Bif! Bam! Pow! Breakdown Review
110 Pages – says Beta Test 8 2001. Therefore take it into account that really this is a draft.
Explains the general idea and that of character classes. Heroes, Unsung Heroes, Fallen Angels, Mercenaries, Villains, Normals.
Abilities. 3d6 style Strength, Will, Constitution, Personality, Dexterity, with Vitality rolled as 5d20 being your mental and physical energy. Then 3d10 for Bonus Points to add to abilities – or higher if greater powered game. Combat Bonus is (Dexterity – 9)/3 rounded down with a minimum of zero. So oddball already.
Roll of the Offense, Defense, Special and Limitation Powers and on the Money table. There are free powers with pluses and minuses you can take and minor powers to get later.
Everyone gets some common skills then 15 chosen skills. 1000 XP lets you train a new skill. Yet another game that assumes USA here.
There’s a list of stuff to buy but suggests equating to real life, so guns, kevlar, infrared goggles, etc. A bit Superhero 2044.
A character sheet overview on page 12 and some suggestions on Backgrounds.
RULES OF PLAY
Page 14 leads with a saving throw explanation. These are on 3d6 versus an ability. Rules for movement. Jumping broadjump is your running speed in MPH – 1d4 minus encumbrance in pounds plus Strength. Movement and expending energy like lifting heavy things.
Money – rewards and expenses.
Initiative is 2d6 that some things can modify like Super Speed. The Combat Table has a defense class from powers and different columns based on level. This is a d20 table, not a 3d6 one. Various combat manoeuvres like the Champions Brace, Charge, Called Shots and other usual suspects a la Champions or d20. Carrier attacks, Intimidation for some variety. You are allowed as much Patter or snappy dialogue as you like in a fight as long as it doesn’t drag on too long.
Some examples of others:
Multiple Actions – The maximum you can perform is 1/5 of your INT. -1 penalty per extra action.
Second Wind – make a save versus PERS + WILL. On d100 this time.
Seize Initiative – go first in a fight if you say you are doing so.
Synchronize Attacks – combine attacks as one to overcome invulnerability for example if you both Save vs DEX on 4d6.
Costume Effect: This is different – attack a person dressed more strangely than you and get a penalty! -2 if a bit stranger, -4 if a lot!
Multiple Attack Powers: If defined as linked, can both go off at once.
Vitality is Hit Points but damage greater than CON may stun you. Also start taking serious CON damage depending on degree of overs.
Multiple Defenses and Powers and penetrating attacks that can bypass some is rather complicated.
There’s the 50% chance to hit the wrong person Pacesetter firing into combat rule.
Healing – Vitality is recovered at 1/5 of CON per rest minute. CON at one per day.
Page 26 starts a weapon table which leads into breaking things.
There’s an experience gained table, with modifiers like 0-20% off for Gross Stupidity and 0-50% for contributing to Good Story. Bad guys get experience in reverse manner to good ones.
Then a level table. Only one gain allowed per adventure.
When you go up a level, get Vitality equal to half CON + 1d4. You get a minor power every two levels like Athletic Physique or Tough Hide. Skill gains, too.
Starts on Page 31 and goes to 50 with the various details and Limitations possible.
Page 51 start. Renaissance Man is one of them. Helps you out with others, so an interesting one. There are skills related to powers like Insta-Change. Several tables of Skill Packages for different occupations start on page 61. e.g. Detective, Soldier, Smuggler, Ninja, Knight. Law abiding and criminal varieties – so these are a useful addition.
Power description special effects, linking two to create a new power. e.g. Teleportation, Laser Attack and Insubstantiality to go all Monica Rambeau.
Advice and a table of modifiers for Advantage/Disadvantage for these like Disintegrate or Target must Save vs Disability. Don’t do Instant Death powers is the suggestion.
Appearance, Armor Piercing Weapons, Body Armour, Breaking Things, Collision Damage, Experience, Falling, Hit Location
Game Colour – gain Virtues per level like being put on a Pedestal by the public.
Coming back from the dead, super metals, combat options.
Sample of Play – 3 pages.
Rationale on design choices, low early power, making it too D&D like. A page on being a good refereee and another on designing adventures.
Care and Feeding of Super villains
Design them…personality, how tough they are.
A one page Power Table for printing. Weapon, experience, combat and other tables designed it appears to be printed and possibly GM screened. With a blank character sheet to finish.
Genre Suitability: Lower level heroics to start with, being a level growth and power growth game, increasing later unless you raise the defaults.
Artwork: Black and white minimal amateurish.
0 0ut of 10 Price (lower is cheaper per page)
5 out of 10 Length (lower is shorter)
8 out of 10 Complexity (lower is easier)
3 out of 10 Playability
3 out of 10 Artwork
This is one person’s ideal game it would appear. The criticism that is levelled at it for being very D&D like would be correct. With strange chunks of other things thrown in, too, to make it an oddball hodgepodge that doesn’t really gell. See Scott Lynch’s Deeds Not Words for throwing rather all in the d20 way and being more coherent, independent and also containing ninja.
Set category random power generation is a different way to do things, but not as much fun in general. A useful option though.
You could certainly play this game but I am not particularly sure why you would want to.