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ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
by Alfredo S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2019 05:07:13

A very interesting setting-agnostic system which reminds me of the old Dream Park book by R. Talsorian Games: light on rules, heavy on support material. It somehow manages to avoid the rules bloat common in other systems while providing ample support for the most usual genres (fantasy, sci-fi, horror and superheroes) with a good sampling of advantages and disadvantages, archetypes, spells, psionic powers, superpowers and equipment, but it would be very easy to add or adapt more if needed. If you head to Elemental's Facebook page you will find unofficial conversions for Aliens and Fallout and a good number of popular Marvel/DC superheroes. The "official" adventures available also do a good job of showcasing the system's versatility.

The One Page Rules also available on Drivethrurpg contain all the information a player may need in most cases. You only need two d6 (one for the player, other for the GM) to play, but the rules support partial successes and a limited form of exploding dice called "break". The Complete Guide expands on the One Page Rules and also adds rules for chases and other special situations, all of them handled in a very simple, unobstrusive way. I think the chase rules could easily be used to play out other kinds of extended or complex conflicts with a little work, BTW.

If there is a gripe in the book for me are the whimsical names of some of the spells in the Fantasy chapter. "Caeradinn’s Elemental Discourse" or "Gideon's Fragmented Perceptions" sound nice, but I would have preferred to see a more "generic" denomination. It is really not difficult to figure out what the spells do, so it might be just me, but they simply do not feel "generic" enough for me. Other than that, if you are on the market looking for a simple but complete enough and easily expandable ruleset, you should have a look at Elemental.

There are a couple of caveats, though:

1) This is not a game for GMs new to tabletop rpgs, as it assumes you already know what tabletop roleplaying. It should work beautifully with new players, though. 2) I guess the author wanted to keep the page count down, but perhaps a few more examples and a bit more of meat on vehicle combat and use would have been nice.

On the other hand, I really like the simple, readable layout and tables (even though the illustrations were repurposed from those offered by Sine Nomine Games). There is even an index, which is a nice touch.

[Edited to add a couple of points]



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
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Creator Reply:
Alfredo, thank you for your in-depth and informative review. The information you provided should be of interest to anyone seeking to learn more about ELEMENTAL. To confirm and expand on one of your points: We run the game a lot with new and young players. Our experience, as you suspect, is that they “get” the system very quickly, which allows them to focus on role-playing and have fun. We’re glad you enjoyed the game!
Nightcrawlers
by Alfredo S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2019 13:47:32

A very interesting (and nasty in some points - and I say this as as good thing, being essentially a horror adventure) scenario for Elemental, but very easy to reskin for your favorite ruleset. You could play this with D&D or Savage Worlds, but I recommend having a look at Elemental if you like simpler but still traditional game systems.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nightcrawlers
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The World's End Masque & Ball
by Alfredo S. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2019 04:01:29

A very interesting Dark Fantasy/Horror short adventure, complete with NPCs, monsters and pregenerated PCs. It could be adapted easily to your generic/fantasy system of choice.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The World's End Masque & Ball
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Predator Saint
by Boyd B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2019 22:22:44

This monster is the stuff of nightmares. It can be added to a horror campaign or one-off game that is sure to frighten timid players, and gain player appreciation from jaded experienced ones!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Predator Saint
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ELEMENTAL Character Sheet
by Boyd B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2019 22:17:41

Very clean and straightforward. This character sheet reflects the elegant simplicity of the Elemental system.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ELEMENTAL Character Sheet
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Pantagruel
by Boyd B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2019 22:09:53

Very imaginative. Not the "Gentle Giant," for sure!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pantagruel
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Fear Can't Hurt You
by Boyd B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2019 19:28:38

This was a great module! We kept jumping and wondering what was next! Love the twist!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fear Can't Hurt You
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ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
by William G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2018 21:46:24

The Complete Guide gives you incredible value for the price. Compared to Savage Worlds, it manages to pack the equivalent of the core book AND all the Companions (5 books). This role-playing focused system gives you not only the rules, but so much additional content (spells, monsters, character templates, etc) in a single book. Don't be fooled by the number of pages devoted to fantasy...this is a truly universal system. I've used the system for post-apocalyptic SF and 1920's Pulp Adventures! It works really well!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
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ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2018 11:45:01

I have been gaming and collecting a variety of games since '87. Here's my take. The really positive aspect of the game is that the resolution system appears to be less combersome than some of the games that have clearly influenced it. The not so good: the game system is a little too wed to OGL, Palladium and GURPS design to accomplish what it claims in the page count it currently has. Seperate systems for spells, psionics and powers could be unified, for example, but really, the book needs another 75 solid pages to be the complete game it claims. Content is heavily scewed towards fantasy, and few achetypes are listed for scifi, other than racial ones. There are no superhero achetypes listed. Build system would make the game complete, e.g. a toolbox for creating races, achetypes, monsters, vehicles, mechs, including those more than meets the eye, and starships. Until this is added, it isn't worth $15; $7 maybe, but not $15. Elemental is not a complete universal system, though it is a solid system.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review, Curt! As an addendum, I would encourage anyone who's interested to check out the free ELEMENTAL Discovery Guide. On pages 50-58 there is a list of all the skills, flaws, archetypes, spells, powers, weapons, vehicles, creatures and characters found right here in the core book. Our experience suggests that it's enough to get started and gives people a good foundation to build from without needing to buy any extra books.
ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
by Wayne B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2018 08:13:27

OK - I've been gaming for more than 30 years and ELEMENTAL is one of the simplest, most elegant systems I have ever played (and I’ve played my share).

Its inherent simplicity allows for total flexibility and adaptability. Not only can you play or run a game without getting bogged down in tables and rule-mongering, it also allows you to customize the game to the specific genre and audience. I have run games now with adults and kids alike and the game play, even the few but necessary technical bits, are equally accessible for those with decades of experience or no experience whatsoever.

I have also successfully adapted a few old time favorite games from other systems in a matter of minutes, which is a real bonus. Lastly, because all you need is the ruleset on your phone, a D6, a pencil, and a piece of paper, I’ve even whipped up and run an ad hoc game with three other people while sitting in a tent waiting out a thunderstorm while camping.

Cool system – looking forward to hearing what others think and finding more players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ELEMENTAL Complete Guide
by Boyd B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2018 20:55:46

Looks very easy to play and gamemaster! Can't wait to try it out with my gaming group. The manual is very well-written with great art.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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