Hulks & Horrors

I have to make a confession. I suck at running science fiction games. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on them. It means that I’m still on the quest for the game that sets right with me. I have to admit that the top contender for this spot is the soon-to-be-released Machinations of the Space Princess by Postmortem Studios. But then I grabbed a copy of Hulks & Horrors by Bedroom Wall Press.
Hulks & Horrors is based on the old classic rules of the “World’s Most Popular Fantasy Role Playing Game”. You know the one. It’s origins are easily seen. Descending Armor Class. Race as Class. And the over all feel of the game. That’s good thing (expect Descending AC. Personally, I never liked it.) This might seem boring to some but there’s really cool ideas here. The Scientist Class takes the class in a new direction. Instead of being just a skill monkey, the Scientist has a handy multi-tool that he can load up with all sorts of special abilities. The easiest way to explain it is to think of it has a cross between a sonic screwdriver and a Magic-User memorizing spells. Really, that’s how it works. That’s great twist on this character archetype.
There’s also a Psyker class. You kind of need these for an OSR inspired Sci-Fi game. The class doesn’t look overpowered with it’s nifty abilities and inspired by classic psionic tricks. Psychic Strangulation any one?
Now there are a couple of spots where this game just shines. First, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s cool. I want chuckle when I read a rule book rather than sit there with a spread sheet and calculator trying to figure out some crazy rule. The other is random charts. That’s one of the things that’s sort of become a darling of the OSR movement. Fun and interesting charts. This book has got them. From the Subspace Mishap Chart to the Prior Civilization Chart. These are gems and useful no matter which set of rules you are using. Just the charts are worth your time to check out.
So where does that leave me in my own personal quest to find the sci-fi game that’s right for me? In a good place. That’s to the ease of cross pollinating ideas and rules between OSR games, I can grab the stuff I like from Hulks & Horrors and blend it into the stuff I like from Machinations of the Space Princess. That’s another thing that’s cool about all the OSR stuff.
And as an extra special bonus, you can grab the PDF free on DrivethruRPG. It’s well worth checking out.

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