Monday, July 26, 2010

An almost forgotten Encounter Critical post.

I was browsing the ol' local rpg forum and found this post I had made last year. It was the start of my Encounter Critical thread over there. A recent poll at our forum, KnoxGamers, has produced only ten responses so I thought I'd repost these comments here for the wider audience of the blog-o-sphere.>>>

I've said a lot of things about this game and I'll add a few more comments now. Perhaps it's not "role playing through the imagination of a 12 year old boy" but, rather, the imagination of at 12 to 22 year old young man. Any one who reads the rule set will certainly understand these comments. Said rule set is available for download at:

That copy of the game looks like a photocopy of an old beat up copy of the game. This is intentional and explained at the web site. There's a yahoo group for fans of the game and members can download a clean pdf of the game. This copy doesn't look old and beat up but the gazette format isn't easy to assemble. We end up with a game that appears to have been designed in someone's basement with either file. So, what is the allure of such a low budget game?

The character creation begins with the standard 3d6 ability scores. The fun begins with the list of twelve basic character races; Amazon, Dwarf, elf, Frankenstein, Hobling, Human, Klengon, Lizard Man, Planetary Ape, Robodroid, Vulkin and Wookie. The alternate spellings of Hobbit, Klingon, Vulcan and Wooky were supposedly used to avoid copy right violation. In all the information I've read about the game, the dwarf, elf and human races are rarely used. What twelve year old could resit the chance to play a Frankenstein, Klengon, Lizard Man or a Wookie? And what Forty two year old game-boy could resist the same opportunity?

The character classes begin with the standard Warrior, Warlock, Criminal and Pioneer but the last two are a bit out of the ordinary. These are Doxy, or harlot, and Psi-Witch or Psychic Warrior. There are even rules now for ninjas and bikers.

The game mechanics consist of pages of old school charts. Each ability gives a percentile chance to succeed at a desired action. Thus, all actions are determined by the percentile dice. For example, a strength of 14 gives a 68% chance to succeed in a melee attack, 16 strength = 77% success, 18 strength = 86% success. Warriors have 20% chance to increase their strength each level. With some luck, or a friendly and liberal Journey Master, pc's could be facing 100% success rates for their actions around fourth or fifth level.

If you need further proof that this game is equally brilliant as it is stupid just imagine, remember being a young gamer? You probably wanted ray guns or pistols in your D&D game. Maybe you wanted space travel or time travel or bikers or robots? I know I wanted all that in my D&D game as a young lad, now I can have it all in the form of Encounter Critical.

You've all been fairly warned, if you see me approaching with an ugly photocopy of a rule book in my soil stained paw, run away. Run far, far away.

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