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Venture City • A Superpunk Sourcebook for Fate Core $8.00
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Andrew S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2020 07:42:34

This game does have some pros:

The setting is fun and an interesting take on superheroics, I quite liked this aspect of the book.

The rules are simple and easy add-ons to the basic fate rules. if you know fate rules most things are a direct extension of that so it cuts down on learning time. Or it would except...

Cons:

The rules only work for about 90% of what I want them to do. There are a lot of pretty basic interactions that there are just not addressed. For one example each power gains special effects when they succeed with style. Now that is fun and evocative, but how does it work with powers that don’t have rolls? You can also spend a FP to activate them so maybe they only have that activation method, but that leaves them significantly weaker than those that you can roll well on.

In addition the terminology is muddled the word “Power” can refer to a number of concepts that are mechanical distinct. You build your power out of powers. Either the first concept should have been powerset or the latter one effects.

The Book feels almost incomplete, the listing of power effects is pretty good, but the list of power themes afterwards is incredibly short. Sure you can just say that players should come up with their own, but not enough guidelines are given since there are only 7 of them and 4 of those are energy-projectors of one flavor or another.

There are some effects like the charged shot collateral damage effect that states it “Eradicates a barrier” What happens if you use it on a stationary character? Auto-kill? Standard attack with no benefits? Completely unharmed since they aren’t an obstacle? Some guidance on these interactions would have been great.

All of these issues are things that have actually caused issues in our gaming group, not just nitpicking.

There are also issues that haven’t come up but are still pretty serious. The fact that the base energy blast power does nearly nothing by itself is a good example of this. It is generally assumed that you have the gear to use your skills so being able to make a basic ranged attack with shoot is basically the same as having shoot, but being able to add in special effects. In comparison the Natural Weapons power grants +2 to fight rolls at the basic level, which means it is actually worth taking, even without enhancements.

I could go on for pages unfortunately. I really like the concept of trying to keep things as simple as possible for ease of play, but this errs a bit too much towards simplicity and doesn’t hold up well to creative players. The only way to really make it work is to sometimes just ignore the rules, which is not why I buy a game book.



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Venture City • A Superpunk Sourcebook for Fate Core
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