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BASH! Sci-Fi Edition $25.00 $9.99
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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5 1
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BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
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BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/12/2010 02:20:44
BASH Sci-Fi Edition is indeed a complete toolkit for running any type of science fiction adventure a modern sci-fi fan can imagine, and it's also no slouch when it comes to running modern action or thriller games either. The system is deceptively complete, covering all of the major genres of science fiction. In addition, any or all of these genre packs, all of which are contained in the single pdf file for this game, can be combined seamlessly, allowing stories with combined genres or ones set in the far future where all of the strange technologies of fiction have come to pass.

Most modern games have a simple-to-understand action resolution system nowadays, but most generic, multigenre, or toolkit systems drop the ball when it comes to character creation, either leaving many options out in the name of simplicity, or falling prey to overcomplexity in the name of completeness. BASH does not fall prey to either of these issues. While characters are still built from points, the point values use much lower number all around, and the explanations for anything you might want to buy are quick and broad in scope without being vague. No calculators or reams of paper required to build a character - all of the point values for attributes, skills, advantages, and powers are in the single digits. A slight bit of game balance might be lost, but this broad-strokes style of bookkeeping is still precise enough to make sure there's a significant difference in cost between the powers to move small objects with your mind, turn invisible, or completely mind control someone.

Balance between mundanes and people with "powers" (each power is judged based on effect, and simply restricted to power sources that make sense) is kept by making near-impossible feats of mundane expertise into its own category of powers. In essence, being good at something is a skill or a high attribute, but being action-hero good at it is a power, just like mind control would be, and bought from the same pool of points that powers are.

Skills are judged by "have" or "have-not" and if a character has a skill, the character can roll their attribute to accomplish a relevant task. The have-nots can still make an attribute check, but, lacking the skill, will have a penalty on the attribute roll. This skill system is one of my only issues - while it makes the game very quick and easy to play, the lack of an ability to increase ratings in individual skills makes running a campaign slightly more difficult than a one-shot. However, it is possible to raise ratings in specialized areas of mastery within a skill, to alleviate this problem.

Finally, a lot of good examples are provided, even within the specialized genre packs, all within the book's 137 pages.

A lot of generic or toolkit game systems claim to cover all possibilities while remaining rules-light, but I am of the opinion that BASH is the only game system to manage being complete and being rules light, without these two goals interfering with each other. Overall, very little assembly required. I *will* use BASH the next time I run a Sci-Fi story for my group, and I expect that both the old hands and the newbs will be satisfied with the result.

For the asking price of the PDF, a solid value. I only wish it were sold in a pocket or digest-sized print edition I could slip in to my laptop bag or backpack, in case of pickup game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the review. I would like to point out though that you *Can* improve your ratings in various skills by spending XP (3XP to raise a skill or buy a new specialty, page 45). You can also choose at character creation to put multiple "slots" into a single skill choice, raising the multiplier. Thanks again for the review, and I'll think about that digest size suggestion...
BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/24/2009 08:37:35
BASH! Sci Fi Edition is a great product based on the simple but innovative BASH! mechanics. All kinds of Sci Fi goodies from light sabers, psionic powers, Mecha, the list goes on.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by Christian K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/14/2008 20:26:35
BASH! SciFi Edition is toolkit, first and foremost. If you came looking for a "complete" RPG, you will probably be disappointed, since there is not setting.

That aside, it's a marvellous toolkit. In the span of 138 pages, it covers everything that is needed to run space opera. There's aliens, psionics, cybernetics, a nice helping of guns and sci-fi toys, statblocks for almost every "stock" character type encountered in the SF genre, a collection of beasties and robots, and quite a few starships. You also get genre advice for victorian SF, cyberpunk, pulp-SF, post-apocalypse and sword & planet, along with decent rules for mecha.

Several things deserve special praise:
The scaling rules are top-notch. Characters vs. Vehicles is thoroughly covered by the rules, as is attacking large vehicles with smaller craft. And they don't feel tacked on, they work well.
The equipment section has a nice selection of addons and gimmicks, and deals with combining items as well. Want a grenade laucher on that blaster rifle? No problem. Collapsible quarterstaff? BASH! SF has you covered. An energy sword that doubles as a pistol? Can be done, and we have an arm-mounted energy shield and a jetpack to go along with it. You can build amazing things that way to keep your players entertained.
Finally, the book also has a simple (but working) system for dealing with mass combat, be it in space or on a planetary surface.

There were a few things that irked me, though. One of them was the old cover, which has since been replaced with the one shown here.
Also, the PDF isn't optimized for printing; it lacks the empty page between the cover and the first interior page, and the page numbering starts at "2" instead of "3". Most of you will probably just read it on-screen and not be bothered with the page numbering, but it's a bit iffy to get a hardcopy printed that way.

In conclusion, BASH! SciFi is a great and very compact toolkit. If you need a system for your SF-campaign, look no further.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BASH! Sci-Fi Edition
Publisher: Basic Action Games
by Curt M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/30/2007 13:59:26
OK, here's what I like about this book--the exact same rule-lite system as BASH! Fantasy edition, none of those weird soak roll rules from the supers version. For $15.00, which I still argue is steep for a pdf, you get a highly workable system complete with the standards--aliens, psionics, starships, mecha, etc with solid rules for a good number of genres and random alien species generation, so it's as if you're buying 3 or 4 books of the price in terms of usability of the content. My one complaint, as far as content, is that a "giant transformable sentient robot species" section was not included, though those types of characters could be worked up with the system with a little time. An adventure generator would be nice too, but that's probably pushing it.

As for the documents themselves, I appreciate the print-friendly pdf, but why include pictures in it? The table of contents and index are not hyperlinked, which is a little annoying.

These issues don't bother me so much, but be aware that the book is mostly illustrated with stock art you've probably seen before and that other than named sample alien species emulating sci-fi staples, no setting information is given.

In short if you like the BASH! Fantasy rules set and want the same quality of hidden gems were genre is concerned, you'll love this.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the review-- as to your one major complaint-- Sentient transformable robot species are addressed in the rules of the Mecha section! You can have a "Living Mecha" as a character along with the "Transform" power for said Mecha!
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