Category Archives: News & Reviews

Scion and StoryPath

I don’t know if this is intentional but the more I read about Scion, and watch actual plays on Youtube the more I am seeing this as the Percy Jackson role playing game.

I absolutely loved the Percy Jackson books, even if they were written for teenagers. Reading those books is a lot like remembering your very first forays into D&D, in my case the basic set. The films on the  other hand appear to have been made by someone who hadn’t read the books. The first film was one of the few films I have gone to and I actually felt like I wanted my money back.

So Scion and Percy Jackson share the same basic idea. Your character is the offspring of a god but doesn’t know it. They have gone through their life quite happily, probably, until now and then weird stuff starts to happen all around them.

Scion 2nd edition comes as two books, conveniently called Book One and Book Two, to save confusion and the pair will set you back $35 or so ($29.99 if you buy the bundle of both books).

The biggest change between first and second edition seems to be the adoption of the newer Storypath system from the older Storyteller system. The intention being that storypath is better able to cope with the most powerful of entities better than the previous rules.

I never played Storyteller so I don’t know if this was much of a problem or not. It looks like all the new Onyx Path games will be converted from Storyteller to Storypath. 

So what is it like?

I am developing an liking for ‘dice pool and count the successes’ based systems so I was already onboard before I even started. I also had a soft spot for Percy Jackson so I knew the sort of thing I wanted to experience.

I have not played this game a lot, I have only had the rules for 10 days or so. This is not an authoritative review. The game is hugely fun to play but I found it demanded a lot when running the session. That could be down to me and my lack of experience of the game. Even the more experienced GM I got to play with started to jump back in time within the scene to clear up confusion or occasionally to change facts. I like rules light games and Scion while not really rules light it is certainly no more than rules medium, it that is a thing. With less rules it often puts more emphasis on the GM to paper over the cracks. That is accepted game play. In scion you are asking, or asked, what do you want to do and how are you going to do it. What skill and what attribute are you going to apply. At times I got the impression that the more experienced players were min/maxing on the fly. They has a kind of stock answer to how they could apply their strongest skill and strongest attribute to just about every situation. The players that could leverage their best abilities had bigger dice pools to play with and got more successes.

If everyone is doing this then it really doesn’t matter, if four successes is the norm then the GM can set the target number of successes accordingly. If only one or two are adept as min/maxing like this then it becomes harder as to challenge most of the group is to allow the others to simply walk all over the challenges.

Is this a Good Game?

I would say yes. I enjoyed it and it was quick to pick up and learn. The caveat is that you need good players who are driven by a desire to explore a great story. I suppose your typical power gamer is not likely to be drawn to the storypath system unless it is the only game in town.

First Look: Fallout Wasteland Warfare Roleplaying Game

imageLater today Modiphius is going to launch the Fallout Wasteland Warfare RPG Expansion. A couple of days ago Modiphius graciously provided me with a copy, so I had the chance to give it a first look.

The Fallout Wasteland Warfare RPG is both a standalone tabletop roleplaying game and also an expansion of their Fallout Wasteland Warfare miniature game, which I unfortunately haven’t had the chance to play yet.

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War Never Changes
I don’t think I need to introduce you to the Fallout universe. Especially after the huge success of Fallout 4 every geek worth their salt knows about the retro-futuristic and post-apocalyptic world. But if you have avoided video games all these years, here’s a quick primer: imagine a world culturally stuck in the 1950s, but with highly-advanced technology. Cars are powered by fusion reactors, there’s true artificial intelligence, robots, and powered armors. Even though fossil fuels and uranium became pretty much obsolete at some point, it is the fight over these resources that eventually starts a war between the US and China. This war ended abruptly with an exchange of nuclear weapons. In mere hours millions die, only a handful people survived in so-called Vaults. As the first people emerged from the vaults many years later they found a changed world filled with lawless bandits, mutated animals, radiated humans called ghouls and various factions fighting over the scraps left by society before the war.

The book gives an 16-paged overview of the setting in its second chapter, directly after the introduction. If you are a long-time fan of the series you’ll probably notice that not just the newer Bethesda games are covered, but factions and places from the two first games are mentioned as well. Unfortunately 16-pages are not enough to give you a good grasp of the setting if you haven’t played any of the video games before, but I guess the target audience of both the RPG and the miniature game are fans of the series. 

Continue reading First Look: Fallout Wasteland Warfare Roleplaying Game

Bundle of Holding: Advanced Fighting Fantasy

There’s a very interesting offer at “Bundle at Holding” right now for fans of Advanced Fighting Fantasy. Actually there are two offers: the “Advanced Fighting Fantasy” bundle which contains the Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition core rules and a plethora of sourcebooks and adventures. It’s the perfect bundle for anyone interested in starting their own AFF campaign.

The “More Fighting Fantasy” bundle adds more material for Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition but also for Stellar Adventures, the SF variant co-written by fellow RPG blogger Jonathan Hicks (check out my first look here). The bundles start at $7.95 and $9.95 respectively and can be “leveled” up” for about $20 each for additional material in the “bonus collections”.

So why should anyone pick up AFF? That’s easy. First and foremost it’s a part of British roleplaying games history. The rules are based on the ones created for the gamebooks released by Steve Jackson (the UK Steve Jackson, not the US one who created GURPS among other things) including the famous “Warlock of Firetop Mountain”.  back in the day It’s also a rules-light game with old-school sensibilities which is not based on D&D. Personally I think it could be the perfect game to introduce new players to the hobby. In addition to that AFF and Stellar Adventures are perfect for online play, which has become much more common in the last years. I highly recommend checking out these bundles.