Hollow Earth Expedition and it really is looking like it might become my "go to" non-OSR system of choice. Well, the underlying Ubiquity might become my non-OSR system of choice.
It seems to do everything that Savage Worlds can do, just a tad bit simpler and possibly play even faster. This is not a knock on Savage Worlds. SW has more settings, more plot point campaigns, more everything and it does them very well. I'm looking at both Solomon Kane and Deadlands for story arcs, and I have no plus to try and squeeze them into Ubiquity (besides the fact that I don't know the systems well enough to do the conversion, it would change the underlying gameplay and become something other than what it currently is. If that makes sense to you ;)
I'm close to dropping some cash on Desolation, a fantasy post magical apocalyptic game / setting built on the Ubiquity engine. Not sure if I'll like the default setting, but I'm sure I can use the basis to make my own fantasy world if desired. I very much want to see how they handle magic, as it isn't part of the core Ubiquity rules in HEX. It's a stand alone go, so you don't need HEX to play it.
I've never been all that partial to Pulp RPGs. Along with Supers, it's something that I enjoy reading or viewing, but I've never felt all that excited playing them. HEX, with it's awesomely detailed historic background of the setting has made me more comfortable with the pulp styled theme, but it still isn't one of my preferred themes. It won't stop me from GM a few sessions. I think the system is a prefect match for a pulp styled RPG.
Just like Savage Worlds, you have access to "bennies" / "style points" which gives the player a boost when he needs it. It's a nice way to give the players some extra control over their destiny and as they are awarded in the Ubiquity system for roleplaying your characters motivations, among other things, they are more then just a tool to help the PCs. It's a tool that rewards players for keeping in character, even if it results in a short term detriment.
Yeah, I really need to see how this converts to a fantasy setting (and I can really see this being used is an Original Star Trek setting or Star Wars type of setting).
Lots to read today ;)
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