Game: Bulletproof Screen
Publisher: Louis Porter Jr Design
Review Dated: 22nd, August 2003
Reviewer’s Rating: 3/10 [ Not good enough ]
Total Score: 3
Average Score: 3.00
I say ‘oops’ because although I’m often tempted by attractive GM screen, I don’t think I’d be willing to pay US$20 for one.
Breasts. Let’s start with the good parts of the bulletproof screen. The players’ side of the three-fold screen is dominated with a colour illustration of a martial arts babe. She enjoys large breasts and top that only bothers to loosely lace itself closed from the belly button down. If you’ve female gamers in your group then perhaps you can claim it’s a girl power/female empowerment design.
The swords and ninja motif is perhaps an unusual choice for a game that made a point of putting firearm fight rules before melee and for a product with the “bulletproof” tagline. Oh, our busty babe is holding a gun in her off hand and I don’t think it was airbrushed in at the last minute.
The GM – or in Haven lingo – the GOD’s side of the screen is probably more important. You’ve three pages of blocky black on white tables. Haven’s mechanics use many charts and it is actually helpful to have easy access to these. The last third of the screen is given over to a list of guns. The smallest of the charts, in a row at the bottom of the screen, don’t line up smoothly. The Hand-to-Hand action cost table is fractionally lower on the card stock than the Strength & Weapon Damage table. Okay. This miss-match of alignments is slight but enough to drive me mad.
How do they get away with charging $20 for this? Inside the screen (thankfully not attached to it) is a stapled supplement. There’s a pre-written scenario and some random, gridless, floor plans. Actually, the lack of cover for this mini-supplement means it’s easier to fold it anyway which way but loose and simply use the floor plans without photocopies.
The pre-written adventure is weird. Haven is supposed to be a game of hard-core violence – and although such action is likely to ensure, the initial premises of the game is unlikely. A concerned woman contacts the players because her husband is angry and she’s worried what he’ll do. “Help! My husband is angry!” If your Haven campaign as your players as gun carrying counsellors then you’re good to go, in any other circumstance, I think you’ll struggle.
Your counsellors will need to be carrying guns. The husband, a doctor, is angry because his daughter just died horribly. I think her bowls dissolved. She ate a dodgy hamburger (and this adventure explains how this is all possible and charts the movement of the cow). Since this is Haven: City of Violence the guy who might end up paying compensation to the distraught family has (already) hired a hit man to go after the angry man. The adventure would make more sense if the angry doctor had just been murdered and the PCs are employed to track the killer.
I don’t think this bundle is worth the cover price. To be commercially viable GM screens need to be really rather good these days; the bulletproof screen certainly isn’t. If you’re rich and love Haven then the bulletproof screen will keep your notes safe and provide easy access to some of the rule charts.