Monday, September 22, 2008

Archaic Game Material

Macho Women with Guns was a comedy GURPS type rpg published by Blacksburg Tactical Research Center. Characters are built on a point system for attributes and skills, with advantages and disadvantages to effect the point total. Attacks and skill checks are resolved with 3d6 vs. your skill.

While it was a fairly viable gaming system, it is primarily a comedic venture. Characters play women of various types, generally spoofs of female archtypes such as Red Sonja, Lara Croft, Barb Wire, and Ellen Ripley, or female versions of male archtypes such as Conan, Indiana Jones, Zorro, and the Terminator. Enemies are typical chauvanist types or spoofs of science fiction character or writers (Cthulhu and Isaac Asimov are included as enemies under different names).

Gameplay is based on skill challenges. The skills are highly generalized, typically a [verb] [noun] with [noun] combination, such as hit things with other things, or simplifications such as do technical stuff. While an rpg, the primary way to play is fire-fights and melees – sort of a tabletop video game.

The original set was four magazine type books. Macho Women with Guns is the core game rules. Renegade Nuns on Wheels introduced vehicular rules and combat, plus additional religious skills and abilities. Batwinged Bimbos from Hell introduced flight and magic. The Final Chapter (part one) expanded some rules, combined the previous three books, and provided scenario creation information.

Eventually, the game made its way to the d20 and was released in a hardback format typical to gaming books. The art and play were changed, and the game lost some of its charm.

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