‘Of Predators & Prey’ succeeds as gaming fiction, and in that alone it is a fine resource for players and Storytellers alike. Gaming fiction should provide practical examples of how people live and interact within a game world, should be internally consistent, and should provide ideas for character and chronicle design. The authors of this anthology deliver on all points, as well as providing a suite of fresh, engaging stories around what could have been a very ‘tried and true’ product.
The stories all manage to offer something slightly different, but focus on the ‘everyman’ as either individuals or as groups. There are no super-powered action heroes, just regular folk who have glimpsed the reality of vampires and are simply trying to find an appropriate response. From folk who have turned their houses into fortresses that would make an AD&D DM envious, or a small organised force with some basic training and military hardware, or even a gang of children keen to save a school friend, there is an element of believability to each story. Of particular interest is the marriage of reality television and the hunt – and the possible reaction of vampires to televised interviews, but the story told of the vampire who’s ‘only trying to do the right thing’ is just as strong.
It is all too tempting to go through each story and provide a brief synopsis, but you should go into these cold and simply enjoy the experience. Every piece vies for the ‘favourite story’ position in my mind, and it is clear that the editor did a fine job of selecting this showcase of work.
In short, do yourself a favour and pick up this book in whatever format you can. Keep a notebook and pencil nearby and I’ll guarantee that you’ll not only have a great time reading the book as fiction, but allowing your imagination to run with the ideas from these characters and their stories.
[5 of 5 Stars!]