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6d6 Core (2nd Ed.)
Publisher: 6d6 Fireball
by Ryan P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/02/2014 10:18:20

I type this nearly two years to the day after my first game of 6d6. An indie+ event run by the game's designer, Chris Tregenza, it was a memorable experience even though I was new to gaming over Hangouts and primarily familiar with D&D. Fittingly for Halloween we played the Outbreak! zombie apocalypse adventure, and even though my character survived the scenario only to be killed by another PC in the end, the system, setting, and the game leader made for an enjoyable evening.

6d6 is more gamey than a lot of systems I've played, employing the element of using a character's traits to narratively add to the d6 dice pool that resolves actions, while restricting the availability and refresh rate of the character's potential to utilize these traits. This adds a strategic aspect to dice rolls that represents a character’s limited ability to act and react. I haven’t tried this genre neutral system in a more fantastic or pulpy setting, but my impression is that it is well suited for realistic, approaching gritty, settings, even with streamlined mechanics common to less simulationist, story based games.

These core rules are well written and the layout is clean and modern looking. The text is extensively hyperlinked, including the table of contents, glossary, and index, and easy to navigate on a variety of devices. The opening Quick Start chapter provides players with a rundown of the vocabulary and mechanics necessary to comfortably approach their first game of 6d6 using pregenerated characters created by the game leader or taken from a published scenario. Also included is a section on character creation utilizing the archetypes and life paths presented in setting books such as 6d6 Modern.

The next three chapters, First Principles, Combat And Movement, and Characters, reiterate and expand upon the ideas presented in the first. The game’s principles are presented in depth for game leaders and long term players for more involved, campaign length story arcs. The World Around provides guidance for the more peripheral aspects of role playing games, such as social interaction and deception, and non-combat challenges that characters face.

Finally, Meta-Gaming is an interesting chapter. Throughout the book, but here in particular, is a description of how the game should be played. It seems to be sound advice, but includes language uncommon to most rule books, such as, "Picking advantages because they are the most powerful regardless of the character's back-story and experiences is bad role playing. The most enjoyable characters to play and to share a game with are those which have flaws. Pick advantages well and optimise how CP [Character Points] is spent, but remember no hero is perfect." Obviously, some will find these sentiments to be more useful than others, but they illuminate the intent of the designer and will potentially provide valuable direction to those new to the hobby.

One last note, not directly related to the book itself, but an additional facet of 6d6 that informed my decision to back their Kickstarter. As noted in the beginning of the book, its contents are published under a creative commons license, available online, and editable by registered members. Further, the Living Document Promise ensures that once purchased, updates to 6d6 PDFs are always freely available once registered. This approach to business complements the collaborative and community aspects of the hobby, and signifies to me a company that deserves all the support I can contribute.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
6d6 Core (2nd Ed.)
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