Review: Rogue Games – The French & Indian War (Colonial Gothic)


The French & Indian War
The French & Indian War is a sourcebook for the historical fantasy horror RPG Colonial Gothic written by Bryce Whitacre and published by Rogue Games.
By Aaron T. Huss

Learn more about The French & Indian War here
Purchase The French & Indian War here
Find other Colonial Gothic products here

The French & Indian War is a sourcebook dedicated to presenting the historical French & Indian War in historical and Colonial Gothic terms, allowing your campaign to move from the American Revolution to the prior decades. It is an extremely complete sourcebook (essentially a campaign setting) that includes a look at the history of the war, a gazetteer of the major locations, and no shortage of adventuring information. This sourcebook presents a much different America than other Colonial Gothic books as tensions with England had not yet strained and turned to war. At this point, the colonies are backing England and their war against France and the Native Americans that supported them (and those that may have taken advantage of the conflict).

CONTENT

History is a collection of historical information relating to the French & Indian War including the major encounters, maneuvers, and leaders. This presents a good overview of the war and relates to much of the content found throughout.

Locations is a gazetteer of the major locations of and surrounding the French & Indian War. To add to this content, a collection of maps are overland and city maps are included.

Organizations is a collection of factions involved directly or indirectly with the French & Indian War along with those being attached to the war via Colonial Gothic (in other words, alternate history). This section also ties in with the New France sourcebook

New Backgrounds presents a collection of backgrounds more suited for the French & Indian War instead of Colonial Gothic’s inherent American Revolution setting. Most of this is for flavor although it does open up the background to become a British soldier.

New Skills is a short one-page providing new skills suited for the new backgrounds.

Mass Combat contains all the mechanics necessary for running mass combat in Colonial Gothic (very similar to those in Shadow, Sword & Spell). These are flavored to fit in with the French & Indian War using full armies and their leaders instead of acting as special ops-styled characters.

Adventures is a very large collection of adventure frames (not fully-fleshed out adventures) with hooks, overviews, and notes. Each one pertains to a different month and year to allow for a campaign that runs the gambit of the French & Indian War. These adventures tie-in with the aforementioned historical information.

Appendix is a very cool write-up of historical figures as NPCs (including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington).

OVERALL

Rogue Games has a tendency to produce very thorough and interesting sourcebooks for Colonial Gothic, seamlessly connecting history with historical fantasy horror. The French & Indian War does not let down and follows in a similar fashion to New France and Gazetteer by picking out the major events from history and presenting the players and GMs with a number of ways to incorporate that into their adventures and campaigns. However, The French & Indian War goes one step beyond that by replacing the regular adventure with a large series of adventure frames presenting just enough information to place the various historical events or major milestones into your Colonial Gothic games.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
Rogue Games continues to show improvement time and time again within the quality of their publications and this ranks up there as one of their best. There is a great collection of illustrations and more importantly, a great collection of overland and city maps. The Colonial Gothic books have always been simple, but sometimes even simple can be difficult to do well. Additionally, the content, layout, and format are very smooth and the book is quite easy to read.

Mechanics: 8 out of 10
There are some great new backgrounds to connect Colonial Gothic with the French & Indian War along with additional bits and pieces. Keeping in mind that this is a game about Colonial America, there were no mechanics for creating anyone on the French side should one wish to play a defector or even run an adventure from the other side of the war. This is very minor but would definitely help the content stand out even further, allowing the players and GMs to choose the side they wish to be a part of and allowing those French characters to become a part of the American Revolution on the side of the Americans.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
The French & Indian War is a very valuable addition to the Colonial Gothic range by expanding the timeline to before the American Revolution and presenting a larger picture of North America outside of the thirteen colonies (in addition to that presented in New France). Even if you don’t plan on playing an adventure or campaign in this era, GMs can easily make use of the NPC guide and players can make use of the new backgrounds.

Overall: 9 out of 10
I hope to see additional sourcebooks like this for Colonial Gothic. Not only is it a great read, it’s a valuable resource in a single book for playing an entire campaign during the course of the French & Indian War. If you’re looking to expand your game and introduce something out of the norm from what you’ve been playing, this is an excellent place to start!

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