One of the head-turning developments in RPGs in the early 80s was the 1984 release of Twilight: 2000. We all knew GDW as the Traveller guys, and that was pretty much it… until this utterly fascinating idea of post-WW III soldiers-as-adventurers suddenly grabbed our imaginations and would not let go.
Understand – in 1984, we had The Day After and very real discussions about the Warsaw Pact and Russian tanks rolling into France as part of our daily lives. The idea of a mostly-conventional war bringing about the collapse of modern society rang true, but Twilight: 2000 turned that into a chance to be badass military heroes doing what they could in the aftermath. Survival was certainly a focus, but you could also approach it in terms of “what do we do to save people and rebuild the world?”
Even if you’re disinclined to play the actual game by the presented rules (they are very Old School up in this bundle), the source material is deep, rich, and incredibly useful for anyone wanting to examine the chilling-and-thrilling alt-future-history of this setting. Well over $200 for a bundle price of $40.00 makes this practically a no-brainer.
(From the core rulebook) –
Twilight: 2000 is a complete role-playing system for survival in a devastated post-holocaust world. Rules cover character generation, living off the land, encounters, combat, skills and skill improvement, medicine, vehicles, ammunition, trade and much more.
The combat rules are a major breakthrough. One general combat resolution procedure covers all types of combat: hand-to-hand, melee weapons, small arms fire and fire against armored vehicles. Once the basic three-step combat sequence is understood (Did you hit? Where did you hit? How hard did you hit?), combat is quick and easy to resolve, but the wide range of weapons values keeps the system rich in detail.
The background to the war is covered in detail, and extensive material on the state of the world is included to assist the referee. The beginning adventure is actually a campaign and is the most complete adventure of its type to appear in a role-playing game. It not only gets you playing quickly, it provides many gaming sessions worth of encounters and andventures and then easily blends into your own campaign.
Game charts are in a separate chart booklet, and are arranged so that each two-page spread of charts contains all the information needed to referee one aspect of the the game (travel, encounters, personal combat, vehicle combat, etc.) so there is no flipping back and forth searching for the correct chart during play. From the referee’s point of view, it is a very user friendly game.
Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
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