For those of you who are still sore, like Fallout 76 Turns out I have good news: life in the wasteland is fun again and all because of a new tabletop RPG. Fail: The rollplay by Modiphius Entertainment brings the Fallout franchise back to its roots as a tabletop game with the turn-based rules that made the original game so fun – especially when it comes to dealing with combat.
The original Fail The video game was supposed to be based on a tabletop role-playing game system called GURPS – also known as the Generic universal role-playing system. Then the developers of the video game had to create their own new tabletop game to use as the foundation. Bethesda Softworks bought the franchise and turned it into a real-time action game. Now Modiphius is bringing it back to the table.
Fallout: The RPG is currently in production and is expected to ship as a physical book this summer. Those who pre-order a copy from the Modiphius webstore Download the PDF version now for £ 38 (about $ 52). There are still some typos and some referential page numbers are missing. But it is the complete book intended for both gamers and game masters. It’s over 430 pages long and includes monster stats blocks and a short campaign. All of the mechanical things about the fight are right up front and only make up about 12 pages.
Ranged weapons are difficult to make in a TTRPG, and there are many reasons why they are. Tabletop miniature games are all about the little things. When I play something like that War hammer 40,000: kill teamI love to haggle over range and line of sight. But when I play an RPG, it’s as much about the conversations I have with non-player characters and other types of casual social encounters as it is about shooting guns. The fight in a TTRPG should mostly be a means to a narrative end.
Modiphius understands this problem implicitly. It is 2d20 system has been tuned to take into account Fallout’s propensity for exotic small arms, but in a way that doesn’t affect your game.
Everything starts with the movement system. During combat, the battlefield is divided into zones rather than individual fields. That front part of the Red Rocket gas station? The one with the cash register and the newspaper rack? Yes, it is a zone. And the area in front of the pumps is a different zone. The inside of the garage is a zone, and the roof surface – above, right around the missile – is also a zone.
Would you like to move the pumps from the garage into the area? This takes two rounds, one to get into the cashier zone and one to get the pumps outside into the zone. Each round you must spend one action point to keep moving, and everyone on the battlefield receives one action point per turn. This makes fights pretty lively as you either move or shoot.
Modiphius uses zones to make range easier. Yes, you can shoot people in the same zone with your pistol. If they’re in the next zone or two away, you’ll need the right gear to be able to aim and hope to hit them.
You can spend more than one action point on your turn. So you can move things like and fire your gun. You can even spend multiple Action Points to fire guns multiple times. Action points are earned fairly easily throughout the game session by completing challenges as you roll dice in other phases of the game. Roll very well when you’re trying to pick a simple lock, and you can stash those extra Action Points until you need them – and then redeem them to take out the Super Mutant right when it counts.
The cover system seems to make things more complicated, but actually they’re not that bad after all. The cover works across line of sight and affects your damage resistance per body part
It doesn’t sound intuitive, but that increase in specificity makes the game play Fallout: The RPG Much easier and slimmer than usual without miniatures. It transforms the cover mechanics into another narrative ball that the game master and the players can hit back and forth. Instead of hiding the fact that something needs to be decided by getting on par with the miniatures on the table, you and your friends can just pretend.
The other functions that make it Fallout: The RPG so inviting are the character classes. Of course, there is a Vault Dweller class, as well as a super mutant and a ghoul. You can even start the game as an initiate in the Brotherhood of Steel. But my favorite by far is the Mister Handy class. Not only does this limit what types of limbs you can have at the start of the game, but it also limits your character’s worldview and even vocabulary to fit within the narrow confines of his or her original programming. Imagine spending the next year role-playing as the voice of Fallout 4Codsworth. The whole game is filled with the kind of goofy, dark comedy the franchise has always been known for.
Fallout: The RPG is now available as a PDF for preproduction. The game has been verified with a copy provided by Modiphius Entertainment. Vox Media maintains partner partnerships. These do not affect the editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions on products purchased through affiliate links. You can find You can find more information on Polygon’s ethical policy here.