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Awaken - Core Rulebook
 
$19.99
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Awaken - Core Rulebook
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Awaken - Core Rulebook
Publisher: The Games Collective
by Glupi N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/21/2017 18:15:21

Created by The Games Collective, Awaken is a role-playing game featuring horror, intrigue and good old-fashioned adventure. Awaken uses a farily elegant and intuitive system that is easy to learn and simple to use in play. This system is used to tell dark, swashbuckling tales about individuals gifted (and cursed) with powers that allow them to fight various threats. In a setting that freely mixes influences from Slavic history and mythology with Japanese anime, great houses fight and scheme among each other to gain ever more power. However, grotesque threats emerge from the dark corners of the world and endanger the whole of mankind. Only the player charactes can stop them but the more they use their powers, the more they risk turning into monsters themselves. Finally, its worth mentioning that the book's artwork is lavishly illustrated. Beautiful artwork helps bring the world of Awaken to life to both the players and game masters alike.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Awaken - Core Rulebook
Publisher: The Games Collective
by Georg N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/18/2017 08:19:37

Really love this book. It delivers an action paced combat in game as well as out of the game and I'm thinking of using the system with other settings as well. Easy combination of character attributes and skills for the task rolls as well as fast character creation make this game perfect for players unburdened by the rules. Emphasis on the narration and roleplaying is what makes our games flow and will definitely try to find more players for the game. Flexible rules make for a great base for creating the massive and complex campaigns, and I'm already working out a campaign which will result in Alliance demise to see how my players will handle it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Awaken - Core Rulebook
Publisher: The Games Collective
by Matt G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2017 05:33:24

I was too late to back this game during its Kickstarter campaign, but I was waiting for the opportunity to buy the digital version of the book. My first impression of the game when I opened the PDF was „Ooooooh, nice art!“. So definitely one extra point for the art – I've seen triple-A publisher products which can't measure with art in this book.

The mechanic itself is fast and simple, well suited for RPG newbies. My gaming group consists of inexperienced players as well as old school fantasy RPG fans, and they all agree that the combat is one of the best solutions for quick fights they've ever seen. It's fast, easy, and gives the opportunity to include flashy, cinematic, and epic descriptions and moves.

The creators claim lore is Slavic and Mediterranean oriented – I think these are just elements of the overall feel, and my personal feel was that it was more of a Mediterranean atmosphere while reading about city Liboria, for instance. I completely endorse „dipping“ into that feel as opposed to relying heavily on standard mythology.

All in all, it's very good project, and I'd very much like to see the expansion of the lore, powers (gifts), Orders, and probably some more character feats and options.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Awaken - Core Rulebook
Publisher: The Games Collective
by James S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2017 20:48:46

I'm pretty disappointed. What billed itself as "Slavic-inspired story-oriented gaming" turned out to be ...

(a) The protagonists are just Exalted. There's a Light God and a Dark God, and the intermediaries between the Light God and the people have divine gifts. They died out long ago, and now suddenly people are being awakened as these intermediaries-come-again.

(b) It reads as typical fantasy. There's a Good God and a Bad God and one wanted to lift people up and the other wanted nameless slaves and then there was a war and the Bad God got chained in the earth and the Good God eventually got sad and stopped talking to folk. There are some Slavic names attached to stuff, but it all feels like a re-trod of stuff that's already been visited and re-visited. Maybe I just missed something? I admit, once I read the intro mythology and looked over the mechanics I pretty much checked out.

(b)(2) I didn't get a good sense of place/flavor from it. It reads to me like fairly typical fantasy fare: there are cities without the technological/economic justification for cities, wine and taverns, etc. The "Gift" (the miraculous powers of the protagonists) were likewise pretty standard fare: for instance, the Body Gifts are superior constitution (straight up con buff, basically), regeneration (heal self once/hr); bone spike (wolverine claws); superior senses (really vague benefits of "clearly sensing details up to 100 ft away"); and body knowledge (a mish-mash of stuff, from rank 1's "stabilize the dying" to rank 3's "put them to sleep").

(c) The System section is 95% Storyteller and 5% PbtA. You roll attribute+skill with d6s, and count up your successes. If you fail because the GM upped the difficulty to require more successes, you get your task resolution but "not the way you wanted." There's nothing in here about snowballing, soft vs. hard moves, or any other PbtA stuff, so it's just a hunch that that's the inspiration behind "succeeded but not how you wanted."

Unlike PbtA, it goes back to the storyteller sim roots, hard: there's a bunch of different combinations of attribute+skill, or something close to it,to make sure there's always some skill check you can be forced to do, and difficulty of rolls is about simulationism, not fictional consequences (there's a Lifting roll, for pete's sake, for anything >half your weight that needs to be lifted quickly). And "Dramatic Failures" make a come-back, something I've never missed since, in combination with "skill check everything," they have a special ability to allow rolls to stop a story in its tracks.

(d) It's pretty. I like the art.

(e) It reads poorly. Some of it reads like translation artifacts, but other bits just read like bad editing. Or, good editing on top of a base of bad writing? I mean, check out page 10, in the intro. In the span of three short paragraphs it jumps from third person sweeping historical view, to a first-person "I appear to be in some particular location witnessing some historical event", back to third-person but this time on a personal scale, witnessing the here-to-fore un-introduced "Yessen murmuring to himself." Two paragraphs later we jumped back to sweeping, historical scale. I haven't seen anything bad enough to prevent comprehension, but it happens just often enough to knock me off stride.

The issue here is that if the system is Storyteller, the protagonists are Exalted, the setting is typical euro-ish fantasy, and the magic system is - if I had to summarize it - "simplified Exalted 1e", uh... what's the selling point here? I would've enjoyed it on a really strong Slavic setting alone, and ripped the rest of the stuff out for DW or Godbound if need be, but it's not even useful as inspiration for a setting.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
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