Sunday, May 5, 2013

Agents of S.W.I.N.G. - James Desborough

A FATE based game, derived from the Starblazers/Legend of Anglerre version specifically. Using a d6-d6 dice mechanic. A good one in that d6 are easy to find, certainly. Suggesting three red white and blue dice, keeping one spare to save for when you do well. Rather than spin for shifts, you get to keep the spare die as an ace in the hole reroll to use once. The organisation's pronounced acronym pointing out that this is a game of superspies in the Swinging Sixties with a UK flavour. With 13 different departments ranging from the unknown to crimefighters, assassins, spook hunters and mad scientist chasing superheroes you could have any flavour of game you wanted, sixties style, from hardboiled crimefighting to paranoid vampire chasing a la Night's Black Agents. Updating or regressing the technology involved and the same framework would get you other era gaming pretty happily, if changing the tone a little. James Bond RPG players should like this game. However, the basic tone of the game sits with The Avengers. Steed and Peel and other UK pop culture types of the era, like the Third Doctor get NPC writeups later in the book. This is extremely well done...game master advice like 'Plot Stress' as note for when the players have worked out enough to advance further in the plot. Clever. Then there are useful vehicle rules and also interesting organisation rules. Tech upgrading and other bits and pieces. How to get help from headquarters and other nice tweaks. The FATE Ladder is given a swinging skin, with 'Bummer' and 'Fab' as skill ranks. A fun one is that 'Artillery' is one of the listed skills, so an expectation that lots of shit will blow up given an explosives section, too. A nice and concise list of useful stunts adds on. A great one book game that would also be a useful resource for those wanting to plug in this short of spy shenanigans in a game of another genre. Lulu available, too, so Australian affordable unlike quite a few small press games given the uselessness of the US post office these days. Definitely get this one, gamers. 5 out of 5

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