Fallout RPG, Modiphius 2d20 System Role Playing Game (Review)

Modiphius has published Fallout RPG, an role playing game of this beloved saga under the seal of its 2d20 System, but will it be a good adaptation? keep reading our review and find out.

A few months ago we announced the launch of this new official Fallout RPG role-playing game , under the 2d20 System, the proprietary ruleset developed by Modiphius, which they have used to published many other titles such as Mutant Chronicles , John Carter of Mars , Conan Adventures in an Age Undreamed of and Star Trek Adventures , just to name a few.

fallout rpg modiphius 2d20 refugio

All these games broadly share many features, such as the mechanics to solve the skill tests and the use of a metacoin that bears a different name according to the setting in which it is played, which despite how it sounds it adds narrative depth and fun .

However, each game has small changes to adapt the system, so in Star Trek Adventures and Dune, we have games where the social aspect gets a much greater relevance, or as in John Carter of Mars which is considered for many like a «lite 2d20» version of the system.

So this new installment comes with many expectations, after all we all hope that a game so beloved and to which we dedicate countless hours on the screen has an adaptation at least decent to be played at a table .

Table of Contents

fallout rpg modiphius 2d20 yermo hermandad acero

What is the Fallout game series about?

Fallout, is a video game franchise , we could place it within the literary genres of uchrony and post-apocalypse, both derived from science fiction.

In the world of this saga, the events after the Second World War do not develop exactly as in ours, for example, the transistor was never developed, which did not allow the development of computational equipment like the ones we currently have, thus, By 2077 all technology still had a look that we could call «retro» , with radios and vacuum tube computers, as well as monochromatic cathode ray tube monitors.

However, that did not stop the development of technology, some companies even got to manufacture robots with quite advanced artificial intelligence , even by our current standards.

The year 2077 is very important for the history of that world, because that was the year in which atomic bombs rained all over the world and most of the planet’s life was wiped out, mostly only the people who could enter in nuclear shelters, called vaults, or those living in remote communities could survive .

fallout rpg modiphius 2d20

The inhabitants of many of the shelters had everything to survive for generations, while those who were left out lived hell on Earth, some died instantly, others died from radiation or starvation, others are still alive after about 200 years, in the form of Ghouls whose skin rots on them but do not die of old age , but the rest of the survivors had to adapt to a new world without the services they were used to, some became cruel and wildothers simply they tried to survive as best they could and held on to their humanity .

Human beings have been organizing as good as they can, some are little more than tribes of ruthless savages, other form little settlements and some others are part of large well-ordered organizations with ambitions to dominate and control by any means territories, technologies and people within their reach, wanting to fill the emptiness of the now non-existent state.

In these 200 years, many things have happened and it is up to the players and the Game Director (DJ) to determine what kind of adventures they are going to live. Will it be a group of inhabitants of a vault who have gone out to explore the strange world outside and see if the others can come out? Or perhaps they will be part of the bands of survivors who are dedicated to looting villages and caravans? Maybe tech relic hunters or brutal super mutants looking for their place in the world?

Fallout RPG on the 2d20 System

If you do not know the 2d20 System and want to see what it is about, you can take a look at one of the many writen or video reviews, my review of the 2d20 system shamely was lost when we moved from one service provider to another. I recommend the following video.

Since in general the system has been covered in many sources, I am going to highlight some changes that it has received to adapt it to the wasteland and differentiate it from the base that we could consider Mutant Chronicles.

The Fallout RPG handbook is over 400 pages long , of which just 24 are basic rules about the system34 pages are about character creation, covering Perks, skills, and everything else, followed by an impressive 100+ pages of equipment and instructions to obtain, manufacture, repair and modify any weapon, armor or piece of equipment you want, as well as rules for the creation of substances and consumables , food and drugs that are used in the saga among them, to make sure you feel at home playing in the wasteland.

fallout rpg modiphius 2d20 yermo hermandad acero

From then on, it brings almost 100 pages of the great Lore of the saga, which we could delve into many other sources, if we wish, and almost 100 pages of instructions and advice for the Game Director (DJ) , ending with a interesting introductory adventure and appendices, all beautifully illustrated by Michal E. Cross, Tom Hutchings and Stephanie Toro.

Seeing all this, I should point out that some people out there say that Fallout, along with Mutant Chronicles and Infinity is one of the most «crunchy» games, within the 2d20 ecosystem , this means that it is one of those with more rules, but It is not a really bad thing, since, as we can see, a large part of them refer to all this of the modifications and manufacturing, allowing us to customize our character and their belongings to unsuspected levels, such as in the saga.

How to create a character in Fallout RPG 2d20?

Something that is perhaps missing in Fallout RPG is the absence of the Lifepath character creation system that we find in other 2d20 games. The process simpler and more traditional here, while producing a less detailed background. You basically follow the following steps:

  1. Choose your origin : you can choose between six options, each one will then be completed after choosing starting equipment.
  2. Assign Points to Your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Attributes: The game uses an adaptation of the original seven attributes of the game.
  3. Buy skills ranks and pick three Tagged Skills: As in the video game you start out being better at those three skills.
  4. Choose your first Perk: then you can choose an additional one each level.
  5. Calculate your derived stats: like Carry Weight and Defense.
  6. Choose a starting equipment: and complement the origin of your character.

Choose your origin

In the core handbook of Fallout RPG 2d20 you have only six possible origin, I’m sure Modiphius will add more starting equipment and origins for greater variety in future expansions, each origin comes with a short explanation of its history, a reference image and a text box that indicates additional information such as considerations, Perks, advantages and disadvantages of playing with said origin.

fallout rpg modiphius 2d20 dogmeatjpg

It should be noted that despite being there only six types of posible origins, by choosing the starter kit you can customize even more, after all the settlers, wanderers, merchants and other humans of the wasteland belong to the same category of Inhabitants of the Wasteland. The Origins with their starter kit are:

  • Brotherhood (of Steel) Initiate: Brotherhood of Steel Initiate and Brotherhood of Steel Scribe.
  • Ghoul (Ghoul).
  • Super Mutant: Brute and Skirmisher.
  • Mister Handy: Mister Handy, Miss Nanny, Mister Farmhand, Nurse Handy and Mister Gutsy.
  • Vault Dweller: Vault-Tec Resident and Vault-Tec Security.
  • Survivor: Mercenary, Raider, Settler, Trader and Wanderer

Assign points to your SPECIAL attributes

One thing they did very well was to adapt the 2d20 System to use the endearing S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes system, it is acronym for Strength (STR), Perception (PER), Endurance (END), Charisma (CHA), Intelligence (INT), Agility (AGI) and Luck ( LCK).

As usual, each attribute influences different skills, for example, when using heavy weapons such as a Gatling Gun or a Flamethrower we will use Resistance, to withstand the punishment of the recoil and hold the weapon without getting tired, while for rifles and pistols we will use Agility. Likewise, to swim we would use Athletics + Strength, while to trade it is done with Barter + Charisma.

Fallout rpg special

An exception to the latter is Luck, that attribute is special because it gives you very interesting and useful Luck Points , which if you’ve played any other 2d20 games or read about them you will see that they have a similar use to the Chronicle or Hero Points of the other games. Furthermore, Luck can substitute for any other attribute if the conditions are met or if a Luck Point is paid.

Choose three Skill Tags and assign Skill Points

The skills are what tell us what our character can do and how well (s)he does it, as in the rest of the role-playing games, remember that in the 2d20 System the skill tests are through successes (Dice Pool mechanics) and the Target number to determine what a success and what failure is equals Attribute + Skill, lower result is better.

The available skills are:

  • Athletics + STR: Lift, push, pull, jump, run and swim.
  • Barter (Barter) + CHA: Buy and sell
  • Big Guns + END (can be used with STR, AGI or PER depending on the weapon): Use heavy weapons such as miniguns, Gordos, Gatling Lasers and Gauss weapons.
  • Energy Weapons + PER: Use of energy weapons such as laser guns, plasma guns and gauss weapons.
  • Explosives + PER: Make things explode or prevent them from doing so.
  • Lockpick (Pickpick) + PER: Open locks without a key.
  • Medicine + INT Heal people and stabilize the dying.
  • Melee Weapons + STR: Fight people with bats, clubs, knives, boards, wrenches and sleds.
  • Pilot (Pilot) + PER: Fly and drive.
  • Repair + INT: Repair things, make things, and build machines.
  • Science (Science) + INT: Hacking, programming and manufacturing of chemical products.
  • Small Guns + AGI: Shoot with pistols, rifles and shotguns.
  • Stealth + AGI: Move silently and stay hidden.
  • Speech + CHA: Make friends, influence people and lie to them if necessary.
  • Survival + END: Search, hunt, cook and bear waste.
  • Throwing + AGI: Throw throwing weapons, such as spears or knives.
  • Unarmed (Unarmed) + STR: Fight without a weapon in your hands.

It is important to note that the attribute that accompanies the Skill is the suggested or default attribute, but a different one could be used , for example, you could Use Repair with AGI to arm a time bomb or you could use Repair + STR to fix a heavy machinery that was stuck, it will always depend on the situation .

We can see that the same skills we already knew from the Fallout games are used, adding a couple because they are necessary for a pencil and paper RPG, like Athletics and Pilot.

We are always better in some things than others, so we must choose which are those three skills in which our character stands out, a mechanic that we also knew in the video games of the saga, when choosing your Tag Skills you will give 2 Additional points to these skills, in addition, each time you make a test with any of them, any result equal to or less than the score assigned in each d20 you throw will be considered critical success , normally critical success is only obtained with a 1.

Choose your First Perk

In the role-playing game system used in the video game saga, the characters usually choose a Perk each level, the Perks are skills that our character acquires as he gains experience in the dangerous radioactive wasteland.

fallout rpg modiphius 2d20 perk

I am not going to make a list of which ones are available, but I can say that almost all the Perks that we have seen in video games over the years have been adapted, such as Black Widow / Lady Killer, Lead Belly and Intense Training, all with their respective full color illustration. Of course, being an adaptation, many of them have undergone necessary and logical changes.

Calculate your Derived Statistics

As expected, we must calculate some capabilities derived from the attributes, but since this is a review I will not go into the details of this step, these data are Carry Weight, Damage Resistance, Defense, Initiative, Health Points and Melee Damage, they are all calculated very easily where the most you will do is a small sum of two numbers.

Choose your starting equipment

Your character does not walk naked in the wasteland, obviously he must have his few belongings on him, like the rest of the people. The starting equipment is determined according to the origin, for example, if you chose the Brotherhood of Steel as the origin, you can choose between the Initiate kit and the Scribe kit.

fallout rpg modiphius 2d20 senor manoso
Mr. Handy has several specific robot models for tasks like defense, household chores, or farming, each one with tools and consumables to do the tasks their programmed to.

The equipment is not only a collection of objects, they also indicate what your character did until that moment in his/her life that He/she decided to go out into the wasteland, for example, he could have been a security guard from a shelter who was sent to find a runaway dweller, each one will have different objects, experiences and attitudes, or if you chose Mr. Handy, you could have been Miss Nanny, Mister Farmhand or some other variant, with the tools, configurations and programming suitable for that job.

Regarding the adaptation of the 2d20 System rules to Fallout RPG

Without going into the addition of the entire manufacturing, repair and modification system or specific things about the perks, there are very few changes compared to other versions of the system, we have the following:

  • What we used to know as Momentum and as Dark Symmetry Points / Doom / Threat now both go by the familiar name of Action Points.
  • The Chronicle/Hero Points are now part of the functions of the Luck attribute.
  • The attacks use the revised version of the rules where the special effects trigger faces also do one point of damage, something that differs only from Mutant Chronicles at this point if I’m not wrong.

Final comments and opinion about Fallout RPG

Well, first of all, I consider myself a total fan of Fallout saga, their video games are one of my most appreciated gaming experiences, I love their universe and how well everything is done, their setting, the music they choose, in short, to be able to play this game meant a lot to me, when you have something so dear you usually have a fear that the company working on a new release of something related to it will spoil it some way or another, but that is not the case , it seems to me that with Modiphius it never is , so far I have not seen a bad adaptation made by his part.

fallout rpg modiphius 2d20 kit Game master

I’m going to close this review by stating if you like the Fallout video game saga and you like the role-playing games of Pencil and paper, you simply must play it , do not miss this opportunity, also, if you have the opportunity to acquire the physical books, I invite you to do it, they are really beautiful and very high quality products, the handbook comes out at only 54 $ while with the GM kit comes out at 84 and brings a very nice map of the wasteland , a hardcover GM tool kit and other things, you can see it in the Modiphius Store (Link not sponsored).

To finish this review I will recommend you the channel of Three Eyed Townie – YouTube he is making a very nice tutorial series. And remember fellows, «War… war never changes…»

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