Review: HKAT Film Festival 1

By Bryant Durrell.

With the current lack of any Daedalus material, it's nice to get something in the genre from Event Horizons Productions. This is the first adventure book for the Hong Kong Action Theater RPG, and it contains some material that'll be useful for Feng Shui players.

For your fifteen bucks, you get 120 pages of solid adventures -- or perhaps adventure seeds would be more appropriate. With fifteen adventures in the book (one buck per scenario, such a deal), each one is by necessity rather slim. Further, since four to six pages of each six to eight page adventure are devoted to the characters who will "star" in the adventure, there's not that much space for the adventure itself.

On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with what you do get. Each adventure includes a quick overview, a few paragraphs long, and then a page or so of notes on how the adventure should run. The key scenes are defined, possible plot complications are noted, and the major fights are outlined.

This happens to be about exactly as much material as I want in a solid adventure seed, so I expect I'll be using this myself. It's nothing I couldn't get from watching a Hong Kong movie, but it's more fleshed out than the ideas I'd get from reading any of the HK movie books out these days. And it's a lot cheaper than fifteen Hong Kong flicks.

It's also better suited to one-shots than ongoing campaigns. The adventures are divided into Gunplay, Martial Arts, and Bizarre Fantasy; while all of these might well be included in the average Feng Shui campaign, the moods vary pretty widely. Further, if you use these for one-shots, you can convert the listed PCs into Feng Shui characters if you want. (The conversion is relatively simple, and I don't even have the main HKAT rulebook.)

Oh, and there's a two page random title generator in the back. OK, it's a silly idea that any of us could recreate in a split second, but it's an amusing idea.

And while I'm mentioning extra tidbits, I'll note that the art is photos from various well-known Hong Kong movies, that being one of the selling points of HKAT. Event Horizons has a license from Golden Harvest and the other biggies. The layout, alas, is not half as nice as Feng Shui; while everything's perfectly readable, it's rather uninspired. C'est la vie.

Last modified: April 28th, 1997; please send comments to

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