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Review: Erika's Sailor Moon RPG
URL: http://members.tripod.com/sailormoonrpg/
Type: Message Board RPG
Gamemaster: Erika
Starmaker's rating: 3.0 (out of a possible 5)
First Impression:

      Well actually I've previously visited this site during one of my "wanting to join an RPG for fun" periods (oh yes like I can have that anymore *sigh* just stress, stress, and Healer-baka on my back... okay back to the review ^^;). It appears the site has changed since my last visit (and apparently servers as well). Are these changes for the better or the worse? Well read on and I'll find out.

Presentation:

    Design wise it's rather plain. Fortunately, for this site at the least, it works really well. I mean it loads fast, not that cluttered and is rather simple (of course I love simplicity in a site ^^).

     My only gripes are just minor stuff. I might suggest that on the rules page the text is in a list format (as well as aligned left) rather than have it centered, it just makes the text a bit awkward to read sometimes. Another thing pertaining to the image used of Chibiusa and Usagi. I'm not sure if the actual image is that faded, but to me it just doesn't look right (perhaps re-editing the base image would improve it?). Again this is just minor and otherwise doesn't really effect the page overall. 

Structure:

     This RPG is typically setup using 2 board (one for RP'ing, one for chatting). To my surprise they use Inside the Web (as you may know is the board of my peeves), but to my surprise the boards are not as awkward as my previous encounter. 

     Administration is one of this RPG's high points. All applications go through the gamemaster, the Co-GM, and a "council" of other members. Though it's a good idea to have other opinions on the acceptance, I feel that having having the council is a bit too much of a good thing. My opinion on this is that just the judging by both the GM and Co-GM  on acceptance is probably more than enough in that department. 

     I noticed that there's a lot non active members and a number of missing members (comparing the playing board to the member list, only about a half of the roster were actually playing and some of the newer characters weren't listed), you might want to keep that list up to date frequently (once a week or so).  

     One somewhat minor complaint is that in the rules it says (in a sense) the senshi cannot become evil (it then makes exceptions for the created characters and the senshi that were "evil in the anime" [Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn as Mistress 9]). Now I understand that generally the senshi stand for the "good guys", but just like any other person they might possibly have a dark side to them (which might cause them to turn onto the other side). The GM neglected some of the other senshi that turned such as Chibiusa (Black Lady, the second arc of R), Tuxedo Kamen/ Prince Endymion (the first season), and the Outer and the Inner senshi (act 50 of the manga, however in that case their bodies reanimated and otherwise controlled by Galaxia). I suggest that the GM consider this and possibly amend that rule a bit.

Gaming:

    The plot seems intriguing enough, but there are a lot of specifics that seem to be missing such as when it happens is the overall timeline of SM. I assume it occurs sometime before/during/after Stars with the inclusion of the Animamates and the Outer Senshi, however, the story mentions "the Negaverse being beaten back". Does that mean it happens after the first series then, in the DiC version? I suggest that somewhere in the story you mention the actual time period of the RPG (and which version you're using). Also on that note, rather than just stating the base of the games plot, gradually add a summary of past events. That way absent members and new members joining in would get into the game easier.

      Despite the confusion, I found the gradual flow of the plot easy to follow. There only a few times where there were any DiC mix-ups. Again it should be cleared up as to which version of Sailor Moon is being used and stick to all the terms and names used that version (the rules say to use japanese names, but be more specific by saying "We are going by the Japanese / original version of Sailor Moon. This includes all names, places, and terms.") I noticed that despite being hosted on Inside the Web it wasn't much of a task to follow through the posts and the plot. Overall, the RPG was well played out by the players. 

Overall:

      Despite the major problems with it's terminology and minor problems with it's policies, I'd have to say at least in my opinion this RPG is fairly average. Probably the most important suggestion I've made in this review is to make it more obvious which version of Sailor Moon you are using in the RPG. Personally it wouldn't matter which version is used, but once it's settled stick to it all the way through. Any other minor improvements will only help in what looks to be very promising.

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