||Refs and players, here’s the informative part of this review of the superhero-themed tabletop RPG by Imperfekt Gammes, “Invulnerable”.
Folks, this thing isn’t invulnerable.
It’s not even nigh-invulnerable.
Instead, it’s nigh-unusable.
This “Invulnerable” game supposedly runs on an engine called Cosmology. However I never got the chance to find out whether Cosmology is an engine or a train wreck, because the text reveals an egregious disregard for editing. Not only does “Invulnerable” omit necessary data, it includes conflicting data. For an example you might take a careful, line-by-line stroll through the sample character creation process; compare the data there to the guidelines for character creation elsewhere in the book.
And, apparently, due diligence is to “Invulnerable” what Kryptonite is to Superman. Given how long errata have been out, the book’s creators seem to have had plenty of time to fix the book’s error-ridden e-version. As you might guess, they failed to do so before my recent download. Further, the term “errata” refers only to the very short list of errors that the book’s creators are even aware of. Based on activity in an Imperfekt Gammes online forum, it’s my opinion that they’re waiting for random internet contributors to tell them what’s wrong with “Invulnerable” instead of taking the initiative and putting the text through a thorough review themselves.
(I hope I sound disappointed and irritated. I am. I spent some time looking forward to this game. Then I spent even more time reading it. Carefully. I wish someone had. Like an editor.)
So is anything good about “Invulnerable”?
(Here’s the constructive part of this review.)
Somebody put some thought into Chapter 13. Its explanation of the game’s default setting (the world of Earth-Omega) is tantalizing, being detailed yet generic enough to apply to a non-Cosmology system. (Though Team Training available to characters keeps the Cosmology system plugged into Earth-Omega.)
Back nearer to the beginning of the book, the Cosmology Engine seems like it might actually be fun and easy to run. Neato bits? It’s got ‘em. For example, all characters have Motivations that can positively or negatively affect their luck (called Determination, which can be spent, lost, and regained during the game!), depending on whether the relevant player chooses to honor or ignore those Motivations.
Plus, Cosmology’s attractive point-buy-based character creation and damage rules (and the “Team Training” elements) are begging to be tinkered with, so there’s something there for you game mechanics. Grab your wrench.
But, in the final analysis, “Invulnerable” is more than nigh-unusable. As it is, it’s Unplayable.
If it gets fixed, I might give it another chance . . . unless something better comes along first.
Until then it’s a nice, shiny pile of spare parts.
[2 of 5 Stars!]