Review: Venture City by Brian Engard and Tazio Bettin

Posted August 7, 2014 by Lola in Fate (RPG), Review / 2 Comments

So remember how a while back I reviewed the roleplay handbook for Fate Core? Well I decided I enjoyed reviewing books like this and as I got Venture City for free (it was pay what you want, but as I am low on cash I got it for free) I decided the least I could do was write a review for it. So here it is :). I made a seperate heading on the My Reviews page for Fate roleplay books as I think grouping them by author isn’t that accurate or handy to find them and they are quite different form my other reviews which are all fiction books, so it got it’s own heading.

venture cityVenture City: a world of adventure for Fate Core
by Brian Engard and Tazio Bettin

Publisher: Evilhat Productions

It’s not safe to venture into Venture City…

Looking for a little inspiration for your next Fate Core campaign? Check out Venture City Stories! This adventure toolkit written by Brian Engard will give you everything you need to send your characters on an adventure full of superpowers, villainous corporations, and ruthless gangs in a near-future setting where superpowers are for sale.

This 30-page kit provides everything you need to get started—locations, NPCs, and a sample campaign, not to mention an exciting new take on Fate-style superpowers.

Venture City Stories. Pick a side, pay your bill, and power up.

My Review:
As soon as I came across Venture City, I knew I had to give it a try. After reading Fate Core and the Fate Toolkit I was interested in reading about some different settings, so I can learn the system better and learn more about the possibilities. Also while I love building my own setting, there are times when you just don’t have the time or energy to make your own setting and this book is perfect for those instances.

For such a short book Venture City is full of information. Basically it’s whole setting with a premade possible campaign, premade NPC’s, organizations, aspects, superpowers and possible PC’s. It gives you everything you need to start playing a campaign with almost no preparation except reading this book, but on the other hand also hands you the tools to make the setting your own. I liked the build-up of this book, first some general chapters about the setting and possible issues then factions, places and people followed by character creation and superpowers and it ends with some sample characters. Interwoven in each chapter there are pieces for the premade session.

It’s a pretty short and easy read and still gives you a lot of materials to work with. I especially liked the part about superpowers and how they show a simple system for this by basically seeing superpowers as something build up from multiple stunts and then with a drawback and something extra. It gave a nice dynamic and the explanation is clear enough so you can easily start making your own superpowers.

I didn’t expect much from the setting itself, I mean a city with multiple factions and superpowers for sale just didn’t sound like my idea of a fun setting. But during reading I actually found myself liking the setting more than expected and I might actually use this setting for a possible campaign or one-shot or maybe use some elements from this book. I actually liked the idea of having a campaign take place in and around one major city. I also liked the urban fantasy feel this setting gave me and the feel reminded me a bit of some urban fantasy books I read.

One minpoint from this book is the fact that to me it seemed a bit short. There are some instances and corporations, but for a long running campaign it feels like you need more. I just couldn’t see how you could use this setting for a long running campaign, but then again this seems to be a problem I have more often. I can think of begin settings, but always wonder if there’s enough material for a long campaign, so maybe that’s just me. Also I think that if you want to use this setting as a basis you just have to add a few of your own ideas and use this as a basis.

To conclude: this book is a great supplement to Fate. You do need to have read the Fate Core book before starting this as it doesn’t explain the rules of the system. Venture City offers a nice setting, premade campaign and some premade NPC’s and PC ideas. Or you can use this book as building blocks for your own campaign, think up your own story and add your own ideas. All in all a great book and I am looking forward to read the other settings these authors will come up with!


You can add Venture City to your to-read list on Goodreads.

You can buy (pay what you want) Venture City here:
Drive Thru RPG

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2 responses to “Review: Venture City by Brian Engard and Tazio Bettin

    • The cover really looks like a comic or graphic novel indeed, but it actually is a roleplaying rule book. It’s for the roleplay game fate and this gives a world/ setting to play the game in.
      I have read a few graphics novels, but those where all before I started blogging. I might try to review those on the blog once as well!

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