EZG reviews Amnesia (FATE RPG)
This supplemental pdf for Rite Publishing’s superb “The Demolished Ones”-FATE-setting/module/sandbox is 19 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
Now, if you’ve read my review of “The Demolished Ones” (TDO), you’ll know I a) hate the FATE-rules and b) loved the “Demolished Ones” enough to actually want to run/play it and consider the FATE-rules actually good for something. I am in love with this setting, but it is a demanding one for DMs to run – due to the free-form nature and player-driven action in TDO, a DM better should have some experience under his/her belt. Since there are some differences between standard FATE-CORE and TDO, we are given a quick run-down of the interaction of the two and how they relate before we delve into one of the two types of “memories” provided herein – in order to avoid SPOILERS for TDO, I will refer to them as “a-memories” – these are the ones pertaining to positive life events or those that are…well. Normal. Job-related, marriages, victories – each memory comes with an array of related skills, aspects and possible stunts the respective a-memories may provide. While generally positive, the memories may still be a source for discomfort – how do memories of oceans or holidays enter your mind if there is no beach within the Dome? A total of 17 such a-memories are provided, all with ready-to-go read-aloud text in vivid prose that only at best requires minor modification, making introducing resonating memories easy.
And then there are “b-memories” – these tend to be…less pleasant. I’ve managed to avoid spoilers about those in my review of the base book and will try to remain so. Generally, these b-memories are unpleasant…morally despicable and hearken to the theme of identity and ID suffusing the setting of TDO in at times unobtrusive, at times obtrusive symbolism. A total of 10 such b-memories are provided and the memories are depicted in just as vivid prose – only that here the nastiness of the memories lends a totally different quality to the memories. As before, we get associated aspects, skills and stunts for each of these… b-memories. Why two categories? DMs will know, player’s shouldn’t and I’m not telling. ^^
Beyond these memories, we also are introduced to an array of stunts, unless I miscounted, a total of 58 ones, to be precise. of these, 5 are particularly designed for TDO and are problematic to convert, but over all – they actually add a much more strategic edge to TDO than via the basic FATE-CORE stunts available in TDO, which btw. have also been reproduced herein for convenience’s sake.
We also get a short errata on zones and movement and advice on how to handle the respective memories.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the beautiful 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes with glorious b/w-artworks and fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Author Bill Collins has created a supplement that should make running TDO not only easier on the DM, it should also add a more distinct level of tactical depth in the conflicts in TDO, allowing for a more streamlined flow of the free-form module, all supplemented by vivid prose and at times disturbing imagery that supplements well the superb setting of TDO. If I had anything to complain about this, then that would be the lack of new gear-aspects herein – the steampunkish component of TDO could use some additional development, but still – that is no fault of either the base book, nor this supplement. While I still won’t run standard FATE, I most definitely will run TDO and consider this supplement an excellent addition to the books canon as well as a great help for DMs. Even non-TDP-DMs/players may get some use out of this book to add a sense of alienation and wrongness to their game and play with the identity of characters. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at a solid 5 stars.