I’ve seen this sort of card gimmick in the past used by games like Torg and also recently Savage Worlds; the idea is that by playing a card you can take advantage of a bad situation and free yourself from the tyranny of poor dice rolling. I do like systems like this as it gives the players a chance to shine and succeed at critical moments.
Would I back it? Possibly if I was going back to playing a game like DnD where it might be useful but recently I’m playing more indie stuff or Call Of Cthulhu where a large bonus to a d20 roll may be aweseome but peanuts to a percentile system.
The good news is that the project is going to be backed as it has achieved it’s funding goal and it should be delivered in June or so.
I’ll mention that like other projects I have mentioned in the blog, I haven’t benefited in any shape or form by this post. I just wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention as mentioned in my last post.
In my last post I talked about gaming with an iPad and those astute readers will have noticed that I failed to mention anything about combat management. I used to use an app made by a company that no longer appears to exist and while functional it was a bit buggy and prone to crashing at the most inappropriate moments. So I decided to see what was available since I downloaded it about 18 months ago.
My interest was piqued by a paid for app called DM Minion Pathfinder by Goathead Software, it looked like it did everything I wanted and a bit more to boot. Where the product shines is the integration with Hero Lab, the ability to upload portfolio files from Dropbox is amazing.
This is the first screen you have to work with, here you define the name of the adventure.
Then with that defined you can import characters from Dropbox. Any of the pcs here can be imported without needing you to do anything special with the stat blocks.
Then you can add monsters to the adventure either by manually creating them, importing a Hero Lab character or by using the PFSRD monsters already in the software.
Here is an example of what is displayed on the monster list; you will add these adversaries later on when you build an encounter.
Now we move onto creating an encounter. You will still need to refer to the guidelines for the XP budget for the encounter.
The final step, an enc0unter all built and ready to run using the intuitive combat manager. Running the combat is painless, you can roll the players initiatives if you want or use the slider bars to select their infinitive scores and the app will roll all the monsters initiatives as well as their hit points. If you really want to be hands on with it then you can roll the monsters hit and damage rolls yourself; something you may have to do as there appears to be a bug in rolling to hit when the weapon being used has a different critical threshold.
Is the program worth less than £3? I would have to say yes as there is a lot of options packed in under the hood to make it worth buying. It would be good to have the attack bug resolved but it is a highly usable combat manager and a useful tool.
A quick disclaimer before I write this review. A long time ago I used to be a play-tester for Eden studios but that was for the Conspiracy X game line and not AFMBE.
Since I’m going to be running All Flesh Must Be Eaten I thought I’d do a quick review of the core book. I have three different editions of the book; two printed and a pdf version of the revised edition. This review is therefore of the revised edition.
What grabbed me about the whole game was the ability to not just do a Romero style zombie game; of which you can find an example in the books Deadworlds chapter; but the whole tool-kit approach. The game gives you the tools and you can craft your own tailor made zombie apocalypse.
The game uses the Unisystem mechanic and requires nothing more than an ordinary d10 to resolve actions. At the simplest level this involves rolling stat + skill + 1d0 and try to get higher than 9. It is an easy system and the genius lurks in the design of it. Take combat for example; if you wanted to fire a pistol then rolling your characters skill and dexterity seems a logical combination. What if you wanted to aim? Some games just give you a flat value to add to your next attack, AFMBE allows you to roll perception and handgun skill with each success level adding +1 to your next attack roll.
This makes it easy to add to the Roll20 virtual table-top as you can easily script macros to take advantage of the flexibility of the system.
The game also contains several example player characters in the archetypes section. These can be used as is, as a inspiration for an new character or as an NPC. I do like this approach as it can get you into a game quickly and with a little difficulty.
Finally the revised edition has rules for using it with a very popular d20 based gaming system.
In conclusion, if you want a tool-kit to create your own zombie apocalypse then this game does take some beating. If I had one complaint to raise it would be the lack of bookmarking in the pdf but I think this is a small price to pay for such a fun game.
There is a free introductory adventure complete with characters and this can be downloaded from Eden’s website, by following this hyperlink: