quickstart for 3rd edition of Mutant Chronicles from Drivethrurpg. I knew about its successful Kickstarter-campaign and have been fan of franchise since the days of Doomtrooper way back in the 90s. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the quickstart and to learn that Jay Little of all people was behind the development of the core rules. I was even thinking about getting to know the system and GMing it. But then I bought two sourcebooks for brewing ideas…
I like buying roleplaying books. I think most gamers do. I have shifted from physical products to PDFs mainly to save space and a little money but still like to expand my collection. Usually the books I buy deal more with the flavor and ideas than actual rules. But this time I feel mislead. Twice.
The idea of heretics has always fascinated me. It has been a somewhat constant theme in most of my games. So when I was thinking about getting into Mutant Chronicles I wanted to see that perspective first. To my knowledge there is something about the heretics in the core rules but I wanted to get deeper. So I bought Mutants & Heretics. That has to have all that I want, right?
I was wrong.
Of the 120 pages of the book 20 pages discuss about playing a heretic. And not even in that great detail. They are broad ideas and 11 pages of spells and relics. The book isn’t even listed on the Modiphius’s list of Mutant Chronicles books on Drivthru.
I was totally stunned by this. But then I learned about the Dark Soul sourcebook. It boast on the same subject:
“Heretics: Do they all commit evil acts just for the sake of it or are there still twisted human emotions governing them? Learn what it is to become a heretic and what drives them. “
I fell to the lure of Semai and bought this books also. This is about Apostles and the Dark Legion and learning about them must increase my knowledge about heretics. Right? RIGHT?
This time it wasn’t so bad as with the Mutants & Heretics. At least I wasn’t mislead in the title.But on the other hand I would have liked to know about this books being a monster manual.
“248 pages of Dark Legion secrets” says the tag line. Secrets here seem to be the stats for all Nepharities your players could/should ever encounter. And in case you are wondering how tall these beasts are, you are always given their height. To the point where it becomes hilarious.
Dark Soul gave me ideas about heretics and the cults of the Dark Apostles. Not as much as I might have wanted but it still gave them. I have no idea why this information about heretics is split between (at least) two books and it is simply unacceptable. I do not like to bash gaming products. But this time I felt so strongly that I would not have spent money on these that I just had to say it aloud.
As summary about Dark Soul and Mutants & Heretics I must say that I wouldn’t recommend them. Maybe the most hardcore fan of the game that wants their game to be a dungeon crawler with legions of different enemies could get something out of these. But I since even some of the monsters are included in both books I have to assume that you get these in other products as well.
A real shame since that free quickstart looks, feels and reads like this would be a great game. It might still be but I for one will not spend another cent on them.