A Lazy Sequence

Directors Handbook: The 1894 Network

The 1894 Network covers two sets of characters: the originals (found in Stoker’s Dracula), and the legacies: descendants of the original network. Both groups of NPCs have options for which side of the conflict they fall on.

The legacy characters are a reasonably diverse bunch (although the majority are white). It’s cool to see that five of the nine are women (obviously the ratio isn’t able to be so balanced in the 1894 network). I am also pleased to see that none of the options for the characters are obvious; Hite and Ryder-Hanrahan have given each character great motivations that are sure to provide surprises to everyone.

It is clear that legacies will be core axes for a campaign to turn on.

I'm less sure of the 1894 network. I suspect that I would limit decisions about which side any given character falls on until the time the PCs investigate them; trying to preplan these decisions up front is a recipe for confusion (or many index cards).

The character profile art in this section is really great. Normally I prefer active depictions of characters in RPG illustrations but I think here the decision to use tightly cropped frames and passive poses works well: The characters can cover a very broad ground with the options for innocent, Edom asset, and minion of Dracula where a more active representation could have leaned too heavily on a particular option. Unfortunately, looking ahead to the Opposition Forces section, the quality slumps a little.

The rules for allowing a player to take the role of a legacy are cool (new drive, new background). I can see this option being an appealing choice for dramatically inclined players who are fans of the spy fiction genre.

26 October 2015