We got this product for review on The Digital Front some time back, but unfortunately Mark’s time has been taken up by real life stuff, so it ended up lingering in the electronic closet of gaming books. I had taken a look at it a couple of times since getting the download, and when Richard Leon (of Dark Skull Studios, the publisher) emailed me if I had had a chance to look it over, I took the opportunity to give it one more look and write up some feedback for him, which I now share with you.
Overall I think they have a very intriguing game in New Gods of Mankind. The premise is that you play a new deity as it begins to make its mark on the world and gather followers to create a cult, and thus power. At first I thought that this was along the lines of Godsend Agenda or Scion, but the fact that you actually get to play an actual deity at a period of time when such a paradigm makes sense (the game is set in this world’s early bronze age, when the elder races are still strong, but humanity is starting to become a major force in the world’s dynamics – in short, the perfect time for the titutlar new gods of manking to be making their power plays in order to raise their protected race, and themselves, up in influence and power) is a lot more compeling. I have a soft spot for ancient/bronze age settings, so they hooked me here, and the world they have described seems very appealing, very Hyborea-like, with all the cool pulp fantasy elements that entails. I think, actually, it’s one of the books strongest points.
Playing a deity is not something that calls too me as a gamer, I do have to admit, but I must say that the character creation chapter could very well stand alone as the centerpiece of a great supplement on the creation of deities for a homebrewed campaign. It covers all the right elements to leave you with a well-rounded, complex deity to drop into your world; no cookie-cutter gods here, I assure you. Dark Skull would do well to grab this chapter out and make the supplement I suggest, because it would be of great use to a wide variety of gamers, and would help expose others to their game.
To up the cool factor once more, the book includes a chapter on playing New Gods of Mankind as a board game, effectively giving you two games in one. At $9.95 for the PDF, I think this is a great buy, even if only for the setting and deity creation material in case you’re not looking for another game.
Fans of Scion and Godsend Agenda would do well to take a look at New Gods of Mankind. You’re already familiar with playing a character at this level of power, and hey, why not play an actual deity instead of an avatar?