Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Awfully Cheerful


I suspect that after our Star Trek concludes, albeit in a long long time ahead in a galaxy very very close, I would be up for something a little more light hearted. There are a few parody's around that provide a relief from the stark universe of Starfleet protocols and whilst there are classics such as Space 1889 and Paranioa there are also some new systems brewing. Among them is the Awfully Cheery Engine (ACE!) which is "an irreverent, affectionate parody of pop-culture tropes and a love-letter to 80s roleplaying games."

Looking at the team that put it together, this is not surprising: Russ Morrisey, who began his career at the age of 14 has been hugely proliferate in the industry and the surrounding media over the last 30 years including systems such as Judge Dredd as well as running the EN world RPG website and podcasts. Dave Chapman is the author of the Star Trek Adventures core rulebook that we are currently playing as well as the lead writer of the Dr Who RPG. Marc Langworthy is the third collaborator on ACE also co authored the recent Judge Dredd with Russ Morrisey as well as the Hellboy RPG. AS much as some kickstarters seem to be good ideas shoddily thrown together, this team have a heritage that will stand it in good stead.

ACE! is D6 based and has the narrative structure of a film production akin to It came from the Late Late show where fast cinematic action and comedy set the tone. Each player has a hero bar the GM who is the Director and there are a number of cliche adventures packaged along with the core rules. A bit like the zones in the Crystal Maze each adventure is a take on the classics: Spirits of Manhatten is the crossover for Ghostbusters, Montanna Drones & the Raiders of the Cutty Sark is clearly the missing film in the Indianna Jones frachise, Strange Science parallels the film Weird Science where fitness freaks do a lot of body snatching and of course Beam me Up charts the voyages of the starship Brazen on its highly illogical adventures.

Basically if you were around in the 80s you can be around in the 80s again.

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