So, I finally bought Josh Roby's Sons of Liberty
. If you don't know, it's a madcap version of the American Revolution, and the subtitle is "a roleplaying game of freedom and badassery." That pretty much sums it up.
Being very much into the madcap (pretty clear if you've read Super Action Now!
), and since I have tremendous respect for many of the figures of the American Revolution (Benjamin Franklin, in particular, is one of my personal heroes), I was interested as soon as I found out about it. But, reading about it, I had to ask myself, "Does it do anything that Super Action Now!
I took the chance and bought it (the page count was actually a big factor in this) anyway. And the answer to my question is a resounding "YES." The game is brilliant from top to bottom. It has some of the coolest character mechanics I've ever seen; the Circumstances are absolute genius. I loved all the profiles of the important figures, and I especially loved the little tweaks to them -- Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys riding on mooses
? John Adams in 10-foot tall clockwork power armor? Fantastic.
The illustrations are really good too. George Washington looks absolutely BAD ASS
with his power armor and mechanical horse -- this really looks like the guy who would ride across the battlefield in front of his soldiers, in the midst of enemy fire, to instill courage in his troops. John Hancock, wearing like eight guns, looks like he belongs in the American Revolution version of Samurai Shodown
I can't wait to play the damn thing.
Now, Josh, I've got a question for ya.
See, as I was reading the thing, it reminded me of a video game. Not in the general sense, which would be clear to anyone with the way that campaigns are broken into Levels and you have an Options Screen, but a specific game. I eventually figured out which one it was: Samurai Warriors
. And, yeah, Dynasty Warriors
, which came first and is the same thing except in Three Kingdoms era China, rather than Sengoku Japan, but I prefer Samurai Warriors
because I have greater knowledge about Sengoku than Three Kingdoms -- and knowing the real history makes the game more fun.
So, in most ways, SoL is just like SW: it takes prominent figures from a historical war, ratchets up their badassitude (not to make them seem better than they were, but to beat into our thick, modern skulls just how awesome
they really were), and sets them loose to rock 'n roll.
There's one big difference, though. In SoL, the history of the war is set in stone -- you play in and around it, but the outcome never changes. No characters die, because they all lived through the war. But in SW, you get to re-write history. You get to see what might have happened if the Oda had not managed to defeat the Imagawa, or if Honganji's Ikko-Ikki had managed to hold their own against Nobunaga (with the help of mercenary Saika Magoichi), or even if (improbability of improbabilities) Date Masamune had single-handedly defeated the Uesugi, the Oda, the Tokugawa, and the Takeda, and united Japan.
So, Josh, my question is this: what do you think would needed to play SoL in such a history re-writing mode?
I can think of two things: 1.) players who are quite knowledgeable about the real history, and 2) rules for character death (specifically, rules to determine if, upon being defeated, a character is killed or just routed -- as in SW and DW)