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Sufficiently Advanced, Second Edition
by Colin I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/27/2017 13:00:19

This is simply one of the most insightful SF RPG I have come across. All too often SF games are near future and a bit dull. This deals with the far future and excels at strange but logical cultures and really extreme or bizarre situations. The system is a sophisticated story telling and conflict set of rules. Interesting, but not why I bought it. The depth in thinking how things might be, the illustrative stories and the plot ideas are fantastic. Never mind the system, buy it for the chrome and the love put into this vision of the future.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sufficiently Advanced, Second Edition
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Valence
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/03/2016 12:23:17

I almost didn't write this review, since the earlier Featured Review covered Valence in such detail, but I wanted to pull a few things to the fore and discuss them. I do think the three-star rating the previous Featured Reviewer gave is on point; although there are lots of good things about Valence, there are certain contradictions and areas where it falls short.

One of the best things about Valence that the other Featured Reviewer didn't mention is its tone. A lot of RPGs take on a very serious, neutral tone in discussing their fictional elf worlds and magic swords. This is fine, but boring. Valence, by contrast, has a casual, humorous tone. When reading this corebook I feel like I'm sitting at a gaming table having a conversation about a really detailed setting that the GM is eager to tell me about. The energy of it buoys my own enthusiasm about the game. One of the species is able to shoot microwaves - this is illustrated by a picture of an alien throwing an actual microwave oven, and captioned that it's a bad joke. I laughed out loud when I saw this, since I have the sense of humor of a fairly immature 7th grader, but you can bet I didn't forget that those were the aliens that could shoot microwaves! The conversational tone and organization is a breath of fresh air. I really felt welcomed by this book.

I do think there are things about Valence that are not well-turned. It draws inspiration from Babylon 5 and although Mass Effect post-dates Valence, I definitely can see the common roots of the two games. A lot of time is spent in Valence developing many cultures, religions, corporations and ideologies. When these clash, I can definitely see how interesting sparks could fly both on an individual level and on a galactic level. However, the mechanics of the game are based around resolving the outcome of very concrete tasks - small-scale efforts. Although the system is simple and straightforward enough (roll a d20! add some stuff! did you beat a number?), neither the GM nor the player section emphasizes how to assemble these tasks into something that could make a difference in the galaxy. In Mass Effect and Babylon 5, the main characters are thrust into situations where their decision is the tipping point for major changes. I just don't see that in Valence; instead, the adventure hooks in the back (very helpfully arranged by faction) are more your typical action/adventure/mercenary scenarios that might be common to a Traveller game. (The font and layout choices are also obvious callbacks to Traveller.) In Traveller, characters are thrust into the harsh libertarian screw-you-got-mine future with a mountain of debt and no clear way to pay it off. They don't make universe-shaking decisions like Babylon 5 protagonists; they will simply never be in the position to do so.

If I had to make a suggestion for the next edition of Valence, I would urge that the GM's section and player's section both be fleshed out. In the GM's section, let's have some guidance or procedures for how to create a world-spanning or galaxy-spanning conflict, how to express what's at stake in play (instead of in narration), and how to thrust the player characters into the key turning points of those conflicts, and to play out the consequences. On the player side, give them ideas for how to make those big decisions, how to emphasize to each other in dialogue and action what is at stake, and to make it "okay" to deal with unexpected or even undesired consequences.

All in all, Valence is definitely a book worth checking out if you're interested in the "clash of civilizations" science fiction genre. The system and concepts are fine. You will definitely enjoy reading and thinking about it. I come away from it wishing that it went further, and that's got to be a good thing!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Valence
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Sufficiently Advanced, Second Edition
by Paxton K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/11/2015 11:46:13

This game covers the time past the "singularity", a time hard to imagine. The rules are different than almost every other game; but so is the topic.

Give this a whirl if you want to explore "really high tech". I mean way out there. It could be a valuable supplement to any high tech game even steam punk.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sufficiently Advanced, Second Edition
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Beyond the Beyond
by Chozo T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/08/2014 13:03:34

Lacks an actual system, or at least clear writing. While I love the format and am no stranger to abstract/improv-based games as well as one-page rpgs, but this was way too ambitious to be put in such a (cool) format. The setting is extremely interesting and intriguing, and I am actually thinking about modding it for other narrative games (like Callisto).



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Beyond the Beyond
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Console: Handheld
by Eric S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2013 11:54:11

I played over this past weekend with my pathfinder group and we had a great time. The truly simple rules led to us to have a story and combat driven game. It allow me as a gm to go with my gut, make up stats as I needed, but all while keeping the game moving. We did not have to have complex story lines, worry about what skill would have to be used, or have to use time to look up classes or spells.

I will admit that it is a challenge to write a game for this. But it is a fun challenge.

I dont know how comments like "the pages are messed up" get written. The front quarter sized pages are for the players, the back half sized pages are for the GM. I think the game was laid out great. The less my players had to



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Console: Handheld
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Sufficiently Advanced
by Roy L. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/04/2013 20:47:02

5/5 stats for people&ships now planet development&replicants stats,how to talk the logicans league out of anything



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sufficiently Advanced
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Above and Beyond
by Jeffrey J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/19/2013 12:10:21

This is a great book, full of essays about running high level superhero games. Since my group runs M&M 3e, it's helpful that the book is mostly essays with only a few stats. It allows me to much more easily transfer the concepts to our game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Above and Beyond
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Console: Handheld
by Nicholas C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/04/2013 16:18:58

Cute idea, with nice super-simple rules and very limited choices before house rules are added.

As has been noted elsewhere, the folds don't make sense across the last "4" pages, as its all really one page. (I believe that's what the other reviewer meant about pages not making sense)

I was less disappointed with the mechanics than I worried I might be, but haven't actually played it, just read it. For a free, essentially 2-page game meant for quick silly VRPG style gaming, it's fine!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Console: Handheld
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Above and Beyond
by Brian H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/03/2012 01:13:38

I like it as it have some goods idear like in than 300 powerpoint l20 game give the player extra power points all way up to than extra 300 power points.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Above and Beyond
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Sufficiently Advanced
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/03/2010 22:53:41

I've never had a chance to properly run this game, not for want of interest but for want of time. The system looks solid enough, though the technology could have been more cleanly organized and certain attributes are underutilized (biotechnology doesn't seem to be good for very much but sporting events). Even so, I found it to be inspiring reading, an RPG the like of which I have never seen before and likely never will again. This game has influenced all my sci-fi gaming since, especially the surprisingly delightful cultures found within. For $1.00, how can you say no?



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sufficiently Advanced
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Sufficiently Advanced
by Edmund W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2010 23:26:32

Sufficiently Advanced is semi-hard sci-fi done very well. I call it "semi-hard" because the degree of "speculative" in the science might make some people think it a little less "hard" than it should be. However, the setting is well done, with enough detail and scope to give you plenty to work with and enough room left behind to give you plenty of room. The setting is a transitory one, at several points telling you that the current state of the universe isn't going to remain forever, and isn't intended to. However, there is no actual "metaplot", in that there's no one way the setting is supposed to go.

The system is made up of a neat balance of immersionist and narrativist gaming. Despite not liking most narrativist games (more of a simulationist/immersionist myself), the narrativist element is extremely well done, with characters bringing their own tropes with them where they go. The system is very flexible, and allows you to play as functional characters anything from a poor old unaugmented human to the most advanced posthuman conceivable within the confines of modern science.

The game also gets considerable support online at http://suffadv.wikidot.com/. You'll find some of my contributions, as well as those of many others, there, including ways of bending the system and setting to better reflect your way of gaming or your envisioned future. Both system and setting are very flexible within limits.

To me, the only downside of the game is the general focus on playing Patent Officers. Intellectual property is the only property of any significant value in the setting (since you can replicate any substance you want), and the Patent Office is extremely important for policing the international economy, making it rather like a World International Property Organization with police enforcement powers. Awesome as this is, there are times I want something else. However, the game is not so dependant on this concept that you cannot break from it. The game's open to other concepts, it just isn't as supportive of them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Console: Handheld
by Dar C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/08/2009 18:15:10

+Very creative! I like the idea behind it. -Slightly odd to fold.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Console: Handheld
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Console: Handheld
by Danilo M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2009 04:30:05

Fine freebie, but the printing layout seems a little problematic to me (the pages do not match once folded).



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Interesting. I've printed Handheld on a few different printers without that problem. If your printer has a slight vertical offset (e.g. it prints everything down half an inch, like my old one used to), that is one thing that could cause this problem. I remember having a very difficult time printing CD labels for that reason as well. If you can get access to a different printer, you might be able to get a few copies that line up properly. Perhaps a Kinkos or OfficeMax?
The Green
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/28/2009 22:17:40

Constantly inventive and useful, no matter the ruleset. It fits very well in a somewhat primitive world where the events of creation still resonate. Addresses some larger difficult questions of narrative and player agency also.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Green
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it.
Sufficiently Advanced
by Sébastien K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/08/2009 13:51:50

Un jeu à découvrir, rien que pour le plaisir de la lecture. Dans la même veine que Nobilis par exemple, il explore les thèmes transhumanistes en s'affranchissant de règles étouffantes.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sufficiently Advanced
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