What I said about Heavy Gear applies here: This is how it's done.
Like a lot of old-time gamers, I started with fantasy- and Back In The Day that meant D&D. Times changed, but the only change in the top dogs of fantasy games is that AD&D usurped D&D. Every other contender just doesn't have what it takes to displace the hegomony.
Tribe 8 has that power.
What makes this possible is that Tribe 8 deftly walks the line between being too much like AD&D to be a viable alternative and being too odd for gamers to relate. Combine this with Dream Pod 9's business skill, and AD&D becomes a target on the horizon; it could become the top dog in a decade, and it will break the top five once more and more gamers turn on to this RPG.
The reasons for this optimistic opinion are as follows:
#1- The Engine: Tribe 8 runs on the Sihouette engine, which is now acclaimed world-wide for its simple, rugged and intuitive design that can handle both personal and wide-scale action without needing patches (let alone entirely new rules).
This engine will allow the GM to run everything from a mass battle to a one-on-one duel with the ease of a well-oiled machine. Combat is fast and deadly, magic-use is quick and effective and social skills are a breeze to adjudicate. This, possibly, is the closest thing to the Holy Grail of game design yet published.
#2- The Setting: This is post-apocalyptic fantasy, but it's done with an attention to detail and athestics that is uncommon in this genre; you don't see this with Gamma World, Thundar the Barbarian or others like this.
The End was spiritual; demons now called Z'bri showed up and ripped the World Before to pieces. They herded the people into camps, had their way with them and enjoyed it. Then the Mother Goddess sent her Avatars, called "Fatimas", to free Her children and lead them against the the Z'bri. After a very vicious war, Joshua (the only male) died on a Z'bri lord's blade. His tribe scattered amongst the remaining seven, but a prophesy surrounds his (and his tribe's) ressurection.
That time is upon the world, and your character is part of it in some tangible fashon. Why? Because you're banished from your birth tribe and became Fallen; you're now in the de-facto Eight Tribe. This is where the game begins its storyline.
#3- The Execution: This is not AD&D, and it doesn't try to be. The Z'bri are mean, tough and downright alien; they do things that would make Vampire's Tzimicse look tame, and you do *not* want to play one. There's all sorts of pride, bigotry, deviance and debasement yet this is contrasted with all sorts of enlightenment, hope, heroism, love and community. Maturity without the pretensions of early White Wolf; that is what this is.
And that's what this RPG is about- community. (Save your clones of the Knights of the Dinner Table for another campaign; this one isn't for them.) Your characters strive to build a new home, and a new home in this new home, while struggling against all who'd seek your deaths- and that's way too many for me to number.
Finally, a fantasy RPG I can be thrilled to play again; if that isn't a good recommendation, then there is nothing more I can say to sway you. Just take a chance on the book and see for yourself.
Style: 5 (Excellent!)