Review Update: Power Outage
It took me far longer than I had intended to get this update out after receiving my hard copy of Power Outage, but here we are. If you want to know more about this game, and my thoughts on it, you can check out my original review of the game over here. Please take the time to read that as a foundation for moving forward into this update! Be sure to also check out the author, Bebarce El-Tayib, on Twitter and the game’s website.
Refinement At Its Finest
I can not praise how much work, love, and commitment went into developing this game. It is clear on every single page. Nowhere do I see unused space that hopes to have images one day. The book is full of side bars, helpful tips, breakdowns of RPG-stuff for newcomers, and more. The designs of everything have also been improved with a simple but crisp look throughout. Everything has simple color coding and symbols associated to help discern what things are and what they relate to. Moreover the book progresses smoothly through introducing itself, what the game is like, how to play, character creation, powers, and lore.
On top of all this, the rules of the system have been refined as well. In my previous review I mentioned that there were only four stats. Now we have five stats that help define how the game is played. These stats seem to be utilized in a slightly more straightforward way too, which is always wonderful to see.
Powers are arranged in a similar manner to the way they were before, but have much more readable and well made tables. These are divided into three groups: combat, utility, and support. Those, like most things, are color coded. Powers are not named but this is intentional because of the universality of the system. Instead there are, in combat for example, powers A through O. These are named simply with a number attached such as “combat power B3”.
Anyone turning straight to powers might be disappointed or confused, but just skimming the character creation portion informs you of these tables very well. Having done that, you are equipped with the knowledge that powers come with effects such as knocking back a target and everything else is up to you and your hero. Fire, lightning, force fields, bees. They are all at your disposal but don’t limit your power choices. The letters are there to label them, but the numbers are there for ranking. As characters are limited to six total powers, these can be ranked up to more powerful versions over time. All of this works to efficiently allow players to make any type of power and name it whatever they want to!
This book is incredible. It succeeds at creating a game fully capable of being played by a group of six year olds or nothing but adults. It is designed in a way that younglings should be able to explore the book and play with it on their own, but adults can also create incredible things with these rules. Finally, the book does a wonderful job aiding its readers for inclusivity. From suggestions for dealing with children of different ages at the table to communicating with them to accessibility, the book provides guidelines. All of these focus on communicating and gaining an understanding of an individual’s needs. It urges the GM to think about different aspects of what they might do to help, encourages learning about how to act appropriately, and suggests leveraging tools already used by the individual to improve their experience at the table.
For anyone looking for an approachable and accessible game of super powers this is 100% for you. I can only reiterate how impressed I am with the final product. Well done Bebarce!