[PnP] re P&P review on RPGnet

Monster Jam unlv_runnin_rebels at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 11 07:26:00 CEST 2011

Yeah, reading a review like this is like hearing something bad about your child. Its hard to hear, and even harder to accept.

I love Powers & Perils. Always will. The system was revolutionary. In fact, there are elements about the system that still outperforms todays products. However, I attribute this poor review to a timing issue and it isn't really fair to the game.

Only two of my current gaming group have ever played P&P (affectionately referred to as Charts & Tables). We had a great time even though most of us didn't understand half the rules, and the other half didn't care. Decades later, our gaming group broke away from Dungeons & Dragons. 4.0 sucked and 3.5 suffered from serious flaws. Instead, we created our own game, one that took the best of many game systems as we saw it. As such, there are many Powers & perils elements in it, but it isn't entirely P&P. I guess thats my nice way of saying the game isn't perfect. No game is. My fellow gamers accuse me of disliking my own games. Perfectionist.

I have three copies of P&P, and won't be getting rid of them anytime soon.

Thanks to Richard Snyder for all the great times I had yesterday, that have today, and that I hope to have in the future.

Tom in Las Vegas

From: Alex Koponen <akoponen at mosquitonet.com>
To: The Powers and Perils Mailing List <pnp at abroere.xs4all.nl>
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2011 9:42 PM
Subject: [PnP] re P&P review on RPGnet

http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/14/14807.phtml  has a review of P&P that rates P&P somewhat poorer than I would rate P&P. My response:

As a long time player and GM in the Powers & Perils game I do NOT agree with the review. Factually correct, it leaves an erroneous impression about the game. Granted the artwork is nothing to rave about...the artwork doesn't really matter. Lev Lafayette appears to dislike the writing style...a style using the numbered rules style familiar to players of other Avalon Hill games of the era. Business like, even prosaic, it is effective for easy reference. Unlike some other games that try to give a feel or set a tone through lots of added fiction, but thereby make it harder to find rules when a question arises about them.

Mr. Lafayette appears to have not gotten the P&P Book of Tables supplement that among other things sets values to the natural magic items and corrects what few relevant typos there were. I MUST argue with his statement that "The task resolution system lacks consistency with every skill having it's own resolution method." This is incorrect. There are basically three common (One for combat and two for non-combat skills) and two uncommon resolution methods.

Yes, there is math involved. The calculations aren't hard, the results can be written down and reused again and again until with an increase in the character's power or skill the calculations can be redone for the new improved numbers.

Mr. Lafayette stated "The lack of a universal and intuitive system resulted in too much checking of the game rules for specific cases." Contrast this with my take on P&P. I was an experienced game player when I bought it in 1984. It has a STEEP learning curve. It took me two weeks to grasp the elegance and ultimate simplicity of the design. Once I learned the rules I needed no more looking at the rules than I did for any other system. I believe that Mr. Lafayette simply did not study the game deeply enough to understand the system fully, or his review would have reflected that fact.

        Alex Koponen

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