Friday, November 22, 2019

Review: 5th Evolution: Carbide City #1

I'm always on the lookout for a good superhero game, especially one that runs on the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition chasis. While Mutants and Masterminds is a very good game, it doesn't scratch my itch because I don't care for it's damage system. I like hit points, but I also have been looking for a superhero game where buckets of dice weren't necessary. I'm glad to say 5th Evolution: Carbide City #1 from Limitless Adventures fits the bill.

I was given physical and digital copies of 5th Evolution: Carbide City #1 for review purposes.

I'm going to talk about the formatting of Carbide City #1, nine of it's 45 pages is a comic book to introduce you to the setting and it's super powered inhabitants. I really like this, the art is excellent, the layout is great and it's fun. For some reason it reminds me 80's and 90's role playing games, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Palladium Books, in particular.

The book opens with a brief overview of the world and Carbide City itself. This leads into four encounters and ends with running a campaign in the setting. 

Next is equipment and then we are given write-ups for minions and henchmen. After that we are given full statistics and back stories for ten supervillains. Additionally, there is a "further adventures" section for each villain.

Then we are given ten superhero Archetypes: Blaster (Cyclops), Brick (Colossus), Feral (Beast), Gadgeteer (Forge), Ghost (Kitty Pryde), Martial Artist (Shang Chi), Marksman (Scalphunter), Speedster (Quicksilver), Telepath (Emma Frost), Teleporter (Nightcrawler).

Unlike other superhero RPGs, 5th Evolution: Carbide City strictly uses Archetypes for character creation, there are no rules for building a character with points or randomly rolling one. You pick an Archetype and work with your Game Master if you want to change things up. The Archetypes are 12th level characters and honestly, if you are well-versed in DnD 5E, you could build your own.

I really like this approach. I have numerous games where I can customize and min-max my character to the fullest, but this is a great way to just get the ball rolling. I honestly find it refreshing.

We are told that 12th level characters are lower powered than many of the superheroes in comics and I can see that, but I find the power level to be good for say the X-men of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Additionally, each Archetypes Advancements to improve them instead of using Experience Points.

5th Evolution: Carbide City #1 (plans for a #2 were mentioned with additional Archetypes) was like a breath of fresh air, it's easy to get going and yet complete and most importantly, fun enough to keep new and veteran players interested for a full campaign. I cannot recommend it enough.

Finally, Limitless Adventures is running a Kickstarter for 5th Evolution: Whitechapel which is in it's final hours right now.

You should check it out.


Pun Isaac said...

While I initially wanted full character creation rules, I really like the archetype approach. It lets you dive in quickly and doesn't drown you in options like say, Mutants and Masterminds. I also love how the different 5Evo books work together nicely.

Cross Planes said...

Yeah, I agree 100%. While I came up playing Champions, I don't want a supers game that is also a math game. I realized I've ended up using Archetypes in M&M for all of it's editions.

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