Saturday, October 24, 2015


Haven't been posting much lately. Nothing's amiss. Quite the contrary -- I've been enjoying the lovely autumn weather here in New England, trying to squeeze a few more kayak outings and fishing trips in before winter closes down on this corner of the world and holds us in its gray, bony clutches until April. I also have a steady Sunday night game group now and the prep time, while not excessive, leaves me less time to post here. We are wrapping up our Usagi Yojimbo campaign tomorrow using the Fuzion rules set, which I had never used before. 

What I liked:

  • The base Fuzion mechanic (rollover target number on 3d6+stat+skill) is easy to understand, even for the ten-year-olds and novice grownup gamers in the group.
  • It's easy to add or ignore certain rules without breaking the game. One example, the Usagi rules add a combat stance option that's rock-paper-scissors in nature. I ignored it and no one noticed.
  • The setting, class choices, race choices, and class/race abilities strongly evoke the half-cute, half-deadly anthropomorphic world of the comic book. Foxes, for example, can tell an outrageous lie once per game session that's guaranteed to be believed. Cats literally have nine lives. And rabbits can make a physics-bending leap. 
What I didn't like:

  • Character creation is a series of point buys that novice players will find a chore. The skill list is very 90s, meaning it's too long. I knew from the start that I would have to canvass my players about their preferred class and species, then create their character sheets ahead of time.
  • Unopposed skill checks are not very exciting for characters with medium to high skill levels. There are no degrees of success. I got around this by noting how widely a roll exceeded the target number and adjusting the degree of success accordingly.
As always, the kids get to choose the next campaign we play, and they have decreed that it shall be a superhero game set in the cinematic Marvel universe using Dungeonteller rules. My kid is going to play Stephanie Rogers, a gender-switched Captain America. Her buddy is Black Widow. My wife will be Nicki Fury, and the team will be rounded out with one or more of the following: Thor, Hawkeye, Spidey, or Hulk. I'll close with a sample set of character stats for a certain shield-hurling hero:

Luck 14
Armor 2 vs. Battle attacks
Armor 6 vs. Shoot attacks

Battle 12 (unarmed); +4 with shield
Make 1 +8 when making art
Muscle 10
Notice 7
Resist 5
Shoot 7 + 7 with shield
Sneak 2
Stunt 9
Talk 3


Battlefield Mastery: Warn your friends of incoming attacks before they happen. Roll your Notice dice. Everyone on your team gains 1 Armor until your next turn for each success you rolled.

Boomerang: You get your shield back automatically after making a Shoot attack, whether you score any successes or not.

Ricochet: Hit a second foe with your shield. If you score 2 or more successes on a Shoot attack using your shield, the shield hits the foe nearest to your target too, taking away 1 hit fewer than the number of successes you rolled.

Shield Block: You can use your shield to automatically block an attack. Spend 1 Luck. You automatically block a single Battle or Shoot attack.

Super Serum: You can’t be affected by poisons, drugs, or alcohol. You can go far longer without sleep or rest than a normal human.


shield, bulletproof duralumin armor, motorcycle