by Delos

A Bunch of Unlikely Heroes: A Review

148535Here’s a fun little RPG written up by Davide Pignedoli. It’s a free-form RPG (as in it’s like FATE where you can create just about whatever you want) that is geared to medieval fantasy. You can find “A Bunch of Unlikely Heroes” at the link for $1. It’s based off of Vincent Baker’s Otherkind Dice system so all you’ll need is a a bunch of six-sided dice. The character creation process is mostly a bunch of questions that are asked by the GM. The adventure has 12 questions that each player has to say yes to at least one. Some examples are “Who here is the tallest?” and “Who here is sizing up the room like a battlefield?” and there are follow up questions that help flesh out the world. Based on how the characters answer these questions the world will be written. So maybe the tallest person in the room is actually an elf and then that player gets to define what elves are. It’s a neat way to guide the players through not only character creation but also world creation. I’m all for making players do the hard work of world creations.

The dice mechanics were new to me and took me a few read throughs to get my head around them. I wrote up a play example that helps explain the mechanics.

GM: You see before you the fortress of the Orc Lord. The land between you and it is strewn with the bodies of the fallen and wooden walls and spikes. There are orcish archers eying you up, ready to loose arrows upon your head. What do you do?

Jen: I’ve been in this situation before, back during the war my garrison stormed a keep under a salvo of arrows. Just stick close and follow me. Once we get through that, I’ll bash the door open and we’ll charge in.
David: I hope you know what you’re doing.
Melissa: No worries. I can deflect some arrows with my magic.
David: Great, but how is that going to keep me safe?
GM: Alright, so you are going to try to enter the guarded fort using brute force. That sounds like it is going to be pretty hard. So for the target/objective die we’ll do…
1-3 You get trapped and pinned down in the field.
4-5 You get to the front door but it’s being held shut.
6 You bash the door in
The advantage die will be…
1-2 You gain no advantage
3-4 You gain a slight advantage
5-6 You gain a major advantage
The danger die will be…
1-3 serious harm or damage suffered
4-5 some harm or damage suffered
6 no harm or damage suffered
Also, since your party is coming with you we’ll need to worry about your companions. The companion die will be…
1 all in danger take serious harm
2-3 all in danger take light harm, or just one takes serious harm
4-6 none takes harm
Jen: Alright so that’s 4d6 then? One for each die?
GM: That’s right.
Jen: Do I get some sort of bonus for fighting orcs before or having this giant tower shield?
GM: Totally! You get an extra die for having something useful on your character sheet, but you can only get one bonus die from your sheet. It’s up to you which aspect of your character is helping this time, the bonus die will be the same regardless.
Jen: Well it’s something. Ok here goes.
*Jen rolls 5d6 and gets 3, 3, 4, 6, 6*
Jen: That’s not bad!
GM: Alright, we’ll drop one of the 3’s since you can only use four of your six dice. Where do you want to assign them?
David: Just be sure we don’t get hurt!
GM: It’s up to Jen where the dice get put, but I think you’ll be ok.
Jen: Let’s see… I’ll put the 4 in the companion dice. That will keep everyone safe.
David: Thank you.
Jen: One of the 6’s will go to the target. That door is going down. I’ll put the other 6 into the danger die and the 3 in the advantage die.
GM: Wow. You pulled that off no problem. Ok, so Jen leads the charge through a salvo of arrows. Keeping her shield up and using the terrain to her advantage all of you get to the door unscathed. Jen hits the door at a full sprint, sending the wood splinters everywhere. The orcs are surprised by the speed of which you got in. Hence your slight advantage. Now the orcs are grabbing melee weapons and are starting to come at you. What do you do?

All of these dice and targets and such are explained thoroughly within the book. I haven’t had the chance to play it yet but it’s at the top of my “Need a game now” list. At 30 some odd pages, it’s not hard to blow through in an hour. There are also plenty of random tables in the back to help flesh out the world more.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out Davide’s other projects like City of Judas.


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