Sunday, December 15, 2013

BASH Ultimate Edition Breakdown Review - Chris Rutkowsky

BASH Ultimate Edition Breakdown Review

$9.99 - 137 pages


The overview gives the motivation and changes. No more energy points and changes to range and area. Key terms are defined again.

Chapter 1

Character Creation

Scale has been added into the point buy suggestions for 20 point Mystery Men or 60 point Cosmic Heroes.

The three statistics are still from 0-5 and tables give benchmark descriptions for the levels.

Then power costs, levels and types, Skills and Descriptions, Advantages & Disadvantages with longer desciption.

Hero points and setbacks and mental malfunctions!

Chapter 2

Page 15 explains the 2d6 dice mechanic where if you roll a double you roll an extra d6 and add it to your total.  If you have a triple, do it again, etc.  Difficulty numbers and Hero Point use brings up the fact that rolls and numbers should be transparent to encourage their use.  Then explains the multiplication by statistic in more detail listing modifiers and hindrances on a dice penalty level.

Basic Combat Rules

Per panel actions, appropriately comic flavoured titling. Move, attack, all that sort of thing. For example: Run, Spring, Swim, Climb, Jump, Creep.  Not your usual heroic adjective.  Unless your name is Jack Ryder.  Half movement rate sneakiness possible speed that one.  Knockback rules, which are always fun.  Damage taken reduced by how tough you are and a multiplier.


The Narrator has points to use in the Hero Point economy as well.  Some characters have them at creation but the Narrator gets two per Hero per issue to be used against any character.  Earning Hero Points and the use of Hero Dice is also detailed...basically a Big Hero Point that has a variety of uses in a DC Adventures type fashion, automatic roll success number, recover damage, dodge, etc.

Special Rules

Called shots, wrestling, throwing people, teamwork and more advanced manoevures and tactics.  Again, collateral damage and weapons appear as per the first edition.  With tables for when you want to look up what whacking someone with a monkey wrench will do for you. Or with an evil monkey in the Improvised Weapons section.

Beyond Combat

Healing, exetended actions like inventing or social repartee, noticing, environmental conditions for when things get extremely toasty.  Vehicles and headquarters.

Chapter 3


Starting on page 36, Limitations, Costs, Enhancements etc. Guidelines on Reading Descriptions in a table.  Then you get the breakdown by type such as Movement and the details for each.  Several times longer than the original edition this one.

Narrator's Section

Chapter 4 Starting on Page 59

Running a Campaign advice, including let the players help. Setting, scale, created vs established.

More specifically, then Focus of the Issue: Mysteries, Brawls or subplots.  With advice for each.  Then Random Events table.  Apparently people enjoy this sort of thing.  Where you might even have a Monster Movie being filmed.  Guidelines for your own random tables.


Motivation and type breakdowns, advantages.  Villains have Villain Points.  Minions have nada.  No luck for them.  A special use for villain Dice: Deus Ex Machina.  This is a good one, actually codified as a rule for what it is for the miraculous escape move.

Minions and Gangs

Always useful for the Narrator, rules for use singly and together.  Even if Eldritch Horrors.  Includes some animal favourties as well.

Chapter 5

Detailing various settings and tropes.

Pulp Heroes, Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Super Teens, Science Fiction, Fantasy.

Cosmic - The other settings are as expected, giving archetypes and notes of usefulness.  The Cosmic setting gets more inventive. It includes rules for high levels of statistics and power and the multipliers.  Cosmic Knock-Back!  How far you go if hit in space by someone with Cosmic Might. Using grid ranges at this level. Excellent flavour.  How many Hits can a planet take?  Moving Planets.  Any superhero GMw ould like to take a quick look at this if interested in this setting.

There are also notes on scale crossover.


Page 108 gives Hero & Villain Archetypes by scale.  So you can quickly make Barbarian Warrior Mystery Men level to World Class Amazons or Cosmic Harbingers of Doom.

Appendix A

Page 128 gives Alternate Game Mechanics. Cards, d12, d10, d6 pools, Fudge Dice for BASH! which involves changing multiples to modifiers.

Map & Miniature alternatives...using hexes instead of squares.  Ranges.  Advantges & Disadvantages and Static Defenses & Soaks.

Fame - how to put in a popularity rating and use it.  Plus Experience Points.

Index - 2 pages

Character Sheet

BASH Quick Build Sheet for character scope and creation.

Genre Suitability: Many, see settings. Nasty and brutal is not its thing though. Definitely for brighter heroics.
Artwork: Colour, cartoon. Danilo Moretti shares a style with Dan Houser here.

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

7.5 out of 10 Overall

I could even go towards 8, this is really a quite charming Advanced update. With a couple of innovations and four-colour flavour. This is somewhere between Villains & Vigilantes and Marvel Super Heroes Advanced I suppose in terms of difficulty.  And length, too although considerably larger font style than either there.  The artwork style certainly friendlier fun heroes compared to a later Champions or Heroes Unlimited variety in the original game. Lacks a random generation system that wouldn't be hard to do at a basic level. Lacks any completely done and named characters, just having numerous archetypes.

In fact, speaking of Marvel, they have a table at the beginning for resolution lookup to prevent people who are multiplication challenged from having problems.  This is definitely Universal Table Style with the resolution having a bit of the Pacesetter (Chill etc) with the extra check for the column instituted.

Overall well done and would also be a useful introductory game but also enough depth that people that like the style should be happy with it for ongoing play.

3.5 out of 5

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