Author: Phillipe R. Boulle, Stephane Brochu, and Joshua Mosqueira Asheim
Company/Publisher: Dream Pod 9
Page count: 208
Capsule Review by Justin Mohareb on 07/14/98. Genre tags: none
I don't think many people will consider it excessive hyperbole if I say that Dream Pod 9 consistently produces some of the finest materials in the role-playing industry.
I loved their Heavy Gear & Jovian Chronicles games and, here's a little secret, I hate Mecha & Anime, which were two of their sources.
Now, DP9 has used their Silhouette system (the simple yet involved game system used in both HG & JC) to produce Tribe 8. At its core, Tribe 8 is a heroic RPG that utilizes the common theme of alienation. The PCs are characters who have been ejected from the seven tribes that form society in the post-apocalyptic milieu of T8.
I got the T8 book from a DP9 guy (yes, I've forgotten the name. Mangez Moi) at a convention on the weekend. I flipped through it over the weekend, not taking much in. On Sunday night, I sat down to read it. When I looked up, it was three in the morning. The game had sucked me in and led me around by the nose like a bull.
The setting of Tribe 8 is one of the game's strongest points. It's set on an island that was formerly home to a beautiful city in the greatest country on Earth. The island, called Vimary by its inhabitants, was formerly the site of the camps of the Z'Bri, where humans were violated, tortured, and murdered to feed the hungers of their inhuman masters.
Humanity was led from the camps by the Fatimas, the eight avatars of the Goddess. Two died in the process of liberation, one of whom was replaced, leaving seven Fatimas to rebuild humanity.
The eighth Fatima, and sole male one, Joshua, delivered a prophecy as he died. He proclaimed "My vengeance and salvation will come from the wretches! My Tribe, the Eight, will come from the outcasts. They will be dirty, alone and powerful, tied to the Goddess as only they can be. They will be spat upon and tricked, tried and killed. But they shall be the future."
The PC's are the fulfillment of that prophecy.
Tribe 8 is steeped with possibilities. The game is based around building the power of the tribe, but there's many ways to do that. Politicking with the seven tribes; striking out against the monstrous Z'Bri that remain in Vimary, locked away in their monstrous fortresses; or exploring the ruins of the ancient city on which Vimary sits, all of these are possible frameworks on which to hang a campaign. And, once some supplements come out (and, while T8 doesn't need them, I don't think I'd pass them by), filling in the blank spots in the world, there'll be even more to see & do.
The game uses the Silhouette system standard to all DP9 games. It's a system that's simple & quick, but doesn't seem totally disassociated from realism.
Tribe 8 has a new addition to the Silhouette system, which is good since there's no place for Mecha rules in here. The new system, called Synthesis, allows members of the Fallen to use 'magical' abilities. There aren't any Fireball spells, but there are a variety of interesting abilities. The Seekers, who travel Vimary seeking technological relics from the previous age, get some cool stuff, including an ability that makes up for the lack of, oh, let's see, fossil fuels and battery cells?
There's also rules for the Z'Bri that still wander Vimary, seeking victims/lunch, with their own specialized Synthesis powers.
My sole quibble with Tribe 8? I want more. I want more info on the Fatimas and their tribes. I want to know more about Vimary. I want to know more about the Fallen. I want to know more about Synthesis. I want it ALL, baby! And I want it NOW!
But I'll deal in the meantime.
Style: 5 (Excellent!)