Taiga (2nd edition)

By: Renaissance Ink

Type: Softcover

Product Line: Taiga

Last Stocked on 3/14/2022

Product Info

Title
Taiga (2nd edition)
Publisher
Product Line
Author
Ville Vuorela
Publish Year
1996
Pages
128
Dimensions
8.25x11.75x.5"
NKG Part #
2147959902
Type
Softcover

Description

Taiga is a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game set in the mid-21st Century where much of the world has been ravaged by drought, acid rain, increased UV-radiation, contaminated groundwater, radioactive fall-out, and overpopulation. Taiga no longer simply refers to far northern confer forests, it is also the name for an area east of the Ural Mountains between the Aral Sea and the Arctic. The area is now part of Russia and Kazakhstan, but by 2039, climate change has dried rivers and lakes in the south, deserts have spread, the tundra has turned into marshes, and Novosibirsk is a mega-city of 500 million.

What Taiga offers as a game is a fresh perspective on post apocalyptic gaming. First off, its Eurasian setting is a nice departure from all of the other games focused on North America. Second, the setting provides plenty of opportunities for adventure. In Taiga, the area east of the Urals is the borderland between the European Union Emergency Government, a military dictatorship, and the Asian Corporation League, making the Taiga area the battleground between the two. A situation similar to that of the Badlands of Terra Nova in Heavy Gear. In the cities, the urban cores feature clean streets and gleaming skyscrapers and are home to the true citizens of the Government and Corporation. Sprawling around these fortified cores are the Free Zones of the non-citizens. These zones are a tangle of streets, improvised construction, and undependable power supplies. Beyond the cities, smaller towns attempt to eek out a living from the polluted land, avoid the dominating influence of the Government and Corporation, and protect themselves from cycle gangs. Truck conveys shuttle along the roads carrying goods and materials to the cities and towns and between the Government lands west of the Urals and the Corporate lands to the east.

Taiga’s rules provide basic mechanics and use a narrative approach to elaborate rather than provide additional complex rules. This is particularly true with its treatment of cyberware and is most succinctly stated in the air combat rules. After describing simple rules for attacking aircraft and shooting at aircraft, the rulebook states that “Referees are encouraged to make their own rules about aircraft if necessary, but it wouldn’t hurt to leave out the entire idea of aircraft combat. If it occurs, it should be resolved with storytelling or with a couple of obscure and freely interpreted skill tests.”

Character creation in Taiga is straightforward. The nine attributes (Strength, Health, Agility, Dexterity, Intellect, Education, Willpower, Charisma, and Appearance) are ranked from 1-5 on a logarithmic scale and are generated by rolling 2d3-1 and then rerolling the low scores if they do not add to 30. Players then have four background points that can be used to add bonuses such as additional starting cash and equipment, friends, lightning reflexes, and other bonuses. An additional background point can be earned by generating a useful character history, and another additional point can be earned by coming up with a weakness for the character. Skills are also ranked logarithmically from 1 to 5. Characters begin with approximately 30 points to spend on skills. Certain rare skills such as aircraft pilot, cybernetics, forgery, martial arts, and surgery that can only be purchased with the “Special Training” background. In keeping with Taiga’s narrative rules, the background picks provide a simple method for defining a character’s individual personality.

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