UKGE Best RPG: Bite Marks
From Zombies to Werewolves, the next entry in the awards is Bite Marks, from Black Armada.
It would be too simple to say that Bite Marks is a game about werewolves, because as much as all the characters are werewolves and it’s about what they get up to, it’s far more than that. Bite Marks makes the point that werewolves act as a pack, and provides background and rules for engaging the players while working as a pack.
It’s not a game for minors, we need to make that clear, adult language and themes are present throughout the book, but they are clearly indicated as being such. This book contains one of the most thorough sections on dealing with adult themes, the use of the X card and other safety tools to ensure that all the players around the table are comfortable with the game that’s being played.
That is the games strongest point, it doesn’t shy away from any subject, which may not make it something that works best when you have younger players, but for those looking for (no pun intended) more bite in their games, it’s an excellent set of mechanics.
Where the game falls down slightly is in the world creation aspect of things, there isn’t an existing world beyond the creation of the pack. This means no enemies to fight against, no factions, no plot arc to work through, nothing immediately identifiable as something to go up against. There are brief notes on how to build scenarios and there are three scenarios at the back of the book to give you something to get your teeth into straight away, but there’s nothing else beyond that.
The Judges very much liked the mechanics that allowed the interplay between characters, the production values are good, artwork is restricted to a single image at the front of each chapter, but it’s all well laid out, the price point makes it affordable to most, and as long as you’re prepared to put in the effort to build a compelling game, it will repay that effort.
There are no rules for improving characters across time in the way of many games, it’s all about the pack dynamic and exploring those relationships.
Interesting game, definitely not one for minors, but would make for a good diversion from regular campaign play for most groups.