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Adventure! Rulebook
 
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Adventure! Rulebook
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Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/27/2020 14:27:16

As the Trinityverse series chugs through its second editions on Kickstarter, it's worth taking a moment to look back at some of the material that made this trilogy beloved in its White Wolf days (the Trinityverse is now owned by Onyx Path). Adventure! was the third game in the series, the only standalone book, and is among the most beloved by Trinityverse fans. Aberranmt had its (surprisingly prescient) near-future vision of microcelebrity superheroes struggling not to be consumed by their own powers, and Trinity took a stab at a combination of 1970s psi-fi and optimistic tean sf. For the series to take a plunge into period pulp action... well why not?

Adventure!'s system is a stripped down version of the Trinity-verse era version of the White Wolf house system; die pools rolled trying to beat target numbers. It's serviceable, and supplemented by, as always, the top tier supernatural powers written by the White Wolf team. It depicts an alternate 1920s-30s in which a mysterious experiment resulted in (or coincided with the appearance of) the development of weird abilities - some not even known to their possessors. It doesn't pretend to any kind of alt-historical verisimilitude (unlike Aberrant and Trinity which delve deeply intot their respective timelines). A! says instead that history is yet to be written, and turns your characters loose in an Indiana Jones/The Shadow-esque world.

The dramatic editing rules were among the innovations of this game, rarely seen in mainstream games to this point. These permit you to spend a currency to make small or even dramatic changes in the fictional world, and leaves the in-world reality of that currency an open question. (The second edition has closed that question in a very interesting way, emphasizing quite strongly that this ability actually fully exists in the game world.)

Nevertheless, the emphasis on these rules isn't truly reflected in the rest of the game. Much has to be done for the modern player to navigate the stereotypes of the pulp adventure world in a way that isn't harmful and doesn't reinforce those stereotypes. Few pulp adventure games have really attempted to dig into the roots of the genre and what you may find, excise or salvage from it, and A! is no exception to this. If there is an area where improvement could be found, it is in that, and in the awkward melding of the capacity-focused Storytelling system with the fictional-focused dramatic editing system.

At this late date, if you haven't read it, you definitely should. And given the improvements to the Trinityverse games so far, I can't wait for the next edition of Adventure! to come across.



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