Hopefully the little blurb above will get your attention there.
What makes it useful? Well, it has 10 synthetic culture profiles that anyone with access to a library and ILL can access and whip into SA Civilizations pretty quickly. I'm not doing it because I'm hammering away on the OA project right now.
Another thing is that it introduces the concept of value dimensions. While not directly useful to a SA game, I think this can be handy for GMs and others designing civilizations. They'll help folks get a grasp of the behavior of one culture compared another and distinguish between them in ways other than benefits and core values.
OK, what are the value dimensions?
|Dimension||One Extreme||Other Extreme|
|Hierarchy||Large Power Distance||Small Power Distance|
|Truth||Strong Uncertainty Avoidance||Weak Uncertainty Avoidance|
|Virtue||Long-Term Orientation||Short-Term Orientation|
Now, let's take an example - the Masquerade is a good one. And let's use the above table, but from -5 (as the strongest under the first extreme) and +5 (under the other extreme).
While not entirely rock solid, it does seem to sum up the Masquerade and the behavior of its citizens rather neatly.
Another one would be the Union.
Again, it seems to sum them up well (based on the available material). The only thing I'm a little uncertain on (hah) is Truth because I'm not sure of the Union's tolerance for uncertainty.
Anyway, here is its Amazon Page.