Red Dwarf RPG by Todd Downing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Confession Time: There was a point in my life when Red Dwarf was unquestionably my favorite show. I've seen every episodes, some at least ten times. Way back in 2003, I chanced upon this at the Fantasy Shop and snapped it up. After all, there isn't much Red Dwarf merchandise to be found on this side of the pond, especially in those days. However, I never read it from cover to cover until now. My gaming group was strictly Dungeons and Dragons and I couldn't get them interested.
This is a pretty slick little RPG. The system is very simple and I fairly confident I could run a game after just skimming the rules. As the book says several times, the system is there to support the setting, not vice versa. Add your skill number and the relevant attribute and roll under that number using 2d6. Easy peasy.
Beyond the streamlined rules, the book contains stats for damn near every character, device, and ship seen on the show, even Talky Toaster. There are Mad-Lib like tables for whipping up adventures and all sorts of random adventure aids. The player options are fairly broad. Besides human, you can play an evolved pet, wax droid, simulant, hologram, Kinatawawi, Pleasure GELF, and various mechanoids.
The writing is really clear, which is awesome since most RPGs read like stereo instructions written in an alien language. It's also peppered with quotes from the show and dry British wit, making it easily the funniest RPG manual ever written.
I still probably won't find a group to play Red Dwarf with but based on the manual, I'm giving it four out of five stars.
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