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Pg. 1
Nick: 
First edition
Publisher: Force Four Games
Year: 1986
Saddle Stapled (modules/pamphlets)
66 pages
Size: Letter
English
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From the rulebook:

The game of international drama and suspense, where every second counts for the lives of the Hostages. Each game turn simulates the critical interaction of people thrust into the volatile situation of terrorism. The game is based mostly on the imagination and role-playing ability of all players involved. Make-believe and playing are very important activities in this game. Each player should realize that the structure of the game is designed to be altered as necessary to make the game playable and enjoyable. This game is NOT a manual on what to do and not to do if you ever become a hostage, it's a game to be played and enjoyed by the participants. By remaining calm and controlling the fear that terrorism creates, a hostage can rely on present inspiration to know what to do at any given moment.

User summary:

An unusual single-book RPG focusing solely on hostage situations. Players are offered a variety of different roles to choose from. In addition to the expected hostage, terrorist, and commando options, a player could instead choose to play a government official or member of the media.

While scenarios can take place in locations spanning the globe, the game also offers more exotic settings--such as "Mercury's Moon" or the "Inner Asteroid Belt"! So naturally the rules designate specific experience point awards for things like "fly spaceship", "colonize any planet in our solar system", and "landing on any moon" (with the experience points different for hard and soft landings).

But wait, there's more. The damage chart includes results such as "Arm Torn Off, Bleeding", "Middle Spine Destroyed", "Cerebrum Destroyed", and "Heart Torn, Bleeding." The Equipment & Weapons section of the rules includes half a page of different crossbow bolts, four pages with illustrations of various bayonets, and four pages of sporting shotguns. The experience point tables include one listing experience points awarded for "killed, wounded, or captured" animals falling into various categories, such as "snake, powerful", wild birds, trained birds, "aquatic life, frightening/deadly", etc. The game is replete with off the wall touches like this that will have you wondering if this is an awful attempt at an RPG, or just an awful attempt at parody.

The absence of any credits would tend to indicate the latter, as does the cover art - which features a six-fingered hand holding a submachine gun against the head of a sweating hostage!

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