On a Useful Review of Into the Odd

So recently +Chris Mcdowall of SoogaGames released the short, rules light, old school type game called Into the Odd. It's from Lost Pages, +Paolo Greco's publishing imprint, and I've been really in love with everything they've done so far, so I'm giving Into the Odd the old look.


  • It's a rule light, very rule light adventure game where you seek out arcana. 
  • The equipment table contains firearms, telepathy, rockets, and burnt faces. Also a lot more. The setting could be any 17th-20th century locale.
  • 3 statistics exist, Strength, Dexterity, and Willpower. You get 1d6 hit points, and cross reference your highest ability score against your hit points to get your starting equipment. This is a three minute character creation process, useful for getting right into actually playing. 
    • The equipment table is totes impressive yeah? More goodness. Iron Limb, Telepathic link, Hawk, Cigars, Bomb, Glowing Eyes. Good times, good times.
  • Roll under stats on a 1d20 for actions, roll a damage die for attacks and subtract armor. Once out of hit points you start subtracting damage from strength and rolling strength saves to avoid critical damage. 
  • I'm fond of this "When a character dies, the player creates a new character and the Referee finds a way to have them join the group as soon as possible. Here, quickness is required over realism."
  • Full hit points every time a short rest of a few minutes is taken, statistic recovery every time a long rest of 1 week is taken.
  • Leveling increases your hit points and possibly your stats if you roll under them.
  • I think I just typed out all the rules. The rest of the book is . . . odd.
  • There are outlines of arcana, three pages of weirdness that can cause as many problems as they solve. These would be useful in any game. 
  • The default setting is the Odd World, centered around the city of Bastion, surrounded by an abandoned countryside filled with ancient ruins and overgrown woods and a great polar ocean to the north.
  • It contains a 1 page style 4 page dungeon that can be ran with no prep. Rooms are presented with the immediately visible things separated out from what investigation reveals. 
  • It also contains a short hexcrawl (4 pages) and a city! There's a ton of play packed into 10 pages.
  • The remaining pages provide a series of tables for generating inspiration for actions the players might take. Who's this we meet? What'd down this street? What's going on. 
  • It's a fast game, definitely something you can pull out and use with new gamers or children, and a book full of ideas and strangeness for your own games. There's a free .pdf with the basics of the rules, Or for 8$ you can get a boatload of random tables, a hexcrawl, a dungeon and more. It's only 15$ for the print copy, which for a limited time gives you two hard copies of the game, due to an unfortunate misprint. 
  • I feel a bit strange reading this book, because it seems to be fully third wave, internalizing agency, letting rules define setting, and eliminating preparation while maintaining exploration and depth, while encouraging spontaneity and fun. 
  • If you're into weird, mystery, adventures against strange creatures, while seeking weird magics, and want something that plays faster than Call of Cthulhu, this this should be your goto port of call. I can't think of any other system I'd rather run that type of adventure in.

Hack & Slash 
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2 comments:

  1. -- Leveling increases your hit points and possibly your stats if you roll under them.

    So, as you get stronger, it gets easier and easier to get stronger?

    Is that a typo, or is it by design? How is it balanced out by ongoing play?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Nathan. It's actually the opposite of that. When you level up you roll against each of your stats, and increase any that you roll over. So a lower stat is more likely to increase than a higher one.

    The result is that you round out your weaknesses sort of passively, so if you want to get better at your strengths you're going to have to find other ways.

    ReplyDelete

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