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Fallout: The Roleplaying Game Starter Set - PDF $12.00 $9.60
Publisher: Modiphius
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by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/26/2022 01:55:00

The Rules Booklet

This 56 page booklet contains a streamlined and far less intimidating version of the Fallout 2d20 rules. In fact, it makes for a useful handout to players if you already have the core book and don't want to burden players with having to consume the entire tome.

In it you'll get a quick primer on what RPGs are and how gameplay is handled, Character Creation rules, the Mechanics of the 2d20 system, Combat Rules and finally Reference lists for Perks and Equipment in the game.

It's all very well laid out, and the colors and callout boxes make it that the rules are easy to read while vividly illustrated.

The Adventure

Once Upon A Time in the Wasteland is the adventure that comes with the starter set, and is a 60-page booklet that contains a small campaign of three Quests. Designed to teach the game as they play, each adventure is broken down into three main acts, and has a good spread of different challenges and situations.

While the starter set has pregenerated characters, the adventures here don't require them, and so players can make their own characters.

The three adventures each open with an summary of events, an introduction to the section and Quest goals to help prepare the GM to run the game.

The GM is led through with the usual "read this to your players" boxes while also getting advice along the way to conduct things like handling encounters and what rolls might be needed. It's the kind of hand-holding I like given that this is an introductory product and many GMs who might be getting into this might be more used to the computer games as opposed to TTRPGs.

Enemy encounters also introduce the relevant stat blocks right in the encounter to minimize page flipping

While I won't go through the exact specifics of the adventures in an effort to avoid spoiling it for those who will be playing through it, I do find that the storyline is pretty solid, with all the hallmarks of a good Fallout yarn. Those who want fights will get enough set piece battles to have it stay interesting, while those who are there to explore will have a section dedicated towards the surviving the wasteland. Of course, those who also prefer to role play will find themselves talking to all manner of people throughout the adventure and there are more than a few key decisions that stand to change the fate of the wasteland in dramatic ways.

Pregenerated Characters

The starter set also contains six characters to start with, with each one featuring an Origin from the game: Vault Dweller, Survivor, Brotherhood Initiate, Ghoul, Super Mutant and a Mr. Handy robot. It's quite the mix, admittedly, and I don't imagine that this is a "normal" composition of characters in a Fallout game, but at least every one of them is represented.

Each of these pregens are also given their own Biography. These are pretty well done and I would gladly play any of the characters given the interesting nature of their histories.

Conclusion

The Fallout Starter Set is a solid investment to get people playing in the Wasteland. The condensed rules and the accompanying adventure provides the perfect onramp to build up familiarity and confidence with the often intimidating nature of the full 2d20 system through play rather than study.

The art and layout of the books and sheets make them easy to use, and having the starter set makes it more likely for play groups to dip their toes into the irradiated groundwater of the Wasteland.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Fallout: The Roleplaying Game Starter Set - PDF
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