January 30, 2012

[Review] A Dirty World

A Dirty World is an indie tabletop RPG  about secrets, deception, betrayal and hidden vice.

What are you buying?
70 pages filled with one of the few pure Noir games out there. No superpowers, aliens, menaces from the outer space. No secret societies or cultist. Just rain, babes and guns. This game is an iteration of the One roll engine, where characters are defined by 6 Identities, 12 qualities and a Dark Secret. During a game values will float a lot, assuming a bullet doesn't stop your tale. 

What's new?
Identities and Qualities limit each other in pairs, making sure no one can get both on the top of the chart in Grace and Endurance, for instance. That's a nice and simple mechanic preventing useless characters or superheroes.

The Good
  • NOIR There are not many noir games out there. 
  • ENGINE The One Roll Engine works smoothly for this game.  
  • FLUID CHARACTERS Characters change from one scene to the other. Events that occurs in one scene can seriously make a scar on your PC and this is just right into the spirit of the Noir 
  • GOT IT RIGHT The key elements of Noir are beautifully understood and rules support that. It's a pleasure to see a game that knows what to focus.
The Bad
  • FIST ADVENTURE The Noir genre is so unusual in RPGs that the lack of an introductory adventure is perceivable. 
  • SKILL MECHANIC Is not always clear how you must combine identities and qualities to make a roll. I know It's suppose to be open ended, but it's still not so obvious.
  • WTF MOMENTS Reading the core book, sometimes I've come across to rules not clear enough or missing (or well hidden), for example, the reward given at the end of a conflict is clear in the example, not so clear in the appropriate section.
The Verdict
A Dirty World looks promising on the first reading. The setting is unusual enough to be worth a try and the engine is totally appealing. It will be my first new game of the year.

A Dirty World is available from:

A Dirty World
A Dirty World
A Dirty World
NOTE: If you buy from here I will get a little income, with no extra cost for you. Just to be straight.

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