Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. (API) API calls itself “An action horror RPG… with a twist of humor.” Reading it reminds me of movies like Men in Black, where the action and weirdness are so over the top that you can’t really take it seriously; where the dark evil things in the universe are fought with magic, big guns, snark, and sarcasm. The PCs work for API, a business whose mission is to keep humanity safe from the things that threaten the planet – plagues, demons, aliens, etc. So rather than being a post-apocalypse game, it’s an apocalypse prevention game.
How does it play? API uses Third Eye Games' “Dynamic Gaming System (DGS). That uses a single D20 roll for all actions. Characters are created from a Concept, Passion, and Race. The attributes are assigned from a 30 point pool. The attributes are Power, Agility, Vigor, Intellect, Insight, and Charm. These more or less correspond to D20’s Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, and Cha. However, the point values are on a spread from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 10. Since die rolls are 1d20 + attribute + skill, there’s no need for higher attribute points. This actually makes sense: why use D20’s scale where attribute= table look-up for modifier when you can just add the value directly to the die roll? Well played. Skills are on a 1 to 10 scale, also. The rules list 20 standard skills and 12 combat skills. Skills specialize at specific levels. Experience points are used to buy skill points, bonus points, or attribute points instead of acting as a level-up measure. Combat is fast-paced and deadly enough that avoiding it might be a good first choice. I’d happily play or GM this game, based on the rules, examples, and plot hooks provided.
4 out of 5.
Does it have good Layout, Style and Art? The book (pdf) has a color over with black and white interior. The page layout is a two-column setup with different “blood” splatters on most pages. There are plenty of text boxes to highlight key points. The text reads well. Some of the writing could use a bit more “polish” in editing and there are a few typos, but overall it is clear and easily understood. Interior art includes anime-style sketches that fit the text well and help convey the look and feel of the world. The author provides good examples throughout the text. The book includes a thorough index.
[4 of 5 Stars!]