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Ex Machina: Tri-Stat Cyberpunk Genre Hardcover – October 25, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Guardians of Order (October 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1894938011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1894938013
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,838,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
I recomend this to anyone who is into the cyperpunk genre.
Stitchandpearl
Buy this book and support a company that obviously is more interested in thier work than the bottom line, as they give the core rules for free on thier website!
CP Josh
Aside from that little cheap shot from the political scientist in me the premise is really novel and I found myself really liking this setting.
Brian F. Wong

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Brian F. Wong on July 31, 2005
Ex Machina Review:

Ever look at Cyberpunk games and think, ?Oh ma Gosh! Like, gag me with a spoon, like, this is so like yesterday.? Let's face it, the genre is so Big Hair, Culture Club, Japan Inc, Duran Duran, Ramones, and leg warmer'd out it's just sad. I look at Cyberpunk and I think; ?why is there an image of Richard Simmons sweating to the Replicants in my mind??

So why am I looking at a new Cyberpunk game, when I have this bias that the genre is, in essence, a deader horse than the Japanese economy? Largely because this game seems to agree ? this is the cyberpunk genre, and you will recognize it fairly quickly upon opening the book, but it is the genre as we see it in today's science fiction, and not trapped in the 80s like older competing games and some of the other new rivals. Nor is it, thankfully, like another current competitor has been described to me; so obscure that you just can't wrap your head around what's going on and how to play it.

The book is split into sections for the genre history, the game rules, running and playing the genre, and finally ? four complete and separate settings with entirely different themes. Most of the past Cyberpunk RPGs gave you a single predetermined setting around which the entire game revolved, so this itself is something of a notable step in a new direction.

There may be sixteen chapters to Ex Machina, but I'm going to cover it by the major sections.

The Genre Section:

In the genre section we get a ten page introduction into the history and themes of the Cyberpunk genre, starting in its pre-roots of the seventies, moving into the labeling of the genre around the time of Gibson's Neuromancer, and eventually wrapping up with the modern 'post-Cyberpunk' genre.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By CP Josh on October 25, 2004
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Having been an avid roleplayer for over 18 years, games have come and gone, some good, some bad, but most are about the same. This book, and the system that governs it is simply different. The boys and girls over at Guardians of Order (the publisher), really must know what they are doing, because when I started to read the Ex Machina book and the Tri-stat dx system core book, it was like a breath of fresh air was put back in my gaming enthusiasm. Honestly speaking, my desire to game anymore has been diminishing for about 5 years now do to the same old storylines and boring systems that I have been using form the beginning, but the Tri-stat system is so unbelievably flexible and simple, and that it takes away all the limits that are imposed upon other cookie-cutter systems. Not to mention, that once coupled with the inventive and wonderfully written ideas and settings that are contained in this particular tome, you have a combo that really is exciting.

The Ex Machina book is loaded with information and comes with four, yes thats four, different settings to run your cyberpunk dreams. Keep in mind that these are just examples and you can easily create one of your own, if properly motivated. Excellent writting, unique points of view, and vivid descriptions make this book a home run for anyone looking for a change to a better way of doing things. Buy this book and support a company that obviously is more interested in thier work than the bottom line, as they give the core rules for free on thier website!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Blackjad on October 25, 2005
Plain and simple, this sistem rocks! A bit difficult at start, due to massive details on each stat and its usage, but when you get it, a whole new world of opportunities lies at your feet! I was a big fan of Cyberpunk 2020, but now i would NEVER came back to that sistem, now that i know of Ex Machina.

A little defect: there is no charachter sheet, you gotta do it yourself. Do'h! :-/
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stitchandpearl on April 21, 2005
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This whole system (Tri-Stat dX) is a great open rules system, what the other reviews may say about rating it a 1 don't do it justice, it is a critically acclaimed system used for Silver Age Sentinel's and BESM (Big Eyes Small Mouth) Game systems, it is worth looking into just for that, what makes this book a definate buy, is the settings, which are inventive, and breath new life into the cyberpunk genre, not all of them are for the faint of heart, and are very gritty, most being negative-utopia's. I recomend this to anyone who is into the cyperpunk genre.

5 out of 5
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10 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dinowitz on March 29, 2005
If you break the book up into two sections with the first being the rules and the second being story, I give it a 1 for the first and a 4 for the second. The rules system is heavily weighted towards stats with no balance in numbers, A super master in one skill can be beaten by a novice as long as the novice has higher stats. In addition, just about everything costs character points. Want a car? It'll cost you. Also, as a cyberpunk game, it should be saying something about programming and using the net beyond what it does. It says nothing past a few pages of hacking and virtual usage. Finally, to quote the game itself, "cyberpunk is about brand names". You expect "Zeise" eyes and "Kono" monoblades. You get none of this. No brand names, no special equipment, it's all up to you to build it. Very poor in my opinion.

The second part is almost all story in 4 different 'worlds' and while it is an interesting read, it falls down due to the first part being incomplete.

I'm not sorry I bought it, but I would rather not have paid as much as I did.
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