Product– Pip System Corebook
System- Pip System
Producer– Third Eye Games
TL; DR– The Cypher system and Shadowrun had a baby! 93%
Basics– What do you want to play? The Pip system book is a generic system book that focuses on the mechanics of the pip system and all the different worlds you can play in. Let’s dig in.
Basics-This is SOLIDLY a skill based system. Everything you do is based on how many skill dice you have and EVERYTHING is a d6. Basically you take however many ranks you have in a skill plus your quality ranks (think specializations that may count for some activities) and roll that many six sided dice, counting 4s, 5s, and 6s as successes. These are called your white dice. Then you or the GG (game guide, the GM for this system) roll a number of dice equal to the challenge rating of whatever you’re up against and counts 4s, 5s, and 6s. These are the black dice If you get more white successes than black, you succeed.
Combat, AC, and the rest- We don’t really do that here. You have hit points, but as a skill system you basically tell the GM how it goes down. You just dodge the hit, then you roll athletics to dodge, but you might say I roll stealth to hide and avoid or survive to get out of the way into cover. You succeed on the dodge, you don’t take the hit. You attack with different traits as well,and damage is just difference in hits if you succeed on the attack.
Gear and Character Building- Character building is quick too. You choose a basic archetype that gives you some mental and physical hit points, basic starting skills, an ability, and a hindrance to roleplay. Then you spend build points buying skills, quality ranks (specializations in a part of a skill), and advanced qualities (feats you have to meet prerequisites for). Gear is the same way. You spend other build points buying different gear. It’s all generic to help you build a character for any setting that you might want to pay.
Fortune- Magic cheaty points! Fortune is how you can control your rolls. Everyone wants rerolls, HP, and other things so you can control the action a bit, and Fortune is that thing. Roleplay well, do cool things, and play nice and you get fortune tokens.
Ok, what do I think of all this?
Mechanics or Crunch– For the crunch here, you have to ask yourself one of two very important questions-”Do I like the cypher system, but want a tad more crunch?” or “Do I like Shadowrun but could use a bit more speed?”. If yes, you will love this. It’s a simple system where you make lots of choices and control a lot without having too many rules in the way. That also means that players can have a HORRIBLE time if the GG and they just don’t work well, so it’s got that OSR vibe of the system flexes a lot for fun, but your GM can ruin your experience. Overall, the base mechanic running EVERYTHING is amazing to me. You do need to coordinate with your GG to make sure your awesome character isn’t completely built against what he/she is thinking so your game time won’t be an issue. Solid quick mechanics make this a good system to learn and get into. 4.75/5
Theme or Fluff– It’s always hard to review a generic system without a world. There are some splashes of places to play, but mostly this book is how to play and check out the other stuff we got for specific places to play. It’s got good intros so I like what I see. The book does go a bit more fantasy than modern or future, even though it supports everything. Good intro to a gateway to several new worlds. 4.5/5
Execution– PDF? YEP! Hyperlinked? YES! Solid execution here, but a few issues that hurt it a bit. Text is easy to read. Pictures break up the flow, and I like a lot of the toys on offer. However, I would like a few more examples of actual play. Tell me how numbers happen. That’s the big issue here. It’s a generic system, so as the GG I need more guidance on what to throw at my players and how my players make the dice pools. Overall, it’s decent, but if it were to provide a bit more walkthrough of a game and a combat scene, I would love this more. 4.75/5
Summary– Well, I’m in. This is a fun system that I can get my players running in about 10 minutes after they select pregens or 20 minutes if they have to build people. It’s quick, easy, and negotiable. Players have control, but with all negotiable systems, dialogue will be key. Make sure everyone is on the same page, and players will enjoy this game. I like Sci-fi, so I want a bit more of that in the base book. But, what’s here is good. As for the physical build of the book, it’s done well. I still need more examples, but I think I can run my first game well enough. I like what I’ve found in this one. If you want some quick d6 gaming in any universe, this is worth a look. 93%