Game: Macho Women With Guns
Publisher: Mongoose Publishing
Review Dated: 24th, November 2003
Reviewer’s Rating: 7/10 [ Good ]
Total Score: 7
Average Score: 7.00
“Macho Women with Guns is a game unconcerned by characterisation, deep and meaningful background or quality and realistic portrayal of a “part”. The aim here is simply to kill things, ogle the illustrations and have fun with automatic weapons and hot chicks in bikinis.”
They’re not kidding. The character generation in Macho Women with Guns includes rules for working out your chest, waist and butt size. You’ll be playing a chick.
Mongoose books are not without their titillation and although there might just be more bare titillation in /other/ Mongoose books, Macho Women with Guns is in colour and the illustrations here don’t claim to be following any fantasy tradition, the illustrations here are just for cheap thrills. GameWyrd’s lucky enough to have a preview of Macho Women with Guns, art and all. I don’t normally point previews out in reviews but in this case, given how the illustrations may just be the deciding factor (good or bad) it makes sense to make this the exception.
Elsewhere in Macho Women with Guns we’re told that the book shamelessly pitches itself at the lowest common denominator of roleplayer. You. You’ve bought it after all. Well. True. What can I say? I like my ‘characterisation, deep and meaningful background or quality and realistic portrayal of a “part”‘ in /normal/ RPGs and I turn to games like Paranoia or Macho Women with Guns for mindless fun. I’m not annoyed by the lowest common denominator comment, I laughed. I just don’t think it’s necessary. Author Grim Jim’s sardonic humour just needs a solid and defensive base to work from.
Macho Women with Guns is a funny game. In many ways it is a spoof of certain movies. You don’t just need to enjoy plenty of gun action, or just need to enjoy plenty of woman action to enjoy Macho Women with Guns, you need to enjoy a good (or bad!) joke as well.
This isn’t the original Macho Women with Guns. This is the d20 Modern conversion. Greg Porter, author of the original Macho Women with Guns, told me “I feel that Macho Women with Guns is the -perfect- use for the d20 system. Interpret that as you will…” and I agree. The d20 modern system lets you pick your basic hero (or heroine in this case) by selecting an cinematic style you want associated with her; dexterity, intelligence, charisma, etc. You’re then able to add some significant shticks; feats and the new anti-feat heinous drawbacks, and you’re almost ready to go. Just add those bazookas (or other weapons) and you’re good to go. Oh yeah, pad out with skills and career options as required.
Let’s take a quick peek at the career options. The d20 modern style occupations available in Macho Women with Guns are the adventurer, athlete, batwinged bimbos, beautician, bookworm, celebrity, criminal, dominatrix, hard boiled detective, helloooo nurse, minx, naughty schoolgirl, pinup geek, police chick, renegade nun and witch. I don’t think they need much explaining. The batwinged bimbos are succubae.
Really. Succubae. There are demons in Macho Women with Guns. The world went to a diet hell. Food was a problem. Presidents sulked, went mad, ordered wars here, there and everywhere. Lots of soldiers, mainly men, died. Plagues struck. Biologically engineered plagues to take out men struck. More men died. There was serious global warming and earthquakes too. Men died. In one particular earthquake a gateway to Hell opened up. Men died. That’s where the succubae came from. Apparently the Devil got bored of them hanging around in his place (talk about a lack of imagination/stamina) and kicked them out. Now many of the succubae hang around in California where, like most people, they make and star in porn videos. This is a post-apocalyptic setting where the living certainly do not envy the dead!
Anything goes in Macho Women with Guns. If you want to run the game where your players are all jungle fur bikini clad, spear wielding amazons, then you can. If you want to run a game where your players are cat-suited mech pilots that battle against Godzilla-like monsters then you can. You can mix the two if you want. Macho Women with Guns has stats for all sorts of equipment and suitable feats too.
There’s a new magic system. Mucho Macho Magic uses mana points and some generic families of spells. The pages of individual spells which Dungeons and Dragons d20 players might be familiar with are not here. There’s magic if you want it – but not enough to get in the way of the Macho Girls or the Guns. Makes sense.
The book, of course, comes complete with new feats too. A sampling of these new additions would include Promiscuous (which requires at least six ranks in Nookie), Blow Your Way to-the Top and Hotline to Satan. These are the feats, remember, the disadvantages include Buck-Toothed Hick, Kinky and Gold Digger. Please note; you don’t get any points back by being kinky! It just effects your reputation.
Advanced Classes? Sure. There’s the Assassin, Business Bitch, Busty Vampire Slayer, Cat Burglar, Criminal Mastermind, Destroyer in a Furry Bikini, High Priestess, Holy Roller, Hot Coed, Infernal Mistress, Jungle Queen, Kung Fu Hotty, Leet Haxxor, Librarian Beauty, Media Icon, Relic Raider, Sergeant Rockette and Sword Mistress. I only went to the bother of spitting them all out to show how nicely many of them stack directly on top of the core classes and to showcase the surprising scope there. They’re all Macho Women but technically you don’t have to bother with guns.
Just in case Games Mastering this rather, um, unusual world is beginning to feel like too much of a challenge there’s a timely placed GM support chapter. The first rule – the rules are not important. The second rule – have fun. Oh, I don’t know, this sounds too wacky for me. Its here that the book officially points out that you could use these rules for fantasy, modern, sci-fi, horror or just humour – but I’m sure readers will have been inspired by their favourite genre by this point already.
The worst thing about Macho Women with Guns is that it creates this entertaining, rich and sleazy world filled with busty beauties – and then doesn’t let you play a man. No. You have to play a woman. Well. You have to play a woman if you follow that particular rule.
Macho Women with Guns isn’t for everyone. It has a broader appeal than many gamers might care to admit though. After all, it quickly became a classic. I’m typically the take-it-seriously-play-in-character-bored-with-too-much-combat gamer and I *like* Macho Women with Guns. I’m just not sure who I’d want to play it with. I don’t think Kristen Dunst is a gamer.
Hey. If you’re tempted by the book – succumb.