Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Runequest 6 Essential Edition - Pete Nash and Lawrence Whitaker

Runequest 2 is 130 pages (with the Boxed Set having other bits), Runequest 6 Essentials, 203 pages.  So comments on this one sometimes with reference to the one I have.

So starting to do more than quickly scroll through

Action Points - that is very Super Squadron of them...number of actions determined by adding up stats.

Charisma Experience bonus (or penalty) well you can talk people into teaching you stuff matters here it seems.  An interesting one.

Luck Points - based on POW - can reroll, gain an Action Point or downgrade a wound.  Replenish next session it seems.  So your more basic low level Hero Point type idea.  Usually fun.

Skill Points - Standard are calculated, then Cultural, Careers and Bonuses and a Professional hobby.
Standard Skills are calculated in a more Pacesetter way with characteristics, as opposed to base + modifiers from abilities.
Artwork?  Pretty reminiscent of the RQ2 style in this.
Combat effects include Bleed and Impale as well as Bash and Stun  (ah, Crush sounds nastier!)
Fumbles....a fumble gains you a free increase of 1% in a skill later on.  That is a nice tweak.
Experience Rolls...GMs award these it seems rather that getting one for the successful use of a skill.  You then improve if you roll d100 > current skill and add INT as a bonus.  Then you go up the roll, go up 1%.

Then there is the paying for training version, as well.
The Disease and Poison Conditions table has 18!  Death is one. :)
Fatigue - rules for this, speaking of more conditions.  'Tracking Fatigue and its effects makes for additional book-keeping'
Permanent Injury Table....character loses 1/3, 2/3 or all but one Hit Points in a location.  Ouch!
Inanimate Object ratings - expanding on the swords/armour idea in RQ2 with tables, so a chair has 2 Armour and 6 Hit Points.  Solidly useful stuff games that have tables of that sort of thing.  Although of course can use the standard BRP opposition table for that sort of thing, fast version.
Page 77 - Combat can be a very deadly business:

This we knew, game of Impales (and Slashes and Crushes in the past, always used those carnage and mayhem from all weapon types)
Initiative?  Ok, now they have gone MSH or V&V...1d10 and add to Strike Rank.  Which is reversed, so higher is better!

Proactive Actions you can do with action points, another list of options


Dither - A character can decide to simply waste his turn doing nothing useful
Special Effects - difference in combat success levels gets you them it seems...Impales etc also on here.
Ok, so Sunder is wreck their armour.
Magic Points to go with your Action Points.
The Fire table has Volcanic Lava.  Topical given Big Island currently!
Folk Magic - Dishevel...for when you needed a magical way to make your place look not cleaned?
Theism - "Not every being who receives worship is necessarily a god per se."  Got that, Ray?
Cult of the Lord Dark Maggot might not be too pleasant.
Divine Intervention now Miracles by the looks. 
Earthquake table, to go with the volcanos. Intensity 11+ 'even colossal stone monuments like pyramids suffer partial collapse'
Chapter 15 has 35 pages of monsters, including a few flavourful ones like Chaos Hybrids, Panthotaurs, Baboons and Winged Apes.  And a big long Chaos Features table.
Character sheets, Combat Tracking Sheet and Index at the end.

3.5 out of 5

ICONS - Steve Kenson

An interesting game.  Which you would expect from an experienced designer and more so an experienced superhero designer.  See the Mutants and Masterminds Wild Cards books for an example.

This is what you get if you take TSR MSH Advanced game, trim it back a litle (or at least the 4CS public domain version) and add some parts of FATE.

The game mechanic is 1d6-1d6 (or 2d6-7) rather than 4dF or (4d3-8) to get a wider range of outcomes.  Changing the dice result range would be a interesting genre tweak for superhero games I think.

The artwork is rather more cartoony than I like but would seem to be certainly fitting for a younger crowd, and the mechanics and writing is simple enough that it would work very nicely there, too.

Random power creation is included with the various character archetypes, so that is fun.

The FATE point and Karma pool for teams ideas are combined to be  bit easier on the adding up front.  The Leadership skill has a game function here.

Power levels are capped at 10 for the super mega cosmic type - or lift mountain ranges.

The strength of using a FUDGE type mechanic to replay the Universal Table is in ability opposition....a valid criticism of which is that the defense of both Daredevil and a thug as far as being punched by someone is the same.  Which is great if you are a PC trying to hit someone and bad if the reverse.

Give I like FASERIP and FUDGE and FATE a lot.

So if any of those appeal, you will like this game, and could certainly hack a few bits into your preferred flavour.  Suggests 'reskinning' the ability levels with your own favourite adjectives.  Fantastic being a good and obvious one instead of Monstrous - especially given that is actually the Thing's strength level.

Aspects for characters and teams completely fit superheroes with catchphrases, battle cries, mottos and more.  So a natural.  Compels also help to keep subplots and complications and disadvantages involved rather than forgotten about.

It is certainly good enough that I'll have a look at some supplements.

Also, Cactus Man.  Who actually gets used in a podcast game online!

There are print and digital versions.

4.5 out of 5

This is now Pay What You Want, which includes free and is also hence on Not Free SF Reader.  I have read all the supplemental books now and like this too and will get Icons Assembled.