Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Pants Are On (The Secret) Fire

I never promised the Blog Post Titles would be any good, or even funny... just part of the theme ;)

Now I'm going to talk about skills and skill tests.  Most D&D / D20 games use some sort of "roll a D20 and see if you made your target number".  Not so in The Secret Fire - here you roll D6s and the number of dice rolled is dependent on the difficulty of the task at hand.  You are attempting to equal or roll under the relevant ability.

It ranges from 3d6 for an Easy attempt to 7d6 for an Impossible attempt.  If you are trained in the skill in question, you roll one less die (in effect, shifting the difficulty down by one).  I'm surprised that I like this system, but I do.  It makes your actual ability scores important - score of 13 to 15 are a +1 adjustment to other rolls, but as far as skill go, a 15 is much better then a 13.  It also brings back the "bell curve".

Moving on to the random charts, I think they are pretty good in my opinion.  The personality quirks and random equipment help to define the characters.  It's similar in a way to what Scott from Huge Ruined Pile had us roll in his house ruled OD&D game.  Anything that helps to define a character is good.  Would I buy it for the charts alone?  No, but they should port to other games fairly well.

K, lack of bookmarking is really starting to annoy me and my desire to flip semi randomly throughout this PDF.  The hardcopy won't be so annoying, but flipping through a PDF without bookmarking can lead to major frustrations.


  1. I'm glad you're enjoying it (I'm Bill Heron, one of the TSF Developers). I'm bearing what you've said in mind (particularly the %^&%ing bookmarks!). Thanks for giving it an objective review :)

  2. I'm also glad you are liking the game. (I'm Tony, the games 2nd Lead.)

    I also appreciate the objective review.

    If you ever get to run it, please let us know how it goes. And more importantly: what your game is about. I'm really, really curious about the types of stories people tell with the game.

  3. Bill and Tony - Thanks for stopping by. I'm enjoying it so far, but its not something you can read in a day, therefore the multiple part review.

    I'm in for a PDF and 2 hard copies, so you know I like it (bookmarking the PDF would be awesome and is needed if you ask me - my one complaint thus far)


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