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Magenta Pay What You Want
Average Rating:3.0 / 5
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Publisher: Sanguine Productions
by Timothy C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2016 19:07:33

This is, in essence, Albedo: Platinum Catalyst sanitized of its anthropomorphic nature--understandably, of course, in the desire to make a more generic system with broader market appeal. Otherwise it's identical, which leads to the inconsistencies and incompatibilities with the real, human world that other reviewers have commented on. Their aim for "realism" comes mostly from the fact that rather than psychological trauma being either a near-inevitable erosion of mental fortitude or simply nonexistent, it's a constant grind that works more or less like physical health--I quite like that mechanic.

The document itself shows that they didn't take much care with it. The formatting is poor on the PDF readers I use, with heading fonts in particular cutting themselves off because they were originally written for a shorter font. The tables are image cut-and-pasted from Albedo, and retain the errata from that book. Everything's there, though, and it's usable.

This is donationware, so one does get what one pays for. A quick pass back through the fonts and some table corrections would definitely make it worth the five-buck average it's going for as of this writing.

As it stands, I'd use this particular product mostly for mechanics and a very rough guideline for homebrew versions, especially when it comes to character creation, setting, and actual ranks and whatnot. SPI/RQI makes sense in Albedo, not so much in any realistic military setting.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher: Sanguine Productions
by Ryan G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/08/2014 18:06:19

Magenta has very little going for it as a military game. The game claims to be realistic rather than romantic, it is frankly neither.

The system is a pretty standard die stepping system, with some attempt made to spice it up a bit, with being able to push for more dice, risk for bigger dice, or breeze for more smaller dice with a chance of overwhelming success.

Magenta assumes all players have a main character who makes command decisions ranking from basic training recruit (really?) to General of the Army, but only in wartime (again really?), and a squad of four other supporting characters, who really do the dirty work. This is marginally interesting I guess, with the stated intent being that you are supposed to care about what happens to your semi-disposable mooks, and I guess that is where the drama is supposed to come in.

What baffles me the most about this game is that in a world where major powers have been at war for a decade, veterans abound, and actual military field manuals are freely available on most subjects to anybody with access to Google, this game completely fails to even remotely understand what soldiers do. For example Airborne Infantry are listed as Aerospace specialists, with bonuses in resisting G-forces and Aeronautics, rather than simply being the light infantrymen that they are. I was a paratrooper myself and I promise you I have never been in an airplane where resisting G-force was even relevant. This game is like being in a Tom Clancy novel where the characters aren't awesome.

It being a PWYW game, most of it's flaws can be forgiven at some level, I would not play the game as it was written, and I would be careful about what you pay for it until you have a chance to read it.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
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