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This game is often overlooked- or outright dismissed- by the gaming community. However, it may be my favorite game setting of all time. The mechanic used to judge action is a streamlined AD&D 2nd edition model and is heavily skill-based; level-based emphasis on classes (called careers in this game) is less than in standard AD&D.
The setting is amazing and very interesting. The designers of this game emphasized that they wanted a "plausible" future for the setting and that is done very well within the confines of making a playable and fun RPG! The XXVc (25th Century) setting is confined to our solar system (assuming as you read this you are orbiting Sol like I) and the "aliens" and "monsters" are genetic variations of humans or other animals- custom-tailored to exploit different environments within the solar system..or for other, more nefarious means.
The extra sourcebooks and adventure modules also serve to bring the setting alive, but I strongly recommend getting the 10 "comic modules" published by TSR and set in the XXVc setting. These comic modules bring to life the atmosphere of the XXVc in full color glory- gritty and hard as it might be (that's right- this isn't the campy Buck Rogers from the early 80s...this is a totally different animal in more ways than one). These comic modules (so-called because each comic included a complete board or card game within its pages) coupled with the boxed set will keep a gaming group (or a fan of good sci-fi) entertained for hours!
I can't recommend the RPG, the novels or the comics enough! I've scoured the internet for information on this game and I've come across several threads at RPG forums which mention how this game was a good one, overlooked- a real gem. Do yourself a favor and delve into the XXVc!!
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