GI Joe RPG pre-orders are up

Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
27,826
Reaction score
76,243
Can you give a quick idea on what that looks like?


The Marvel one? Not certain yet, the only info I know so far is that you roll 3 dice and if you roll a 6 a 1 and a 6 specifically that's a critical success. I haven't seen much else revealed about the system yet - playtest is supposed to be up for sale sometime soon though, I think.
 

Toadmaster

Legendary Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2018
Messages
2,172
Reaction score
4,723
WTF. From the publisher's overview:



I'm curious what a Crit entails if it pings on a max roll of any die - even a d2.

Rolling all dice if you have a specialization, well if it's a rare enough or niche thing, then I guess dropping all the dice on the table and looking for a high roll may be okay. Kinda weird, but as a once-a-game 'fuck all this' moment? Guess that's okay.

I'm also wondering how they will make a distinctions between Origin and Influence. They seem similar.

Reading that blurb I take it a skill of 3 adds a d3, a skill of 4 adds a d3 and a d4, a skill of 6 or 7 adds a d3, d4 and d6 etc.

I could almost go along with this if it was just the appropriate skill die, but I suspect somebody didn't do any probability math on this. Also really rolling d2 and d3 along with real dice? When alone these dice can make sense, but are silly, confusing and fairly trivial in a big handful of dice.

Like Shadow Run small skill increases will add greatly to the chance of success. Skill of 3 is just +1-3, but a skill of 4 or 5 is +2-7 and a skill of 6 or 7 is +3-13, Skill of 8 or 9 +4-21 (add 1 and 2 respectively if they are really using d2).

I will note that I hate Shadow Run for that feature. As I recall Skill 4 was fairly lame, 5 was kind of ok and 6 was super duper ultra stud because of the way dice pools work.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
27,826
Reaction score
76,243
I’ve never been so meh about my favorite property before.

Ah so you understand the feeling of reading the recent Hellboy RPG :wink:

Of course, you've wisely chosen to stay away from this game, while I was seduced by Kickstarter gifts...

On the fence about the miniatures though. I already have GI Joe minis, but these don't seem horrible
 

hawkeyefan

Legendary Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2020
Messages
1,205
Reaction score
2,585
Some odd choices included in that roster of minis, and the decision for it to be all Joes seems a bit odd. I mean, what's GI Joe without some Cobras to fight?

Edited to add; Thinking about it, there's a set of painted metal miniatures you can get at many retail stores for about $20 and it has more figures. My son got them for Christmas.

GI Joe2.jpg
 
Last edited:

Endless Flight

SWO!
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
11,335
Reaction score
28,567
Renegade decided to do their own continuity with G.I.Joe so that nobody is pleased.
 

Endless Flight

SWO!
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
11,335
Reaction score
28,567
Ah so you understand the feeling of reading the recent Hellboy RPG :wink:

Of course, you've wisely chosen to stay away from this game, while I was seduced by Kickstarter gifts...

On the fence about the miniatures though. I already have GI Joe minis, but these don't seem horrible
It’s also easy to stay away when the PDF is $38.50.
 

Rob Necronomicon

Legendary Member
Joined
May 26, 2018
Messages
740
Reaction score
1,335
GI Joe wasn't really a big thing in Ireland so I know very little about it. But it seems like it could be a good low-level supers game with a bit of tweaking. :smile:
 

Endless Flight

SWO!
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
11,335
Reaction score
28,567
GI Joe wasn't really a big thing in Ireland so I know very little about it. But it seems like it could be a good low-level supers game with a bit of tweaking. :smile:
Yes it’s possible. I’ve thought about using Mutants & Masterminds to run a game of G.I.Joe. Set the PL to about 7 or 8.
 

The Convenient Skill

Swashbuckler
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
264
Reaction score
700
I loved Action Force (as the UK at least knew it), but this is so easily ignored for many reasons.

Classes and d20 for one, the fact that Dogs of WAR, Black Seven and Magnum Fury exists another (plus any number of generic games that could handle it).

I don't think the cartoon really made it over here, we had rebranded comics and some original stories.

If you really want to know about AF outside of the States (or want a UK nostalgia trip) look at:
 

Endless Flight

SWO!
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
11,335
Reaction score
28,567
Just a shameless play-by-post plug! I’ll run a Joe game in 80s Marvel continuity using M&M 2E if anyone is interested.

 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
27,826
Reaction score
76,243
So, got a look at the game. This isn't a full review, as I just flipped through it, more an overview with random thoughts and first impressions...

After a credits section that is stuffed full of enough parasites you'd think that Hollywoo had a hand in the game, there's a brief introduction by Luke Gygax. I can't recall if Luke is the bad Gygax brother, but he talks about the Marvel comic, which is nice.

The game then get's an in-character world introduction by Lt. Hawk, with an overview of who G Joe and Cobra are, noting most of the main Cobra badies. Only thing I note here is that the continuity has been taken back to the beginning, no one knows who Cobra Commander is or where he came from (used car salesman), Stormshadow is still on the bad side, no Serpentor yet. This isn't a bad thing, I don't think.

We then get "data files" of ALOT of the classic Joes - I mean, even Chuckles is in there. These aren't game stats, or even reproductions of the classic cardbacks, just a list of their military specialities and a paragraph about them (again spoken by Hawk in-character). Might be oddy placed in the book, I suppose, but maybe this is clever, I'm sure a lot of fans woud be looking for those first, and theoretically, I guess, this is a stand-in for settig info. I didn't have time to read all these, I just went straight to Scarlet then Snake-Eyes.Sarlet's is all praise, bigs her up, fairly I suppose. SSnak Eye's just says "Classified", which mad me chuckl and once again rinforced the "square one" approach.

So far, honestly, it's better than I expected. It feels like early GI Joe. I'm having ....well, fun.

Onto the once-obligatory What is an RPG? section. Nothing awful stand out to me, a pretty traditional decription of the GM's an player's roles in the game. Kinda impressed they had the restraint to not give the GM an in-universe title,

Games are structured around Missions. Seems appropriate.

Now character creation

It encourages group character creation to come up with a well-rounded squad. I approve.

A character's core abilities are called "Essences" (not thrilled with that, but not turned off by it), and are divided into 4 categories - Strength, Speed, Sarts, and Social. Every point in one of these Essences corresponds to a Skill in that category - OK, so almost a D6 system vibe? You get 12 points to divide between them.

Next you chose Influences, which are explained more later, but from what I can tell are like background events that affect your character's motivations/personality? You can select between 1 and 3. You know, can't help but think of Motivations from Outlaws of the Water Margin...but I'll have to wait and see...

Next you chose an Origin, as in what you did to become a Joe. Your Orgin gives you access to some specific Skills and determines your starting Health (HP), and each Origin has an individual Perk (I don't know what that means yet, but I can kinda guess)

And fnally you select a Role, which is like your combat specialty, and that also gives you access to a few specific Skills and another specified Perk.

Each Essence is associated with a Defense, which are figured here (with the note that these may be modified by certain Perks):

Toughness: 10 + Strength
Evasion: 10 + Speed
Cleverness: 10 + Smarts
WilPower: 10 + Social

And that's pretty much it.This game does have Levels (boo!), so you start at Level 1, an you get your equipment via requisition for each Mission (although you can get more powerful/signature items as you go up in level).

Overall, without seeing the actual implementation yet - have to say I like it. A simple approach that balances player choice with guidance and a sensible structure and provides an innate sense of who the character is. I feel like I'm way more impressed than I should be, and honestly, so far, this has been a pleasant surprise.

um, guess we'll see if that continues...
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
27,826
Reaction score
76,243
The next chapter details Influences. The terminology is perhaps a bit srange to me, as I think in gamer-speak these would more generally be referred to as Backgrounds, but that's I suppose an aesthetic niggle at best (just as with using the ackward, "essences" instead of "attributes"), and afaik has no influence on gameplay.

Nedless to say, they are not, as I orignally suspected, anything like Outlaws of the Water Margin's Motivations.

There are 12 Influences, and they are listed with a brief description and examples of Joes that fit (I like that):
Adventurer, Artisan, Athlete, Checkered Past, Gearhead, Greenshirt, Martial Artist, Nomad, Small Town Roots, Professional, Specialist, & Thrillseeker

You get one free, and can take up to two additional ones, but each Influence after the first comes with a specific Hang Up ("Flaw")

I'll just show one as an example:

00.PNG

So, if you take Adventurer, you roll D12 to determine your "Background Bond" (again, I just find the phrasing weird - it's fine, just...odd to my inner ear), you gain a Perk that gives you an "Edge on a Smarts or Social Test" if you tell a story about your adventures (I don't care for the phrasing "once per scene", but that may just be the terminology souding "narrative" to me - getting a player to associate events in the game with a part of ther character's past is I think a good role-playing impetus).

If this isn't your first Influence you also get the appropriate Hang Up.

The chapter focuses on advice for using the Influences (which are general enough to custom to many soecific ideas) to flesh out a character's backstory and personality, which I like.

Overall, still impressed. I feel liking I'm waiting for the ball to drop, but that may not be till we get to the system. But then, it wouldn't be the first RPG where I love the chargen and slike the system (Everyway, Burning Wheel). For now, I have to say I really like how much the different aspects of character creation are geared toward creating an individual identity for the character and grounding the player in a role.

Speaking of "Roles"...
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
27,826
Reaction score
76,243
Oh scratch that, before Roles are "Origins"

So if Influences are your life before GI Joe/The Military, Origins are your military experience, and are divided by Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Non-Branch specific Support origins: First Reponder, Covert Ops, Intelligence, Engineer, and Scientist. Each of these is gven a lot of options for customization (frex, a character with the Navy Origin could be a Marine Aviator, combining benifiits from the Navy and Airforce Origins). It's pretty in-depth but even skimming, I didn't feel lost at any point.

So, taking the Navy (Sailor) Origin as an example, you get a +1 bonus to either your Strength or Smarts, and based on this choice you get the Athletics, Brawn, Might, Conditioning or Culture skill. You start with Health of 2, and have a Base Movement running and swimming of 30, you start with 1 language an gain an additional language per every 3 points in your Smarts, and you get the Perk "Sea Legs", which gives an Edge in balance tests.

Looks like all the Military Branch origins start with 2 Health and the Support/Civilian Origins 1 Health. I'm guessing Health doesn't work like HP. There's quite a bit of variation in Movement scores between the Origins, which is...um...interesting? I dunno, I'm so loosy-goosy with movement in my games.

Still a solid chapter, though this is more I'd say "thorough and functional"

Now we're onto Roles...

I'll just show you the list, they are (unlike "Influences" or "Origins") pretty much exactly what I expected...

000.png
 

James Gillen

Proud to be an American
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
618
Reaction score
1,216
So, got a look at the game. This isn't a full review, as I just flipped through it, more an overview with random thoughts and first impressions...

After a credits section that is stuffed full of enough parasites you'd think that Hollywoo had a hand in the game, there's a brief introduction by Luke Gygax. I can't recall if Luke is the bad Gygax brother, but he talks about the Marvel comic, which is nice.
Ernie is the "bad" Gygax brother. Luke is the one who bad-mouthed nu-TSR, their social media said Luke was never part of the company, and Luke responded that that was a compliment. :grin:

JG
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
27,826
Reaction score
76,243
Roles determine the bonuses that a character recieves upo achieving a new level, up to level 20. These take the form of Perks, a possible increase to base Damage and/or aditional ponts towards Essences. You also get a starting Perk specific to that Role, two Essence increases with a set list of Skills to chose from, and training in certain equipment/weaponry. Additionally, ever member of GI Joe gets the following benefits: a +1 increase to Health, qualification with all "standard equipment" and "all standard land, sea, and air vehicles", and the Perk "BattleCry" that increases your movement when you charge into batle yelling "Yo Joe!"

Additionally, each character choses between 3 areas of Focus in their Role - frex, The Commando can chose between Infiltrator, Sniper, or Spy. Your Focus grants you additional specific Perks with certain Level increases.


Again, it's all pretty straightforward while allowing for a lot of customization, but at this point I am getting a little wary of "Perks", which seem like a host of exception-based mechanics to keep track of on a character sheet. Actually, at higher Levels, you may need several sheets just to record all your Perks and their specific benefits. Also, some Perks can only be activated by spending a "Story point", which raises red flags for me as an indicator of either Narratie eta-mechanics or some "Because Game" BS intruding on what appeared, up until this point, a pretty straightforward game system that focused on role-playing concerns. YMMV, natch, not everyone is allergic to peanut butter.

That aside, as we come to the end of the character creation section of the rules, I'll reiterate that I am overall pleasantly surprised. I really went in to this expecting to hate this game, but so far, I don't. I really like the approach to character creation, in general, which is simple, quick but provides enough unique options that not only is it unlikely any two characters would turn out the same, it also provides a fantastic foundation for understanding your characters history, motivations, and personality. What you end up with is more than a set of numbers, but a fleshed-out character that makes jumping into role-playing that much easier.

More than that, so far, the whole game feels very much like GI Joe, which is abstract but earnest praise from someone wth very discerning tastes and strong opinions on the property, as I was raised on the Marvel comics.
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top