Reading The Tulip Academy’s Society for Dangerous Gentlemen by Nick Smith

When I ordered Panty Explosion Perfect I also got a copy of The Tulip Academy’s Society for Dangerous Gentlemen by Nick Smith.

The Tulip Academy's Society for Dangerous Gentlemen

The Tulip Academy's Society for Dangerous Gentlemen

On the back cover it says:

Welcome to the Dangerous Gentlemen, an elite group of boys and young men from the finest families in the world, hand selected from the student body of the prestigious Tulip Academy to become members of a most secret and ancient ORGANIZATION.

It sounds like it could be similar to The Academy, let’s check out the competition!

The book
The Tulip Academy’s Society for Dangerous Gentlemen (TA from now on) is at twelve pages the shortest game I have ever bought, the book is also a bit smaller than the 6×9 format I have grown accustomed to. It is in full color and richly illustrated by Kayla Mayer. The text is in a single column format, but large enough that readability isn’t an issue. The game reads in a coffee break.

The setting
The Tulip Academy is not described in any detail, and the players are prompted to flesh out the description themselves before play, but there are a few random tables for generating places and people to be used in scenes during the actual game.

As mentioned in the quote above, all the PCs are members of a club called The Dangerous Gentlemen, boys only, of course. The club is not described in any detail, the players are expected to agree on the club’s goals and activities during the shared prep.

The rules
Character generation is just a matter of each answering a few questions about their own and the other players’ characters, and randomizing a lover or rival from the table of random persons. The game has no less than three different mechanics for resolving conflicts (of Science, of Art and of Fencing), all involve playing simple games using an ordinary deck of 52 playing cards.

The form
TA uses a rotating GM. All players set a single scene during a session, except for the player who went first, he or she also gets to wrap up everything in the end. With so few scenes to a session I expect that the players can play many episodes in an evening, quite possibly the prep with char gen takes longer than the actual game.

The setting is OK, not much to go on in the book. But for the game length the game was designed for that is probably an advantage. The random tables help giving the game a theme.
The rules are OK, three different mechanics for conflict resolution, each of them logical and fitting the theme, but I think they will distract the players from the game.
The form is good, the game explains how to play it, but the reader is expected to be an experienced gamer. It would be a good game to play with beginners to the hobby, but not one they could be expected to grok just from the book alone.

Will I play it?
Maybe, it looks like very quick little game. I might put it into my convention kit for use with groups who can only spare an hour or two rather than a full slot. – The official TA page. There are supposed to be character sheets somewhere on that site, but I have not managed to locate them yet, and there are none in the book.

1 Comment

  1. rorschachhamster said,

    November 25, 2011 at 20:25

    The sheets are right down beyond the text and the “buy now” link. 😉

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