Sunday, December 15, 2013

BASH Original Edition Breakdown Review - Chris Rutkowsky

BASH Original Edition Breakdown Review

$1.99 - 30 pages


The overview says it was designed to be a game for kids, but others liked it too. Key terms are defined.

Character Creation

On page 3, assign 7 points between Brawn, Agility and Mind, get extra by taking a weakness or fewer powers.  Ranked from 1-5.

Spend 9 points on powers or vary by changing with stats as above. Choose an origin and a power limitation to make them cheaper if you desire.  Or power enchancments, which make them more expensive.  You can take a bad weakness.

Types of Powers

Listed on Page 4-9 - a short but reasonable selection.


Starting on Page 9, a list of other things characters can do.


From Page 11, even a short game like this has this nebulous other section.  Things like Appeal, Celebrity, Contacts, Dumb Luck.  Then the Disadvantage counterparts on page 13 and 14.

Dice Mechanic

Page 15 details the 2d6 multiplied by ability mechanic, trying to beat a difficulty number from 10 (easy) to 50 (nigh-impossible).  With a tweak that if you roll doubles, you roll another d6 and add to your original 2d6.  If you then have a triple, roll another one,e tc.

Combat Rules

Highest agility wins initiative and heroes win ties.  All except Mental attacks are Agility vs Agility.  Not a good sign when a writer can't use loose and lose correctly, generally but this is better than the usual left-end of the curve type, thankfully.  Damage is based on Brawn and you make a defense roll similarly.  If the attack is higher than the defense, then damage.  A bit Tunnels & Trolls style, but even simpler perhaps.

Page 16 is detailing what actions you can do, movement, attack, wrestling, knock-back. Energy points are spent on powers a la Villains & Vigilantes or Champions.  A simple number in that heroes have 10 and different powers have different cots. Then rules for falling, water, shooting and blowing up, improvised weapons, collateral damage and chase scenes on 17-18 with the Vehicle list on 19.


Ratings and rules on page 20, with a listing that follows, cops, ninjas, robots, aliens.

Sample Story Arc

The Gauntlet on page 22 to 25.  Sample characters on pages 27-28.

Advice for Running Bash

A page on this, experience and more powerful characters with a character sheet on the final page.


Genre Suitability: Four Colour Heroics
Artwork: Black and White

5 out of 10 Price (lower is cheaper per page)
2 out of 10 Length (lower is shorter)
2 out of 10 Complexity (lower is easier)
4 out of 10 Playability
6 out of 10 Artwork

3 out of 5 Overall

This is a solid, deliberately short and even old school type game that would indeed make a decent introduction for people. Also it would be quickly put together and explained one-shot.  Somewhere in the area of the original Marvel Super Heroes Basic Game. Definitely good for kids.

People that want a bit more granularity and variety and options are likely to quickly become bored. There is certainly room to build a BASH Advanced though.

3 out of 5

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