Believe it or Else!

A supplement for Gatecrasher RPG from Hot Tub Dragon Games. Composed and performed by Lawrence M. Kapture and Michael W. Lucas. 96 p.
Currently available from Grey Ghost Games, with conversion notes to Fudge
This review copyright 1993, 1997 by Steffan O'Sullivan
This page last updated July 28, 1997

I try to imagine what this supplement would be like if you don't know Gatecrasher's rather amazing setting. Simply picking it up and browsing it at the store would bring many a puzzled look, I'm sure, interspersed with some laughter. I can see the reader flipping through, looking for solid ground to land on, and finding only stranger and stranger (and funnier and funnier) soil ahead.

A casual reader may or may not buy this book, but if you do know Gatecrasher, then you want this book. In fact, if you enjoy humorous RPG material, no matter what the setting, then you want this book..

First, the flaws: the gray shading of the sidebars blurs the letters slightly, making such sidebars a little straining to read.

Now, on to the good parts: The book is a great addition to Gatecrasher. It covers some new professions, lots of NPCs (ranging from the High & Mighty to Comrades & Cretins), some quickie NPC thugs to toss at the party as needed, more cults and organizations, some lovely artifacts, delightful magic spells (Cerebral Cortical Cuisinart, anyone? How about the two spells, Omniscience and Improved Omniscience?), more creatures (watch out for dragon kittens or the Qlippoth!), a pop history of the world according to 24th century ideas, some neat places to avoid, a whole new character "race" to explore (pseudanthroids), displaced persons arriving from the past, marauders, organlegging, cyberfamiliars, genetic engineering, and even an adventure to send the PCs on that they might even survive.

In other words, this supplement supplies LOTS of details about the World setting that had to be left out of the original Gatecrasher book.

This is a great read, even if you never play it. Lots of subtle and some not-so-subtle gems thrown in here that will give you hours of entertainment. Here we can find:

  • the Queen Mother of the Golf Balls from Hell,
  • sixty-three slightly different versions of Allah,
  • the return of the presidential toaster,
  • a plan to terraform the sun,
  • a spell to summon an ancient King (who indeed comes back, but keeps running off to fast food places),
  • a necromancy cannon,
  • gun bunnies,
  • detachable pets,
  • Valhalla Sports Bar,
  • vacuum-dwelling undead,
  • Macho Guns Incorporated,
  • the Karma Police,
  • Santa's Secret Service (voted the annual "Slimmest Evidence for Existing" award three years in a row at the Conspiracy Convention),
  • the Maltese Dingus,
  • Ty-D-Ball,
  • escaped and schizoid software,
  • and so on - lots of "and so on!"
Also included is the tale of the ogre P.I., Ben Spade - a very entertaining read.

This book was written while Gatecrasher was in its first edition - before it was translated to Fudge. However, Grey Ghost Games has included a simple conversion sheet which allows you to run it effortlessly in Fudge - or any other system you desire.

All in all, get this book. A solid "A" rating from me - this is one of the most fun settings to play in I've ever encountered. Believe it or Else! is mostly rich, delightful background that is an extraordinarily entertaining read, and a very fun setting to play in - what an RPG supplement should be.

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