Spent a great day at Games Expo 2015, first time I’ve been to the new venue. At previous shows I was running a demo Game of Necromunda or acting in the Living Dungeon so this was the first time I’d been just as a customer. Hmm. Very big, very crowded and apparently taking over even more of the NEC next year. I bought some expansion decks for Netrunner; some squamous-looking dice to use with Eldritch Horror and Mutant: Year Zero the rpg (mainly because I’d heard real good things about it).
Mutant: Year Zero is a post-apocalyptic RPG and originated in Sweden, now released by Mophidius. It is fantastic; very well-written and dripping with theme. I don’t think it will replace Savage Worlds as my #1 RPG but it is a VERY close second. It will definitely be hitting the table soon.
The Game is a gorgeous 268 page hardback, packed with rules and illustrations. The Game system is very simple and straightforward; character generation is a 5-10 minute job; done in collaboration with the other players and the GM. You then jump straight in. There are no set adventures per se; the Game allows the GM to set up situations which the PC’s have to react to; they can then initiate their own missions (a true sandbox). The Game uses six-sided dice, five of three different colours which are rolled in various combinations. You can buy custom-dice with pretty symbols replacing the ‘1’ and the ‘6’; I didn’t but I might if the Game proves to be a hit. Any task, you roll the dice and you need at least one ‘6’ (= a radiation trefoil) to succeed. The more sixes rolled, the better the effect. Roll no sixes, you don’t just fail; there is a consequence to that failure. All of this is clearly spelled out in the rules.
All PC’s are sterile mutants. Yes, that’s right. No Pure Strain Humans here. Everyone has a random mutation which can have spectacular effects and can also blow up in your face. You all inhabit your Ark, an enclave you call home. Exactly what this is, is up to you. You are encouraged to set the Game in your home town and draw a gridded Zone on a road map. Two are provided in the endpapers; London (The Big Smoke) and New York (The Dead Apple); the original Game used Stockholm (no idea what that was called).
I’m creating some characters to get the feel of the system; I’ll post them along with a short playtest.