The Gear, which we have already got to know about ours pages, is the first product of the newly created publishing house Editions stratagem and, after a few months of study on my part, he is ready to receive my non-review.

Why a non-review? Because I can't help talking about this product by not using the heart. I grew up in stratagem and every fiber of my being has always been attracted to that place that I considered a second home.

So, given this premise, if you still want to follow me I'll tell you a little about the manual I have in my hands.

A non-review for a meta-manual

As we can observe, already in the first pages of the manual, this is not a classic role-playing game as we men of the 20s of the century are used to.

From the beginning we are catapulted into a sad and dejected world. We are cloaked in a sense of helplessness and anticipation of something we don't really want to accept. Perhaps only PD James had thrown us into a similar world with his book "The children of men“, Subsequently transposed by Alfonso Cuarón in the homonymous film.

We are, in the world of gear, in a reality where the birth rate is almost zero and where steam-powered machines make up for the lack of human labor, or at least this is what happens in Florence.

I think I forgot to tell you that every form of central government has fallen and now every city manages itself for what it can in its own small way. I also fear that I have not been precise when talking about the machines: in reality they are not exactly devices but revived corpses. Please don't think of zombies at least once. No magic, no alchemy (maybe a little bit), but only pure and simple science. A science that has allowed the population to continue their tired existence in the hope of a change of some kind.

But the world of the Gear is not just a necropunk world, melancholy and full of steam engines. Outside the city of Florence there is more, much more. There Large landfill first of all.

What struck me most about the Gear?

A loving inhabitant of the Great Dump of the Gear

While reading, I wanted to focus on a very particular part of the manual: the Large landfill. I completely identified myself in that part of narration so vivid and so tragic. In a part of my city all the remains of a world gone by have been piled up. Why has this area particularly affected me? For his psychological interpretation of a world unable to accept what he has lost.

But this is just a gimmick to really talk about what I care about this manual. All the pages of the Gear are a psychological study of the current consumer world, at least in my opinion. Robots (rabota in ecclesiastical Slavonic and meaning servitude) have been replaced by constructs "tanned" from the corpses of the dead. This idea brought to mind a cyberpunk tale by KW Jeter entitled “BlackWhere the bodies of the dead, if their life insurance had not been extinguished properly, were simply resuscitated and continued to work. It is a sad world, but not so much sadder than the one we are currently experiencing and therefore I thank them for what they have written and are writing.

The game system of the gear

The Gear uses a deckbuilding system based on the use of French cards. The system is called The Gear and it is completely original. During the games, as the experience grows, the player will be able to sell the lowest cards and buy the highest ones so as to drastically increase his ability to succeed in confrontation situations.

Each suit corresponds to a characteristic in the character sheet that they are divided into Beef (Hearts), Steel (Paintings), Vapor (Fiori), Gear (Spades): for each characteristic a pool of skills is associated, in their "area of ​​influence" characterized by a numerical value that allows the success of any plays.

Another feature I loved is the trauma. It is precisely with this system that the players must confront and that can cause the loss of the character. In keeping with the world of the Gear, this mechanic makes the storytelling in the game even more melancholic.

The Trauma can be physical or emotional and can lead the character either to death by wounds, or to estrangement from all that was following the loss of what little humanity remains to the population, or the spark that made you something more. compared to the rest of the population.


After reading the equipment, the opponents, the classes present in the game, you will also have the opportunity to immediately launch into an investigation. I will not be here to spoil the last part of the manual, but I would like to share my latest impressions with you.

Why should the Gear be bought, read or played at least once? You will have to deal with the Gear not so much because it is a role-playing game different from the usual one, for its deckbuilding mechanics, or just because it is an Italian product, but so much for the psychological, socio-cultural aspects and the strong themes of alienation that can lead to probing.

Give it a chance, please. If you look for me, you will find me in the Large landfill looking for spare parts for the laptop with which I will write to you also in the future and above all I can't wait to have some more information about Venice!