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Uncharted Worlds
 
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Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Uncharted Worlds
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Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Christopher J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2018 20:02:02

So, this review will cover two aspects: Content and Physical Quality (as I ordered the hardback of the book).

Content: The system and game is really well-designed. I like the simplicity that PbtA uses, and this builds it into a Sci-Fi setting very well. The Moves are simple and dynamic, allowing for a lot of freedom in how situations are handled. Character creation allows for many possible character types and the Asset system lets your imagination run wild with possibilities for items and vehicles. Really enjoying the system and how it is working out.

Physical Quality: I wanted to get a physical copy of the book (as well as Far Beyond Humanity), since I liked the system so much. In thinking it over, I knew that I would likely use the book extensively, so I opted to go with the Hardcover book. That was a big mistake. While the cover is quite durable, the pages are extremely thin, basic paper (think of the thickness of a page from a Bible and double it). I now fear that I may end up tearing the pages, due to the vast difference in durability between them and the cover. Honestly, I was expecting thicker, possibly treated lack and white pages, more along the quality of what is found in Heroines of the First Age or other major gaming books (like Pathfinder). Had I know the pages were to be this delicate, I would have gone with Paperback binding to maintain consistency in feel between the cover and pages.

TLDR: Content of the system is awesome. Quality of physical copy's pages make me suggest one ONLY order it Paperback.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/17/2018 15:10:43

Didn't try it, but again I never will. The fame is totally OK, but alas there are beter PbtA space-operas

The system tries to systematize and sort out things that are better left alone. Come on, everybody knows what blaster is and what it does.

For example, there are several basic vehicle 'forms' in this book, and every other (unbasic) vehicle is to be described like bunch of 'upgrades' of the basic thing. Like a Bus is big Ground Car for many passengers and a Tank is big armed and armoured Ground Car...

Again, I don't like the list of the basic Moves. Where is Recover/Leak Wounds, for example?

Again Moves' fancy names get in the way of usability. For example a Move to negotiate/trade/parley with is called barter. And then it IS barter made for trading hi-tech beads-and-knifes for aboriginal gold. Too narrow

So the game seems pretty and playable, but I will no try it



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Giovanni O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/09/2017 17:32:01

From the moment we started playing I was hooked! Mind you, I've never played a pen & paper (as it is called) RPG. To be honest, I was very skeptical about enjoying this "kind" of game because I thought the rules would be complicated and turns (for lack of a better word) would take forever -- NOT EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE! Our group spent the next 4-hours playing and it felt like 5-minutes! I was hooked and wanted MORE! ;)

Rules are super lite and, well...so much common sense is weaved into game mechanics and GM decisions that a bad decision in the game is just as fun as making good one's. Character creation is quick and easy and your group of adventurers should be up and running in 15-minutes tops! OK, maybe 10-.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by ar e. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/05/2017 15:59:02

Truly excellent stuff. If you like the Apocalypse Engine and you like sci-fi, this game won't let you down. I love the quick yet versatile character creation; departing from the PbtA standard Playbooks to a combination of Career (what you did for most of your life) and Origin (what kind of society you came from). Kind of gives me a Mass Effect vibe, and it allows for a great deal more variety in a cast without feeling like it's artificially restricting anyone's options, so to speak.

Also love that faction creation guidelines are presented, as well as tips for playing different "scales" of universe. Playing in a universe with two distinct factions (Star Wars) is far different than playing in a game with a solid handful (Mass Effect) or a full plethora (Elite: Dangerous, if you wanna get technical), and the book gives you direction as to how. It also makes creating one or two or ten or 20 of these factions as simple as a few rolls of the D6, if you're looking for quick direction.

Most of the staples you expect to see in a sci-fi game, from starship creation and customization to speeder bikes, monetary negotiations to boarding parties, are all covered in the mechanics, and the Debt system makes your relationship with the factions of your galaxy matter whether you're independent or a proud citizen. The information is laid out nice and clean in the bookmark tree, and while the pretty art is kept to a minimum, the sizing and position of the text break up the sections nicely.

For such a simple game, mechanically speaking, I was very pleased by the number of potential options. Want a flying car? How about a walker? From a small, agile shuttle to a luxury starliner, or a heavy fighter to a capital ship, you can potentially have it all. If you fancy planetary engagements, exploration, inter-species diplomacy... That's all well and viable. If ship-to-ship combat is your thing, or smuggling runs past massive blockades, that's perfectly doable as well. Like a true PbtA game, it gives you the basic mechanics for a whole slew of potential gameplay concerns, then lets your table carry it into an adventure worth telling.

As standard for games Powered by the Apocaplyse... For those not familiar with Apocalypse World or its many offshoots, I do warn that you'll have to do some unlearning. The system expects a lot of narrative "filling in the blanks" and your actions won't always be selected from a list. Combat in particular can take some getting used to if you're coming from one of the many more rigid tabletop RPGs out there. But learning this system and giving it a chance is something I absolutely recommend, because it's extremely enjoyable once you get the hang of it. It's not that it's complex; quite the contrary. It's rather so straightforward that those used to number-crunching may have trouble making sense of it, until one's brain is trained to lead the rules rather than follow them.

For those already familiar with the engine, I reiterate that Uncharted Worlds does a superb job of bringing it to the stars. The solid presentation, the clever adaptations of tried and true Apocalypse Engine conventions, the evolution of certain familiar systems into something unique but no less intuitive, even the graphics for Origins and Careers, it's all just great. I severely doubt you'll be disappointed by this game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/02/2017 12:29:49

Just to get it out of the way – Whatever company DTRPG uses to print this book should be fired, bankrupted, restarted, and fired and bankrupted again. The beautiful, bright colors on the cover are washed out, like they were printed on an inkjet prints running low on ink. The paper is thinner than newsprint, greyish, and very low quality. i feel like I have to baby this book because if I look at the pages the wrong way, they will rip. I give the print quality NEGATIVE TEN STARS. DTRPG, PLEASE get a better printing company to print your books. I'd have been happy to pay more for the book to get a decent copy.

Now on to the content – Sean Gomes has knocked it out of the park with Uncharted Worlds. UW is a space opera sandbox which allows you to play any scifi setting you've ever encountered, or create something of your own. Want to seek out new life and new civilization? You can do it. Want to help an ancient order of space samurai wizards fight the evil empire? You can do that too. Want to have a mass effect on the galaxy? Want to have giant robots fighting each other? Play a squad of marines in space? You can do that too.

This is a game using the Apocalypse World Engine. What this means is that character generation is easy, and the game is more about the story than the rules. In essence, every one in a Powered by The Apocalype games is the GM in a way. Someone who has never played an RPG could create a character and understand the basics of the game probably within 30 minutes. Because character creation is simple and the story is a collaborative effort between everyone in the group, it requires little preparation and is great for introducing new charcaters mid-game, or playing as a one-shot at conventions and events. I've only played in one shots and so far ahve played a corporate agent, an augmented covert ops officer, and a motorcyle punk.I have thousands more ideas for charcaters and they are all possible witin Uncharted Worlds.

Sean should be commended for the great work he's done. Shame about DTRPG's printing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Russell B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/26/2016 15:58:32

I love that the more recent Powered by the Apocalypse world are doing such a great job of supporting story, and Uncharted Worlds is probably the best example yet. Almost every move creates a narrative option, and very few just add modifiers, ets. The excellent two-plus dimensional character creation system (two "classes," a background, a work station, and faction "debt") left me working out how I would create all the characters on Firefly - and Serenity itself - it was awesome. Uncharted Worlds does a great job of boiling things down to the essential elements of science fiction stories.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/07/2016 21:36:01

Fantastic system. PbtA, very narrative, easy to build characters, easy to run. Our group came from a Pathfinder/D&D background and had some issues flipping the switches in our brains to play a narrative system; our problem, as the system itself was solid and simple where it could be, complex where it needed to be.

My favorite parts of the system would be a tie between the character creation and the Class (cargo/weapon/ship class, not character class) system. Characters can be created in minutes and have a Firefly feel. We ran a Star Wars game with it, I munged together a new profession for a Jedi type character in about 10 minutes. The cargo/weapon/ship class system make this a breeze to build things on the fly and determine what they do.

If you have a group that's not willing to be abstract and narrative, or that wants to power game, number crunch or look at their character sheet to determine what they can do, this isn't the game for them. If you have gamers that would prefer sitting around chatting about the game and are alright rolling only when there's a conflict, try this out.

The Google Plus community is outstanding; being able to talk to others, including the creator, and get immediate feedback on questions was incredibly helpful and has made me enthusiastic to go back and use the system again. Definitely check it out as they clarified and made suggestions for improvements in my game constantly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Jesse R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/28/2016 09:14:59

Had my first pick-up with this yesterday - was amazingly enjoyable. The system is easy to grasp and really open to improv. It's heavily narrative so if that’s not your thing, keep that in mind. If you are, highly recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Eugene W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/04/2016 20:06:20

I just received the hardback cover after having kickstarted this project, and I am extremely pleased at the size and weight of the book. This isn't some tome you have to heft around in a backpack. It's lightweight and bound beautifully.

Now down to the content. The core of this game is the Apocalypse engine, so if you don't like having fun, go watch paint dry elsewhere. Those new to the PbtA engine, relax! In the very beginning of the book/PDF, Sean Gomes explains the system so you don't have to worry about buying a core edition player's handbook for another $50. Skill tests become Face Adversity, Assessments, and Get Involved, where the Game Master determines the level of difficulty for the players. Want a set of new people to break into tabletop? Have them roll during combat and critical plot moments. Want them to fear you as they should? Make them roll more often. Having a GM that can weave the game's narrative in such a way as to give the players these opportunities is key; if your GM can't find a way to make choices hard, get a new one.

Uncharted Worlds gives the players the ability to literally create their character how they want. There's no "dwarf barbarian" or "elf mage" linear feel at all. If you don't like your character, it's truly your own damn fault. Sean Gomes gives the player 10 different backgrounds, and you get to pick TWO. That's literally DOUBLE the amount of backgrounds I have ever played as before. This gives you 45 different archetypes to mold and shape your in-game character. See what I mean? Plus, after that you get to pick from ANOTHER ten different facets. If I'm doing the math right, that's literally 450 DIFFERENT WAYS to play this game! (Spoiler Alert: there's an expansion coming out too. LITERALLY MORE OPTIONS.) If a player wants a generic way to play, they have that option. For the player that buys five books to explain how a troll can be a mesmer and proceeds to break the game, they can do that too! The choices you get after will flesh out and give life to your character. Hate having to start with a simple claymore and adventurering clothes? YOU CAN DESIGN YOUR GEAR STRAIGHT OUT THE GATE. How bitchin' is that?

Sean Gomes also gives dynamics for your game to experience. How many of your GMs stop the game and say, "You've been camping on the road for weeks to get to the dungeon. What grinds your gears about player X because of the trip?", and make you solve it right there? I'll answer for you: very few. Tabletops are typically reactionary games, where you just react to what's happening. With Uncharted Worlds, the GM is given the ability (or even demanded from them) to create the human aspect of life that people don't think about. Not because you're a LG paladin and the party's rogue is likely up to some shady shit in the night and you can't quite detect their alignment, so you just call them out during every chance in your game, but because sticking a group of roided up high octane adventurers in one confined place for weeks has never gone well. There are social experiments to back me up here. You'll want more of this in your game when you start to realize how well it works.

The additional chapter just for GMs and the subsequent later chapters highlights their place in the narrative. Again, if your GM can't do anything with the vast array of tools in this playset, get a new one who's up to the challenge. You don't always have to roll to get something done! That's the mark of a true GM; they ROLE PLAY, not ROLL PLAY.

Looking for a hack that will let you relive the glorious only season and one movie squad inter-relationship moments from Firefly/Serenity? Look no further. Want to bang hot alien chicks? Make sure your GM is okay with that first. Ever sit back after binge-playing the Mass Effect series and think to yourself, "Jeez, I want to have a crew like that to try my hand at saving the universe with the help of factions I once thought my enemy but are now funding/supporting me with an ulterior motive in mind but I can't do anything about it, and I want Seth Green to pilot my ship with his broken ass legs..."

BUY THIS ALREADY!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Chad P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/04/2016 08:54:17

I got the book through the kickstarter and there are a lot of things I love about this game.

The set up allows you to create a diverse background of characters that doesn't rely on having specific roles such as dps, tank, healer, so it really feels more character driven than 'you're the healer, I do damage'.

I've been able to create a large world with a huge storyline in advance and played a storyline for over 6 months and there have been times my kids wanted to play and we were up and running in less than 30 minutes building a story off of their characters and factions.

Having the players create the factions makes it a lot easier for me when I GM the game, because it cuts down on the amount of characters I have to create, but doesn't eliminate it or remove it entirely if I still have characters and factions I want to bring into the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Karl M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/14/2015 00:56:56

"This game feels like we're play testing it" - My GM

This is a PbtA game where they take out a lot of the PbtA feeling and charm and then even some of the tools for the GM IE fronts, and replace it with what feels like unfinished organizational systems; debt (no moves based on debt for the GM) and Factions (no faction types or moves for the GM). These GM tools are just there and are not integrated into the rest of the game much at all.

Very few moves lead to "hard choices" as defined by the moves themselves. In fact most of the moves for the players are not even moves at all in the traditional PbtA sense but rather things you can do in certain specific situations with out rolling.

Not being aware of the kickstarter it brings me some unhappiness that it sounds like "supplements" that were stretch goals that could possibly finish up some of these rules problems I am having (not sure if they would or not) and it feels like I purchased an incomplete game. Especially "sitting on my self" of other PbtA games.

The front cover has a blerb which sold me on buying the game, it's about how the game is a back and forth between you racking up debts and being forced to go explorer new worlds but few of the rules actually support this back and forth for both the player and the GM. In retrospect I would pass on this one.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Pierre S [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/06/2015 14:06:57

[rewritten review with a few corrections] UNCHARTED WORLDS is a generic science fiction game based on the Apocalypse World rules engine, and does a good job of explaining these rules.

Players define what their characters want to do, and these intentions are analytically classified into specific Moves. Players then roll 2d6 plus a Stat for each kind of Move. Rolls of 10+ succeed outright and definitely, but rolls of 7-9 succeed with some kind of cost or consequence. Players pick an Origin and two Careers for their character which grant the character various Skills, which define or enhance the 2d6+Stat roll. The Game Master presents the setting and story as usual, but must decide on the complications and setbacks, presents foreshadowings, and decides how unsolved problems get worse. The Game Master NEVER ROLLS DICE THEMSELVES. The Game Master is also encouraged to write games with elements that remain undefined, and turns these questions over to the players.

The way the rules are structured, the dice-rolling and Stat/Skill adds resembles Traveller on the front-end but the outcomes are non-numerical and reminiscent of Fate rules. The Game Master decides the meaning of "successes at a cost" and on occasion flips a question back to the players. Damage, for living beings and machines, is on a five-tier system, where untended conditions may get worse and turn into permanent "Debilities" that affect ability.

On some good skill-rolls, the player may define something about the game that is absolutely true (and the GM must run with that), or can collect and spend Data Points that improve the roll on informative Moves by +1 each.

The rules have skills to cover both exploration of unknown planets and urban adventures with political intrigue. There are chapters for qualitatively described medical operations and healing, weapons and gear, vehicles, trade and Debt (players take note of fulfilling Debt but there is no credit-counting in this game), factions (wealthy and powerful groups which have the function of Patrons in Traveller), starships and starship combat, and a sample adventure illustrating the loose plot-style that allows player input.

There is no game setting or star system generation scheme detailled here, although Kickstarter backers were said to have received additional material about planets and factions.

The author is fond of slipping in movie-quotes in the text, so I say to him, "A beginning is a delicate time." --Princess Irulan, DUNE. I encourage him to develop more adventures or material to demonstrate the game and bring out the strong points of the system.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by chris m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/29/2015 22:02:40

I didn't have much to go on from the preview, but the description on the first page mentioning traveller as inspiration sold me on picking this gem up! While Dungeon World takes the AW engine in a direction closer in line with dungeons and dragons, I feel Uncharted Worlds stays closer to the design of apocalypse world, which I love. But at the same time it takes the effort to create new moves that really drive towards the core of what you want in a space opera game. I'm thoroughly impressed and plan to use this game for some campaigns in recently released or soon to be sci-fi video game properties...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Martin L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/27/2015 13:28:47

I haven't taken this game out for a spin yet, but from my first read through I can only say that I am thoroughly impressed. This is a great interpretation of the Apocalypse Engine, and one that is a lot clearer stated than at least Dungeon World, which is the AE-game I have experience with. Compared to that game, the wording and set-up of this one shows a lot more clearly how it is intended to be played. Anyway, the system seems robust enough that this could probably be played in a more traditional way, due to the way equipment, character concepts, moves and everything works. For somebody not familiar with the AE, I will just say that this system is flexible enough so you can do most anything with it, and it covers a lot of ground through simple but robust mechanics.

Quite simply, this game has me stoked, and I really can't wait to try it out. It's the space rpg I've been waiting for. Amazing book. Recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Uncharted Worlds
Publisher: Sean Gomes
by Graham S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2015 13:57:55

An Apocalypse Engine space opera, vividly drawn in primary colours and chock full of good ideas and nice flourishes.

The game achieves a Traveller style vibe with a rules light, 'Move based', approach. I'm still finding my way through it, but recommend you take a look. It makes me want to spin up some starter sandbox elements, shed my prep heavy behaviours, and blast off on some adventures, where I as a GM will discover the plot with the players. Build a tasty framework with the tools provided, close eyes, and start 'prompting'.

For those that know Apocalypse Engine better than me, you have a well written toolset that is wide open and eminently hackable.

Shiny.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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