RPGs that time forgot... Kafer Sourcebook

Kafer Sourcebook
Tag Line: Humanity's Implacable Foe
Makers: GDW for 2300 A.D.

What is it?
In 2300 A.D., Humanity is starting its expansion into space and are at war with the Kafers. This sourcebook holds every conceivable detail on this alien race.

Neat Stuff
-In many ways, the Kafers feel like a militarized version of movie Aliens or possibly Predators, but they have a unique psychology/biology that makes them more interesting. See, the Kafers are sluggish and stupid animals UNTIL they enter combat. The more stressed they are, the faster and smarter they are. Apparently, veterans will shock and kick soldiers before giving them orders, so that they can understand them! This makes them rather a puzzle to players in addition to the physical threat they pose.
-The chapters on physiology, psychology, sociology, history, government, language and tech design aren't just incredibly detailed, but interesting to read even for a non-gamer (I guess you have to be into SF though).
-There's a cool color fold-out featuring Kafer vehicles and star charts.

Bad Stuff
-Information on ships and planets gets bogged down in numbers. I've just never been one to find one-paragraph descriptions of every planet in a given sector either interesting or that useful.
-Adventure possibilities are only given one page, and it's really not enough.

"Kafers have no coherent identification system for their equipment. Things are most commonly given a descriptive nickname (such as Gah erech*, 'big explosion maker')..."

How I've used it
I once used a one-shot 2300 A.D. scenario from Challenge magazine in a Dream Park game, and had some intention to use the setting and the Kafers as a recurring enemy, but that never materialized. Still, I glossed over a lot of the necessary information in this sourcebook for that one game, and used its images to give the players visual cues.

In conclusion
I would really enjoy running a campaign in the world of 2300 A.D., and that's an opinion largely based on the quality of information in this book. Whether I would use 2300 A.D.'s published system is up for debate (looks okay, but maybe a little too numbery), but if I ever found fans of Space Above and Beyond, I could definitely wrangle them into a proper, Kafer-fighting party.



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