Smiorgan reviews DayTrippers Core
Over at the Department V blog, Smiorgan has written a review of the DayTrippers Core Rules. One thing that's particularly interesting about this review is the "back-to-front" technique, in which you read the book backwards, starting with character sheets and missions, eventually working your way to the front material, such as chargen and setting conceits.
Smiorgan admits to being a "terrible RPG reader" (a charge I'm not convinced of), but the back-to-front technique brings out their analytical qualities and truly seems to work well. I might try it, next time I find myself reviewing someone else's game.
Their summary is that "this is a smart and interesting game with an intriguing system and a very strong, yet adaptable premise. It’s not too long, and it’s a good value for the money."
More importantly, Smiorgan has cottoned on to the deliberate sketchiness and flexibility of the core rules set, which is designed to leave lots of open creative space to be filled in by Players or GMs, depending on the kind of world you want to run. The money quote might be this one:
DayTrippers feels weird and goofy, and not at all serious, and I’m not sure why that is — maybe it’s the New Wave SF surrealist sensibilities or the apparently disposable mission-based approach. Once I’m over that I can see a lot of depth and potential to be both superficial and lighthearted, or serious and deep. It could be a comedic franchised exploration company, contracting out to corporate clients a la Ghostbusters or InSpectres. It could be a serious, military SF style game if you replace the corporations with a military chain of command; it could take a conspiratorial tone if certain Nodes were classified or forbidden. I could see a mission focused game, or a sandbox where the PCs hire themselves to the highest bidder. I could see a game where the downtime drama scenes become as important as the missions.
By limiting the kinds of nodes you can tune the conceptual boundaries to make a game that’s only about alternate Earths, or space travel, or time travel, etc. And by tuning the power levels of the characters you could expand the scope further — I might fancy playing a superhero game like Planetary or Zenith (Phase III), sending supers to fictional universes using a fiction suit, or the Omnihedron’s alternate earths via. an Einstein-Rosen bridge. You can probably tell this is right up my street.
Basically, reading the book backwards, Smiorgan gets it. :-)
You can read the full review here.