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Stacked! $0.00
Average Rating:1.5 / 5
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Stacked!
Publisher: Kunlun Mountain Studios
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.



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[2 of 5 Stars!]
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