Author: Lynn Willis, Greg Stafford & ...someone else, can't remember who!
Company/Publisher: West End
Line: Ghostbusters (Plausibly you'd call it D6)
Cost: $8-15 boxed
Page count: One 64p., one 48p, lotsa folders
Playtest Review by Colin Marshall on 06/16/99.
Genre tags: Science_fiction Comedy
White Wolf can tout their diceless goth-fests as the height of enjoyment for beginning RPGers, as can TSR with classic D&D and "fast play" AD&D; mind you, there is still freedom of speech. For all that the "big two" claim, West End's Ghostbusters is very likely the most bang for your minimum-wage paycheck where quick-play is concerned.
Of course, I've got to explain the game if this is to be a coherent review. Character creation can take up to two minutes at the median level; you allot twelve points to five attributes (Brains, Muscles, Moves and Cool...covers all bases, no?) and then you create your own skills! Yes, you read me. Your own. One relevabt to each attribute, for a total of four.
That's it, you're a Ghostbuster.
Wait, wait, wait...naysayers may don their goth outfits and shout, "Hearken to me! Wherefore art the rules to this farcical shenanigan?". See, the rules are the beauty part of Ghostbusters. The players simply state what they want to do, and if something seems more challenging than eating a hot dog, skill resolution is required. All you need to do that, however, is roll the same number of D6s as the number of attribute points you have. Every task has a GM-ruled difficulty number; you have only to meet or beat it. Example (quoted from players' guide):
And there you go. That's pretty much all you need to know, except for two details. One, you can choose your equipment from a set of "perfect little" equipment cards. Two, you can use special points (called "Brownie Points") to make skill resolutions shift to your side, like Luck points in a "real" RPG.
These rules are fine and dandy, but what's it like to work with them? For one, learning them isn't hard at all. Both manuals (for the GM and player) are so well written and organized, you'll read 'em even if you don't intend to play. This is quite the well-deserved departure from Palladium's recycled-n'-regurgitated rules text, i.e. "The cliche, 'There is no honor among thieves' is not true when dealing with the Aberrant..., etc., etc. drone...zzzzZZZzz.."
In another parallel to White Wolf hype, Ghostbusters actually is cinematic in the truest sense of the word. Movie material, and it plays like it. Lessee...how can I get this pojnt across? How about another example...
NORMAL, NON-CINEMATIC GAME
See the difference? I love the movie! I love this game! It's just the best way to reel in new players due to its ease of play and quickness.
Style: 4 (Classy and well done)