Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Come for the Action Science, Stay for the Fun!

I just posted this review of Atomic Robo the Roleplaying Game to Amazon and figured I'd post it here as well:

I just finished reading Atomic Robo The Roleplaying Game and can't wait to play it! If you've been following, you already know I'm a huge fan of the Fate RPG system, but I've only ever been a passing comic book fan. I initially picked up the Atomic Robo RPG as a sourcebook to have other optional rules available at the gaming table — and there are a some nifty ones. However, the concept, layout, artwork and examples made me interested in seeing what it had to offer as the standalone game it is intended to be. Atomic Robo RPG has a lot going for it, but these are the things that struck me most:

Character Generation Using Modes: Modes basically take Fate Core's skills and bundle them up into packages that you "purchase" at different ratings at character generation. There is some overlap, but it makes for quick work of figuring out what a character is proficient at. As I said, I have yet to try it out in play, but I see it making character generation quick. I'm not so sure about how well it will simplify things particularly when you introduce Weird Modes, however.

Brainstorming: Once you get your head around the idea of letting your players come up with their own solutions to the boss battles and death traps you throw at them, the section on Brainstorms walks the players through the process of establishing the facts and forming a hypothesis to help defeat said bosses and traps. I really want to see how this plays.

Inventions: I always liked the idea of Gadgets in the previous version of Fate in Spirit of the Century, but could never quite grok how to build them without rehashing one of their examples. NOW there are concise rules/instructions on how to build them.

Practical Examples: Throughout the book, there are colorful snippets from the Atomic Robo comic series, overlaid with narration describing how that scene would be handled in-game. Evil Hat has always been good about examples, but these just knock rules clarification out of the park!

To reiterate, after reading Atomic Robo The Roleplaying Game, I can't wait to play it and try out the new additions to the Fate roleplaying system. As an added bonus, the examples ripped from the comic books made me purchase and plow through all the available Atomic Robo trade paperback volumes. Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener are masters of Action Science! but that's a review for another day...