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geoffrey nelson
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57 followers
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So, I was thinking about dying in horror games. In Savage Worlds, Call of C'thulhu 7th ed, and Trail of C'thulhu, dying is complicated. In SW, it has its own sub-system. In Trail, it's about numeric thresholds. In CoC, it's got a damn flow chart.

It's all very logical.

I couldn't put my finger on why this seems off to me until I watched the interview with Kelsy Dionne, and learned about the Dramatic Question. I realized that the Dramatic Question of every fight in a horror game should be "Will the characters survive?" (Or if you're a realist, "Which characters will die?).

Answering that question should be a harrowing mini-climax in the narrative of despair. It should be a time of high tension, hard choices, and cursing the cruelty of chance.

It's not the time to consult a flow chart.

That is the brilliance of the death rule in ICRPG, imho: it's mechanical but it's simple; there are only three logic gates, and they're not hard to parse in a tense moment; in fact, they add to the tension. 1. Do I have another round to live? (consult timer. Not abstract; concrete.) 2. Did I roll 20 on my survival die? (again, concrete). 3. Has anyone reached me this round to save my life? (Narrative; not mathematical or logical in a way that disrupts the poignancy and urgency of the moment.)

That's brilliant. A death mechanic that ramps up the tension of the scene rather than draining it out via too much math? A death mechanic that feels like...death? Genius. And it's fairly adaptable. You can use the ICRPG death mechanic in BRP CoC 7e without any serious tweaks, and it will reward you with immediacy and immersion.

It's things like this that really show the depth of the thinking behind ICRPG. Hank consistently finds the shortest route to the greatest dramatic payoff without letting go of hit points, monster hunting and daring do.

I like a lot of games. I love some games. But I'm really growing to appreciate ICRPG.

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A short review of Hellscapes, a post-apoc game based on 5e mechanics. The monster section is short but robust, with a template system that adds depth and versatility. The vehicle section is similar. The author's decision to treat vehicles as terrain is brilliant, and changes how car fights work by making them simpler and more character-focused. This product has a lot to offer MCC players, and might be worth reviewing on the show.

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A review of Hellscapes, an post-apoc RPG that uses 5e mechanics. This product has a lot to offer post-apoc GM's, and its Tribal Ways mechanic provides a lighter enclave alternative to Other Dust's more robust system. It's a great complement to Other Dust.

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I reviewed Hellscapes, a post-apoc RPG using 5e mechanics. It's a neat little toolkit that has a lot to offer either on its own or as an idea mine.

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Here's my review of Hellscapes, a post-apoc RPG that uses 5e mechanics to good effect. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Here's a link to my review of Hellscapes, a post-apoc table top RPG that uses fifth edition D&D mechanics to build a memorable wasteland.

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Link to my reivew of Hellscapes, another post-apoc game that uses 5e mechanics. The monster section and vehicle sections are fun, and the Tribal Ways mechanic in the character creation section would make those simian pueblos more that adobe eye candy. Check it out, and let me know what you think!

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Hellscapes is a post-apoc toolkit full of fun ideas. The monster, vehicle, and character creation sections are simple but innovative. Expand your wasteland!

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Here's a link to my review of Hellscapes, a post-apocalyptic rpg tool kit that uses 5e mechanics.

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In the interest of exploring other games to find resonant mechanics, here's a review of Hellscapes. It's a post-apoc toolkit using 5e mechanics. Check it out!
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