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Stacked!
by Ryan D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2017 23:48:00

The premise is great; tarot driven story telling where each player gets a turn to be GM. That really inspires me to run this game. I looked into many tarot decks when I found this game. There are quite a few that could help inspire story. For example, Tarot of the 78 Doors, Steampunk Tarot, Necronomicon Tarot, The Night Sun Tarot, Troth Tarot, Royo Dark Tarot, Parrott Tarot, 78 Whispers In My Ear, etc. It might be a good gateway game for players to GM, similar to Fiasco.

But unfortunately the game rules are lacking. It's only 2 pages of rules, and that's nice so you can quickly dive into the game, but it takes multiple reads to make sense of the rules. Terminology is inconsistent or confusing. For example, the phrase "stat point" in the beginning of the document refers to how many dice you roll when using a stat in a task, but then in the rewards section they use "stat point" to mean a factional value of one stat die. And you'll be asking yourself whether special task and special event are the same, and whether special gimmick is another name for special ability or limited gimmick. The rules are also very unclear about some big things, like are all characters acting during each challenge/event? Do they act as one combined force, or as individuals? Does only the dealer act? Or is the dealer just a story teller and all other characters act. Given there are reward dice for a challenge, I suspect only the dealer is acting, but then again it refers to characters plural, so maybe each character is facing the same challenge individually. Also, how do you decide what type to apply to equipment and kit rewards? Dealers choice?

I haven't run the game yet, but I also fear that the rules might be unabalanced. In the start it's quite difficult because players are such low level. They start with only two health, and are very likely to fail bad tasks. If you were to try to run this as a campaign, players would get very powerful as they increased there stats. Though there is variability in how difficult the players make each task.

Also the main mechanic of driving story via random tarot draws could make the story feel choppy and unnatural. It's great to be inspired by tarot cards, but if every action is chosen by random draw, it will take some heavy imagination to keep the story flowing.

The cover art has no bearing on the game, but I do love it. Where else are you going to find a game where the art pictures a nobel prize winning cowboy hunk wearing a monocle, lab coat with ripped sleeves, and a kilt, and an astro-elven-cyborg-pirate-samurai-native-american babe.

While I rate the game poorly, I'd still encourage people to check it out, and com eup with their own adjustments to the rules.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Stacked!
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Plasma Rules Expansion
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2015 21:31:19

Plasma Basic did need the add-ons. So I raised its rating one. But again, do explain things a bit. and you don't have to squeeze it all onto one sheet of paper. Still like the art and correct spelling.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Plasma Rules Expansion
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Plasma Base System
by Michael J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2015 21:22:58

six columns squeezed onto two pages is just too much. And too little. Apparently the author knows what he is talking about, but we don't. Put it into a different order, and for goodness sake explain things. No one will behead you if you add a couple of pages. on the plus side I liked the art. And unlike so many, you did use a spell checker, so no typos.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Plasma Base System
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Plasma Base System
by John C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2012 13:16:11

This product was severely disappointing. Plasma Base System (PBS) promises a simplified, old-school system. But it has two significant flaws:

First, claims to the contrary, PBS is not an old-school system. I think the author might have confused rules-light with old-school roleplay, a mistake many others make. What distinguishes old-school gaming from modern rps's is not that they're simpler (many were, but others decidedly weren't), but that they're much more geared to GM interpretation and have wider latitude in what you can do w/ your character. PBS is decidedly modern in this regard, with heavy reliance on skills and on multiple, heavily-defined classes. Any old-schooler knows that these two characteristics alone move a game out of the old-school camp.

Second, the game is indeed simple; your $5 buys you two pages. That's right, count 'em; two. Now, I have no problem with reducing complex rules to a few pages; in fact, I prefer rules-light approaches, which is why I took a chance and purchased this. The problem is that this rules system is incomplete. The magic system, for example, is woefully inadequate (listing a total of 9 spells). Other basic rules are just plain missing from the system. For example, you have to get their Expansion, another $5, to get the rules for basic things like races and alignment. I haven't purchased the Expansion, but if it's another 2 pages, you have to pay $10 for a (possibly) complete system that can be had for free elsewhere.

Many of you are probably already familiar with the excellent MicroLite20 system, a free system designed to be usable with the majority of the OGL/d20 material. It's a distillation of modern d20 rules that allows you to plug into all the rules, supplements and adventures already published for the the world's most famous fantasy roleplaying game. If you do an internet search, you'll discover that MicroLite20 has been adapted to multiple fantasy systems and licensed properties, as well as to multiple genres, from superheroes, spies and science fiction, to western, pulp and horror. If you're looking for what PBS promised, a rules-light old school system that is simple and straight-forward, you can do no better than the MicroLite74 system, now in it's third edition, from www.retroroleplaying.com. In their own words, "Microlite74 recreates the style and feel of that very first ("0e") fantasy roleplaying game published back in 1974 using somewhat more modern rules." Best of all, it's free.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Good point about the lack of old-school mechanics, and duly fixed. However, I don't get the impression you gave the rules any more than a cursory glance. I would ask you to give them a shot, particularly with a beginner gamer. If not, I'm sorry you didn't like the Plasma System, and hope you enjoy some of Kunlun's other offerings (most of which are free).
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