Ghost Ops RPG by FeralGamersInc is available as a free quick start document. You get an overview of the fudge system, five pregen characters (called Operators) , and overview of the combat system, equipment and a GMs section with introductory adventure.
I have no love of the Fudge/Fate system but this book caught my eye. Some of my dislike about the FATE system is partly down the the whole negotiated world aspect. Call me old fashioned but I still feel most comfortable when I, as GM, build the world, tailor the professions, skills and or magic to reinforce that game world and present the world to the players for them to explore and adventure in. The negotiated world aspect feels like it is robbing me of that particular pleasure I get from writing adventures and prepping sessions.
With Ghost Ops takes that objection and throws it out of the window. The game world is our world immediately following the attack in the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. There is nothing fuzzy about that.
The players play the ‘special forces’ on missions I get to plan. They are soldiers or from law enforcement agencies and they will damn well take orders(!), there is nothing fuzzy about that.
This is the first time I have actually looked at a FATE based game and wanted to finish reading the rule book. This quick start is 62 pages and I flew through it. There is a lot of good in here but a couple of negatives as well.
|I love the setting and I think the treatment of it is far better than I thought possible of a fate system.
|This is not an Evil Hat Productions game and the overall production quality, page layout, presentation etc. are not up to the same standard.
|There are really important rules missing from this quick start booklet. For example there is a paragraph about pools being locked by trauma but no definition of what a pool is.
This may not sound significant but I actually dug out my copy of FATE Core to look up what the pool was because I actually wanted to know. I now believe that the pool is the pool of FATE points that characters start with.
I know that elements like art and page layout are expensive for small indie game producers. FeralGamersInc have been clever with this game. The Quick Start is free and is featured in this week’s RPG newsletter as free product of the week. They also have a $12 upgraded quickstart with character creation rules and a few extras. Then there is the full game. That is a nice stepped entry into a new game. There are typos in the text, the art is not amazing but the treatment of the setting more than makes up for that. So much so that for another project I have blocked a few hours for a solo gaming project and Ghost Ops RPG is going to be the game system I am going to use. This will be my first attempt at playing a FATE game. That is something I never thought I was ever going to say!
So the conclusion of my first look is that this is the best FATE based game I have ever read.
I will try and report back after the weekend.
EDIT: It has been pointed out to me that Ghost Ops is, in the authors own words “I think of it as more leaning towards Fudge than Fate”. I had assumed Ghost Ops was Fate based when I saw the copyright acknowledgement to for the FATE Core font on the opening page. This is my mistake. It is still really cool though!
EDIT 2: I really should have linked to the games kickstarter. It is already funded and well into the stretch goals but I guess every extra helps.