Review: Do – Pilgrims of the Flying Temple

This isn’t going to be that much of a review since we just finished playing and it’s not long until midnight. However…

Do is a simple story-telling game for 3-5 players where you take on the part of a gang of Pilgrims. The Flying Temple lies at the centre of a massive universe of floating planets, each different, each special and all contained within a great sphere of air and light. Pilgrims fly from world to world solving problems for people and getting into terrible scrapes along the way.

As a Pilgrim you’re one part Santa Claus, one part Buddhist monk and one part natural disaster, all rolled into one.

Characters are defined by their names, which form two traits one of which describes how you (usually) get into trouble and one describing how you (usually) help people.

My character was Pilgrim Oblivious Locks, he got into trouble by failing to pay attention and not noticing things, he solved problems with his magical, long, flowing hair.

You play the game by taking it in turns to draw beads from a bag. There are twenty black and twenty white (or you can use other colours so long as there are two different ones) and depending what combination you draw and whether you’re in trouble or not determines what happens. The players whose turn it isn’t are called the ‘troublemakers’ and determine what goes wrong for you – if you get into trouble.

Letters from people seeking help give you keywords and these are worked into your story as you go along to solve the problem. You fail if you get too many beads before all the keywords have been dealt with, otherwise you win, huzzah!

Between letters you can change your name and thus how you help and/or how you get into trouble. Oblivious Locks, for example, became Lusty Locks after one adventure and a regrettable flashing incident at the village square.

Lastly, when you decide to finish your pilgrimage one of three things can happen depending how you conducted yourself and the balance of the beads. You can either return to the temple and a life of service and contemplation, you can vanish into the world and settle on one of the planets, or you can transcend and become something more or other.

We had some of each in our games.

Is it a good game? Yes, but it works better as a sort of creative exercise amongst friends. I suspect the real pleasure can and will come in writing up the adventures ‘properly’ from the game notes. We had fun tangling ideas and making a narrative together but it’s much more stilted than an RPG and much more vague. Determining what is acceptable or not in someone’s turn is much more about other people’s ideas than rules and dice and, thus, is a subjective judgement. Something that can become hurtful and problematic if people disagree or don’t like each other’s concepts.

The art in the book is fantastic and inspiring, really brings across the feel of the game.

Some of the included letters are charming or interesting, all show the scope of the potentiality of the game world but some are more than a little… well, pretentious or anachronistic compared to the overall presentation of the work. That’s the only real fly in the ointment of an otherwise very agreeable game.

Style: 5 (Near as damn to perfect).
Substance: 3 (It’s a light game, but there’s still a bit of a consistency issue in the letters).
Overall: 4 (Enjoyable, but there’s definite potential for hurt feelings and disagreements).
Verdict: Small-group filler game, great fun with the right people. Trust and creativity are important though it’s simple enough that anyone can do it.

Mass Effect Part Three: More Geth

Geth Shock Trooper

Geth Shock Troopers are shielded and armoured advanced soldiers for the Geth network-mind. Armed with pulse rifles they are a stoic foe, advancing by the numbers and using withering fire while setting up barriers to allow them to advance.

AGI +1, APP +0, BLD +1, CRE -1, FIT +1, INF -2, KNO +1, PER +0, PSY -2, WIL +0

STR +1, HEA +0
STA/Armour 15/30/60 (35/50/80)
Shield 80
UD 6/AD 5
Pulse Rifle Acc +1, Damage 30, Range 60/120/240/480, ROF 1.
Barrier – Shield 100
System Shock 5

SKILLS
Athletics 2, Combat Sense 2, Communications 1, Computer 1, Demolition 1, Electronic warfare 1, Electronics 1, Hand to Hand 1, Mechanics 1, Small Arms 2, Tactics 1.

Geth Sniper

Geth Sniper’s are lightly armoured troops armed with sniper rifles. They carry short range radar jammers and take high positions in order to predate upon enemies.

AGI +1, APP +0, BLD +0, CRE -1, FIT +0, INF -2, KNO +1, PER +1, PSY -2, WIL +0

STR +0, HEA +0
STA/Armour 15/30/60 (30/45/75)
Shield 40
UD 3
AD 3
Sniper Rifle Acc +2, Damage 40, Range 100/200/400/800 ROF 0.
System Shock 5

Athletics 1, Camouflage 1, Combat Sense 1, Communications 1, Computer 1, Dodge 1, Electronic Warfare 2, Electronics 1, Forward Observing 2, Mechanics 1, Notice 2, Small Arms 2, Sniping 2, Stealth 2

Geth Juggernaut

Red-armoured, heavily shielded and armed with pulse rifles with underslung rocket launchers, the Geth Juggernaut is a stoic and dangerous foe.

AGI +0, APP +0, BLD +2, CRE -1, FIT +1, INF -2, KNO +1, PER +0, PSY -2, WIL +0

STR +2, HEA +0
STA/Armour 17/35/70 (48/70/105)
Shield 100
UD 7
AD 7
Pulse Rifle Acc +1, Damage 30, Range 60/120/240/480, ROF 1.
Rocket Acc +0, Damage 70, Range 50/100/200/400, ROF 0/1.
System Shock 5

Athletics 1, Combat Sense 1, Communications 1, Computer 1, Dodge 1, Electronic Warfare 1, Electronics 1, Gunnery 1, Mechanics 1, Notice 1, Small Arms 2.

Geth Destroyer

The Geth Destroyer is a larger, heavily armed and armoured Geth Soldier specialising in close combat. They advance steadily under the protection of their heavy shields, blasting away with shotguns. Once they reach close combat they attack with the butt of the gun, cybernetic strength making them quite deadly.

AGI +0, APP +0, BLD +1, CRE -1, FIT +1, INF -2, KNO +1, PER +0, PSY -2, WIL +0

STR +1, HEA +0
STA/Armour 15/30/60 (45/60/90)
Shield 80
UD 7
AD 7
System Shock 5
Pulse Shotgun Acc +0, Damage x30 Range 6/12/25/50
Shotgun Butt Damage x12

Athletics 1, Combat Sense 1, Communications 1, Computer 1, Dodge 1, Electronic Warfare 1, Electronics 1, Hand to Hand 2, Melee 2, Mechanics 1, Notice 1, Small Arms 2.

Geth Hunter

The Geth Hunter is a shorter, squatter Geth troop with moderate shielding and, more irritatingly, a cloaking device. The Hunter uses stealth to close in on its opponents and strike from ambush with their pulse shotguns.

AGI +0, APP +0, BLD +0, CRE -1, FIT +1, INF -2, KNO +1, PER +0, PSY -2, WIL +0

STR +0, HEA +0
STA/Armour 15/30/60 (35/50/80)
Shield 60
UD 4
AD 4
System Shock 5
Pulse Shotgun Acc +0, Damage x30 Range 6/12/25/50
Shotgun Butt Damage x9
Stealth Field: So long as their shield is at 15 or more the Hunter is invisible, adding 5 to their Stealth skill.

Athletics 1, Combat Sense 1, Communications 1, Computer 1, Dodge 1, Electronic Warfare 1, Electronics 1, Gunnery 1, Hand to Hand 1, Melee 1, Mechanics 1, Notice 1, Small Arms 2, Stealth 1/6.

Geth Trooper

The standard Geth ‘grunt’. Geth troopers are fragile, but expendable, deployable in great numbers.

AGI +0, APP +0, BLD +0, CRE -1, FIT +0, INF -2, KNO +1, PER +0, PSY -2, WIL +0

STR +0, HEA +0
STA/Armour 15/30/60 (35/50/80)
Shield 40
UD 6/AD 5
Pulse Rifle Acc +1, Damage 30, Range 60/120/240/480, ROF 1.
System Shock 5

SKILLS
Athletics 1, Combat Sense 1, Communications 1, Computer 1, Demolition 1, Electronic warfare 1, Electronics 1, Hand to Hand 1, Mechanics 1, Small Arms 2, Tactics 1.

Geth Rocket Trooper

Standard support/heavy weapons troops the Rocket Troopers supplement standard Geth troops to give them a little heavy back-up and anti-vehicle capability.

AGI +0, APP +0, BLD +0, CRE -1, FIT +0, INF -2, KNO +1, PER +0, PSY -2, WIL +0

STR +0, HEA +0
STA/Armour 15/30/60 (35/50/80)
Shield 40
UD 6
AD 5
Pulse Rifle Acc +1, Damage 30, Range 60/120/240/480, ROF 1.
Rocket Acc +0, Damage 70, Range 50/100/200/400, ROF 0/1.
System Shock 5

SKILLS
Athletics 1, Combat Sense 1, Communications 1, Computer 1, Demolition 1, Electronic warfare 1, Electronics 1, Hand to Hand 1, Gunnery 1, Mechanics 1, Small Arms 2, Tactics 1.

Geth Prime

Geth Primes are twelve foot high combat monsters and mobile processing nodes for units of Geth. Geth nearby gain a +1 bonus to all skills while within transmission distance (250 metres) of the Geth Prime, though it is formiddable in and of itself.

AGI +0, APP +0, BLD +4, CRE -1, FIT +2, INF -1, KNO +2, PER +1, PSY -1, WIL +0

STR +3, HEA +0
STA/Armour 23/45/90 (58/80/125)
Shield 120
UD 11
AD 10
Pulse Rifle Acc +1, Damage 30, Range 60/120/240/480, ROF 1.
Rocket Acc +0, Damage 70, Range 50/100/200/400, ROF 0/1.
System Shock 5

SKILLS
Athletics 1, Combat Sense 2, Communications 2, Computer 2, Electronic warfare 3, Electronics 3, Hand to Hand 1, Gunnery 2, Mechanics 1, Small Arms 3, Tactics 3.

Geth Pyro

A heavy and dangerous trooper the Geth Pyro is heavily armoured and wields a powerful flamethrower that is effective at stripping shields and as an area denial weapon. It is, however, slow-moving and needs support to be fully effective.

AGI -1, APP +0, BLD +3, CRE -1, FIT +1, INF -1, KNO +1, PER +0, PSY -1, WIL +0

STR +2, HEA +0
STA/Armour 20/40/80 (60/80/120)
Shield 100
UD 6
AD 5
System Shock 5
Flamer Acc +1, Damage x50 (Slow burn), Range 3/6/12/24, ROF 0, Radius 5 (cone).

SKILLS
Athletics 1, Combat Sense 2, Communications 2, Computer 2, Electronic warfare 3, Electronics 3, Hand to Hand 1, Gunnery 2, Mechanics 1, Small Arms 3, Tactics 3.