The easiest rules-lite game you’ll ever love.
I haven’t been this impressed with a new RPG since ICRPG came out several years ago. By no coincidence, it’s another game by Runehammer. This company just keeps on putting out the hits.
My friend on Twitter, @justinarevolution put me onto this game. Her tastes in RPGs are somewhat similar to mine and her skills as a game master are above and beyond exceptional. Of course, other people in the RPG community have said good things about this book as well. It’s a 110 pages of pure awesome!
Price is a major selling point for some gamers these days. EZD6 is worth every penny in my opinion. It’s up on DriveThruRPG in PDF and print. You can also go to EZD6.com for more about the book and some pretty sweet looking swag.
What’s all the excitement?
Unlike scores of other RPGs on the market, EZD6 has a very short, straightforward character creation system. With just a handful of lines on a sheet of paper, your character can be ready to go. No lengthy tables, no fancy stat rolling procedures, and no long lists of skills and feats to pour over. Anyone can knock out a solid fantasy character from scratch in minutes.
It’s obvious the author of this book, DM Scotty, has a lot of experience in the RPG field. There are cameo spotlights throughout where Scotty leads us through his intentions and what his thoughts are behind some of the various mechanics. Keep it simple and fun is a running theme throughout this RPG.
It’s well-produced in much the same manner as Cartoon Action Hour Season 3 by Spectrum Games is. There are little excerpts from a couple of characters throughout leading one through the various facets of the game. Some of these little snippets are hilarious, but no spoilers here.
It’s a simple, rules lite game that players can jump into, make a character and be playing in about 5 minutes.
It’s easy enough that most 6-10 year olds can pick it up and play probably faster than learning D&D. Answer the basic questions of what you would like this character to do and you’re off to the races. As you may have guessed, the simple six-sided cube is the core mechanic. (Raid your mom’s Yahtzee or Monopoly dice.) It can use other fancy role player dice, but they’re not necessary.
I love it because there really isn’t a lot of crunchy bits. You character IS their concept plus a little flavor that you provide. Much as has been done in other popular lite games, two of your character’s “stat” lines are two aspects, sentences by the player describing something interesting about the character like, “Corndog eating champion,” or “On the run from a farmer because I spent the night with his daughter.” Yeah, I’m sure it may lend itself to abuse if the Rabble Rouser (aka Game Master) isn’t paying attention.
Creatures in this game are a breeze to create.
I think Scotty might have taken a page out of ICRPG when he created the monsters and magic items for this game, which is totally cool. Creatures are more than a heap-o-stats and a pile-o-loot. I can have a literal field day with this. Monsters are basically the number of Strikes they can take, how hard they are to hit (from 1-6) and then what can they do? It’s purely description.
Here’s an example:
There isn’t a ton of numerical manipulation here. Boons are like Advantage in D&D 5E. Roll a second die, pick the higher roll. Trolls are obviously melee combatants. They’re just better at it.
I could add one line in the description to give the Troll another head or have it breathe fire. Everything I love about making monsters quick and easy in other games is right here. I’m very impressed by this plan.
As a side note, the creatures designed for the game itself are straight up nightmare fuel in places. Again, no spoilers, but <shudder.> I like it. My own various plotting and scheming aside, this game offers some tough battles for unwary characters. It’s kind of Old School that way.
Character growth and magical loot are as simple as monster creation.
Unlike other games, EZD6 has no advancement tables or experience point system. Character growth is purely narrative. The RR might rule the character gains a new trait, aspect or boon to something after a specific milestone or story arc. It’s very subjective. Magic items are also a good way to improve a character.
You may have guessed by now that magic items are also descriptive in nature. A magic sword might grant a Boon to hit in melee, sing loudly, and shoot a lightning bolt once per day. Oh, and it talks to the wielder telepathically, constantly. Needless to say, even basic magic items might be fairly hard to come by and very special to the character who owns them. Weapons could be as simple as “Grants a Boon in melee.” There’s really no such thing as a +1 longsword in this game.
There’s a lot of wiggle room for the RR to add more complexity to the magic item system and tons of random rolls if they wish. Weapon and artifact traits from any number of other RPGs are out there to be ported-in if desired. The RR is cautioned against doling out too many magic items too fast, however.
Overall, 5 out of 5 Stars!
The art and system for this game are phenomenal. The art is pretty old school, much like I have grown to expect from other Runehammer games. It’s a very simple, easy to teach, fast, light rules game. Combat can be complex with minis on a grid or theatre of the mind with ease. Jump in and play!
Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you. Please go check out EZD6.