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Non-Essential Personnel $4.99
Publisher: Black Guard Press
by Tim K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/06/2013 14:33:22

Even less fun than I thought it would be. When I first read the description for NEP, I thought “original concept, but I don’t know if it would be very much fun to play. And it isn’t. Basically, you play a nameless grunt (actually you’ll probably play several, as your characters will probably die several times during the session.) All characters have 4 stats, rated from 2 to 6. These stats are Agility, Vigor, Gear, and Luck. Agility, Vigor, and Luck are fairly self explanatory. Gear is rolled to determine if your character has the equipment he needs, and how well he uses it. All of your characters for a session will have the same stats. Basically, the Scene Master describes a scene, and then calls on the players to roll against a certain stat. If you roll your stat or higher, you survive the scene. If not, you die. The thing that turns me off about this game is that there’s very little room for role playing or creative problem solving. If the Scene Master has decided that surviving a scene requires a Vigor roll, then it requires a Vigor roll. You aren’t allowed to come up with original solutions to the problem that might allow you to roll a different stat. The game also uses Survival Tokens, Death Tokens, Victory Tokens, and Revenge Tokens. Although the rules for these items aren’t overly complex (as RPG rules go), I feel that they added needless complexity to this game. So, the game gets points for a fresh concept, but that hardly matters when it’s not that much fun to play.

[1 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to play and review my game. I apologize for taking so long in replying. I\'m still new to publishing and only recently noticed the product review section. Let me also apologize that you did not enjoy NEP.

Allow me a chance to address your concerns. First, as to the lack of creative problem solving, the game is designed for just that. As you are playing nameless grunts, the tone I am trying to go for is that your characters are not always going to be able to find a way out. Sometimes, fate is just against them and they have to make due with the poor hand they have been dealt. It is my intention that the creativity in the game comes from describing the characters\' narrow escapes from death or the spectacular ways they fail those escapes.

However, I like to think that NEP is nothing if not modifiable, so if you are willing to give the game another try with a rule change that might make it more to your liking, use this alternate rule: Before a player makes a roll, he or she may spend a PIP token to shift to a stat adjacent to the one called for by the Scenemaster. Assume that the Stats make a circle with Luck and Agility adjacent to each other so a player is always allowed to select from three of the Stats assuming he or she is willing to spend a Pip token.

Which brings us to the next part: If the various tokens make the game more complex than you feel is necessary, you might enjoy the game more if you simply ignore everything but the Pip tokens. In this way, you are only manipulating your fellow player\'s rolls. This will also, likely, make the game much more cooperative than the original design.

Again, thank you for taking the time to play and review my game. I hope I have addressed some of your concerns and given you suggestions that might make playing NEP more enjoyable.

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