Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Piecemeal System Review: Top Secret / S.I.

There's not a lot I remember about this RPG. I think remember it more for the default setting it tried to create around it -- and I remember I was more interested in the F.R.E.E.Lancer setting which was more meta-human paramilitary operatives rather than movie-style espionage by the Orion Foundation against the evil super-agency called WEB.

I remember that I liked the percentile mechanic in combat -- regular roll tells you if you succeed or fail, the 1's dice in the same roll indicates the hit location.

I wasn't as much a fan of the full %, half %, quarter % mechanic that they advocated for handling skill difficulties, because I wondered why unskilled people didn't suffer as big a penalty in difficult situations as really skilled people did!

I mean, a guy with 80% skill is dropped by half to 40%; that's a -40%! Whereas a dabbler with a puny 2% skill is dropped by half to 1%; that's only a -1% penalty! The dabbler sucks so badly that increased difficulty in combat still gives him about the same chance?

Of course, at least in this game the martial arts rules were changed from the original table-based combat system for HTH. And I remember that I felt the font size (though I didn't know the term at the time) was too large for the book. I felt that I'd gotten less rules for what I'd paid for.

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