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1 July, 1999

[review] The Shadow Falls: Sin City Volume One

The Shadow Falls: Sin City Volume One (SC1) is a long needed and waited for campaign setting for Dark Conspiracy 2nd Edition (DC2).  SC1 is the first of a six set series to develop a generic metroplex that can be placed anywhere in the world with a large body of water.  The series is to cover different aspects of New Centennial City also known as "Sin City".  SC1 covers the general layout of the city as well as the attitudes of its population, and some highlights of some place of interests in the city.  A full adventure has also been supplied to get you underway with Sin City and its inhabitants.

Now, if you are looking to be spoon feed this is not for you.  The city source material has been written without charts or tables to allow referees to fill in and make-up as they see fit.  The adventure is also written in the same manner.  Sin City is broken down into eight major sections that have been outlined with the types of people and activities generally found in that section.  A special environment was introduced to Sin City that will be the hallmark to the town.  Huge flaming methane vents loom over "The Projects", and "The Strip" has a lot of potential that any referee could run with for weeks.

The adventure revolves around a Mayan cult and its leader.  The adventure walks the referee through the time line of the adventure without dictating the detailed events of the players.  Throughout the book and heavily in the adventure section are extrospective, perspective and experiences written by New Centennial City citizens.  These short stories, if you will, add to the mood and meaning of the adventure and the city itself.  Further, though the stories are light reading and in themselves not necessary to use in the rest of the source material and adventure, it does give the referee insight and mood on the work.  In turn, it will help the referee run a better game.

On the last page, the author cleans up the adventure well with giving all the unanswered questions and side plots.  This will keep you and your players busy for a while until the next release of the Sin City volume.  Perhaps, a referee may want to examine some of these questions or side plots during the main adventure if they are up to the challenge.

The format is clean, easy to read and follow.  The book size employs a referee style 6" x 9" cut as the Players and Referee’s edition of DC2.  At least, supplements will be consistent with the main rule books.  The size is nice where table space is at a premium, but some of you referees will go mad trying to match the books on the bookshelf with your other games.

Though I counted a couple of minor typos in the book, it did not distract from the book.  The only major problem in SC1 is the existence of the adventure.  I would have liked to seen more Sin City source material in place of the adventure, and had the adventures come later in Sin City series.

One thing should be noted.  As of this review, The Shadow Falls: Sin City series is not sold in game stores.  It can only be purchased directly from the company at Dynasty Presentations, Inc..  However, the company has a couple of options for payment.

Lastly, SC1 is worthy to sport the name Dark Conspiracy, and would be a wonderful addition to a referee’s DC collection and campaign.  Congratulation Mike Marchi, SC1 is wonderful piece work!  I am looking forward to seeing your future works.

Mike Wittek
Vacaville, California


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