I have read, but not yet run, the game. I will update this review once I run a few sessions.
My initial impressions are positive. The game is narrative, but there's enough system here to handle task resolution with varying degrees off success. The character creation reminds me of Fate Core, you have three sizes of aspect/skill/talent (Big grants +5, Medium +3, Small +1), and when you resolve a task, if those aspects apply, you get that bonus (they don't stack, you take the largest applicable.)
Task resolution is 1d20 + aspect bonus + advantages + gear - penalties. Unopposed tasks need a high roll (11+) to succeed. Even number = player narrates the success, odd = target narrates success. There are suggested types of conflict (timed, contest, unopposed, etc), and examples of these.
Results are based on risk. Each player has 5 (to use Fate's term) consequence slots, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12. d4 sticks around for 1-turn (you drop your sword), and d12 is big, nasty, and narrative - hospitalized, in a coma. Similarly, if you succed with a d4, your success is only barely. Succeeding with a d12 is (sticking with Fate's terms) success with style - the best you can think of, with a narrative bonus.
There are a LOT of examples of characters, unusual, but incredibly helpful for an indie game. Wizards, Jedi, Spys, the basics are covered. It should take a player (who has a character concept in their head) less than 5 minutes to create a character. GM characters are of the "take only what you need" variety. In other words, this is a low prep, high improv game - right up my alley!
Now, for the things I didn't like.
There's no art in the book, which is not a big deal. The price was so low that I can't criticize the lack of art, but it could bother some.
The game could use an example of play / actual play, which is common in most games. There ARE examples in the book, but they are spread out.
The game could use some game aids: character sheet, reference cards stating the types of contests, what the different die size success / failure look like, etc.
The combat bothered me slightly in that most conflicts have the PC and the Target (usually the GM) rolling dice to see the higher margin of success. Combat, however, is only rolled by the attacker, there's no defense roll. I'll need to test this in play, but my gut says that any of the target's applicable skills would act as a penalty to the attack. Ex: Badass Fighter (+5), attacks Shaolin Monk (+5), and rolls d20 hoping for 11+. Badass Fighter (+5) attacks Goblin Soldier (+1), and rolls d20 + 4, hoping for an 11+.
All said - I was very impressed with this system, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some of the other titles by Dancing Lights Press!
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