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Plasma Base System
by John C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/09/2012 13:16:11
This product was severely disappointing. Plasma Base System (PBS) promises a simplified, old-school system. But it has two significant flaws:

First, claims to the contrary, PBS is not an old-school system. I think the author might have confused rules-light with old-school roleplay, a mistake many others make. What distinguishes old-school gaming from modern rps's is not that they're simpler (many were, but others decidedly weren't), but that they're much more geared to GM interpretation and have wider latitude in what you can do w/ your character. PBS is decidedly modern in this regard, with heavy reliance on skills and on multiple, heavily-defined classes. Any old-schooler knows that these two characteristics alone move a game out of the old-school camp.

Second, the game is indeed simple; your $5 buys you two pages. That's right, count 'em; two. Now, I have no problem with reducing complex rules to a few pages; in fact, I prefer rules-light approaches, which is why I took a chance and purchased this. The problem is that this rules system is incomplete. The magic system, for example, is woefully inadequate (listing a total of 9 spells). Other basic rules are just plain missing from the system. For example, you have to get their Expansion, another $5, to get the rules for basic things like races and alignment. I haven't purchased the Expansion, but if it's another 2 pages, you have to pay $10 for a (possibly) complete system that can be had for free elsewhere.

Many of you are probably already familiar with the excellent MicroLite20 system, a free system designed to be usable with the majority of the OGL/d20 material. It's a distillation of modern d20 rules that allows you to plug into all the rules, supplements and adventures already published for the the world's most famous fantasy roleplaying game. If you do an internet search, you'll discover that MicroLite20 has been adapted to multiple fantasy systems and licensed properties, as well as to multiple genres, from superheroes, spies and science fiction, to western, pulp and horror. If you're looking for what PBS promised, a rules-light old school system that is simple and straight-forward, you can do no better than the MicroLite74 system, now in it's third edition, from www.retroroleplaying.com. In their own words, "Microlite74 recreates the style and feel of that very first ("0e") fantasy roleplaying game published back in 1974 using somewhat more modern rules." Best of all, it's free.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Plasma Base System
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Publisher Reply:
Good point about the lack of old-school mechanics, and duly fixed. However, I don't get the impression you gave the rules any more than a cursory glance. I would ask you to give them a shot, particularly with a beginner gamer. If not, I'm sorry you didn't like the Plasma System, and hope you enjoy some of Kunlun's other offerings (most of which are free).
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