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BASH! Ultimate Edition
by Thomas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2010 22:51:50
Pros: The best modern superhero game I have read. The math isn't intimidating, and the gameplay feels like Marvel FASERIP and Marvel SAGA had a baby and this was the result. Characters built under a campaign's power level have Character Points to even the score, and exploding dice mean that breaking mortal limits is entirely possible. As well, a wealth of options are included for task resolution and adjusting genres so you can use BASH UE for Silver Age wackiness or Street Level grittiness.

Cons: The cartoony art isn't going to be to everybody's tastes, and it isn't going to invoke every genre well. Yeah...I'm kinda nitpicking at this point. The biggest "Con" is that I don't have a game going right now, to be honest.

Conclusion: I saw the author promoting the original BASH shamelessly for years, but Bash UE was the one that hooked my attention. I'm glad it did. It combines the flexibility of a Mutants & Masterminds with the user friendliness of the first two Marvel games, and that's a GREAT thing in my book.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Ultimate Edition
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BASH! Ultimate Edition
by David H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/30/2010 14:06:57
This is a solid game for those looking for a simple but heroic super-system. It has a wealth of ideas, rules, and suggestions to give your games that super-powered feel.

Likes:
*The base mechanic (roll 2d6, multiply by character stuff, compare to difficulty) is simple, fast, and a brilliant way to provide a range of results from "untrained joe" to "cosmic super-being" with one system that still allows the occasional surprise (including underdogs winning and super-beings failing).
*The 100 hit mechanic makes all characters equally healthy, allowing Cyclops to actually be in the same scenes as Thor without breaking the suspension of disbelief. Thor's ability to soak damage without harm is greater, but they both drop after the same amount of damage taken.
*It uses an intuitive tri-stat system to grant base multipliers.
*Each power point of character creation feels powerful. This means the 15 point difference between Mystery Men and World-Class Heroes is a gulf that feels nearly insurmountable, making more potent heroes feel more potent.

Dislikes:
*Layout - the basic layout is attractive (in an austere way) but not helpful when looking for rules. For example, I spent 12 minutes perusing the combat section trying to find the base roll for dealing damage; I finally started reading through the whole chapter from the first line and found it in the opening (descriptive) paragraphs, with no repeated mention and no highlighting to help locate such a key rule of the game. It's 2d6, by the way, multiplied by Brawn (unarmed), weapon value (ranged attacks), or other formula (varies by attack type).
*The skill system is simple enough (and coincidentally similar to that of the Dragon Age RPG) but there seems to be no way to start with additional skills beyond the slots provided by abilities. So the only way to get certain skillful characters is to raise their Agility and Mind stats well above and beyond what the character deserves to have.
*Needs more Bookmarks or hypertext cross-indexing. There's too many spots where I wonder how to find a rules that was referenced but not explained.
*There's very little setting guidance. I freely admit that this is usually wasted on me, but it'd be nice to see more. Though, according to a comment for one of the previous reviews, setting books will be forthcoming.


Value: Very Good. There's a lot of system for a very reasonable price. Not quite enough to make it worth picking up without ever playing the game, but enough to make it worth while when deciding what system to use for a supers campaign.

Quality: Good. The interior art is on par with the cover, the page layout is easily read, and the organization is tolerable. The rules text is clear, when you can find it.

Overall: A good supers game, especially for groups that want something simpler and lighter than most alternatives (M&M, HERO, Savage Worlds) without being hand-waved (Truth & Justice, many others).

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you, I appreciate the review. I would like to address two of your points: About damage- after the beginning of Chapter 2, it is also mentioned twice under a heading: there is a heading labeled "Attacks" on page 18 that explains the various types of attacks, how to hit and damage is rolled. On page 19, there is a Heading labeled "Damage and Soak" that also explains it. There is a way to start with more skills- there is an "Intense Training Power" called "Skillful". Each point you put into it gives you 2 additional skill slots. Also, if you want to make a character who is a complete Polyglot, there is an Advantage called "Jack of All Trades" that lets you default with skills at a much smaller penalty. However, these could have been mentioned in the Skills section of Chapter 1, I suppose.
BASH! Ultimate Edition
by Alan L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2010 19:33:26
I have recently had the pleasure of purchasing this PDF and reading it cover to cover twice!

I also have been building NPCs for my upcoming campaign, as well as watching my players build their characters.

We all disliked Mutants & Masterminds immensely as being overly complicated and math heavy, for us.

We are all old school Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP) players who didn't like 4C.

This game is proving to be just fantastic!

The character creation is fun and thought provoking. If the combat plays half as well as it reads, then it should prove to be loads of fun!

I highly recommend this product!

Now if we could get some setting books like the Italian version has ;)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the review. And don't worry, there will be more Setting books to come. Megapolis: Year Two is in the planning stages now.
BASH! Ultimate Edition
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/01/2010 12:00:44
I pre ordered a print copy of this game and received this pdf as the pre order incentive. I do own the older edition of the game and all I can say is GET THIS GAME IF YOU LOVE CLASSIC SUPER HERO ACTION. The book is laid out very well and everything comes to you in full color. The BASH! system easy to get used to and it really works for the super hero genre. There is even a section on how to build cosmic heroes that is "out of this world":). This one is worth every dime. I can't wait to get the finished printed product in my hands.

Excelcior!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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BAM! Basic Action Magazine #1
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/24/2009 08:42:05
The BAM! series is never disappointing. Some of the material from earlier issues has now been added to the excellent BASH! ultimate edition. You can't go wrong with this series.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BAM! Basic Action Magazine #1
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BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/24/2009 08:37:35
BASH! Sci Fi Edition is a great product based on the simple but innovative BASH! mechanics. All kinds of Sci Fi goodies from light sabers, psionic powers, Mecha, the list goes on.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
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BASH! Ultimate Edition
by Steve Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/14/2009 10:17:24
Brilliantly done!

BASH Ulitmate is a very well done game that is just packed with meaty goodness. The system is very light, with everything rolled with two ordinary six-siders, but has enough heft to it that gamers who have played more rules-dense systems will still be happy with it.

If you own the previous version of BASH, you really need to pick the new version up. The sections on the different supers genres and how BASH can reflect them are immensely useful, and there are tons of generic character writeups at different power levels (from 1920's Mystery men to Ultra-Cosmic heroes) that will be useful as NPCs or as PCs for those who just want to pick up and play.

And with the new layout and wonderful art direction, this book is a sure fire must have for every supers fan.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Ultimate Edition
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BASH! Ultimate Edition
by Christopher N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2009 18:05:33
Excellent! The Ultimate Edition of BASH is superior to its predecessor in every way possible. The book has expanded from 32 to 137 pages, with more powers, a section on super-hero genres, and a killer layout. If you're new to BASH, it's an easy to learn system that plays very fast but still manages to have enough crunch to keep you interested. The basic mechanic is rolling 2d6 and multiplying the result by the appropriate stat (Brawn, Agility, or Mind) plus any applicable modifiers and beating a target number. Simple and easy.

Characters are built on points. These can range from 20 points for Mystery Men to 60+ points for Cosmic-level heroes. While there are plenty of options here, it won't take you hours to build a character and you could jot all relevant stats down on a 3x5 index card.

If you owned the previous edition of BASH, you should really get the Ultimate Edition. The layout is outstanding, the art is bright and colorful, and all the extra new stuff is worth the price of admission.

As far as super-hero games go, BASH Ultimate Edition is my go-to system. Fast, easy, and fun.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the review.
BAM! Basic Action Magazine #4
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/07/2009 16:31:58
Cosmic heroes for BASH! Ultimate edition! This magazine is packed with good stuff.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BAM! Basic Action Magazine #4
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BASH! Ultimate Edition
by Eric B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/01/2009 20:07:24
Nice upgrade VS previous version. The game system is smooth and user friendly.
The lay out has been improved. Great value for the money.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Ultimate Edition
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BASH! Fantasy Edition
by Ron M. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/10/2009 11:54:54
BASH! Fantasy Edition
From: Basic Action Games
Reviewed by:  Ron McClung
BASH! Fantasy Edition is a new RPG Core Rulebook (PDF format) from Basic Action Games.

Like the Hero System, BASH! is a system that started out as a Super Hero system and has grown into a multi-genre system. I have not had a chance to actually look at the BASH! super hero version so I can not compare and contrast. 

From page #2: 
“The BASH! system was a product of my attempt to invent a role-playing game that would appeal to kids.”

Content: The full PDF (non-printer friendly) is 79 pages. It contains the basic rules of character generation, an advantages & disadvantages system, rules on powers and magic, a complete skill system, and chapters with equipment, weapons, armor, and adventuring gear. There is also a chapter on minions and monsters. All that you would expect from a RPG core rule book is included. The character in the game lies in the system and the details. 

The game has some very specialized terms, being that the general idea is that you are role-playing a graphic novel/comic book. For instance, in combat you have pages and panels (combat round and turns). The introduction includes a short glossary for these terms.  
There are more than 10 pages of creatures available to the GM, from basilisk to zombie. All are more or less the standard creatures from fantasy. The PDF ends with a sample adventure, sample characters, and an appendix that guides the GM in creating his own fantasy world.


System: Character generation is simple and straight forward. It is a class-less point-spend system with suggested race packages if a player wants to be something other than a human. There are three ability scores - brawn, agility and mind - and they range in value from 1 to 5. They act as multipliers to the 2d6 dice roll that is core to the system. The races given include your standard elf, dwarf and halfling, but also include birdmen, catfolk and wolfkin. Races are basically lists of suggested advantages and disadvantages for that particular race and can be customized as the player (with GM approval) sees fit.  

All characters have a Energy Pool, which feeds certain abilities and all magic. It is a fixed number of points at character generation, but the system provides a variety of ways to get more points, to recover points and to push for more points during play.

There is only a short list of advantages and disadvantages. There is a lot of room for expansion and customization here. Supernatural powers start out with a list of mundane powers, which are basically those powers applicable to the fantasy setting carried over from the super hero genre.  Most are reminiscent of feats from d20. Like everything else, these are bought with points. Following this is the magic powers list. Tied into the superpower system, the key difference is all spells cost energy, where only certain powers cost energy. Magical powers are defined in different categories: Movement Powers, Perception Powers, Mental Powers, Combat Powers, and Bio-Manipulation Powers.  

In BASH!, one can have pretty much any kind of magic you can imagine. From low magic worlds to magic-is-as-common-as-water worlds. There are some ways to customize one's world for the type of magic he wants. One way that is suggested is the use of colleges of magic. Under each college are spells. Each spell is basically defined in terms of Magical Powers. For example, Wall of Wind is defined as the magical power force field. The Magic Colleges include Air College, Earth College, Fire College, Water College, and a few others. It is a fairly simple system with lots of room to be flexible and customize.

Skills are straight forward and simple. Of the three ability scores the character has, only two apply to skills - Agility and Mind. There are no levels to skills and there are no combat skills. One either uses the skill by rolling the associated ability score, or tries untrained at a penalty. There are also specialty skill options which allow re-rolls on attempts at that particular specialty.  

Combat is handled by straight opposed agility or brawn rolls and sometimes supernatural abilities apply. Brawn determines the number of wounds and hits are the damage system, which are calculated after armor values "soak" what damage it can.

The Game system comes across initially like a version of d6. But as I read further and got an understanding of the nuances and the subtle elegance of it, I realized it was a little more than that. It is truly not a bad system. I am surprised that this is not a hard-covered book somewhere. It has some influences from d6 as well as Hero System and GURPs.  A friend who looked at it for me said it reminded him of Fusion somewhat. The core dice for task resolution in and out of combat is two six-sided dice. As said above, ability scores act as multipliers to those 2d6. However, the Rule of Doubles say that if you roll doubles of any kind, you get to add another die. If that die comes up with the same number as the doubles, you keep adding another die - kind of like the d6 wild die.

One gem that seems to be influenced from d20 is the Danger Level of Monsters, like the challenge rating in d20. What? Challenge rating in a non-level based game. It can be done, and with the simple system like BASH! it can be done fairly easily. Because we are basically dealing with low numbers in stats, powers and abilities, a danger level can be calculated pretty quickly. The system provides the numbers for all the published creatures and gives you a simple formula for figuring it out for others that you create.
The PDF also includes rules to convert characters from the Super Hero version of BASH! to this one, and it is a simple matter of multiplying and dividing. There is a certain level of scaling between the two.

From page #2:
“What I found, however, was that it really worked well as a super heroes RPG for gamers of all ages.”


Layout: The file downloaded includes a printable version as well as a full version. In the full version, the layout is well-done - not too busy, but not too boring either. The art is very good.  The cover art could be a little better but it could be worse also. The layout of the text is as one would expect from a core rulebook, and everything is there that you need to get started.

In conclusion, I can easily see this as a fun system to play. It is not perfect, but what system is? There are several influences from good systems and it brings it together into a system that is simple and very fast to play. There is not a lot of number crunching, although the math is a little more advanced than just adding numbers (but only slightly). Instead of knowing your addition and subtraction, you need to know your multiplication and division. Like I said, I am surprised this is just in PDF format. I have seen a lot worse systems in print - a LOT worse. I take off points for lack of a supporting web site, at least as far as I could find.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Fantasy Edition
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Publisher Reply:
But we do have a website! http://www.bashrpg.com I'll have to make sure that info gets included in the next printing (which hopefully WILL be in hardcopy)!
BAM! Basic Action Magazine #3
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/06/2009 15:37:19
A good product for BASH! keep 'em coming! It's Clobberin' time!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BAM! Basic Action Magazine #3
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Island of the Forgotten Tomb
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/06/2009 15:34:03
A good product that can be adapted to other systems but BASH! works just fine.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Island of the Forgotten Tomb
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BASH! Fantasy Edition
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/27/2009 16:28:31
THe BASH! system is great for allowing quick on the fly games when prep time is a the minimum. Do not overlook this product. It works especially well for younger gamers.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Fantasy Edition
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BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
by Christian K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/14/2008 20:26:35
BASH! SciFi Edition is toolkit, first and foremost. If you came looking for a "complete" RPG, you will probably be disappointed, since there is not setting.

That aside, it's a marvellous toolkit. In the span of 138 pages, it covers everything that is needed to run space opera. There's aliens, psionics, cybernetics, a nice helping of guns and sci-fi toys, statblocks for almost every "stock" character type encountered in the SF genre, a collection of beasties and robots, and quite a few starships. You also get genre advice for victorian SF, cyberpunk, pulp-SF, post-apocalypse and sword & planet, along with decent rules for mecha.

Several things deserve special praise:
The scaling rules are top-notch. Characters vs. Vehicles is thoroughly covered by the rules, as is attacking large vehicles with smaller craft. And they don't feel tacked on, they work well.
The equipment section has a nice selection of addons and gimmicks, and deals with combining items as well. Want a grenade laucher on that blaster rifle? No problem. Collapsible quarterstaff? BASH! SF has you covered. An energy sword that doubles as a pistol? Can be done, and we have an arm-mounted energy shield and a jetpack to go along with it. You can build amazing things that way to keep your players entertained.
Finally, the book also has a simple (but working) system for dealing with mass combat, be it in space or on a planetary surface.

There were a few things that irked me, though. One of them was the old cover, which has since been replaced with the one shown here.
Also, the PDF isn't optimized for printing; it lacks the empty page between the cover and the first interior page, and the page numbering starts at "2" instead of "3". Most of you will probably just read it on-screen and not be bothered with the page numbering, but it's a bit iffy to get a hardcopy printed that way.

In conclusion, BASH! SciFi is a great and very compact toolkit. If you need a system for your SF-campaign, look no further.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
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