Friday, December 4, 2009

Adventure RPG : General Review

Adventure RPG is a Free RPG by Joe Pruitt in 2006. (It's been reviewed on the Free RPG Blog)
It's a one page game, a format seemingly invented by it.


It is not licensed under a free license, the only reference to licensing is "© 2006 by Joe Pruitt". Presumably it's a all rights reserved license (or the author just didn't think about the license, or care.)
Properly attributes the weapon rating system by marking it with an asterisk and explaining with the footnote line: "*Based on Gothic Worlds RPG by Jeff Moore".
I actually asked for permission to use parts of Adventurer in my own Free RPG (Smiffy) and got permission. He didn't seem at all averse to letting people reuse parts of the system. (Which is really good for me as I was having a deuce of a problem inventing a massive damage mechanic)

Character Creation

Pick your race, class, equipment, and any spells you may have.
There are 4 races, 3 classes, 5 weapon characteristics, 5 armor characteristics, and 20 spells.
There are three attributes (STR DEX and INT), which start at 7 modified by race & class. Then you can switch points around at a 1:1 cost (which devalues races... except for the special ability).


Two column layout, good text padding.

UPPERCASE SECTION NAME (Lowercase section explanation)
Underlined Subsection: section content.

I might've preferred italic subsection titles, but given the size constraints it's understandable.
It could actually do with some lengthening and further expansion upon certain points (whether you can switch attributes around after you've made your character), but the one page format blocks this.
Starting wealth and cost of items is left up to the GM, so there'd be preparation time for this one. Off hand I'd suggest having each weapon cost 1 GP, then double the cost for each good characteristic.

The mechanics Themselves (finally)

2d6, rolling over a number. The dice are summed. Abilities start at 7 and max at 12 (no 'doubly automatic' success?). 2 is presumably as low as they can go (2d6 after all).
The mechanics are well fleshed out, having rules for everything you'd need (the Weapon Rating system would be easily expandable to a Magic Item system I imagine Note the Enchant spell; for a clever GM Adventure RPG could be a goldmine in that it leaves lots of room for "house rules").
There's not much room for uniqueness per character, though each race and class have special abilities (and wizards particularly if they start with their choice of spells; though there's no note of wizards starting with spells).
I think the 5 seconds should be changed to 1 second, characters can only take one action per turn, which fits the 1 second round more then the 5 second.


The setting in the game itself is literally summed up by the names of the races, outside of it there's this little paragraph:
"Generic, vanilla fantasy, pure and simple. Magical, mysterious, forest-dwelling Elves, stout and sturdy Dwarves in their underground halls, cunning and crafty Goblins from fetid swamps and bogs, and of course brave, determined Men defending their kingdoms. Fighter, rogues, and wizards wander the land in search of adventure." (description on 1KM1KT)
I generally prefer more of a setting, honestly, but in this case I think the rules are simple enough and most GMs won't have a problem thinking of adventures for a generic dark age fantasy setting (wow that's a really good Wikipedia article actually). The yummy creamy filling seems in this case to be the lack of a setting, leaving the GM lots of room to invent stuff while giving him a good idea of what to do (at least if he's GM'd D&D before). This probably isn't a good introductory game for a GM, although for an experienced GM and newbie players it's good.

This review rushed out the door due to computer problems.