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Over Arms
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/21/2020 08:11:22

It's about 100 pages, and it has to cover a lot in it. It doesn't really present a strong setting itself, but is more of a framework for stories you'd like to tell. You might want to a 90's shonen, or a slick Persona 5 kind of adventure, you can do it in that it is flexible enough to do it, but don't expect much crunch.

There's a bit of rules in there for money, and items, and it has a good section on going on dungeon crawls, but they're not really developed enough for long term play. But this game isn't really about collecting items, or making it a 'job' by going into the Mirage, so I don't think the rules support it quite yet. It makes the Mirage interesting, but it kinda lacks a great non-storytelling reason to go there, and it's not fleshed out yet (which a setting book for this could help with). It's an interesting place you can go to for a story, but not interesting enough to want to dungeon crawl it (yet).

These rules are more light, and I like that for this setting, because it lets there be a lot more flexibility for what kind of things you can make without needing hardcoded crunch to do it. And I like that you are focusing on 1 to 3 abilities for your Anima, because then you can experiment more with that as a character.

The art is great, I am glad I grabbed this from the KickStarter.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Over Arms
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Over Arms
by Nicholas C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 21:27:16

As a busy adult I run games online a lot and over the net I find RPGs with quick rule sets are much easier to run, this game fits the bill for running a RPG in a Persona-esq setting I have already been running a campain and it has gone great my only beef would be that some of the rule descriptions like conditions for example could be written a bit clearer.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Over Arms
by Ashley G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2020 09:59:09

Fantastic book, I have been looking for something simple like this for awhile now. My group loves it and are excited to run our campaign with it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Over Arms
by Peter S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/25/2020 00:07:06

While I don’t regret my purchase of the PDF I do regret my purchase of the physical book, not for any reasons related to the printing, but simply the expense versus the use, as I feel like there are quite a few issues with the game that need addressing. Primarily the interplay between Attacks, Defense and Abilities as currently I can’t tell whether you should make sure your Anima has an Attack Ability so you don’t get a head ache every time you make them attack or whether it’s even worth making an Attack or Defense related ability as they don’t “combine” with your existing defense and attacks in any way.

I also feel as if there should be a more robust list of example powers with full 3 tier breakdowns, I love the open ended nature of the Anima Abilities but there needs to be more guidance on how to build them, especially since "tiers of power" are involved.

Otherwise though I feel like this is an excellent product. It has a clean layout that’s very easy to read and follow, the rules at their core are extremely cool and I love the open ended nature of Anima Abilities as it really captures that Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure spirit.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Over Arms - Limited Edition Cover
by Jordan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2020 14:46:22

Disclaimer: I backed this game on Kickstarter.

Where to even start. Over Arms is an awesome little sandbox. Tight, easy to understand rules will get new players into the game quickly, making it ideal for people who haven't played a TTRPG before, or younger players or anyone that may have trouble following bulkier mechanic-heavy systems. It takes some very obvious inspirations from media such as Jojo's Bizarre Adventures and Persona, and the setting included with the core book makes the latter's impact on the inspiration very obvious, if the idea of commanding a supernatural manifestation of your character's will and drive wasn't enough. And through my experience with the game thus far, I've seen so much discussion on ways to adapt this simple ruleset into other media, stepping away from the more obvious examples that are already very similar such as Astral Chain's Legions or Nen Beasts of Hunter X Hunter, and applying the game to other settings such as Bleach, My Hero Academia and even One Piece with a few modifications to the core rules, displaying how the mechanics are quite flexible for adaption.

On the topic of the rules, it's a tight, simple system that really covers anything you'll need for the kinds of settings this game excels at. You have two sets of five attributes that you lay out five dice sizes from d4 to d12, multiplying the size value for HP and AP by 2, then you make up an ability granted to you by your anima. Yes, I said "make up", not choose. There are no bulky lists to persue, though there are plenty of examples, both in the book itself, and in the various media that reflects the genre (Jojo's, Persona, etc). A first thought might be "But how do you stop players from breaking the game with their ability?" and that's fair. Ideally, players are making abilities with their fellow players in mind and discussing with their GM, as well as looking towards having a fun game, not one where they Thanos snap away every obsticle in their path. Actually, what this open sandbox for ability creation does is allows the GM to set a tone for their game world. Maybe having ridiculous overpowered abilities like Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is appropriate for one game, where having more down to earth abilities like the Legions from Astral Chain is better fitting. The idea isn't to have carte blanche on making an ultimate ability, it's to work with your GM to make an ability that is of an appropriate tone for the game so that everyone can have fun. It ALSO means you can have an ability with very specific quirks and limitations and not have to worry about tweaking around other rules or mechanics to make it work they way you want it to work.

Mechanically, when you perform an action that needs a roll, you determine which attribute your character needs to use, then roll the die size associated with that roll. If you are using your anima to assist you, you do what is called a "Junction" to also add an appropriate attribute's die to the roll. Junctioning and using your anima's ability both cost AP and if you run out of AP, you can't access your anima. You can attack with your anima, or wield a weapon yourself (The game presents a small list of weapons that could be added to as desired, along with a list of items and other items that actually make Over Arms feel like playing a video game at times) to bring the pain if you're low on AP or your opponent is weak enough to not be worth using the AP, or you're in a situation that using your anima would be a poor decision. And that's the bulk of game's mechanics. Since abilities are made up, they may use attributes rolls or be a simple narritive device, but they always cost AP.

So far I have covered the games strengths as well as a basic overview of the game's mechanics, but you can see I only gave the game 4 stars. I would give it 4.5, or even 4.75, if I could, because it does have a few weak spots, and I stress "few". For as open-ended as this game is, it narrows your scope when you choose your anima type. The number of types isn't really the concern so much as that the type determines which attributes you use for attacking and for damage, and that's all mechanically. The type should also steer your overall narritive design for fighting style and ability, but it's certainly not mandated. As it stands, your anima type really only points blatantly at which attributes you should prioritize for combat, or if you look at it from the other direction, the attributes you decide on make your choice for anima type pretty blatant if you want to be optimzed. Also, having a little more guidance on ability creation, like an outline on types abilities for example, would not be an unwelcome addition. And finally, the game lacks any sort of skill or specialization system to allow characters to be exceptional at particular tasks, or even really stand out from another character with similar attributes apart from abilities. As I implied, very minor things, and nothing that actively makes the game less fun in any way, and frankly, they are all things that could be adjusted to the game with little fuss if your table feels they are truely needed.

In conclusion, Over Arms is a fun, easy system in a compact package. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles because it doesn't NEED them. For game settings that this game is meant to serve for, it handles them extremely well, and as a sandbox, it works well for many settings beyond the direct inspirations. It may not work for every setting under the sun, but I don't see that as something that should be held against it. This is a game that knows its strength and presents them well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Over Arms - Limited Edition Cover
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Over Arms
by Matthew J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2020 10:49:43

I've only just finished reading it and I am excited to try the really freeform style of this book. I want to use it both by itself and to supplement other games that I intend to play of a similar ilk like Unbound or Delta Green. Can't wait until you make more module content for this game I can't get enough of it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Over Arms
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Over Arms
by vanny-brayan s. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2020 18:18:04

Foremost, I will have to say I backed the kickstarter.

Over my first read throught, I can say that the book is easy to read and the layout pleasant to the eye. As for the illustrations, they carry a certain freshness, despite some repetitive artworks.

The book itself contains 6 chapters over 102 pages :

  • The Introduction
  • Character (User) and Anima creation
  • The rules of the game
  • Two setting chapters
  • The bestiary

Among them, only the Character and Cnima creation chapter and the rules chapter are really necessary to play, so I will only cover them.

The introduction talks a bit about what OverArms aims to be, what are TTRPG, what the PCs will be playing, and a glossary.

The Character and Anima creation chapter are pretty straight forward, you have 5 stats, you have dice going from d12 to d4, you assign each for on your Character and do the same for your Anima. Mind you your User and Anima have different stats. But things are still differents between an User and an Anima.

After stat assignement, you can record your character Virtues, Vices and Drives. And then miscellaous stuff including the User's income. I will nitpick here a bit. There is absolutely no reasons to say your User does not have to pick the highest income, if not roleplay.

As for your Anima, after stat assignement, you wil choose your type, that will determine how you calculate Accuracy and Damages. What come next, is creating your Anima's ability. And while I understand that they made it really open almost freeform. While it is how it need to be to dispay the diversity of JoJo's bizarre adventure's powers (Stands), it severely lacks some guidelines. Even something like discuss with your gm about how wild your abilities can be or a fictional dialogue between GM and player about how they figure out that player's Anima's abililty would be enough. Next are miscellanous stuffs.

The rules chapter covers the "Game Phase", as a way to structure a game session, how to do checks, using an Anima's abilities, combats, advancement and a list of item. Oh, and Conditions. THey are important but I need to reread that part.

As another thing that may be cool, will be a black and white printer friendly of the character sheet, I doubt the character on the background of the haracter sheet is printer friendly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Over Arms - Limited Edition Cover
by Brutus S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2020 14:07:26

Full disclosure, I kickstarted this system so I already had a stake in it from the get-go.

OverArms is a system that's easy to pick up and very adaptable for a lot of different IPs that are often tricky to convert into a playable RPG game. The obvious ones are JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and the SMT series, but there's a lot more you can do with the game. The rules aren't heavy at all, the book is only 97 pages cover-to-cover and you only need about 1/3 of that to get the gist of running and playing the game. Character creation is a bit more abstract than some people might like, specifically the Anima ability creation, but in my opinion that's part of the fun. I've played games that have mechanics in palce for creating your own powers and abilities but often I've found them a bit too restrictive at times.

As a career tabletop nerd (going on 20 years in the hobby), I think the creative freedom that OverArms allows could be a double-edged sword in the hands of the GM. You have to recognize when something is overpowerd (or even underpowered) and work with your players to strike a balance that they all can have fun with. That's not a bad thing. Being able to gauge ability strengths contextually and knowing how to adapt player concepts to better fit into the game world are solid skills for any GM to develop and OverArms is a good system for that.

In closing, I'm looking forward to playing with this system for a long time and already have friends who are interested in giving it a try. It's built for cartoony, anime-inspired superpower action without needing 300+ pages of rules to play it, and that's a niche that often goes underserved in western fantasy. I'm giving it a tentative rating of 4/5 and plan on updating this review in the future after having more sessions of OverArms under my belt.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Over Arms - Limited Edition Cover
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Over Arms
by Joonas L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/12/2020 15:24:23

The system reads fine for what it is, but is skimpy on anything concrete.

I like the system of assigning a die per stat, and then your stat die plus your anima's stat die becomes your roll. But that introduces a massive spread of results, and I'm not convinced that plays nice over time. The rules don't give a feel of having been tested a whole lot - I may be wrong, I don't really know, but confidence inspiring it is not.

What I hoped to get were rules for building my own, Persona style, animas, but instead what I got is what basically comes down to "come up with the powers yourself". There is no guidance on how to make the powers fun or balanced. Even things like "how does a one point power differ from a three point power" go unattended. I'm sure there could be a fun compromise between assembling everything from massive lists á la Big Eyes Small Mouth or picking from ready made spell lists á la D&D, and complete freeform, but unfortunately this game isn't that.

The day being split into phases (like Persona) is a fun notion, and they even give some guidance on working jobs while juggling school. But these end up as undeveloped ideas that don't really go anywhere. Essentially I feel like I'm getting the introduction to a concept, and instead of then diving into that concept and making it fun and workable at the table, we're already onto the next thing.

A lot could've been done with the wholly abstract side realm where anima live (again, like Persona), but that, too, is left on the level of "anything goes". You're not given anything to build with. Even a sandbox needs edges.

Ultimately I feel like I'm better off running my Persona style game on Fate.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Over Arms
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Creator Reply:
Hey Joonas, Sorry to hear you weren't satisfied with Over Arms, I urge you to sit down with it and try out a game! You might like it more than you expect. To address a few points here: 1. This game has been tested quite a bit and the original system was actually scraped in favor of this one for balancing purposes, don't worry, the math checks out on these stats and checks! 2. One of this games big pushes was to allow you to create your own abilities in order to avoid a massive list of what is possible and what isn't. You could easily take the skill "Marin Karin" from Persona for example and apply it to one of your abilities in order to replicate a Persona style game, I haven't seen much this wouldn't be compatible with exceptions for maybe mudo and the instant kill stuff that wouldn't be fun at the table. 3. There are guidelines in the book on how to balance powers including many Anima examples with their own abilities listed. I think this is something we could have expanded on overall but we do also have videos on our Youtube account that assist with this. I hope you give Over Arms another chance soon and thank you for the honest review!
Over Arms: Quickstart Rules
by Jonah L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2020 17:01:17

A really well rounded system. Enjoying this a lot and can't wait for the full book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Over Arms: Quickstart Rules
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Red Giant
by Thomas V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2019 18:45:09

Red Giant is a no-frills, rules-lite system and setting that absolutely oozes with mystery and horror. With a heavy emphasis on player interaction and story telling, the bleak world feels befitting of a grim black metal album.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Red Giant
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