And if you've been craving a game set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia that's notably different from the one we live in day-to-day, then you should definitely give Dark Horizons a look for yourself!
|Gas mask optional, depending on table vaccination status.|
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The 1d10 System, And The End of The World
Folks who know me know my opinion on rules light games. Generally speaking I don't really enjoy them, as I like games that provide players with a lot of options and choices so they can meaningfully customize the characters they're playing, and interact with the world in a myriad of ways. However, the 1d10 system by GG Games is something I haven't come across since Savage Worlds; a game that feels like a rules light game, but which doesn't skimp on options and customization.
|There's a lot beneath the surface, is what I'm saying.|
As an example, take Dark Horizons, the game that was sent to me for review purposes by the publisher. The book is meant for those who want to run a post-apocalyptic RPG, but there isn't a specific meta attached to this game. So whether you want to run a zombie apocalypse, a plague world, a nuclear hellscape full of rad mutants, or any other kind of setting, this book is meant to help you do that. Beyond that, though, making a character is extremely simple. You have three stats (Social, Mental, Physical), a handful of skills, your character species, and bam, you're off to the races! Not only that, but all you need to play the game is a single, 10-sided die. Roll the die, add your bonuses from your attribute and/or skill, any special abilities, and you're done!
At this point I was beginning to feel some trepidation. I'm all for games that don't introduce needless overcomplication, but that seemed a little simplistic for a full RPG. It was almost simple enough you could do a board game with it, a la Hero Quest. But then I looked up and realized I was less than a third of the way through the book. That was when the ride started picking up speed!
Because not long after this initial run down of starting attributes and skills, the game started going into the Features you could add to your character. Similar to feats in Pathfinder, or merits in World of Darkness, these Features gave you all sorts of interesting abilities you could use to really customize your play style, power set, and abilities. In addition to the Features you have Mutations (since mutants are an old standby of the post-apocalyptic genre), and these provided a whole new way for you to add abilities and unique powers to a character. Lastly, in addition to the basic starting character species, there's a whole slew of alternatives Game Masters can make available based on the type of apocalypse they're running, ranging from aliens, to androids, to fey creatures, and more!
Lots of Options, Not a Lot of Numbers
The actual numbers you deal with in Dark Horizons are relatively small. Unless you gear every aspect of your character to being good at particular tasks, it's unlikely you'll ever have a bonus in the double digits until you're approaching the end of the campaign. However, while the game has a leveling system, it simply gives you a certain amount of points each level to distribute as you wish to. So whether you want to add new mutations to your character, increase your starting attributes, acquire a new Feature, etc., those decisions are left up to you!
This provides a unique experience, and it's one that definitely hits all those sweet spots for me as a player. Because there's nothing like knowing you can make your character as simple and straightforward, or as batshit nuts, as you want to get with it!
End of the day, I would highly recommend this game. Especially if you're the sort of Game Master who likes an RPG that fits a genre, but doesn't want to limit you too much when it comes to world building, setting, and the specifics of the game you're actually running.
|But wait, there's more!|
If Dark Horizons isn't your jam, though, don't worry! GG Games has other options for you, each of which contains the necessary rules and system overview to play without needing to buy a base book as well. So if you're in the market for any of the following genres, check these out!
- Wild Frontiers: A Wild West RPG with focus on gambling, reputations, duels, and dime novel legends!
- Uncharted Territory: A pulp-era RPG, mysticism and adventure run rampant between these pages!
- Distant Lands: Fantasy done differently... try this one if you want something different than D&D.
- Beyond Terra: Sci-fi in all its myriad forms! Cyborgs and aliens, to high-tech low-lifes.
- Galvanic Adventures: Victorian fiction in all its dark and dreary details. What lurks in the darkness of the hearts of the world's cities?
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