Thursday, August 4, 2022

Review: Action 9 - The City

I finally gotten around to reading Action 9: The City. The book is split into two halves, which feel very different, but really help each other to function. I really enjoyed reading the second half, but the second half wouldn't exist without the first.

The first chapter is very dense, explaining how to turn numbers from city stats (and/or real world data) into numbers for action. While reading it, I thought: "How will I ever do all this?" Its good stuff, but it didn't have much context to hang the numbers on.

Fortunately, in most cases, you won't have to actually translate these factors, because chapter two is full of six very slick examples. These cities aren't real... and yet you've seen them each half a dozen times in movies. They form a wonderful grab bag of locations that can be used again and again. They can inspire you when designing locations for games, and even if you want something slightly different, these cities form a solid starting point for tweaks and as a way to remember what features to touch.

So my recommendation for this book is to read the second chapter first. Its a catalog of evocative modern locations with stats for action heroes. They provide advice on what chases through them look, how police responses work, and hooks for villains and plots. My only comment is I wish that we had six more of them for a round dozen. If you want colorful locations for action heroes, go ahead and get this book, and read chapter 2. And then look up what you need to use out of chapter 1.

I hope this helps you decide if you want this book or not. Happy Gaming!