Fast and “Fury”-ous
Evil Beagle recently provided me promotional copies of Leonard Pimentel’s Magnum Fury and Six-Gun Fury. No expectation of a review was discussed, but since I feel like writing a blog post and I don’t have a lot of time to come up with something more creative, I’m going to review them anyway.
Built on a Powered by the Apocalypse-adjacent engine, both games set out to emulate competency-porn action—Magnum Fury in the ‘80s action movie mold, Six-Gun Fury in the Western style. Action resolution is much looser and seat-of-your-pants than PbtA games, making the Fury games weirdly perfect for both creative-minded RPG novices and veterans. There are no “Moves,” so certain kinds of newer players who like a more video game-like set of options may find themselves at sea, but fanfic writers and players who don’t like being told what they can and can’t do will enjoy themselves.
Also, the success resolution scale favors player characters succeeding more often than in PbtA games. I appreciate this immensely, because I’d rather run games starring John Wick* than Ted “Theodore” Logan.
Character creation is simple in both games, though simpler in Magnum Fury. Players arrange an array of genre-appropriate stats, choose an archetype (which has more bonuses and choices in Six-Gun Fury), fill in some background fluff to give the GM something to work with, and jump into the action. Players familiar with the games (and genres) should be able to slap characters together in fifteen minutes or less, making both Magnum Fury and Six-Gun Fury perfect for hard-cider-and-GF-pretzels gaming.
I ran Six-Gun Fury last weekend and the players one novice and several veterans) took to it quickly. Even Robin, who has a grudge against Westerns from a childhood filled with parents forcing them on her, enjoyed it and really got into her remorseful Stone Cold Killer character. Admittedly, the game ran toward the zany, gonzo side of action-adventure, but… um… that’s what I do.
If I had the time and energy, I could easily see running a weekly pick-up Fury game. The GM sections of both books emphasize improvisation, providing colorful random adventure generation tables and recommended filmographies. My only objection (as is usual with PbtA and adjacent games) is that the GM doesn’t really play with everyone else; as the dice-rolling is all in the players’ hands, the GM becomes much more a literal storyteller, which is something I can only enjoy doing in moderation.
But that’s much less of a complaint here than in my limited contact with other storygames. Both Fury games emphasize having a rollicking good time, so it’s easy to just sit back and react to players’ absurd actions. I look forward to the official release of Six-Gun Fury and wonder what Leonard Pimentel will create next.
*Action movie character John Wick, not game designer John Wick, obviously.