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Charm Roleplaying Game
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/29/2020 13:51:57

Originally Posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2020/10/witch-week-review-charm.html

Also, this one appeared on my doorstep and I have no idea if I ordered it, if it was sent to me, or what. I looked back and I have no interaction with the author or the company Strange Machine Games (SMG).

So let's get into it.

Charm RPG

by Jeff Mechlinski, illustrations bt Yimi Jian "Meammy"

Charm is a "universal" RPG designed to be quick and usable across any genre or playstyle. It advertises itself as being portable enough to keep your character sheet in your pocket and use a dice roller app to play.

For this review, I am considering both the softcover physical book and the PDF. The book is 158 pages, 8" x 8" format. The covers are color, the interior art is black & white.

A quick note about the art. I like it, it does have a comic-book, almost anime style to it, but it also fits the game well.

The first 40 pages cover the basic rules and the remaining 100 or so cover the seven different sample "worlds" you can play in.

The rules are pretty simple, roll a d20 (sometimes with a d6) to get over a particular Target Number set by the GM. Greater levels of success or failure result in added effects. Rolls can be modified. You add the d6 when your character is particularly good at something.

Characters regardless of the Power Level of the game are assumed to be good at what they do. So out of the gate this game is going to have a more "Cinematic" feel to it. A thief will almost always be able to break into a place or steal something for example. Rolling occurs only when there is a chance of failure, combat (or other opposed rolls) or the GM needs it.

The Challenge Threshold, or target numbers, are pretty easy to use and memorize, so players and GMS will catch on very quickly. The levels are all multiples of 3, so abstraction of the rules is easy.

Characters are built using some basic abilities in a way that reminds me of Fate, but a little crunchier. To me this is a GOOD thing. I find Fate a little too fluffy for my needs. This includes the use of a similar term, Aspects. At first level you have three aspects rated at 4, 3 and 2 points. As you level up you can add points to these or gain new aspects. A list of sample aspects is given with guidelines on what else can work.

And that is it. Not difficult to learn and certainly very easy to play the first time. Get together with some friends, decide on a world and then make characters with various aspects. You are ready to go.

While not as crunchy as say GURPS it is crunchier than Fate or FUDGE. I'd put it just south of True 20 and Unisystem in that regard.

The seven sample scenarios are:

  • Action 5 News: You are the city's most elite local news team! It isn't easy staying on top. You'll need to pull together all your guile and charisma to keep the number 1 spot.
  • Temporal Raiders: Travel time, seeking the ultimate heist. Ally with powerful historical figures, change history, be your own grandfather. What could go wrong?
  • Dustbound: Take on the role of a god-touched gunslinger in a bleak world of dust and decay. Fight Oni, rival gunslingers, and vengeful townsfolk.
  • Mystery Incorporated: Jeepers, guys. Play as a gang of kids, or possibly a lovable pet, who solve mysteries using their astonishing meddling abilities.
  • Pact of Night: Small town woes meet big monster drama. Play a Vampire or Werewolf as you balance your life with the humans during the day and beasts at night.
  • Onitech: You exist in a high-tech world ruled by demon masters. Civility has superseded morality, leading to a perverted and deadly state of affairs.
  • Asylum Reflections: In Victorian London, people are being replaced with mirrored doubles. Uncover the duplicitous mystery in this dark world.

Actually, these all sound like a lot of fun. I have to admit it was the Action 5 News that really grabbed me at first. In this one, you are not likely to get into deadly combat, but your social "hit points" could take some damage. No they don't call them "hit points" but that is my translation to my readers. I will admit, years ago I tinkered with a True 20 idea of newspaper reporters, tabloid writers and news bloggers as a game. When Fate came around I tried it in that too. Never really got it to jell the way I wanted. Action 5 News though does this now for me. A few EASY tweaks, and to be fair all tweaks in this game are easy, and I can run it like I was planning some 20 years ago.

Mystery Incorporated practically jumps off the page and begs me to run something with it.

If I had a complaint at all it is that book makes me jump all over the place to get the information I need. For example there are lot of "see page XX" (no actual xx though, they do have page numbers.) So reading about Power Level on page 11 I need to jump to page 25 to get information on aspects. There are a few of these. Now to be fair you quickly figure out where things are and how to get to them fast. But maybe a character creation flowchart might be nice for first time players.

Still, there is a lot to like about this game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Charm Roleplaying Game
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review! We can add a sheet to the DTRPG file folder that may address the jumpiness. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have some specific thoughts.
Charm Roleplaying Game
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/11/2020 06:59:43

Charm is an average game. Not a game-changer, not bad. But also nothing new or encouraging. It might have been 15 years ago. But nowadays, you might know most of the design from other allrounders, executed in a better way.

The biggest issue is the writing. The book fails to teach you the game. I had to re-read several paragraphs to understand essential parts. It’s too vague, where it needs to be practicable. It not because the system is complicated. It isn't. It’s just not well-written. You get the impression, that the writer/designer knows his game so well, that he cannot explain it to someone new to the game. The examples are not always helpful, too.

On top of that, Charm is not very intuitive for a game that wants to be quick and easy. The mix of the fluctuating target number (with seven levels) and seven success levels adds an unnecessary layer of complexity. I do not just compare my roll to the target number for success/failure, I must also look at how many times time three it is above or below the TN to get different results. No big math, but also not intuitive. (It would have been better to use a 0-10 scala in combination with a d10 + d3/d4.)

It’s a shame because I think that it could have some potential. The included scenarios/worlds are nice, mostly out-of-the-box (in an exciting way), and worth the look.

I’m always interested in generic game systems, but in this case, I will stick with Fate and Cypher as the tools of my choice.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
To elaborate for others who may have read this review, here's how the check works: - The GM sets a target based on multiple of 3: 3,6,9,12... 3 = easy, 6 = moderate, 9 = hard... - The player rolls and then sees where the result comes in at. - If the target is a 9 and the player rolls a 13 then they are at +1 level and gain an Edge to their result. A result of 16 would equate to +2 levels. The bonus or penalty levels are always in multiples of 3. Thanks for the review! We appreciate your support. I am interested to hear more about the d10 + d4 idea you have and it may be worth considering for a future update or optional rule to play. We are excited that you liked the scenarios and want everyone to know we have more on the way.
SuperAge: Role Playing Game
by Andrew G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2020 20:35:25

My first superhero RPG was original Champions back around 1984. since then ive tried out many, many systems of varying complexity and cruchyness, so this past is where im coming from when I write this. Superage has a core mechanic that is unique in my experience. It relies on basic stats such as Power, Resilience and Knowledge, but then each stat has individualised aspects (like superstrength, energy blasts, or superspeed) to define what those stats mean and what the character can do. This makes for an incredibly elegent system that stops the mechanics of play getting in the way of the action. The downside is because its so widethe GM an Players gave to think about how a characters powers are defined a little more, other systems require a wall of text to define every single facet of a power, Superage prefers common sense GM/Player ruling on what a particular power aspect can and cant do. The rulebook was complete with sample characters, foes, and a sample setting that was different to the usual fare (it wasnt to my taste but it was inventive). I havnt tried the base rules yet but the fold into the core mechanic. Playtesting is a thing I always do with a new system usually mashing two different archytype starting characters against each other to see if theres sny advantage and see the flow. In this case Imatched a sneaky Martial artist against an overtly powered brick. The result was better than Id ever sen, not only did neither type show an advantage, the play actually felt like it came out of a comic book. I highly recommend this product (and company) this is a game that ticks all the boxes in getting your superheroic fix



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SuperAge: Role Playing Game
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Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
by Coleen O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/10/2020 15:14:23

SMG’s system allows for more creative thinking when it comes to the outcomes of most rolls. We came from the Palladium system, so it is a bit of a learning curve to play with this new one. That is not a bad thing in any way!

Character creation is straight forward though we did need a little clarification on skills and fatigue.

Skills are much more versatile allowing for players to use them in physical, social, or technical situations depending on the scene. Two skills can even be used together to increase the dice pool.

Fatigue is a brilliant way to give a little bit of consequence to your actions without killing a character.

And Drama…oh how I normally hate drama, but it wouldn’t be Robotech without it. I love that it’s a noted part of the character. So much so, it’s even got a place on the character sheet.

With SMG’s system, there is so much room to flesh out your character during the game. The trauma or heartbreak the character experiences becomes their drama. It develops their flaws and quirks through a natural progression of the narrative.

The outcome of a game really comes down to storytelling, not just from the GM but the players as well. There is more role playing as opposed to dice rolling. Even a bad roll can be turned into a good outcome if you’re able to articulate the events in a clever way. For example; The player fails his roll and the missiles sail wide of the target. All is not lost! He suggests that since he missed, the missiles strike the ground near the soldiers firing at his VF-1. This will cause the unstable ground to buckle under their feet. The GM loves that he paid attention to the details about the surrounding land and allows it. The soldiers fall to their demise while our hero is able to limp away in his almost destroyed Veritech. <-- True gaming story.

Side note: My husband and I recently purchased the physical book from Strange Machine Games. Our copy came with the PDF that we redeemed here. It was good to have the PDF straight away. However, the book is very well done. The cover is beautiful. The packing for it was perfect: sturdy box, bubble wrap around the cover, and protective packaging around the corners. I do not like picking up a hardcover and seeing the tip of the corner bent. No worries with SMG. If you’re on the fence about buying even the PDF, don’t be. Once you have the pdf, think about getting the physical copy as well. We do not regret our purchase.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
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Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
by Sean S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2019 12:33:24

Do you like narrative story telling?

Do you like elegant resolution systems that allow the mechanics to follow the fiction?

Do you like drama and giant transforming robots?

How about gorgous art? Everyone loves gorgeous art.

This book has all of that and more.

In many ways Robotech was my childhood. While others were playing GI Joe and Transformers all I wanted was to color my hair blue and be a Veritech pilot. Well, my hair IS blue now (yay for being an adult) and with this new iteration of Robotech rpg rules I can finally be the Veritech Pilot I always wanted to be.

Unlike the previous licnese holders Palladium, SMG Games has put a premium in their mechanics on form following fiction. As, rather than a dense, almost internicene mechanical structure, a simple D6 pool rules the day.

Pick two skills, gather up some dice, and roll. Split those successes between your two actions each turn and boom, turn is done. And this is the thing, to get the feeling of robotech, the action needs to be driven by the narrative, not by artifical (and arguably meaningless) mechanical constraints. Robotech's skill and dice pool system does this wonderfully. With an open skill mechanic where those skills act more as descriptions of actions, rather than hard and fast THINGS YOU DO(tm) you can dictate the narrative focus of your character by rolling say "Cover your buddy" and "Ambush Tactics" to get the drop on a swarm of battle pods, or "Flash Move" and "I Can Fix It" to quickly repair a critical system on your ship. In otherwords, the skills empower your creativity rather than limiting the scope to a single action type.

Combat too, resolves relatively quickly with an innovative system of escalating action (beats), swarms and leaders with which to cinematically challenge your players. While I won't go into all the details here, the nuts and bolts are a simple trade off system where attack successes are blocked by armor and defense successes, and then trade for hit points on a 1 for 1 basis. With the use of equipment, heroic moves, and helping actions from players, those pools are modified and all in all it makes for a quick and satisfying resolultion system where my mini-missiles can indeed shoot down your mini-missles.

Lastly, let's talk about the art shall we? Franscico Etchart does an amazing job recreating many of the iconic scenes and people from the original Robotech series with updated art that's pleasing to the modern eye. Having just done a rewatch of the original series as research for my new capaign, I can say the art is faithful, but polished in a way that is, at it's best, stunning. And it's not just recreations of some of the seminal scenes from the show, but TONS of new art of ships, the key players and more that make the book a feast for the eyes. I can't underscore this enough, even if you just simply love the aesthetic of Robotech, and aren't much of a role player this game is worth it as an art book.

My primary complaint is in the book's structure. And it's a complaint I have with most books - After the first intro section where we get the basic feel, definitions and setting information I want all my rules in one place. Like many games (I'm looking at you WOTC) the flipping back and forth to find things is in full effect. But don't let that dissuade you from purchasing the game, which you TOTALLY SHOULD.

Robotech is more than a nostalga trip for us Gen X'ers and Xennials. It's a robust storytelling system that will allow you to fill your games with drama, conflict and creativity. That this isn't a Mithril Best Seller yet hurts my soul. Get it today.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
thanks for the comprehensive review! Feel free to let us know how to organize the rules in a better fashion. We are always looking to improve.
Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
by David A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/07/2019 05:47:34

Wonderful to see the Robotech RPG make a triumphant return! Very well put together system, easy to pick up and learn in a short amount of time. There are a few minor inconsistencies, and errors, but a very good product for a first edition. Worth every dollar spent on it!

Also, as an aside, the gorgeous illustrations alone make this book a worthwhile additon to your library. Very well done SMG, looking forward to more of your products in this line in the future!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
by Robert J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2019 17:51:56

This game is a lot of fun. It has fast game play and allows for a lot of flexibility in character generation while still providing all of the major character architypes. Also the ability to play someone like a ship's captain and still interact in a game while other players are radically different characters is quite unique I think. The skill system is also a lot of fun and sets up enough to have structure, but still has plenty of flexibility to allow to off the wall schemes and antices. Combat is not super crunchy like some other systems and is fast paced and fun. On top of that the artwork is plentiful and beautiful and full color throughout the book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Age Past: The Incian Sphere Revised Edition (APISR)
by Brad L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2019 21:47:45

I was able to play this with a group on Roll20 a few weeks ago. I had no idea what Age Past was and very little expectations. In our 4 hour game I was amazed at how easy the system is to learn. I also felt that the mechanics had enough flexibility to enable you to accurately portray any situation. I'm excited to find a group and actually play this some more!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Age Past: The Incian Sphere Revised Edition (APISR)
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Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
by Jeff F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/29/2019 02:19:37

A beautiful full color book with some deep cuts for mecha, vehicles and ships that have never seen print in an official Robotech RPG before. A great addition for any hardcore Robotech fan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
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Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
by Juan T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2019 14:13:23

So many good things to say about this.

  1. Great new art. Even layout of each page is fantastic.
  2. New system, based on Advantage6 from SMG. Very unusual if you are a "traditional" roleplayer. Using pools of dice and modifying "successes" makes things easier to handle, specially for GMs. Each character is different, even if they use the same career, thanks to the skills system. And combat handled using the "Conflicts" and "Beats" method enables to integrate different careers and types of characters into the same round! But you also have tons of variant rules if you prefer more "simulation" oriented systems.
  3. the Example of Play is gold!
  4. Detailed scenarios: All the Macross Saga is explained and presented as "playable" in several scenarios.
  5. A lot of work and research behind all those pages.

Recommended to RPG and Robotech fans alike!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
by Ian G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2019 08:05:39

The Robotech RPG written by the team at Strange Machine Games is a fluid and immersive system with mechanics that stay mostly behind the scenes and drives the immersion with the fiction. The skill system is both original and simple being able to handle most of the characterisation of PC and NPC alike.

The simplicity and layout of the system greatly enables homebrewing so you can easily add to the game to suit your own vision and campaign. Whilst you can stick to the canon of Robotech there is absolutely nothing rulewise that discourages you from deviating as you see fit.

The artwork is beautiful and really brings the feelings and action easily into your mind and allows you to get a feeling for the game world that several volumes of words cannot. For fans of Macross, Robotech and mecha rpg's this is a must have for your bookshelf or PDF collection.

From the playtest to the current release the system has had my creative juices flowing in what could be possible in Robotech universe from small variations in cannon to complete divergances from canon investigating whole new storylines.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
by Justin G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/26/2019 15:02:48

Robotech: a fantastic sci-fi universe that presents that is wide in presenting and telling stories of humans. depicting hope, loss, love, war its rife with oppurtunities and stories to be explored and told.

while the franchise has experienced trouble in the past, and the RPG was not well treated by Paladium which was restrictive, difficult and confusing its now in a much better place with SMG.

the game is focussed primarily on giving tools to players and GM's to craft narratives and its rule set is deceptively simple with many nuiances influenced by player choice and in game situation. a high level of player freedom exists in the setting with the way its rules work but the system does a good job of guiding players. additionally, the system provides additional rules for those who want to tell different kinds of stories. simulation rules for those who want to focus much more to attention to detail and military operation, narrative rules for those who want to focus more on roleplay and high lethality for those who want to represent the dangers and horrors of interstellar war. its all about giving tools for telling the type of story you want to tell, so keep that in mind.

the system uses AD6 which is all about creating pools of dice (D6's to be exact) from your values associated with your skills to make actions. the pool size is capped by burnout which prevents pools from growing to large without using equipement that gives you extra dice for certain actions that don't count towards burn out. in this way you are not throwing around huge amounts of dice which may help appease those who are not fans of dice pool systems. additionally all sorts of modifiers can of course be placed to influence what numbers score successes.

character building is fast easy and fluid with a great deal of customisation. while you have your choice of the usual suspects from which to build your character, these really provide a base from where to expand and craft the character you want. the great part of how the systems skills functions, is that you are not restricted. a player should never be left out and not able to do something, meaning you don't need a balanced party with one player for every archetype because of the freedom afforded players. and the fact the system places those who can't do something at a disadvantage instead of just road blocking them like in Palladium. one of the primary parts of character creation to be aware of that can slip past you on first read is the importance of your element which indicates situtations for which you have been trained and experienced in operating which can impose benefits and hinderances depending on the game situation.

part of what makes the system so acessible and forgiving is the skills are umbrella skills. they are not set in stone but rather used by a player to creativley construct actions. this freedom of skill use can be overwhelming at first with the level of player freedom and vagueness at initial glance but the system helps guide players by giving each skill, while general in use, typicaly has a cost and a benefit that it achives while showing multiple examples of using a skill in different ways and situations along with guides on what actions players are trying to make to guide the creative freeom the player has in expressing how a character is doing something. in justifying and explaining how they are using those skills. this also means that a creative enough party will never get stuck in a situation where they can't do something without someone who has a certain skill unless they've run out of ideas.

combat and skills work the same way with enemies and challanges being presented as conflicts. the most difficult of these to wrao your head around is swarms and bosses. simply, a boss is less of a boss and more a normal enemy with stats as presented in the book. they have full use and access to their skills and equipment and have varying tiers and represent a normal kind of enemy seen in other RPG's. swarms are easy to track large groups that remove some of the ednurance and book keeping seen with smaller numbers of boss conflicts in exhcange for large groups that are very deadly but go down quickly. really, each of the conflicts is set up to give you choices of picking whats best for the story you are crafting.

the real difficulty and confusing part of an encounter that GM's will have to be hyper sensative to is the communcation round in which players plan their turn and then are given one chance each to go around and clarify said plan. essentially setting their own initative order as everything technically happens at the same time but there are optional rules for that. the difficulty is determing if players can actually communicate with each others characters and how much time to give them. you are not exactly guided on how to do this so it comes down to the GM to impose their will.

finally, damage cascade is perhaps the killer thing in the system. by combinnig and stacking successes in attacking, light weapons can hurt mechs, and mechs can hurt naval ships. this means players can take on bigger fish then themself and its not complete suicide to take on enemies without vehicles. this is great for players who want to take advantures to later gens or run different kinds of stories. especially compared to Paladium systems where MD did so much regular damage that it was suicide and damaging back with light weapons was pointless. here damage cascade allows players to overcome big scary challanges together (thats not say as a regular human you want to be shot with Mecha damage weapons. that will still kill but at least you can hurt them back). there is a lot more on the combat and its has many cool parts to it. it can be hard to wrap around at first but after re-reading and adjusting its simple yet deep.

finally the book itself is beautiful. high quality art and detailed lore sections outlining the entire Macros saga and parts of its background.

Overall, the game is built to flow well and be easy to get into but it has the crunch to allow exploration and provides all the tools for crafting whatever kind of RPG experience you want. make a horror advanture that takes advantage of the stress and drama systems as well as mental breaks. create a survival adventure where team working and communication are key. run a high lethal war story following a squad of pilots or a deadly military espionage and intrigue story with spies and entertainers to cause great ruses. thats what the book does best. all the tools you can need that are simple enough but with lots of depth and player freedom for interacting in the story. 4.5/5. as nothing is perfect and some concepts need time for those used to other systems to adapt given the systems on vagueness intended to allow creativity with less then literal meaning and rules and more figurative concepts to work into the solid rule set.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Wow, one of the most in depth reviews I've ever seen. Thanks! Jeff
Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/26/2019 13:23:44

I seen a playtest of this game. It works very well. If you are a fan of Robotech this should be on your gaming list.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Robotech: The Macross Saga Roleplaying Game
by Adam K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2019 21:58:35

Robotech.. here is a license that has a TON of baggage with the name; But I’m not talking about previous RPG incarnations or debacles in licensing. I’m here to talk about the wonderful adaptation that Strange Machine Games (SMG) has done. Now that isn’t to say that there aren’t stumbling blocks - every game has those, but SMG has created a game that captures the feel of the Robotech show, at least the macross saga (though there is an Alpha fighter from the invid saga that makes an appearance).

So first off, the style of the game. It seems to be primarily rooted into a more narrative and theatre of the mind play-style, though there ARE rules if you want a more ‘simulationist’ approach. This is a plus as it allows you to adapt to what your group is more comfortable with, but honestly the game does favour the former. Gone are your usual RPG character stats. You won’t find strength, dexterity or charisma here as a direct stat. Instead, you have a broad list of skills and how to implement them in different situations - Physical (combat), Social, and Technical. There are also careers, Pilot, for example and in a career you choose an Element - basically when you roll dice if it is ‘in your element’ you roll without penalty. The element for Pilot are Ace Pilot, Squad Leader and Wingman. Each has a specific talent for the element, but otherwise the career/element gives a rough framework to make any character you want.. even an entertainer like Minmei (we will wiiin!!)

Talents are pretty straight forward, giving you often a new element, and a bonus of some sorts. I’m not going to go in depth here, but it further helps differentiate characters. All in all the character generation is easy to understand, and versatile enough to make a character that fits in the universe. They also have all the major characters from the series, including the Terrible Trio (all have the same stats) and Jack Archer from the Battlecry video game.

Now many of you are probably wanting to jump right into the mecha and here is where the game might not be for everyone, just like there are no physical stats per se for the characters, the vehicles are also very light. This plays with how the system resolves tasks. You won’t find that, say a gunpod will have everything laid out. Task resolution is rolling a number of d6’s from your skills, often with a bonus number from an “equipment suite” which is effectively bonus dice on your roll. Some weapons such as missiles have limited use, so if you are looking for a slew of technical readouts of every little detail, this may be a sticking point. For me, it gives just enough information to know what you can do in the mech. There are countless variations of the veritech, all done within the equipment suite system.

The core mechanics are simple and quite light. Indeed the only issue I had with reading the combat was coming to terms with how to use the enemies. In many other games, enemies are their own entity. Here, this isn’t necessarily the case. You see you can play the same low ranking zentraedi warrior in a battlepod as either a powerful obstacle in their own right, or as a simple part of a massive swarm. With a setting that has limited foes, this versatility offers a way of changing the core function of the enemy to suit the story. For example, using the battlepod grunt above, you could run a game where the first time the players (as pilots) encounter a battlepod it is treated like a major boss, having to work together to whittle it down to defeat this singular foe. But as the game progresses, you can then shift that battepod to be part of a swarm - where there are multiples of the same, but they all work as a whole - that same battlepod becomes more of a hit point of the whole. It took me a while to fully grasp the concept, as I was used to RPG’s that had each enemy run as a separate entity. Now, the advantage is you don’t have to use the swarms, you can run each enemy as a separate foe. Again, this lends itself to the versatility of the game within the setting. A definite plus.

Next I want to talk about the art. This book is beautiful. Full colour evocative illustrations that immediately feel like they are from the show. To put it plainly, this is the most visually appealing Robotech RPG I have seen. The art fully captures the memory I had of the show. I honestly can’t wait to get my physical copy (with the Quedluun-Rau face).

Now, I have gushed about the game, there are a few things that will take getting used to. As mentioned above, the enemies you face can be played multiple ways, a plus for sure. Combat is broken up into different phases (support, Operations, cinematic, etc) this will take a lot of getting used to, as these phases dictate when you can do certain actions, which there are many to choose from. It is different from most games I have played which have I go, you go feel to actions. Here everything kind of happens for the players at the same time - apart from the different phases. This was likely born out of the way SMG wanted to make characters from different careers work together officers could operate the naval vessels, like an ARMD or The SDF-1 while pilots combat the barrlepods and fighters. It is a change, but I think after playing it several times it will fall into place.

Finally, there are some formatting issues that are irritating. The list of actions is seemingly absent from the combat section, requiring you to flip through the book (risking getting distracted by the awesome art). Now I may have missed it in that section, as actions were detailed under the skill chapter. It just doesn’t flow as nicely as I would have hoped. It is a small detail to be sure, but it will hinder my learning of the system. Similarly, during character generation, about halfway through the process it tells you to choose your gear. This is a small detail, but if you follow the process you will flip between sections of the book. Formatting wise, I would have preferred this as a last step.

All in all though, I find more to love about the game, than anything that detracts from it. It is by far on the opposite spectrum from the old robotech RPG from that company that lost the license (twice), and that is a very good thing. I could easily see someone adapting this system to do other 80’s childhood settings such as Voltron.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for your great review! I hope we get more write ups like this soon!
Age Past: The Incian Sphere Revised Power Cards (APISRpc)
by Noah M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/11/2017 22:44:14

These cards serve as an excellent addition to any table running Age Past. Some of the powers have different ways of being uses, and these serve as a great aid to any character. It's also MUCH less expensive and more customizable than what other RPG games/companies charge for the same kind of item.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Age Past: The Incian Sphere Revised Power Cards (APISRpc)
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