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Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core Pay What You Want
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Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Jon F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2016 06:06:06

An exciting and well conceived pulp "rocket ships and ray guns" type sci fi setting for Fate Core Rpg. The thing that makes it particularly interesting and different from standard fare, is the basic premise that the players characters are all heroic loyal citizens of a Utopian Mars colony. Adventures will have them struggling against oppression from Earth, and against implacable alien foes. Like the best of the Fate "Worlds of Adventure" books, Red Planet gives just enough setting detail to provide a springboard for GMs and players to create hours of interplanetary adventure. As with other "Worlds" books in the series, there are character generation rules with a few sample setting-appropriate character stunts, some details of the technology available, and rules, or subsystems to add flavour for the particular setting. In this case the new rules are concerned with detailing political and philosophical debate or "conversion", which leads me on to the subject of the controversy that has accompanied the release of this book. What has made this a contraversial setting, and has led to some fairly rabid reviews of it, and critical ccomments about it, in certain discussion groups, is that the Utopia depicted is a communist society. Some of these critics seem to have taken it as implicit, that the society depicted in this game as "communist", to be an endorsement of 20th Century earth communist states. As if the game is attempting to promote the idea that these are somehow utopian or admirable societies. That is not my reading of it however, as the Red Planet book clearly explained the Martian Communist Utopia has amongst it's enemies the earth based Soviet Union, as well as capitalist America. (and incidentally The book also includes a fairly lengthy sidebar detailing the very real evils of the historical Soviet style Communist regimes), clearly indicating that the team involved in its production, at least, are well able to distinguish between real world societies, and their real problems, and playing games; role-playing in fictional worlds, with fictional problems). Interesting, and saddening, that this setting with its depiction of an idealised Communist Utopia with lofty goals of working for the common good, should be more offensive, than, say, the default sci fi RPG mode of "space bastards" making money. But of course, each to their own. Well done Evil Hat, and author Jess Nevins, for packing so much setting, intrigue, and down right "this would make an awesome game" into such a small package. Good work!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by jam c. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/16/2016 12:36:46

Based on comunist sorry usa usa usa !! Who makes this up? Not in my games and not in anything that I actually would pay money for. What does this teach us nothing but a false doctrine of hate ie Comunistic proproganda. Why do they even have this up on site should be banned.

[1 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
I look forward to an updated review from you when you've actually read Red Planet, as this provides little evidence you did.
Red Planet • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by D. R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/11/2016 17:33:36

First, I am giving this a 4 out of 5 stars not for any production issue or for any game play issue. I am a Patreon supporter of the Worlds of Adventure for Fate Core and FAE. This setting meets or exceeds all the game play criteria of any of the Evil Hat Settings out produced to date.

There are some well thought out new additions to Fate's version of skinning the cat. If you are a Fate fan you know that the is game is all about fun and not so much about the rules. The first or Golden Rule of Fate is to describe what you are trying to do before trying to come up with the "proper" mechanics. Fate is flexible on so many levels in dealing with obstacles, problems, dice rolls etc. Skills, or aspects, or even declarations of fact (using Aspects and Fate Points) can solve problems. So when a setting introduces new mechanics (or a new way to solve a problem) it is fun to see how Fate can accomodate those new mechanics. Pilot Skill isn't really something new. It is Drive skill reskinned. Several other settings include a very similar reskinning of the Drive skill. Renown skill is new in that it kind of mashes up some effects of Rapport, Contacts, and Resources. It represents your fame and how readily you can cash in on it. This is important because your characters live in a Communist Utopia. Resources no longer represents personal wealth; you don't have any. Resources represent how readily you can acquire the use of resources from the state to achieve your missions.

Conversion rules is an interesting wild card. You run some pretty typical Fate challenge to get NPCs to join your cause (Communism). You can do this even while the death rays are splattering the hull all around you. These rules add a fun touch to the pulp action for characters who aren't necessarily combat heavy types. How much more fun can you have as a Commisar than engaging in materialist dialectic with evil Americans while your brawny New Woman takes apart uses her immense combat prowess to pulp the less enlightened American mooks.

Here is where the four star rating comes in. Ideology. If you are an older gamer who remembers the Cold war and Communist rhetoric a bit more immediately than younger gamers who only know it from history books; this setting may leave you a bit cold. Jess Nevins always does a stellar job on his settings. He even dedicated a page to the evils of real life communism. That page can not make up for a lack of real life experience of communism's heinous record. On the Fate Google+ community there have been commentators that feel this setting seems akin to playing Nazi PCs. Those individuals who lived through the Cold War are probably going to have some strong reactions to the premise of this setting.

Remember once you have it, it is yours to change. It is a pulp setting so it doesn't really invite you to look under the hood at ideology all that much; it is about square jawed heros punching weak chinned ne'er do wells. If the setting doesn't tickle your fancy change it up. Maybe the Communists in the setting are more akin to the Empire of Space Opera fame and your PCs look more like a Rogue unit trying to throw a wrench in the works. So all the setting material in the book becomes self promoting propaganda instead of the actual truth. The great thing about Fate is its ability to mimic just about anything you care to throw at it. Frankly the price is right.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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