Another Shadowrun bestiary with very little game value

Paranormal Animals of Europe - Carl Sargent, Tom Dowd, Mike Colton

Well we had a book that dealt with animals, or should I say paranormal animals, in North America, so FASA also had to release one that dealt with such animals in Europe. Personally, my opinion of this book does not necessarily change much from my opinion of the previous book, and that is that while it may be interesting to read, along with all the comments from the hunters, the book actually has very little game value.

The reason that I say that is because (and I believe that I am repeating myself from the comment on the previous book) when I was running Shadowrun games I could not find any real scope for actually having such animals attack the players. Okay, when they are wandering through some wilderness area then there may be the possibility of such an encounter, however from what I can remember of my games there was very little scope even there. The only time the players were not flying down a motorway in excess of 100 kph was when they were travelling through China to reach the fortress of some mad mage in Tibet. Oh, the other way that they generally crossed great distances was through the use of airplanes (which once again makes encountering paranormal animals on the open road somewhat obsolete).

So, since there is not much more I can say on this book, I think I will make some comment about something else. The reason that I am writing it down here is because, well, it was some thoughts that were inspired in me today and I would like to get them up onto the internet without having to go to the trouble of setting up my own blog. Okay, maybe I should wait until I have read some more Ovid, but that may not be for some time, and at least I can write rubbish in these reviews because, well, nobody actually reads them anyway.

Anyway, what I am going to write about is sex. Okay, you may be asking, what has sex got to do with Paranormal Animals of Europe. Well, I could say that animals have sex, which is how they reproduce, unless of course they are hemaphrodites, which means that unless we have a degree in biology, we have little concept of how they actually reproduce. In the end I will have to say it has nothing to do with this book, but I wanted to write about it anyway.

This morning I was reading some pdf file that I have come across and it was basically about how one (basically a guy) should talk to women with the intention of getting laid. Well, that put me off first of all because, while when I was younger (and I suspect that these tracts are directed at the younger, and more gullible, men – or should I say boys) that is how I would think (namely being able to talk to a woman is the foot in the door towards getting sex) it is not the way that I think now. In fact, the way I see it I like talking to women simply for the joy of talking to somebody (and if that somebody is a woman, even better, because, well, I must say that I tend to have more interesting conversations with women than I do with men, though not always). Hey, if I end up getting laid, well even better, but to me the mindset that we should only talk to women with the intention of getting into her pants is, well, immature.

The problem that I see with this guy is that he is dominated by his urges, and it does not matter whether these urges come about through a desire for sex, or for the pleasurable feelings one gets from drugs, it still enslaves you. Basically, if you want drugs, and become enslaved to the desire for drugs, you are not only a slave to your own passions but also a slave to those who provide you with drugs – why do you think it is so sexy to want to be a drug dealer – it is not just the money, but the fact that you have an army of junkies as your virtual slaves.

I sort of read through this tract and it made me realise how pathetic this individual was, but he then goes on to talk about the art of small talk, and not only that, he also says that if we want to be the dominant male, and we want women to respect us, then we have to treat them like dirt because, well, women don't like nice guys. Seriously dude, give me a break. That may work for the younger generation, but to work on the principle that women like to be abused because they like men who are tough, and rude, is, well, barbaric in the least. Not only is he suggesting that we become slaves to our desire, but that we abuse women so that we may satisfy those desires. Just to think, this guy even has the gall to ask people to pay him money for this rubbish (and I am sure there are a lot of guys out there who do just that).

As for me, I actually like being a nice guy – there is something satisfying about it. I like being nice to people and doing nice things for people – it makes me happy. Okay, maybe I am older, and wiser (though that is only speculation) that the writer of this tract, but a part of me suspects that women are not like the people that he suggests that they are. Okay, maybe there are women like that out there (in fact I am almost certain of it) but to be honest with you, if a woman is going to be put off because I am a 'nice' guy, then I am probably not all that interested in that woman anything. Hey, I scored a second date in Hong Kong and I treated that woman like gold. See, there are benefits of being nice.