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Straw Boss • A World of Adventure for Fate Core Pay What You Want
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Straw Boss • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
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Straw Boss • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/15/2021 12:47:01

Familiars in an unfamiliar world - a Mephisto review

Straw Boss

In a world where supernatural forces coexist with humanity, it is up to a cult to keep this threat at bay. This cult is organized into various cells that operate in secret. Its members not only know that alien entities exist, but as a sign of their power, each member binds such a being to himself as a familiar. The player characters belong to the scholars who have grown up within one of the cult's compounds and who have bonded with a familiar in order to gain the necessary power to face their opponents. The cult has been around since the days of John Dee, and its central tenet is that belief can shape reality - with dangerous consequences....

In Straw Boss, players create characters that are part of the cult. They know about supernatural influences in the world, and each of them is bound to a familiar. The familiar is a supernatural entity with whom the character makes a pact to gain power - but of course, this power comes at a price. Thus, the character creation with the usual aspects also revolves around this familiar in particular. Likewise, the common bond of the group is also in the foreground.

Rules for controlling the familiar are introduced, which is defined by its Vice and Virtue and uses the approaches of Fate Accelerated in terms of rules.

Thus equipped, the players arrive in a world altered by supernatural influences, and their task is to stop the worst dangers. There are people who stumble upon the secrets that the scholars also know about and thus become a danger with their magic. On the other hand, some entities act independently in the world or push to enter it.

A central rule concept is the corruption die, which can be added as a bonus die. In a roll, the four best dice are used for the player. However, the use of the bonus die causes corruption, and thus there is a risk that the familiar will take over the player character's body. This is solved by turning the character sheet upside down in the game, which brings the familiar's game statistics into play.

Of course, a ready-to-play adventure is included. Here the player characters must follow the trail of chaos left by a truck-driving preacher.

Straw Boss offers two interesting aspects defining this Fate world. On the one hand, the game world presents the fascinating conflict between the cult on one side and the supernatural forces on the other. In the adventure, it alludes to a twisted interpretation of Christian mythology (which is certainly not appropriate for players who dislike movies like Dogma). The idea of the familiars and the shifting control is well-implemented rules-wise. Even though this setting leaves room in many places for the gamemaster to fill in the details, as is usual for these Fate worlds, it offers a fascinating glimpse into a strange world. In my view, this makes Straw Boss one of the Fate worlds worth recommending.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Straw Boss • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/28/2019 13:02:22

Disclaimer: I know JR Evans, though I haven't seen him in years. Straw Boss is... Hard core.

I like that the mechanics push the Fate envelope. I like that the part of the campaign creation process where players and GM detail the setting is clearly laid out and that the author provides fillable sheets so we don't need to do everything on index cards or paper ripped out of a notebook. I love the setting. It feels like... I don't know. American Gods + Reservoir Dogs or maybe . Evans provides a lot of evocative content in a few pages. And the sample adventure is... edgy. The good kind of edgy.

Do not look for kittens and puppies here unless they're guarding a supernaturally tainted meth lab. (Fact: I searched the text, and the words "kitten", "puppy", and "cute" are nowhere to be found.

I am super glad I picked this up. Extra points for making John Dee's legacy central to the game rather than a throwaway reference.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Straw Boss • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by Tim P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/15/2017 11:18:36

Probably one of my favourite "worlds of adventure" to date! When I was done reading this book I genuinely wondered why Evil Hat suddenly produced a 100+ page book, only to realize it was a 45 page book that felt like it contained 100 pages worth of content.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Straw Boss • A World of Adventure for Fate Core
Publisher: Evil Hat Productions, LLC
by la l. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/15/2017 00:13:54

Fair warning: I haven't played this yet.

Despite that, as a armchair gamer and a fan of the Fate system, I love the new ways this product pushes the system forward in support of thoughtful horror as the ordinary world twists into the surreal around the PCs, letting them seemlessly fight the scene itself, switch their character sheet upside down, fight psychics with magic and Bible verses, and benefit from both teamwork and selling out.

The product may shoehorn you into playing a hermetic Christian cultist in the deep south, but given the generic way its occult powers work, the rules for making demon pacts in-play, and the suggestion that the monsters you're fighting could be anything from angels to classical myths to urban legends, it should only take a few minor tweaks to let you play an independent Practitioner (mage), normal person who's not in the know at first, or even a monster yourself in any part of the world -- and its mythology -- you please.

It's spine tingling in the same way reading a WoD book is!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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