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Panic at the Dojo
Publisher: Liberi Gothica Games
by Solomon K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/31/2023 00:00:57

The good: It's a really great fight engine with a lot of dynamism and out-of-turn interaction. My group is going through a 5 fight adventure (just finished fight 4) that's been a ton of fun- an elemental-themed Frantic hero playing a variety of roles, a Fused Wardancer/Punk hero who's been using Forbidden Power Iron to hit like a truck, and a Fused Demon/Trickster who's been unreasonably disruptive with well-timed Challenges. Foes feel really good to fight- they have powerful-but-not-insurmountable abilities that we can counter with the right tools- and our GM has had a blast putting together cool builds for us to fight (personal favorite foe: a Overwhelming One-Two Trickster who played attack and defense at the same time)

Out of combat, we've basically been doing freeform RP. No issues there- the system gave us some adjectives to invoke in response to challenges and got out of our way. Because it's so modularized, it's even possible to swap out with another system entirely- I've had some thoughts about strapping PaTD to Blades in the Dark.

We found a heavily automated Google Sheets character sheet which helped a lot with organizing our styles and keeping track of foes.

The bad: It could have used another pass of editing. Questions came up regarding 'on damage/on hit' triggers interacting with Iron tokens and Armor (Is 0 damage still 'dealing damage'? One-Two form suggests yes, but Knockdown Style suggests no), and it took us multiple sessions before noticing page 280's limit on Iron tokens spent per hit (which is contradicted by Armored Style). These were subtly impactful issues that led to our GM needing to fielding Power foes in order to break through our defenses.

However, on the whole this is a really fun system! Foes are tricky but not unfair, and players have an incredible amount of versatility in battle that other systems struggle to match. Every fight has been incredibly distinctive- I'll remember the fight where our foes just kept tossing us into the big pit in the center, the one where the Crying Control foe destroyed the entire arena, and even the Some Guy gang (named stuff like Some Jerk, Some Punk, etc.), but the party has still had the tools to come out on top.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Panic at the Dojo
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