Reviews from the Past 3 – Lazer

Lazer
by Marc J. Tobert
published by Geek, Inc
27 pages – $30.00
ISBN 0970947208
website www.lazerblast.com

Rating –  D

This hack’n’slash rpg of high technology, magic, cyberpunk and the undead in a universe without humanity” is an excellent example of a small-press/self-published role-playing game, where an interesting premise is let down by the execution.

The game, and system, seems like a mutant offspring of Palladium, D&D and Shadowrun being level, but not precisely class, based. I say “seems” because there is no unified “this is the system” section. Explanations are disjointed and scattered and whilst the Combat “to-hit roll” is explained, admittedly three pages after the numbers for Criticals and fumbles are given, the percentile rolls required for non-combat skills never are.

Lack of playtesting by strangers is apparent throughout the game, from simple errors like –8 plus –14 being given as –16 rather than –22 to major problems in reality checking, Long-range recon starfighters with only 100 miles sensor range. The important and huge Tamara, one of the main planets has 57.2 billion inhabitants different species, yet also supposedly has vast tracts of wilderness. Someone hasn’t figured out things like planetary density and gravity. Unfortunately Tamara is the only world given any real description for adventuring possibilities but I assume Geek Inc intend to correct that in future supplements.

Despite the odd typo, the perfect bound book looks reasonably professional, with readable text, sufficient white space and writing in a pleasantly conversational style though someone new to Role-playing would be mystified by what to do with it. Although It never quite achieves its goal of being divorced from Earth (the company TerraCorps, shapeshifters are Lycanthropes) there is an fun to be had here with a GM who is willing to put a lot of work into it.

 

(This review was written in 2002. It is possible that it is still available)

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