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Four Color System (Core Rules)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2012 07:41:37
Apart from actually being free to download, there's a lot more that's "free" about the Four Colour System. You are welcome to repurpose it for other than superhero role-playing, by removing superpowers and replacing them with skills or specialisms appropriate to the genre and setting in which you'd like to play. You can use it to aid in writing or converting adventures from one system to another... or just create and publish your own adventures for it.

So, what is it anyway? It's a basic toolkit for superhero gaming. The system it proposes is a simple one, using a percentage roll for task resolution, but it contains optional 'advanced' material... and of course you are encouraged to add on anything else you want. It is, however, suggested that publishers decide whether they want to use the Basic or the Advanced ruleset as a whole (unless they are going to write a complete corebook of their own using this as a basis).

After an introduction that explains all this, we get on to Characters, beginning with the determination of origin... or at least, the source of whatever superpowers they have. There's a table that you can roll on, or you may have a concept and prefer to select the most appropriate origin (the text assumes you roll, but...). Next the character gets Attributes - starting with seven Primary Traits: Melee, Coordination, Brawn, Fortitude, Intellect, Awareness and Willpower. Each of these is assigned a Rank, and they're used to derive Secondary Traits, which may be ranked or given a numerical value (each one differs). The Primary Trait Ranks are determined by a percentage die roll. If you have an idea in mind, you may wish to roll seven percentages then assign them appropriately, otherwise it is probably best to roll the Traits in order. Then you can pick mundane Skills as well as Powers, for both you roll a percentage to see how many you get. Then for Powers, you roll two more percentages, one to determine which one(s) and a second to give each a Rank. Again, the whole system is built about randomisation, but it should not be too difficult to deduce a mechanism for choosing Powers if preferred.

Next comes an exhaustive list of Powers and what they enable the character to do. Just about anything you have seen in a comic book or can dream up is possible if you consider these carefully.

Then, the next section is titled Playing the Game. The core of this is the Master Table, a multi-coloured matrix against which you roll a percentage every time you attempt to do something. If you remember the 1984 TSR Marvel Superheroes game, this looks very familiar! There are detailed explanations of how to use the Master Table to effect based on what you are doing, and what opposition you face, with particular reference to its use in combat. It is a lot easier than it sounds, and as you get familiar with it things begin to flow.

The final section is Gamemastering, and begins with the warning that this is more of a 'toolkit' than a full game. It goes on to look at various areas such as character health, ways of measuring luck or reputation, wealth and so on; before looking at how to incorporate vehicles into your game. It ends with a note on character advancement.

That's it. Naturally, you will have quite a bit to do in determining setting and creating adventures, but the bare bones, the framework is provided. Unlike the old Marvel Superheroes game, this system is well suited to devising your own superheroes (and villains, of course); although it ought not to be too difficult to codify your favourite heroes from comic book or screen if that's what you want to do. It's a neat package, poised to set you going saving the world with minimal fuss.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Four Color System (Core Rules)
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Open Core Quick
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2012 17:31:47
Quick rule version of the Open Core game.
Not bad for the price, but you are better off with the full version.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Open Core Quick
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Steel Roses: the HeartQuest Guide to Mecha
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/05/2011 17:20:14
Heartquest was FUDGE before FUDGE was cool (shoutout to all the FATE 3.0 folks out there). An introduction to a type of adventure/romance that I had not been exposed to before, it helped bring relationship issues and struggles to the forefront of the story, while using the stereotypes and shorthands developed over time in the source material to get the game off the ground quickly. Steel Roses is one of the supplements for Heartquest, and one of the most detailed and thorough campaign settings for the game.

It focuses on mecha, specifically as plot contrivances in shoujo manga. I know about as much about shoujo manga as a Napoleonic-era carrier pigeon with a severe concussion, so a well-developed sourcebook was a big aid to me. The first and last sections were most valuable to me, as they detailed what mecha were in relation to the characters and gave an example of what a typical setup might be: a 17 year old girl is the only one that can pilot the giant robot that can save the town; her crush, a dreamy 16 year old young man, is secretly part of the resistance against the authorities she is sworn to fight!

The middle portion of the book is a solid, simple, straightforward FUDGE mecha system, with minor tweaks for scale and a few skills and gift/flaws related to mecha. As with most good FUDGE systems, this portion uses the generalized and rules-light nature of FUDGE to make quick and easy generation of player character mechs and enemies fun.

The book references the core Heartquest book quite a lot, so it won't help a standalone FUDGE or mecha game that much. But you should probably buy the core Heartquest book too, so don't complain, just go buy it first.

If you saw Battletech and said "I don't get it, why don't they have green hair and cry about their girlfriends", as so many did, this is the supplement for you.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Steel Roses: the HeartQuest Guide to Mecha
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Four Color System (Core Rules)
by Greg P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/20/2010 08:40:07
It's an interesting distillation of the basic FASERIP system, but it suffers a bit from it's generic nature. My biggest problem is chargen. Using the table as written for rolling Traits and power levels, you would at best wind up with a "mid-card" character. Further, it really doesn't solve the "top end" problem that MSH had (the "how to model Superman at full power" question.

I'm glad someone is putting a FASERIP-type system back out there for people to play with, but it could stand some serious improvements.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Four Color System (Core Rules)
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HeartQuest: Romantic Roleplaying in the Worlds of Shoujo Manga
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/15/2010 23:59:12
Heart Quest is a Fudge game about playing in the world of Shoujo (girls stories) Manga/Anime.
It is obvious from the start that while the mechanics are mostly the same to other Fudge games, the tenor is very different. HQ only has five attributes in what looks like an odd cross of Unisystem and BESM. In fact, the holds up that Fudge Universal Translator theory well since HQ looks like it could convert to BESM in a snap. Skills are the same, mostly, as are the Gifts/Faults. Magic becomes a Supernormal Power, so more inline with Unisystem here.
Where HeartQuest has the most to offer is half-way through the book with different Shoujo genres. Teen Romance can add lighter feel to a younger Junior High or just starting High School set game and has some good advice on how to deal with relationships and sex on a more mature level.
The chapter on Magical Girls shows the connection between and obvious debt owed to Sailor Moon by Buffy. Here again is advice on how to run a game where a group has magical powers, fighting against some evil, and yet still trying to live a normal life. Extending the TV theme farther it is easy to see shows for most of the Magical Girl types. Team: Sailor Moon; W.I.T.C.H., One Girl: Buffy, Witch Hunter Robin; Rivals: Winx Club, Psychic Girls: Twitches; Witch In Training: Kiki's Delievery Service, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, 8th season of Charmed.
The book goes on to describe Historical Romance (great for any "period piece" game), a sample setting for the three different genres and some sample characters. There is also a sample bibliography and resources not to be missed.
A great little book that takes it's subject matter seriously enough to devote scholarship to it and still easy enough to have a lot of fun.
If you are a fan of this type of manga/anime then this is a very good buy. If you are a fan of Fudge I would get it as well.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
HeartQuest: Romantic Roleplaying in the Worlds of Shoujo Manga
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Open Core Quick
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2010 19:51:32
Open Core Quick is a "rules-light" system that seems to be based on Open Core. You get the bare-basics of the system, with an extensive list of skills, abilities, and traits for character creation.

Although it’s a complete game (with this edition), you won't feel that you have the complete game, unless you get the Open Core Rules also. This seems to be the “bare bones” of what Open Core has to offer, but it definitely works as it is.
(I have yet to buy the Open Core rules so far - March 2010 - but, I have a feeling that OCQ is the "appetizer", while Open Core is the "main course".

It is a multi-genre, versatile, cinematic game system; it even has a scale function - something that seems to be lacking with most cinematic story RPGs. While most story RPGs imbed the scale with the skills and traits (ie: if you have Flame Power, you can fry the entire group of minions), OCQ scales the traits with a numerical function - and it seems to work well for what it is.

The text is easy to read and straight-forward, but there are some spelling errors and information inconsistencies. You may need to examine your copy closely and make some necessary, yet simple corrections to the information. (For example, there are 6 derived scores, not 5 derived scores.)
I don’t mind a few errors here and there, but if you are fussy about perfection, then this game book may get on your nerves somewhat.

The art is simple and sketchy - and, for the price, that’s fine. Some of the art is pretty good, some seems a little rushed or sub-standard, but you get what you pay for.
The cover is pretty good, especially the drawn figures.

Some things I would have liked to see is a little more “meat” in the text, some genre specific rules, or other information to help flesh out the game. Not a big problem, since I like to play “standard games with a twist” - for example, fantasy genre with a twist of cartoony action. OCG can handle that type of thing.

Since this is the “quick” version, everything in the book is needed to play. There is no waste of space.
All things considered, it is a good system, solid and predictable. Actually, it copies some ideas I have been using for years, but that’s OK - I am glad to see good concepts in simple games.

All in all, worth the money you pay for it. If you like to build robust rules from framework systems, you will like this game. If you are looking for a heavy, crunchy game, then you may want to skip OCQ and get Open Core instead. (I liked the cover, so even if I have to get Open Core later, I think I made a good purchase.)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Open Core Quick
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Gatecrasher: Santa's Secret
by Tim L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2010 08:00:17
An incredibly fun and silly adventure for the inner kid.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gatecrasher: Santa's Secret
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Four Color System (Core Rules)
by Pirate B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2009 00:42:41
I would personally recommend this game system to players who wish to reminisce the ever popular Marvel Superheroes game. The rules are more clearer and precise. No more dangling and confusion that requires more supplementary publication, which to me is just a commercial propaganda to juice out players money.

A nice core system not only to clone Marvel Superheroes, but provide endless possibilities to play out your favorite super characters. I am planning to integrate the rules to the new Heroes television series game that I will play with my friends over this weekend.

Kudos to you guys and more power!

Peter the Great

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Four Color System (Core Rules)
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Four Color System (Core Rules)
by Timothy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2009 12:24:08
Another Retro-Clone, this time in tradition of FASERIP, AKA MArvel Super Heroes.
Again the big pluses here are the ability for publishers to create new content for an out-of-print, but not-out-of-play game. For players it provides a new and somewhat clearer and certainly cheaper entry point to the game.
The rules are very clear, easy to read and in many way better than the game they clone. There are some differences and buyer be-wary (not really aware since most playeres will be fine).
What this one lacks is more support, though I am sure there is fan-support for it on the net.
The price is great and that is reason alone to get it. That it is also a nice really playable game is just even more reason.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Four Color System (Core Rules)
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/13/2009 17:51:28
The core rules for a simple, free superhero game very much inspired by the old Marvel Super Heroes game. That game was one of the best in the history of the hobby, so a near-copy has to be at least "very good". It has a lot of elements to it that you don't often see in modern superhero games, not the least of which is random character creation. I always got a thrill trying to figure out why my guy, or the bad guy, was an alien who had a cybernetic brain and could control plants.

Essentially, if you happen to be someone who missed the early Marvel game (or are too young, you whippersnappers), the system is a percentile one. Your character has a particular power or skill level, you roll a set of percentile dice, then check to see what the result is: failure, success, great success, or phenomenal super mega success, which are colorcoded. (Here, it's black red, blue, yellow, compared to MSH which was white, green, yellow, red.) Fortune points, achieved by beating villains and/or keeping track of your civilian obligations, can help you out.

The weaknesses in the work are more aligned to what the work is rather than to any particular flaw. Yes, there are still a few "see page 00"s that might be taken out on later updates. More importantly, though, the system both relies extremely heavily on GM decisionmaking and evaluation, yet gives virtually no advice or guidance on how the GM is supposed to make those decisions and evaluation. It just says to visit RPG boards online. Even a tool comes with enough instructions to know what the tool does and how it is intended to be used!

The product has no bookmarks or special features, though at only 34 pages it's probably not strictly necessary. The free price makes this an excellent bargain and gives the score a boost.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
HeartQuest: Romantic Roleplaying in the Worlds of Shoujo Manga
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/24/2009 13:06:00
This is an excellent introduction to the shoujo subgenre. I had no familiarity with it before reading this game. The creators clearly have a love for the subgenre and that comes across very well in the clear text. The game itself is based on the FUDGE system and I was a bit disappointed to find that, unlike other attempts at adapting "relationship" manga or anime (see BESM's Hearts, Swords, Flowers), there wasn't much effort at integrating the system into the relationships of the characters that form the center of the material.

Nevertheless, the advice and examples on creating compelling games using the methods of shoujo manga are very thorough and interesting. The sample campaigns seem like those that I would be thrilled to jump into. And of course the whole thing gets extra points for being female-friendly and girl-positive.

I strongly recommend picking up an edition of HeartQuest if you don't know what shoujo is about and want a quick "gamer's intro".

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
HeartQuest: Romantic Roleplaying in the Worlds of Shoujo Manga
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Fudge Magic: 50 Magic Spells
by Patrick M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/31/2009 18:17:18
I am running a fantasy FUDGE game and I needed some sort of magic system quick. Fudge Magic not only has the 50 spells, but also offers comprehensive descriptions on over a dozen types of magic. I used these as a basis for my FUDGE game. Supplementing with the four by five FUDGE magic system I was able to run a campaign with magic rather easily.

The one thing I did not like was that the PDF was secured and prevented copying and pasting. As I was pulling from various sources to build my own game (for personal use, not commercial resale), I found this irritating and had to find a work-around. That being said, I understand the publisher's need to protect their work.

Regardless, this is well worth $3.00. For the price and content, this is a fantastic product. I hope Seraphim Guard releases future FUDGE products and/or supplements. I definitely look forward to more of their work.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fudge Magic: 50 Magic Spells
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Four Color System (Core Rules)
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/13/2009 16:50:49
Classic Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP) deja vu.
That is the best way to describe this product. The system is easy to work with and produces the same "clobberin time!" results you loved when you played Marvel Super Heroes back in the day.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Four Color System (Core Rules)
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Four Color System (Core Rules)
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/30/2009 07:07:24
Pretty much a rehash of the classic Marvel Superheroes Basic Adventure game from TSR. For the price, and if you still want to play Marvel, then this is a good download. Art and writing are functional, and the game design speaks for itself, if you know how to play Marvel SH.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Four Color System (Core Rules)
by Christopher H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2009 22:01:07
If you enjoyed the old Marvel FASERIP system and would like to play a clean, up-to-date RPG using essentially the same mechanics, look no further than 4C. I love this game for its nostalgia factor, and the core rules don't cost a dime. Kudos to Seraphim Guard for keeping this alive--but when push comes to shove, though, I still fall back on Mutants & Masterminds as my superhero RPG of choice.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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