Mistborn is an RPG set in the fantasy steampunk setting created by Brandon Sanderson. Before getting too in depth with the review I must give Brandon two thumbs up on his involvement in the process of creating the game. He not only authors the introduction story, he makes comments throughout the book.
The book itself is large, 500 pages. It is really three books in one. It is well organized and follows a sensible direction for teaching you how to play the game. I did find myself wishing there was more art. The book opens with a short story. The short story does an excellent job of immersing you into this game world. Sharing with you some of the basic concepts, like how this world is different, and allomancy. Allomancy is “metal magic” or one’s ability to weave, control or manipulate the powers and effects a metal obtains.
The world of Mistborn is a world trapped in an industrial revolution. The government is a fascist one that basically makes you conform or die. A few people (your character maybe) take on roles of thieves and bandits. By skirting the law they are easily seen as rebels, and heroes.
Players can make crews where the individuals can work together to achieve a common goal. That goal can really be just about anything; get rich quick, set up a puppet official, or a military coupe. Of course in order to do this you need to create a character.
I found character creation to be quite detailed. And I don’t mean detailing your character, I mean it is really hard to make a mistake in creating your character. With that being said there is a method to their system that forces an inevitable balance onto the character. How does this work?
- There are character types.
- Characters are defined by power, and attributes.
- Focusing on an area counters another area.
- The role of your character is built into its creation. That is you are defining your character from your first choice.
The game itself is a new creation, and I hope I do not botch this. It is a d6 system that pools the dice. When you attempt to do that requires a check what you are doing determines the difficulty. Which is really set by the GM or Narrator. You want to roll doubles or higher of the threshold the GM has set. 6’s are only good if you pass the test. One thing that is becoming a trend in gaming is event description. Mistborn allows you to be as descriptive as your game group allows. Which is appealing to a lot of role players.
I have to give them a lot of praise on the Magic system. They go about in probably the best way I have ever seen. Each “school” has a history, methodology, and mechanics. That truly creates “schools of magic” that are unique to themselves.
As there are with several RPG book there is a GM section. Where this one differs is the amount of detail that they delve into on the world setting. Some this includes secret happenings, and how to make characters seem larger than life.
While 500 pages is a little daunting and by no means the easiest system to take in at one sitting. It is a a system that you can adapt to in a few sessions. Especially, if you are a skilled player. The game mechanics are new and I think that lends some Nostalgia to the world itself. I hope they were actually trying to accomplish that.
Mistborn is a great product, especially if you want to play in the Mistborn world setting. If you don’t enjoy Brandon’s penmanship you may find the game to be clunky. All in all Crafty Games has successfully managed to put a unique game into a unique world setting.