Super Nerd-Genius, Damien Harris, has created a new Table Top Role Playing Card Game that is so very awesome, I wanted to share the review that I have written for it with all of you! I have a pre-distribution copy of the game since it has not been released yet, so I’m hoping all you Table Top fans out there can’t wait to buy it when it comes out!! FYI– I have omitted most of the pictures/headers in my original review until I make them transparent.
Calling all fans that enjoy Table Top Gaming and possess an active imagination! 52 is the new game that you will be playing from now on. 52 is a Table Top Role Playing Card Game created by Damien Harris and produced by Mindful Machinations. It is possibly one of the simplest, easiest and most entertaining games that you will hopefully soon enjoy. The more imagination and creativity you put into the game, the more you get out of it. Anyone’s Game! Unlike virtually every Role Playing Game in the verse, the supplies required to partake in the wonderment of 52 are both few and inexpensive. Comparing MMORPGS (where there’s an initial investment of the game, plus x amounts of expansion packs and a monthly fee) and Dungeons and Dragons (someone in your campaign needs to have a DM handbook, Player handbook, Monster Manual, Miniatures and crap load of dice) to 52 is like comparing night to day. If you have a deck of cards (the entire game revolves around drawing cards), a pencil (or pen, if you are so inclined), paper and a copy of the 52 game you are set. With such a low cost of materials anyone can play this game– if they are up to the challenge! Character Generation If you’ve ever played any sort of decent role playing game; Table Top or PC, you know the perils of character generation. If you are unaware, two simple words sum it up rather succinctly; time consuming, or if you prefer, soul crushing. It is a daunting task to create ones character without wanting to bang your head against the wall when faced with so many choices. Do you want to be good or evil? Oh, Good, okay then. Lawful Good, Chaotic Good or Neutral Good? What race do you choose? And class? What are your abilities? How will you spend your points? Do you want more mana or more health? The list goes on, painstakingly long. And if you care in the slightest about your characters appearance that is an entirely new ballgame. Prepare to be on the character selection screen for hours…at least in my case. 52′s character generation is based on two things. Yes, I said it, only TWO. Picking your character’s class (role) is completely random, by the cards, hence the name 52. Each card in the deck represents a different role. After you have picked a card the Director (AKA Dungeon Master) will inform you on what role you have inherited. Once the Director explains the plot each adventurer will fill out a short Questionnaire that they have prepared, asking simple questions about their character. And there you have it; Character Generation Completed! Pick A Card, Any Card No, really, that’s how the entire game operates. Instead of rolling dice to decide your fate, you draw a card from the deck. Two of the most important phrases you will hear in this game are “Challenge Fate” and “Affinity”.
Challenge Fate is when you draw from the deck of cards (Fate) for any number of reasons– using an ability, performing certain actions, damage checks and more. Challenging Fate is the equivalent to rolling the dice.
Your Affinity is the suit of the card that you pulled for your Role during Character Generation. You can either pull a Positive Affinity or a Negative Affinity. A Positive Affinity is when a player pulls a card of the same suit and a Negative Affinity is when a player pulls a card of the opposing suit.
The cover of 52 shows the Affinity chart in a clockwise position if you forget, or you can refer to one in the booklet. Hearts opposing Affinity is Clubs, Clubs opposing Affinity is Diamonds, Diamonds opposing Affinity is Spades and Spades opposing Affinity is Hearts. If, when Challenging Fate you pull an opposing Affinity your character loses Energy (health), and on the flip side, if you pull a positive Affinity you gain Energy.
Rulebook?! What Rulebook?! There are no set rules on how the game should operate. There are no limitations on what kind of actions your characters can perform, however don’t throw common sense out the window. The Director ultimately decides which way the game will go, what actions are too unlikely for your character to perform, what results will most likely happen, “If a player gets shot point blank or a player dives into a bar full of unfriendly Yakuza with machine guns, that character should meet with a suitable fate”. Not Just Dragons?! If your mind can create a world to play in, who is anyone to stop you? There are no rules to what type of world your adventurers need to fight in or what incredible feats they can perform. If you so choose it, the world can be ran by a horde of mutated cats exacting revenge upon humans for being fed tasteless kitty food. Or, on the flip side, you could run with a zombie / vampire storyline, medieval dragons and knights, horror what’s-under-your-bed and even the paranormal. If you can think it, you can play it. It’s as simple as that. All of the Roles in 52 were crafted for any type of dimension you can think of. Let’s see Dungeons and Dragons do that. Let The Cards Fall Where They May A simple break down if you’re mind is spinning too much from the awesome of 52. –Besides the actual copy of 52, you don’t need any materials that wouldn’t normally be found in your house….Unless you’re a communist and do not own a deck of cards, of course. And no, 52 doesn’t have hundreds of pages; just simple and lengthy enough to direct and guide you in playing. –If you can think of it you can do it. Want to play in a Sci-Fi world where everyone flies with jet packs? Sure, why not? Who is 52 to stop you? Rather hunt in an Egyptian tomb for artifacts and gold? You can do that too. –Character Generation takes less than 10 minutes with a small party and a half hour or less with a party of 10 so you better get some soda and and order the pizzas. –The more you put into the game, the more you will get from it. This goes for any table top RPG, but it’s especially important in 52. –You may not have pulled the “best” Role for the campaign. Suck it up and be a team player. –This is a game and as such the first and foremost goal is to have fun! On the Mindful Machinations website the creator, Damien Harris, sums up 52 perfectly . “So when you ask me what is 52? I will look you right in the eye and tell you “It’s story telling, the purest form you can play.”” Check out http://mindfulgames.us/ for updates on the game and follow them on Twitter @MindfulMach