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Valkyrie Magazine and RPGnet are happy to provide this review.


Technocracy: Void Engineers

Sourcebook for Mage: the Ascension

White Wolf Games Studio

72pp - [sterling]6.99

The three Technocracy supplements to date - Progenitors, Iteration-X, New World Order - have been (respectively) good, excellent and so-so. Each one has explored the secret conspiracy of Technomancers who are ushering in the soulless utopia of the future. Now Void Engineers is here, to put some soul into it.

The Void Engineers are scientific explorers, boldly going where etc. etc. In a nutshell, this means the Para-Dimensional Corps in vacuum suits exploring the Pleiades star cluster, Earth Frontier Division on skis tracking yetis across the Himalayas, magely Chrononauts navigating the time-stream, a huge Umbral Construct in a Dyson Sphere built around Alpha Centauri A, Border Corps Division "space marines" blasting Nephandic horrors; Neutralisation Specialists cleaning up messy hauntings, vulgar backlashes and careless vampires . . . Put it another way, there's enough here for a RPG in its own right.

Format is as per usual, but better. The history of the convention is narrated by a stranded Void Engineer, marooned on some mythical realm, and accounts for the Convention's evolution from the Seekers who pushed back humanity's frontiers when the species shambled out of the African savannah. This potted guide eschews the usual alternative-history ("Gosh, so-and-so was actually a mage, eh? who'd have thought it?") and concentrates on conveying the restless spirit of discovery, the wanderlust that characterizes these mages. Indeed, though their methods are technological, the Void Engineers aren't your typical technomancers at all . . . with a code of conduct reducible to "survive at all costs", these are pragmatic people who are as likely to be (temporary) allies as enemies to Tradition mages.

Part two goes into magick rules, or "tecknology". This gives us the Sphere of Dimensional Science (long-awaited Spirit rules for Technomancers - how they cross the Gauntlet and what they experience on the other side), methods for sanitizing nodes to turn all that mystical hocus-pocus into tecknologically harvestable Tass, Personally Fuelled Tecknologies (ie. rotes) and lots of big Devices. I'm talking Big Devices: here are the Ectoplasmic Disruptor Cannons, Barrier Field Generators, Tass-Powered Propulsion Units, Void Engines and the Qui La Machinae Marks X156 and X200. This is the street-level technomancy that most Mage PCs are likely to be on the wrong side of and, indeed, that's the value of this book. Of all the Technocratic Conventions, Void Engineers are the most prominent in a typical chronicle: no labroom boffins or shadowy puppeteers here, these are the guys that get the job done!

All the other Technocracy sourcebooks concluded with a pointless lab and the dull NPCs that staff it; Void Engineers gives us the Umbral deadnaught, the Anastasia X156-B58 and her intrepid crew. Based out of Null-B, this dimensional warship might hove to over your nodes one day, ready to suck 'em try and pulverize your chantry into the bargain.

Overall: Excellent. If you buy one Technocracy sourcebook for Mage, this is the one.

Reviewed by Jon Rowe

Supplied by Caliver Books

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