Hellboy RPG

Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

gribble

Active Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
35
Reaction score
46
I played in the UKGE session tonight. It was a play through of the QS adventure, using the QS pre-gens, run by one of the developers (Alex... someone?)

First up, it was a really fun session, and "felt" a lot like I'd expect a Hellboy game to feel in play (though bear in mind I'm not overly familiar with the comics).

I think the devs summed it up well when they said it was similar enough to 5e to be familiar, and yet different enough to feel... strange. The session certainly didn't feel like 5e dungeon crawling (even though the scenario could easily enough feature in a D&D adventure).

The ingenuity and doom mechanics worked well... even better than I expected. Rolling the extra d10 really wasn't too much of a chore, and it pretty quickly became second nature. The numbers needed to score doom/ingenuity changed throughout the game as well, so you actually do need more than a d10 with one "good" and one "bad" face unfortunately, but even that wasn't too cumbersome.

It felt like there were a fair few things to track during play - most abilities had limited uses, hp, injuries (and their effects), ingenuity points, changing numbers needed on the ingenuity/doom die, etc, but that could have just been because it was an online game. I think it'll flow better in person.

It did also feel a little more complex than standard 5e, with all of the above new dials and mechanics, and the sheer number of options available to PCs... and I actually feel that starting at level 5 rather than level 1 was a big contributor to that. One of the good features of level based systems is that the character complexity increases as the player skill/familiarity improves, and it did feel a little overwhelming at first, though by the end of the session most of the players understood their characters well and things did kind of click/hum.

As expected, there was certainly a lot more teamwork and interaction between characters. The number of abilities that keyed of reactions and/or affected other team members meant you were always paying attention to what was going on, even when it wasn't your characters turn.

The characters all felt very different in play - even the three with the same "class" (leader, medic and... "standard" investigator I think). Certainly much more differentiation in abilities than there would be for a party of three fighters or rogues (even with different archtypes), and the new equipment and guns were really interesting and mechanically seemed to work well.
The characters all felt very powerful and like competent investigators, and yet each had their niche. I was a little worried at one point that my character might be a tad overpowered, and then the other characters all pulled off something equally powerful or impressive. All in all, given the level of change over standard D&D and the higher power level of the characters, it felt pretty balanced.

Finally the ritual rules were really nice. They really had the feel of slowly building up power, but with a very real risk/price. They even managed to somewhat keep the 5e "overcharging" mechanics (i.e. casting a spell with a higher level slot). The tension of racing for successes while bad stuff was going on around you was very real, and it really captured the feel of racing to complete a ritual while the other team members kept the bad guys off your back. They really nailed this aspect, and I could see using the magic system to emulate a more swords and sorcery / Conan-style game in D&D, rather than D&D spells.

All in all, although it had a few rough spots, I'm really looking forward to the final rules and playing it more.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
20,387
Reaction score
49,068
I played in the UKGE session tonight. It was a play through of the QS adventure, using the QS pre-gens, run by one of the developers (Alex... someone?)

First up, it was a really fun session, and "felt" a lot like I'd expect a Hellboy game to feel in play (though bear in mind I'm not overly familiar with the comics).

I think the devs summed it up well when they said it was similar enough to 5e to be familiar, and yet different enough to feel... strange. The session certainly didn't feel like 5e dungeon crawling (even though the scenario could easily enough feature in a D&D adventure).

The ingenuity and doom mechanics worked well... even better than I expected. Rolling the extra d10 really wasn't too much of a chore, and it pretty quickly became second nature. The numbers needed to score doom/ingenuity changed throughout the game as well, so you actually do need more than a d10 with one "good" and one "bad" face unfortunately, but even that wasn't too cumbersome.

It felt like there were a fair few things to track during play - most abilities had limited uses, hp, injuries (and their effects), ingenuity points, changing numbers needed on the ingenuity/doom die, etc, but that could have just been because it was an online game. I think it'll flow better in person.

It did also feel a little more complex than standard 5e, with all of the above new dials and mechanics, and the sheer number of options available to PCs... and I actually feel that starting at level 5 rather than level 1 was a big contributor to that. One of the good features of level based systems is that the character complexity increases as the player skill/familiarity improves, and it did feel a little overwhelming at first, though by the end of the session most of the players understood their characters well and things did kind of click/hum.

As expected, there was certainly a lot more teamwork and interaction between characters. The number of abilities that keyed of reactions and/or affected other team members meant you were always paying attention to what was going on, even when it wasn't your characters turn.

The characters all felt very different in play - even the three with the same "class" (leader, medic and... "standard" investigator I think). Certainly much more differentiation in abilities than there would be for a party of three fighters or rogues (even with different archtypes), and the new equipment and guns were really interesting and mechanically seemed to work well.
The characters all felt very powerful and like competent investigators, and yet each had their niche. I was a little worried at one point that my character might be a tad overpowered, and then the other characters all pulled off something equally powerful or impressive. All in all, given the level of change over standard D&D and the higher power level of the characters, it felt pretty balanced.

Finally the ritual rules were really nice. They really had the feel of slowly building up power, but with a very real risk/price. They even managed to somewhat keep the 5e "overcharging" mechanics (i.e. casting a spell with a higher level slot). The tension of racing for successes while bad stuff was going on around you was very real, and it really captured the feel of racing to complete a ritual while the other team members kept the bad guys off your back. They really nailed this aspect, and I could see using the magic system to emulate a more swords and sorcery / Conan-style game in D&D, rather than D&D spells.

All in all, although it had a few rough spots, I'm really looking forward to the final rules and playing it more.


You should post this review in the KS comments section
 

Séadna

Legendary Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
5,394
Reaction score
10,199
Unless you're a pretentious collector like me and will only settle for the overpriced, oversized Deluxe "Library Editions"...yes, absolutely. The Omnibus collections of both Hellboy and The BPRD are absolutely fantastic, cheaper than individual trades, and a very readable format that colelct EVERYthing.
Thanks for this, it turns out a bookshop near us had all of the BPRD omnibus collections at 50% off and combined with a collection of vouchers I've never used I literally got them all for free!
 
Last edited:

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
20,387
Reaction score
49,068
Thanks for this, it turns out a bookshop near us had all of the BPRD omnibus collections at 50% off and combined a collection of vouchers I've never used I literally got them all for free!


BPRD: Plague of Frogs or Hell on Earth (or both?)

The final Omnibus of Hell on Earth (and ending of the series) is due out in March 2021
 

CRKrueger

Eläytyminatör
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
5,131
Reaction score
9,317
According to a place I go to Get Comics Info, there’s Omnibus 1-4, Collected Short Stories 1-2.
After those, what is there, the BPRD Omnibus and all the stuff from 2019/2020?
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
20,387
Reaction score
49,068
According to a place I go to Get Comics Info, there’s Omnibus 1-4, Collected Short Stories 1-2.
After those, what is there, the BPRD Omnibus and all the stuff from 2019/2020?

There's also 3 Abe Sapien Omnibuses and A WitchFinder Omnibus so far. (And a Baltimore one, but that's not part of the Hellboy universe)

So Rise of the Black Flame, Frankenstein Underground, Koschei The Deathless, Rasputin, Lobster Johnson, and Sledgehammer '44 have yet to be collected in Omnibus form
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
20,387
Reaction score
49,068
Welp last week. Seemed like a short campaign, in comparison to the boardgame. Some new add ons revealed today:

9461b62607d3d066fd72d2471d173b61_original.png


707070ac1d1914e715d47b268e777b1c_original.png


65744c1759d4af1b745c8c97f61411a3_original.jpg


bdeba80a35c79dd398123bf6b40b691c_original.png



44bec0f0c136dce22d22989754e95251_original.png
 

KrakaJak

Legendary Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
330
Reaction score
593
I bumped up for that All Rolled Up. I've wanted one of those for a while, but shipping fees made it pretty scary as an an American.
 

gribble

Active Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
35
Reaction score
46
I've never heard of them before. I'm not sure I understand what they're for - a dice wallet?
I got one "for free" as part of my Dracula Dossier pledge on KS. I didn't expect to use it much, but it and my Noteboard (https://thenoteboard.com/index.html) have become my two indispensable pieces of gaming kit. I never go to a gaming session without these two, as either a player or GM, and with both I have everything I need to run a session anywhere, anytime.

I'm seriously considering upping my pledge to pick up a backup (though my original shows no signs of wearing out, and as noted it's seen a *lot* of use)...
 

Ladybird

TRAHR
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
3,169
Reaction score
7,233
I've never heard of them before. I'm not sure I understand what they're for - a dice wallet?
They're roll-up-able gaming storage pouches, inspired by artist tool rolls - the big velcro pocket on the left is for dice (And plenty of them), the middle is for notepads / cards, and the smaller pockets on the right for pencils / pens / erasers etc. If you've got one of the folding dice trays, that rolls up neatly into it as well.

They took off really quickly over here because, while it's total accessory porn, they're good for what they do and they're really convenient to keep all your gaming stuff in one place and be able to throw into your bag. The manufacturers are also happy to do custom jobs, which is why you see them offered fairly regularly in UK-based kickstarters.
 

chuckdee

Legendary Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
2,142
Is the buckle on that All Rolled up worth the extra 20? Anyone that have it know the answer?
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
20,387
Reaction score
49,068
I guess if its something you use all the time, it's going to be a bit more durable than just the drawstrings and adds some bling.

For myself, as much as a sucker as I am for Hellboy merch, I ultimatelly am giving the rolled up thing a pass. It's just not something I need. I already have a very nice Hellboy dice bag, and being an artist, I aready have a set-up for my pens, pencils, and other stuff.
 

chuckdee

Legendary Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
2,142
I wish the £75 pledge level had that instead of the bag. As it stands, I'm paying the same price for less.. but I have enough bags. This looks unique enough that I'm in for it.
 

gribble

Active Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
35
Reaction score
46
Is the buckle on that All Rolled up worth the extra 20? Anyone that have it know the answer?
I would say not. The drawstrings on mine have held up fine, and they take a beating. I guess the buckle is probably a little easier to deal with than tying and untying the strings... but not 20 quid easier IMO.
 

Ladybird

TRAHR
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
3,169
Reaction score
7,233
Personally I'd rather have the strings because it's easier to adapt to the amount of stuff you have, rather than mucking around with the clip length. But the buckle is very aesthetically pleasing.
 

chuckdee

Legendary Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
2,142
Personally I'd rather have the strings because it's easier to adapt to the amount of stuff you have, rather than mucking around with the clip length. But the buckle is very aesthetically pleasing.

Yeah...thanks for pointing that out and saving me £20
 

CRKrueger

Eläytyminatör
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
5,131
Reaction score
9,317
I kinda think this was as much Mantc's marketing ploy
No doubt, she’s become a darling designer. Now that she‘s made the desired shift from backend sensitivity reader to front end designer for A-List projects we’ll get to see if she can actually design.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
20,387
Reaction score
49,068
No doubt, she’s become a darling designer. Now that she‘s made the desired shift from backend sensitivity reader to front end designer for A-List projects we’ll get to see if she can actually design.


Well you guys can expect a VERY thorough review of all the game content once it's in my hands, and my expectations are unreasonably high when it comes to anything Hellboy.

(though not as ridiculous as some of the expectations of the backers in the comments. One guy is demanding they include rules for "Solo play" and called Mantic "Lazy" for not jumping to accommodate him, and now a backer wants stl's of Mantic's licensed miniatures. I hope there's some bowel cancer awareness being elevated by all these heads being inserted up their own asses.)
 

Endless Flight

Swo Master
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
8,413
Reaction score
19,392
“Solo play” should be answered by “go buy a copy of Mythic GM Emulator”. It’s been used for all kinds of other games, including d20.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
20,387
Reaction score
49,068
last day for anyone wanting to jump in on this
 

Ladybird

TRAHR
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
3,169
Reaction score
7,233
No doubt, she’s become a darling designer. Now that she‘s made the desired shift from backend sensitivity reader to front end designer for A-List projects we’ll get to see if she can actually design.
Um... she was on the project to start with, though. She's just doing another thing now.
 

KrakaJak

Legendary Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
330
Reaction score
593
I'm not the biggest proponent of adventures, but I also realize this is a marketed toward new RPG players. I'm pretty excited for what comes next.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
20,387
Reaction score
49,068
I'm really surprised by how few of the characters from the comic are getting write-ups in the main rule book -

Hellboy, Lize Sherman, Abe Sapien (prior to mutation), and Johann Krauss for the regular edition, and stretch goals gave us

Kate Corrigan, Lobster Johnson, Trevor Bruttenholm, Roger and Alice Monoghan (the last one was my suggestion! woo!) in the special KS edition

I'm guessing they are holding out for a book of characters at some point
 

chuckdee

Legendary Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
2,142
It could also have to do with licensing. Not sure of the licensing status of Hellboy and if it is convoluted as other licenses out there, but in other cases, the tangled web of IP law have made for some strange decisions when taking the property to other mediums.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
20,387
Reaction score
49,068
It could also have to do with licensing. Not sure of the licensing status of Hellboy and if it is convoluted as other licenses out there, but in other cases, the tangled web of IP law have made for some strange decisions when taking the property to other mediums.

It's based on the same license as the Boardgame, which at the very least does cover all of the Hellboy and BPRD comics and offshoots.
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top