Saturday, December 22, 2012

RPG Review Recess - #FATEcore reading of #KriegszeppelinValkyrie and review stuff

I'm sure, unless you're living under a rock somewhere, that the FATE Core kickstarter has gone off swimmingly.  With that there have been many unlockables that have been promised, two of which have already been shown to the backers. Well, the text has, it hasn't been layed out or anything it's just the cool bits you need to start actually playing the game.

Wild Blue by Brian Engard (here on this blog known as [other guy] who co-wrote Bulldogs! with Brennan Taylor) was the first to be shown and it's a cool idea, but I hadn't gotten around to reading it yet. I'll give it, it's own space later.  Right now I'm going to talk about the second one that got shown, because I saw it at Metatopia this past year and when I heard about it I was very excited by the whole premise.

Let me just give you my quick opinion about this part of the whole project. You should get in on FATE core possibly just for this alone. This isn't to say that the other products aren't going to be phenomenal as well, there's a lot of amazing writers with amazing pedigrees with amazing products of their own, but this one is all I was hoping for and more.

The basic premise is that the war is over, but one German Scientist working out of Africa was unaccounted for until his robotic armies started attacking various villages, towns and cities throughout Africa. You've discovered his base in Mt. Kilimanjaro and you're using a newly finished German Superweapon captured after the war was finished, the Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie, in order to take the fighter pilots necessary to take out Dr. Walter Schottky and his nefarious Galvanic Warriors.

There is more than just that happening, the goal of the game isn't just to defeat the evil doctor. Nope, just as important is to have the highest kill count, and the most famous battles. You don't want to just destroy Galvanic Fighter Pilots, you want to get your name out there as the most daring and courage fighter pilot. After ever battle, the Captain of the Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie will talk about what really happened out there and who got what kills. Then you can talk to the AP reporter assigned to your mission to report back home what's going on, and that just happens to be Ernest Hemingway.

There's a level of Paranoia debriefing there that I think is perfect. Not only do you have to report on what you did, but you have to report on what you saw other people do. Do you help someone out and tell the truth, do you pad something for a friend, do you slander those you don't like? Then there's the chats with Hemingway where you need to describe your daring-do and what was awesome about what just happened. It makes it that much cooler for the players because it's still fresh in their minds and they can start the embellishing process right then and there over drinks. You get to set up relationships with the other players, so there's motivations to help or hinder people all around you. All of these things make for a great "band of brother" kind of combat setting that Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie is aiming for and delivers on.

The combat is perfectly done as well. You can't just shoot people down, well you can but it takes a lot longer, but if you manage to out manoeuvre your enemies, you're more likely to get the kill. You get that dogfight feeling through adding and recovering aspects that will put you at a horrible disadvantage. All the regenerated characters are all pilots from the era too. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and what planes you pick give you a set of strengths and weaknesses and just ... yes. The game is very yes.

Now I'm going to occupy myself by singing the songs from Billy Bishop Goes to War.


Clark Valentine said...

Thanks for the review, Jonathan!

Jonathan said...

Thanks for writing it Clark. We shall have to play it at some point in time during a convention or something.

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