Review: Bedrock Games – Terror Network


Terror Network
Terror Network is a modern action role-playing game written by Brendan Davis, William Butler, and Steve Bowden and published by Bedrock Games.
By Cape Rust

Purchase Terror Network here

From the mountains of Afghanistan to the streets of Boston, fight on the front lines against Terrorist Networks like Al-Qaeda. You and your fellow agents are the nation’s unsung heroes in the War on Terror. This game allows players to play a network of characters with diverse backgrounds and skill sets all designed to stop the terrorists before they strike.

CONTENT

This 114 page core rulebook contains 111 pages of terrorist hunting information. The book includes everything you need to get a network of characters into the fight, including 42 skills and what is described as a gritty combat system. The book includes descriptions of the major U.S. agencies as well as real world and made up terrorist groups. There are ready made NPCs as well as Operation Dirty Water (adventures are called operations, as they should be).

OVERALL

When I first saw the title and the concept for this game I was worried. In the real world I have done work that supports counter terrorism efforts and it is complex. I was worried that this game would tackle too much or too little. After reading through the book I can say that they got it just right.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
Bedrock Games doesn’t get a pass because this was their first game, the don’t get a pass because they don’t need one! This level of success takes most companies several products to achieve. My main problem was the art. It wasn’t that the art for Terror Network was bad, but there wasn’t anything about it that really stood out to me. Many of the illustrations were re-drawn from photographs I’ve seen dozens of times. Bedrock was smart to stick with black and white, to keep costs down. Bedrock Games went with the standard two column format that most companies use and it looked just fine. Where Bedrock Games really stands out is their desire to keep all of their products under 120 pages for several really, really good reasons, including readability and cost. The length of this product as well as others is purposeful and thoughtful and should be emulated by other small RPG companies.

Mechanics: 9 out of 10
Terror Network uses Bedrock Games Network System. The Network System is a White Wolf like d10-based system. Bedrock Games limits rolls to no more than 6d10. This decreases the dice burden on the player and mission director and keeps heavy handed dice throwers from having to search all over the table for those dice that obey the laws of gravity and throw too hard. Bedrock Games includes miniatures rules as well as what they call a high octane version which is more lethal and has the tendency to have a more cinematic feel. Modern combat is hard to “stat” out and I think the Network System does a good job of keeping things lethal while not bogging down the pace of combat.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
Terror Network is an affordable, manageable product that is a great alternative to many of the modern day RPGs. I could never get into D20 Modern so Terror Network has filled a void in my life. This game is good for players who like to kick down doors and investigators alike. Because players are encouraged to develop a network of characters, Mission Directors can easily alternate between the play styles. If your game group likes to change their style of play up often this is the game for you. To me the most important value found in this product aside from the solid game they have produced is Bedrock Games’ steadfast determination to produce quality affordable games. Bedrock Games is not afraid to explain the cost benefits of keeping a book under 120 pages. From a business sense it is a win/win, but the real victory comes from the loyalty that these practices will build within the gaming community.

Overall: 9 out of 10
One of the things that I have not expressed in this review is just how well researched this game is. The development and content of this game shows a true interest and expertise into the intended subject matter. I was happy that the game didn’t take an anti-Islam stance. The approach was much more academic. I have not gotten to get my Muslim friends’ opinions, but I suspect they will feel the same. This game could be used as a training tool for some government agencies or in a college or high school classroom with some tweaks. There are some very interesting descriptions and historical accounts of the history of terrorism and those who counter it. Terror Network has formed solid bedrock for an up and coming company. If you are up to the challenge, strap on your MP-5, put a fresh clip in your Glock (finish up the rest of the suiting up montage) and prepare to disrupt the terror network.

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