Real Talk By: Haggy
The old radio sparked and whizzed as the firefight finally came to a close. Dean Martin’s voice struggling to get through the busted relic as Damian and his dog Scruffy slowly peered around. The bombed out ruin was filled with the giblets and gore of the raiders that thought the two of them were fresh meat. Smirking, the man and his dog then began to go through the loot of the room, hoping to find rations, ammo, or anything else that they could at least sell back in Westside. A stir, a creaking, movement, the duo weren’t alone. Something was coming through the hall, something big. With gun drawn and self hidden, Damian decided to stay, hoping his luck would be kind… Trevor, the player controlling Damian, then rolled a critical failure for his luck check, and sat in horror as a Deathclaw decided it was feeding time.
Fallout, an RPG originally by Interplay and Black Isle Studios boasts quite the compelling universe and game series. However, as the original Fallout was essentially a tabletop RPG but automated, a new way to experience Fallout has come. A man named Jason Mical, along with a few others, have made a rulebook for a table top RPG of Fallout. Now it’s possible to enjoy these adventures with a party of your friends, and with more freedom than ever before. However, is it any good, and even if it is, is it as good as the Games?
Firstly, the requirements to play. Needed is the rulebook (Which is free and can be sent to you), a place to play it (Roll20 is a nice free way to do this, but if you can find a module, it is quite nice in Tabletop Simulator. I’ve even made such a module, and have posted it in Steam Workshop.), and some dedication. Otherwise, there really isn’t any easy way to play this, unless you wish to try your hand at a purely narrative approach.
Next, the rules themselves. The cornerstone of any RPG book, the rules must be clear, logical, and effective. Like the games it emulates, Fallout PNP uses the SPECIAL system, with characteristics and skill points being used to determine percentages that you’ll have to roll at or under to succeed at checks. It is a little complicated at the beginning, but since rolling less is almost always better in every check, once you’ve played it for a few minutes, things should start coming naturally to you. (Note: there exists an automated character sheet PDF that auto calculates for you. I’ve edited it to accommodate this version of the rule book, and encourage you to use it. Will provide upon request.)
However, it’s not all good. The game is quite difficult to go through as the GM will have a lot of aspects to manage and create as well as keeping the difficulty of the campaign a match for the players without murdering them too easily. This isn’t helped at all as the bestiary in the book only includes the animals you can find in the wastes and not more human opponents.
All in all, it’s definitely an interesting creation, and definitely worth your time if you’re interested in Fallout, RPGs, or both. Especially since all the material needed to play is free with die rollers existing on the internet. Oh, and make sure to put Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and other period music to make it even better.
Fallout PNP Gets
3.5 out of 5
+ The World is thoroughly cool to be a part of, and the player freedom is quite enjoyable.
+ The System can be used to accommodate care-free and serious games alike.
+ The SPECIAL system is effective and logical
+ Comprehensive item list
-The Game is quite difficult to learn if you aren’t used to RPGs
-The Bestiary is lacking
-The Rulebook isn’t worded in the best way, to the point where I occasionally had to make quick references.
Interested in grabbing this yourself? Email me for some files, and I’ll send them your way at firstname.lastname@example.org