Actual Play – Atomic Robo (8/17/2013)

Robo-Cover-600pxGM: Mike Olson
Players: Me and four other gents
System: Atomic Robo

Yay, not only did I get to play Atomic Robo, I got to play it with the creator, and awesome dude Mike Olson. Talk about first round draft pick!

Robo was present in the game, but I was keen on Helen McAllister. The tech savvy underestimated daughter of Jack Tarot. Here’s the blurb about her from the wiki:

She is rather brash, speaks her mind easily, and is quick-tempered, but is very decisive and has quick and nimble fingers. As part of the vigilante duo, she serves as the mechanic, inventor, and intelligence-gatherer while Jack is out crime-fighting. To conceal her identity, she is codenamed Nightingale during missions when father and daughter communicate with each other.

Yeah, my kind of character!

Mike’s game put us all right in the action. We started at Jack and Helen’s house having dinner but quickly on the radio heard about an attack from space. Jack and Robo were quick to action, hoping in the car and taking off… and Helen was quick to sneak in the back seat.

From there we battled giant many legged mechanical monsters, saved innocent people, and put a stop to Baron Heinrich von Helsingard’s nefarious plans.

And we smiled while we did it!

Thoughts on this game

Mike is the first Fate GM that I have EVER seen that managed to both kick the PCs butts and make it fun while he was doing it. He regularly swung with Fantastic, Epic, and Legendary rolls to trash our days, and he had some brutal weapons to boot. We were also quite skilled (often starting with a Superb in our best skill) and had plenty of Fate points to invoke our own aspects, as well as free invokes on situation aspects that he gave us free at the start of the game. End result a lot of high rolls were made, but the bad guys often won out by a lot.

How did Mike (and Robo) make this awesome? Consequences applied to the setting! You just too four stress you can’t absorb. Sure you could take a gut shot (which I did, yay) but you could also apply a consequence to the setting, like say, the supports for a floor of the Empire State Building are collapsing (which we also did, yay)!

The other thing Mike did was be very quick to encourage dramatic action. “C’mon drop a Fate point on that aspect and lets set that go to Legendary” or, in this case “Or you could just save your Fate points and take some stress. Stress is nothing, don’t worry about it.” It was that kind of coaching that really made the game rock.

I can’t wait for Robo to come out. Wearing my Evil Hat hat (har, har) for second, it is nearly done with Layout as we speak, then it goes to proofing, indexing, and author review/sign off. After that we send it to the printer. Huzzah!