Earlier this week I received the Game Master Screen for the CONTACT role playing game as well as the "Schrecken der Tiefe" expansion for the same game in my mail. Let me share my first impression of the Game Master Screen with you in this little blog entry:
The Game Master Screen folded up
The booklet with additional information
These two quick snapshots I took hardly do this screen justice. The screen itself is one massive piece of full color cardboard. Folded up it is as thick as some other core rule books. Set up its four faces stands quite sturdy, providing the game master with just about any piece of information he will need to run tactical combat. To sum it up, this screen is entirely unlike any of the flimsy GM screens I have gotten to know from other games. The only thing that could arguable be better would be the illustrated front. A single image covering all four faces of the screen, instead of three individual images, could have been even more impressive. That is probably a matter of taste though.
As is common with game master screens these days it came with a small booklet of assorted additional information. Collected gear tables (that don't really belong on the inside of the actual screen, no matter if other games do just that!), exemplary names sorted by culture (not necessarily language!), an extensive section to generate random missions and the collected Errata for the core rule book make up this booklet. I have to note again, that the Errata takes up only a single page. The game is just that well written. To whet your appetite I gave the random mission generator a little test run. For this purpose I rolled 9d10 and looked the results up on the tables and expanded on the entries a bit. A quick mission done in about 15 minutes.
- 4 : People have disappeared : And they have not been found yet. Their relatives are starting to worry.
- 7 : Small Town : The people who disappeared are residents of a small town dominated by agriculture.
- 4 : Early Morning : Most people are still busy with their breakfast when the team arrives. Especially the town's diners are well frequented.
- 8 : The team is ambushed : Its a trap! The helpful Grey tries to play the local militia and the team against each other.
- 1 : A mob of civilians : Soon after people started to disappear the townsfolk formed a militia to support the Sheriff who is in over his head. They are quite trigger happy and especially wary of foreigners.
- 6 : A rogue Grey : A lone rogue Grey offers to support the team in their effort to uncover the reason for the disappearances. He seems to suspect that doppelgangers are active in the area.
- 9 : The characters hit the wrong target : Mislead by the Grey the characters turn on the militia supposedly infiltrated by doppelgangers. This can seriously discredit Omega and/or the characters.
- 7 : The mission leads to another locale, the desert : Once the team notices, that they have been had they have to hunt down the Grey. He has long since gotten away though, and is waiting for his ship to pick him up again in the desert beyond the irrigated fields surrounding the town.
- 1 : Kid's Play : Neither the militia nor the single Grey are a real challenge for the team. The militia is ill equipped and often more than slightly drunk. The Grey on the other hand is more competent and better equipped, but seriously outnumbered.
A quick mission background ready after only a few dice rolls. Stat blocks from the core rule books can be used for any character the players might encounter on this short mission. It took me longer to type it up here than to flesh it out after rolling the dice. I just hope I got the translation about right. That is it for now. I might write another quick review on the expansion "Schreacken der Tiefe", but I get the impression I could not write a whole lot without providing a lot of spoilers as most of the book's content seems campaign relevant.