Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Review: Rotted Capes Survivor's Guide Vol 1 by Paradigm Concepts


The Rotted Capes Survivor's Guide Vol. 1 by Paradigm Concepts (full disclosure, I received this PDF for review purposes) is a major expansion for the Rotted Capes RPG.

It adds two new Power Sources: Cosmic (Silver Surfer), Mystic (Zatanna), and Supernatural (Ghost Rider). All three are excellent additions to the game and are hallmarks of the Supers genre. A cool feature is that the Supernatural source breakdowns demons, ghosts, vampires, and werewolves for play. Each Power Source provides an Attribute Bonus, Unique Advantages, and Unique Disadvantages. It's a great system and allows a player to focus their concepts without truly being a hinderance.

The book also adds Alien (Martian Manhunter), Android (Vision), Anthromorph (Tigra), and Demigod (Hercules) as Archetypes. I appreciate their referencing character types that are essential to comics and allowing them to be played. Archetypes give Attribute Bonuses and have Primary Powers which may be purchased at a cheaper point cost.

What I really dig about both of these approaches is that is kind of makes you feel like you have a broad class and origin, but purely from a conceptual stand point. You get mechanical benefits, but you  aren't hindered in any significant way.

Next comes new Disadvantage that include Addiction, Enemy, and Taboo.

Personality Flaws add options like Berserker, Combat Paralysis, and Too Much of A Good Thing (you are pretty and people assume you are also stupid).

The Survivor's Guide also adds the Occultist Skill Set (a bundle of skills bought all at once) and Instruction, Mettle, Mimic, Occult, and Performance as individual Skills.

New Advantages include Deflect Arrows, Hidden Stash, and Third Eye.

A whopping 34 new Powers are presented here and include Absorb Matter, Chameleon, Damaging Form, Gravity Control, Parlor Tricks, Utility Belt, and Weird Biology. These new skills are also added to existing Archetypes as Primary Powers and as All Skill Powres. The Guide also presents 20 new Power Modifications and 16 new Power Tricks. 

Some truly cool Superhero Gadgets are presented and I found them to have inspired by some major characters from the Big Two publishing companies. It's cool to see them available. Some additional equipment as presented as Lost Tech that can be found and possibly utilized by the Player Characters.

Superheroic Sorcery is discussed and gives the Editor-In-Chief (Game Master) some good advice to use. And optional rule for Horror is presented, which is pretty important in a zombie apocalypse. Finally, we are given some options on how the zombie virus might or might not affect non-humans.

The Survivor's Guide finishes with some Heroes to use as pregenerated characters or NPCs.

I'm truly impressed with all Paradigm Concepts has done with the Rotted Capes line. I hope we are treated to a second Survivor's Guide in the future. While the addition of a zombie apocalypse helps set Rotted Capes apart, this is well-designed medium crunch Superhero System either way. I cut my teeth on Champions 4th Edition and loved the old DC Heroes RPG and I feel Rotted Capes is equal to both games and a worthy addition to my collection. I hope to run it fairly soon and I think the Survivor's Guide Vol. 1 really adds quite a bit to the game and is necessary purchase.

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