I downloaded a copy to see that the game is all about. The rulebook comes in just under 300 pages with beautiful full color artwork throughout, a sharp layout, and an attractive price. Right now you can pay whatever price you feel the book is worth. I don’t have a ton of time to play RPGs lately, but I did take a look through the book. Here’s what I’ve found:
Combat has an interesting twist. Built into every character (and enemy) is a special Nerve score designed to reflect a force’s morale in a fight. It’s a little like a second set of hit points, but it gets shaved down by near-misses and hits and various other aspects of the combat system. When it runs out, the enemy enters a sort of “surrender” mode, which basically means they don’t want to fight anymore. Like anything in a tabletop game, I imagine you can take it or leave it, but it does address that weirdness we see all the time in D&D games, where a random robber will fight to the death just to get your purse, or where your party will summarily execute anyone who pisses them off just because they have no assurance that they wont be stabbed in the back by a spiteful DM if they show any mercy. This game puts an emphasis on communicating with your enemies, rather than just killing them. Your party has opportunities to find out why they’re being attacked, to capture or question people, and to otherwise play out combat less like a videogame and more like…people. The theory is sound, I’d be curious to see how it works in practice.
Fans of the astral-horror and body-horror genres will find something to love here too. The game doesn’t hinge on it, but there’s a lot of little dives into weird alternate realities featured in what amounts to its “magic,” which looks to me like an expensive way to commit suicide, but certainly a fun one. There’s a very high risk/reward ratio on that front, but the vast array of technology available to characters suggests you don’t really need to tread that path if you don’t want to. The book says as much, but who trusts rulebooks, really?
There’s a whole lot more buried in here, including surgical options, ship-based combat, and a neat character building dynamic that lets you dynamically adjust the way your body works. All in all, it’s an impressive piece of indi-press. There’s enough in here to give it staying power, and based on the success of its first kickstarter, I would hope the author produces expansions in the near future. I think it’s worth having just for the sake of giving you a neat system to read one night, even if you don’t plan on playing it.