Altered Carbon RPG

Renegade Studios announced an Altered Carbon RPG to be released September 2020. The setting seems ripe for an RPG, and I’d love to see another sci-fi game out in the market. Cyberpunk 2077 coming out in August 2020 surely has nothing to do with the timing.

I have physical copies of Renegade’s other RPG, Overlight, and the production quality is pretty good. That and the art direction and setting should be enough to sell me on the game. Then I watched the rules video.

I get there is a desire for “something other than d20” and a lot of studios are searching for what that might be. Bringing back roll under systems is not the way to go. We stopped that in the 80’s, and would begrudge you in the 90’s if you still kept it. That was 40 years ago. The challenges people have with roll under are proven, documented, and public. A simple google should tell you about it. Sure some of the new gamers may not directly remember from personal experience, but they can certainly Google and find out way faster than the older players did.

They also have a luck dice mechanic included which sounds pretty bad. To understand it, I’ll need to explain the resolution system. For normal resolution, the GM sets a Target Number for a task. TN4 for example. You roll your die, a d4/d6/d8/d10/d12 and if you roll under 4 you succeed. Lower die are better, and ties are failures. So If I’m rolling a d4 I have a 25% chance of failure, but a d6 gives 50%. The luck die is poorly named. The GM can tell you to add a luck die to the roll, asking you to roll 2d4 and add them together. Your odds of success drop dramatically. It’s really kind of an un-luck die. In play, I’m now adding two numbers, and trying to get under a third. It’s kind of unintuitive and I expect to spend a lot of table time reminding folks. One more layer of complication. Double 1’s is a crit success, and double (highest possible) is a crit failure.

Combine the roll under system with their luck dice mechanic and I’ve gone from easy sell to wait and see on my purchase.

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