Category Archives: Other Systems

Hope Playtest

This week I am reading the Playtest for HOPE RPG. I skim read the document when I got it last week but I haven’t had a chance to make a character yet or got a chance to play it.

It is also too new to have any actual plays online.

So my first impression is that this is a fusion of Zweihander and Gamma World with a healthy dose of MY:Z thrown in for good measure.

The Zweihander bit is in character creation and skill resolution. Zwei uses d100 and you roll under your Stat + skill. Typically this is going to give you about a 45-50% chance, all things being equal. In addition if you roll a double eg. 11, 22, 33 all the way up to 99 and 00 you get a critical result. Double when you succeed is a critical success, double when you fail is critical failure.

HOPE uses stats in the 1 to 5 range and skills typically give a +1 or so. To succeed in a skill test you roll under stat + skill so typically four or five. You roll d10 and try and get equal to up under your stat + skill. You also roll a second d10 as the critical die and if it matches you skill roll you get a critical success or failure. So in effect this is Zwei stats and skills divided by 10.

The professions are rather zwei-like but they go hand in glove with the skill system, rather then being more like character classes where everything is bundled up together.

When you get to the combat side, mutants and monsters it starts to feel much more like old school Gamma World. You are using a full set of polyhedral dice with weapons doing from 1d4 for something small and improvised to 2d8 for big bad shotguns and magnum ammo.

And then there is the Hope settlement. This is where it starts to get a bit MY:Z with its Ark or even Zombie Run with Able Township, for the fitter roleplayers (LARPers?). One of the starting objectives in HOPE rpg is to defend and build up the Hope settlement in to something safer and more sustainable.

Impressions?

Given that I have only skim read the rules I have come away with two overall impressions. The first is that although this game claims to be grim and perilous and characters don’t live long, it actually looks a lot more fun than Zwei and more survivable.

The second impression is that this simplification of the core Zwei mechanics means that the game should play quite quickly at the table. I am going to start making characters this week, probably tomorrow. I get the impression that a character on a post-it may be a viable goal for this game. I like games where you don’t need a playbook just to know what your character is capable of.

I will blog about this game later this week or early next week when I know more.

#RPGaDay 2019, let’s do this one more time! (Days 1 to 4)

You all know the drill by now. I drop off the face of the Earth for a year, and come August when the stars are right, I awaken from my slumber and crawl back to the blog to share my stories and ideas form RPG a Day. Now it is #RPGaDay2019, and I’ve been doing this since 2015. Here is the first post from #RPGaDay2015.

Back then I posted most days, but for the last three years, I’ve been doing video entries for RPG a Day. In recent years I began to do two posts for each day, one in Spanish for the Desde la Fosa YouTube channel, part of an RPG project here in Puerto Rico with a couple of friends, and the English videos I would post in my personal YouTube channel. I’ve always collected them here in the blog, and I plan to do it again this year.

For #RPGaDay2019, the creator Autocratik changed things around, and instead of phrases or questions each day. Instead, we have one-word prompts that give participants leeway on how they interpret the concept and their response. It’s been great and reading the posts and watching videos form participants I can tell the format has been a success.

What have I written about? Continue reading #RPGaDay 2019, let’s do this one more time! (Days 1 to 4)

The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG

I have only just discovered The Witcher RPG from R Talsorian Games. Actually, I have only read the first two Witcher books so far. I only discovered them in March this year. I am obviously well behind the curve.

The full Witcher RPG is a 300+ page single volume rulebook that covers everything you need.

If you wanted to have a play there is also a quickstart version called Witcher: Easy Mode.

My taste in games these days is for ever simpler rules. This game is certainly not rules heavy by any means but at the same time it feels a little disjointed. The characters are nice and simple and the character sheet is well laid out which keeps things simple in play. The skill system is nice and easy, roll a dice, add your skill and get over the target number. So far so good.

Then we get to combat. It feels like combat was written by a different author. As there are two writers on this game that is entirely possible. All the speed and elegance of the skill system disappears and instead we get a seven step process for rolling an attack doing your damage. You need to roll your attack, then you roll damage and you may need to double it. You roll for hit location and then you may need to triple it or maybe halve it depending on where you hit. Then you have dodging, blocking and armour to take into account. Once you do hit there is a critical wound system, I am a Rolemaster fan so criticals are fine by me!

When we get to magic we are back into simple territory again. Ever spell description contains everything you need from a description of the effect, any damage, ranges and so on. They have pride of place on the character sheet and there is a good variety of spells. My favourite is Earthen Spike that rips a stalagmite out of the ground and up into your intended target. Too often I read spells and they just seem like reworkings of D&D spells but that is not the case here.

The bundled adventure looks well thought out and designed to test drive all the sample characters and give each their moment in the spotlight.

All in all I am impressed with the game, the interpretation of the setting and the presentation. I think combat could be slicker but to balance that it is hard to imagine a game detailed enough to bring the setting to life that could be any less detailed. The Easy Mode version is free for you to take a look at and play the sample adventure, the full game is $24.99 for the PDF but DrivethruRPG are about to start their Christmas in July sale in about 2 weeks time so you may well pick it up cheaper. Either way it is worth the money if you are a Witcher fan and want a new fantasy game to play with.