Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Nuts & Bolts #90 - Review - Characters: Crews (Cypher System Creator)

Buy it now


Published By: Ganza Gaming via the Cypher System Creator • 5 pages • $1.49 • B&W PDF with Full Color Cover

What's In It

Characters: Crews expands the typical Cypher System character sentence by adding a crew designation. Crews in this use are gangs, groups, squads, actual crews of vessels, and similar. These crews are essentially a second descriptor that all the PCs will share as a means to tie the group together. Like descriptors Crews provide a pool bonus and training in one or more skills, and/or possibly an unique ability. In addition to training in a skill or two and a bonus of pool points Crews provide a Connection which provides both a bonus and also a roleplaying bonus.

A GM looking to run a game about pirates might give all the PCs the Vessel crew type (Crew of the Black Pearl perhaps?) as a means to ensure that all the characters share appropriate skills for their common background as pirates. This allows for cohesive concepts like a character group of spies, a pack of werewolves, a band (the musical kind), and the like.

There are 11 crews provided in the document as well as a short pointer to the rules for custom Descriptors to use to help with custom Crews, and a short introduction. The art, including the cover, is adequate to the task but unremarkable, and does the job you'd expect in a micro-product such as this.

Closing Thoughts

The concept of Crews, of a common descriptor to bind together a PC group, is one that the Cypher System needed. That idea and the execution of it are well worth the price tag of entry for this product. Some might argue that more Crews to bolster the size of the product and expand the utility within, but for me, as a creator, I see this as the perfect product. It introduces a concept efficiently and at a very comfortable price point and then opens up the concept for customization and adaptation by the reader. I can already think of ways that I will use the Crews concept in the future, and that right there is worth six quarters.

Score: 90% Short and sweet but some may wish for higher production values or more content. A bargain at this price for what you really get.

Author's note: A complimentary review copy of this product was provided for the purposes of this review.

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