Aberrant: Fear and Loathing

WW 8541 $4.95 May-00
Written by Justin Achilli

Review by Craig Oxbrow for rpg.net (20 May 2000)

Style: 4 (Classy and well done)
Substance: 3 (Average)

The latest supplement for Aberrant is 24 monochrome pages (plus colour cover) containing four articles by Duke Rollo, the gonzo journalist of the Aberrant era who is ever so slightly inspired by Raoul Duke, Hunter S Thompson's alter ego. Written by Justin Achilli, the essays are pretty accurate pastiches of Thompson's style - funny, cynical insights into the game's setting, covering African dictators, Mexican taekeovers, nights in Ibiza and Halloween parties. They're not as funny as the real thing, and they're pure fiction as opposed to exaggerated true stories, but their observations of the game world are quite revealing.

(By they by, South Africa isn't an 'outgrowth of the British Empire', as it claims in the second article. It was colonised by the Boers - the Dutch - unlike a lot of other African countries which Britain did take over.)

Apart from the cover and the credits page the book is all background material, making it nearly suitable as a prop to give to players, a series of drug-blurred snapshots of the world their characters live in. No statistics, no adventure ideas, nothing.

In terms of usefulness to an Aberrant game... well, not very much. It sketches in some details about the world, adding another new African dictatorship (which probably won't be around long) and detailing the events leading to the more-or-less-benevolent takeover of Mexico by Project Utopia, the game world's control-freak 'heroes', but the other two pieces are straight colour.

Compared to Expose: Aberrants, a previous book in the line of the same size, Fear And Loathing is less useful to the Aberrant gamer. On the other hand, it has more drug jokes.