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Valkyrie Magazine and RPGnet are happy to provide this review.


OG: The Role Playing Game

RPG by A. Ghiozzi

Wingnut Games

[sterling]??? - 38pp

It's the Caveman Time. Dinosaurs roam the earth. Whaddyamean cavemen and dinosaurs were separated in time by millions of years? We got an intellectual here! No place for him in THIS game.

Yes, OG is the Caveman RPG and in OG you get to play, well, a Caveman. You can be a Strong Caveman if you like lifting heavy things, a Fast Caveman if you like running away from those raptors, a Hitting Caveman if you like (wait for it!) hitting things and people like the Professor back there will probably want to play a Smart Caveman. You arm yourself with a Big Rock or a Sharp Stick and go out there and take down some Mammoths, appease the Volcano God or do whatever it is that people do in Caveman RPGs.

Cute? Very, but get this... back in the Caveman Time there weren't many words, right?, so, like, you have to play this game only using a few words. Which words? Well, words like YOU, ME, BIG, THING, GO, y'know, words like that. There's a list of all 17 of them on page 3. That's right. Seventeen words. Think about it.

"Let's explore this interesting cave!" Uh-oh, no, it's: "YOU ME GO CAVE."

"Let's beat up John's Caveman, he's being a jerk!" Nope, try: "YOU ME GO BANG HAIRY THING!"

"Run away, it's a T-Rex!" No no no no no. It's "YOU ME BIG-GO - BIG BIG SMELLY BANG THING!"

Got it? Those of you playing Smart Cavemen are allowed to draw simple matchstick men to help get the point across. Now all you need is to choose the "Things You Can Do" (like "Run Away" or "Find Rocks") and a couple of "Things You Can't Do" (like "Weapon Specialisation", "Turn Undead" or "Faster-than-Light Travel") and off you go.

OG is a great little game that goes down wonderfully with a six-pack and a twelve-inch pizza. The idea's so sweet it seems churlish to talk about the rules. Indeed, the author advocates freeform gaming, but rather unfortunately bolts a rather dull character-class/level/experience-point system onto the rules. Maybe an ironic swipe is intended at a (unnamed) popular FRPG, but the overall result is that such rules as there are lack the originality and sparkle of the concept put forward in the first half of the book. You use percentile dice for some things and handfuls of d6s for others in a fairly painless manner. The laughs come back at the end, with a list of stats for different beasties, like the HAIRY TREE THING (ape), GO GO THING (raptor) and BIG THING (anklyosaurus, brachiosaurus, brontosaurus, iguanadon, etc etc etc).

Overall: OG role play no many words. Try do things no words. Go buy OG. Eat pizza. No use big words.

Reviewed by Jon Rowe

Product supplied by Caliver Books

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