Dream Pod 9
125 Pages L??.??
I have been critical of previous Heavy Gear releases due to the lack of
attention Dream Pod 9 seem to be giving to the role-playing side of the game.
To my mind Heavy Gear is a wonderful SF universe which has been largely
untapped by its creators as far as role-play potential is concerned. It's all
there waiting, a world divided by deep cultural and religious differences on
the brink of another destructive war. So why do Dream Pod 9 still churn out
supplements full of more Gear designs? Dream Pod 9 have provided some new
ammunition for use with your Gears, but mostly this supplement concentrates on
the explaining how the technology of the Heavy Gear universe works and what
makes a Gear 'tick'.
The book is up to the high standards we have come to expect from Heavy Gear
supplements, good 'anime-mecha' style artwork (some recycled artwork is
present) illustrate the text well and the layout is first rate. For the
technologically minded amongst you Dream Pod 9 have carefully explained all of
the assumptions they make when designing for the 62nd century, but rest assured
this is no degree course study text and the writers are quick to point out that
HG is Science FICTION! The largest chapter in the book is of course dedicated
to the technology behind Gears but Electronics, Meditech and Military Tech are
all given individual chapters. Of particular interest is chapter 8 which
provides handy hints on designing Gears and other vehicles. While some who are
used to the very open design system provided in Heavy Gear may see this as too
restrictive it does help to set realistic limits on vehicle specifications.
One major disappointment for me was in the area of personal equipment and
weapons. Not everyone who plays Heavy Gear wants to play Gear pilots or vehicle
crew, and in the course of an adventure it is highly likely that the Gears will
need to be left behind at some point. This supplement provides nothing new in
the way of personal weapons and armour, another wasted opportunity by Dream Pod
9 to really push forward the role-playing aspects of the game universe. I
sometimes get the feeling when reading the Heavy Gear books that Dream Pod 9
assume that everyone wants to play Gear Pilots and Strider crew in a military
campaign, maybe they need to rethink this when considering future
Overall This is another high quality supplement for Heavy Gear. Yet again
though Dream Pod 9 have failed to push forward the role-playing aspects of the
game as far as they could. I would have liked to see more in the way of
personal gadgets, the kinds of things that players like to pick up and use
during the course of a adventure.
Review by David Crowhurst