Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Flash Gordon: a Review


Well, I finally got around to buying it and reading it over. And I thought, "I haven't posted in a while. How about a review?" So here goes.

Art & Style

  • The cover is glorious, the formatting is top notch, and any spelling mistakes have flown below my radar.
  • The book is littered with snippets of the original comic serial. They don't draw comics like that anymore...sigh.

Races and Gear

  • Not much to say here. The vehicles appear to be based on the vehicle construction rules from the Sci-Fi Companion (minus any leftover mods for further modification), and the race construction rules are from the Sci-Fi Companion as well.
  • Acid guns, and atom guns, and rust guns, and bent ray guns, and heat guns, and ice guns, and ray guns...oh my!

New Rules

  • As I understand, this is a preview of what we can expect in the upcoming Savage Worlds Black Edition. I like the skill changes, although I didn't have a problem with the skill list in SWDEX. Also I had incorporated Performance as a house rule skill long ago and this is the same.
  • The new 'States' are okay, but again, I didn't have an issue in understanding or role playing these in previous editions.
  • As for Creative Combat, well I hope it's just a setting rule for Flash Gordon. I like Savage Worlds for its flexibility and simplicity. I don't really want another table to roll on.
  • The Wound Cap was something I was already doing in a house rule with the caveat that Heavy Damage could exceed the Wound Cap.
  • I do like the idea of Power Modifiers (adding difficulty to the casting roll for upgrades like Heavy damage, longer duration, and other effects), but it has caused players to spend more time figuring out what they will do on their turn and I have had to place more than a few players on Hold while they figured it out.

Verdict

There is a "hefty heapin' helpin'" of information on the world of Mongo. However, if your looking for an adaptation of the 80's movie, it isn't here. What you are getting is the original, and good on Pinnacle for that. It's not like the movie had much background to work with.

Will I play Flash Gordon in the future? It's doubtful but that isn't because I think Pinnacle pushed a shoddy product or because my players aren't interested in retro sci-fi. It is because I have Slipstream. You see the problem with Flash Gordon is Flash Gordon. You take part in a world that already has its number one hero. It's harder for my players to feel invested in saving a world while staying in the shadow of the main protagonist. Whereas with Slipstream, there is no Flash to save it, and my players know that they will have to step up and shoulder the problems of the Slipstream alone.

  • So if you are a die-hard fan or would like to learn more about Flash, it's worth buying.
  • If you are interested in running retro sci-fi, and can't get a hold of a copy of Slipstream, it's worth buying.
  • But if you have Slipstream, I recommend staying with that if only for the fact that it can be your universe instead of Flash's.

2 comments:

  1. You could always run the slipstream campaign using the Flash Gordon rules if you wanted.

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  2. True, but I don't think it is necessary. Many of the new rules in Flash Gordon are new ways to do things instead of fixing anything that's "broken" (not that I think there is anything broken in Savage Worlds). The only thing I would be tempted to take from it is the Cliffhanger rule. Otherwise I would be better served to just wait for the Savage Worlds Black Edition which I know I am going to buy anyways.

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