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BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2010 02:20:44

BASH Sci-Fi Edition is indeed a complete toolkit for running any type of science fiction adventure a modern sci-fi fan can imagine, and it's also no slouch when it comes to running modern action or thriller games either. The system is deceptively complete, covering all of the major genres of science fiction. In addition, any or all of these genre packs, all of which are contained in the single pdf file for this game, can be combined seamlessly, allowing stories with combined genres or ones set in the far future where all of the strange technologies of fiction have come to pass.


Most modern games have a simple-to-understand action resolution system nowadays, but most generic, multigenre, or toolkit systems drop the ball when it comes to character creation, either leaving many options out in the name of simplicity, or falling prey to overcomplexity in the name of completeness. BASH does not fall prey to either of these issues. While characters are still built from points, the point values use much lower number all around, and the explanations for anything you might want to buy are quick and broad in scope without being vague. No calculators or reams of paper required to build a character - all of the point values for attributes, skills, advantages, and powers are in the single digits. A slight bit of game balance might be lost, but this broad-strokes style of bookkeeping is still precise enough to make sure there's a significant difference in cost between the powers to move small objects with your mind, turn invisible, or completely mind control someone.


Balance between mundanes and people with "powers" (each power is judged based on effect, and simply restricted to power sources that make sense) is kept by making near-impossible feats of mundane expertise into its own category of powers. In essence, being good at something is a skill or a high attribute, but being action-hero good at it is a power, just like mind control would be, and bought from the same pool of points that powers are.


Skills are judged by "have" or "have-not" and if a character has a skill, the character can roll their attribute to accomplish a relevant task. The have-nots can still make an attribute check, but, lacking the skill, will have a penalty on the attribute roll. This skill system is one of my only issues - while it makes the game very quick and easy to play, the lack of an ability to increase ratings in individual skills makes running a campaign slightly more difficult than a one-shot. However, it is possible to raise ratings in specialized areas of mastery within a skill, to alleviate this problem.


Finally, a lot of good examples are provided, even within the specialized genre packs, all within the book's 137 pages.


A lot of generic or toolkit game systems claim to cover all possibilities while remaining rules-light, but I am of the opinion that BASH is the only game system to manage being complete and being rules light, without these two goals interfering with each other. Overall, very little assembly required. I will use BASH the next time I run a Sci-Fi story for my group, and I expect that both the old hands and the newbs will be satisfied with the result.


For the asking price of the PDF, a solid value. I only wish it were sold in a pocket or digest-sized print edition I could slip in to my laptop bag or backpack, in case of pickup game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review. I would like to point out though that you *Can* improve your ratings in various skills by spending XP (3XP to raise a skill or buy a new specialty, page 45). You can also choose at character creation to put multiple "slots" into a single skill choice, raising the multiplier. Thanks again for the review, and I'll think about that digest size suggestion...
Vengeance is Nigh
by Justin P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2010 21:16:06

Vengeance is Nigh is the first published adventure for BASH Ultimate Edition. I jumped on this as soon as it was released and recently had a chance to run it for a group of friends. We enjoyed the adventure, as it scratches the itch of an introductory superhero adventure and serves as a fantastic introduction to the grittier side of Megapolis. The end also comes with a rather surprising twist for how the adventure begins.


My only complaint with this one is that this adventure falls victim to the standard flaw of the great heroes looking to the little guys for help, and comes off as too much of a rail-road. If there was a little more setting description and a little more information that made this adventure feel like more of a comic book and less of a "quest" it would have gotten five stars. Still, it was an enjoyable introduction for new players to the mechanics behind BASH and the setting of Megapolis.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vengeance is Nigh
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BASH! Ultimate Edition
by Justin P. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2010 21:08:11

Let me start by saying I am a huge fan of superhero games. The first RPG I ever got my hands on was Champions, which I picked up from a used book store when I was nine years old simply because it had something to do with comic books. Because of that, Hero will always have a place in my heart but I always looked for the supers game that really lets me mimic what I see in the comics without putting a lot of work on anyone. Then I found BASH.


BASH Ultimate Edition quickly moved to the top of my list for superhero games because of simple, fast-paced mechanics, a flexible character creation system and, most importantly, the ability to handle heroes of vastly different power levels without a hitch. This is a game where you can have Dazzler and Thor standing side-by-side and neither one of them is out of place. This is the first game I've played where I can accurately play out the team-ups we see in comics all the time. How is this possible? Hero Points and Hero Dice.


It is a clean, simple system that emulates comic book action. The basic mechanic has you roll 2d6 and multiply it by a number, which is decided by what you are trying to do. Do you want to punch someone? Roll 2d6 times your Agility. Are you shooting someone? Roll 2d6 and multiply it by your Mind. If you roll doubles your dice explode, allowing you to throw another d6 and add it to your roll before multiplying. Hero Points allow a player to modify rolls while Hero Dice can be used to add an additional die to your roll or temporarily gain the use of a new power. Yes, you read that right.


If you are a fan of comic book action I strongly suggest you give BASH Ultimate Edition a try.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Ultimate Edition
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BASH! Ultimate Edition
by Ryan G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2010 09:58:32

In the 20+ years I've been role-playing this is the best game I've ever had the privilege of playing. It is a simple yet incredibly flexible system, I've yet to find anything I can't do with it. I have used it to simulate everything from Call of Cthulu to Star Wars. If you have one game on your shelf it should be this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Ultimate Edition
by Ronald B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/11/2010 10:23:25

BASH! Ultimate Edition feels like an indie game and an old school game at the same time. The rules are simple and straightforward: roll 2d6, multiply by stat. There are tables for those averse to math. Just about every power I could think of is in there, and the game seems like it scales well, allowing for play at any level in the comic book super hero genre.


My only gripe is there is advice given in the front of the book about transparency with players, but there are key mechanics buried in the narrator's section. Aside from this foible, BASH! fires on all cylinders.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vengeance is Nigh
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/24/2010 15:47:39

This supplement is everything that an introductory superhero adventure supplement should be. It contains a straightforward plot with several solid, genre-appropriate set pieces, interesting characters and gives the strong impression of a larger, wider world.


The characters (optional pregenerated characters are provided, along with colorful character sheets) face off against a vigilante who has crossed the line and has been killing gang members in a bad part of town. Of course there's more going on than meets the eye, and a superscientific organization is also introduced, trying to cover up their involvement as well.


Probably the most important thing that sets this adventure supplement apart is the extensive appendix, in which all the players in the scenario are detailed very thoroughly, so that the GM has a great deal of material to extrapolate from, to make the world more real-feeling. This is very important in a genre about people in dance outfits shooting lasers at each other.


The adventure really gives a solid introduction to the BASH system and I would highly recommend it for a first night of play for anyone wanting to get things started in that system without jumping in cold.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vengeance is Nigh
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BASH! Ultimate Edition
by Timothy S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2010 18:26:54

Like many others interested in BASH!, I've played my share of SuperHero RPG's over the years; dozens of different systems and paradigms. BASH! is easily one of the most fluid for the genre; I mean that the game mechanics flow smoothly, the rules are simple to comprehend in a short time with very no overwhelming amount of detail, yet it covers the use of superpowers and skills very well. The book is well written, although I found it a bit vague at first... it's very important that you review the key terms near the beginning to "get" how the system works; if you don't you'll do what I did and keep looking in vain for definitions of some terms (especially Dice Bonus and Defense). If you take the time to review them (yes, that means you, mister experienced RPG'er), you'll get right into the heart of the system much quicker and enjoy it that much more.


I'm starting a BASH! game next week with my regular group, and so I've decided to make a large pool of characters for them to choose through, and character generation is unbelievably quick. It almost seems too quick to be useable, but it's just an illusion. The characters in BASH! are plenty full of what you need to play a superhero: Powers (many defined, and many more possible with options), skills (a good selection) and advantages/disadvantages (all the rage in many RPG's now-a-days).


I can't recommend BASH! UE enough. It's heresy, but I gotta say it. Give up on FASERIP, and go BASHing!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Ultimate Edition
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for your review! That's high praise indeed. Don't forget that for doing a quick pick-up game that you can always use the Sample Archetypes from the back of the book to generate some quickly.
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
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!]
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!]
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!]
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!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the review.
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