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Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core Pay What You Want
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by D. R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2016 17:33:36

First, I am giving this a 4 out of 5 stars not for any production issue or for any game play issue. I am a Patreon supporter of the Worlds of Adventure for Fate Core and FAE. This setting meets or exceeds all the game play criteria of any of the Evil Hat Settings out produced to date.

There are some well thought out new additions to Fate's version of skinning the cat. If you are a Fate fan you know that the is game is all about fun and not so much about the rules. The first or Golden Rule of Fate is to describe what you are trying to do before trying to come up with the "proper" mechanics. Fate is flexible on so many levels in dealing with obstacles, problems, dice rolls etc. Skills, or aspects, or even declarations of fact (using Aspects and Fate Points) can solve problems. So when a setting introduces new mechanics (or a new way to solve a problem) it is fun to see how Fate can accomodate those new mechanics. Pilot Skill isn't really something new. It is Drive skill reskinned. Several other settings include a very similar reskinning of the Drive skill. Renown skill is new in that it kind of mashes up some effects of Rapport, Contacts, and Resources. It represents your fame and how readily you can cash in on it. This is important because your characters live in a Communist Utopia. Resources no longer represents personal wealth; you don't have any. Resources represent how readily you can acquire the use of resources from the state to achieve your missions.

Conversion rules is an interesting wild card. You run some pretty typical Fate challenge to get NPCs to join your cause (Communism). You can do this even while the death rays are splattering the hull all around you. These rules add a fun touch to the pulp action for characters who aren't necessarily combat heavy types. How much more fun can you have as a Commisar than engaging in materialist dialectic with evil Americans while your brawny New Woman takes apart uses her immense combat prowess to pulp the less enlightened American mooks.

Here is where the four star rating comes in. Ideology. If you are an older gamer who remembers the Cold war and Communist rhetoric a bit more immediately than younger gamers who only know it from history books; this setting may leave you a bit cold. Jess Nevins always does a stellar job on his settings. He even dedicated a page to the evils of real life communism. That page can not make up for a lack of real life experience of communism's heinous record. On the Fate Google+ community there have been commentators that feel this setting seems akin to playing Nazi PCs. Those individuals who lived through the Cold War are probably going to have some strong reactions to the premise of this setting.

Remember once you have it, it is yours to change. It is a pulp setting so it doesn't really invite you to look under the hood at ideology all that much; it is about square jawed heros punching weak chinned ne'er do wells. If the setting doesn't tickle your fancy change it up. Maybe the Communists in the setting are more akin to the Empire of Space Opera fame and your PCs look more like a Rogue unit trying to throw a wrench in the works. So all the setting material in the book becomes self promoting propaganda instead of the actual truth. The great thing about Fate is its ability to mimic just about anything you care to throw at it. Frankly the price is right.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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