Tabletop Review: Barbarians, Booze, & Battle Axes!

BBBcoverBarbarians, Booze, & Battle Axes!
Publisher: Rarr! I’m A Monster Publishing
Page Count: 13
Cost: $0.99
Release Date: 01/04/2013
Get it Here:DriveThruRPG

I suppose one of the worst things about most RPGs is that you simply can’t play them drunk. I mean, technically you could, but it would be a pain in the butt trying to read small print after the sixth shot.

BBB seems to have an answer to that problem. It uses a system so overtly simple as to make confusion all but impossible. Depending on what kind of player you are, this will either endear you to the system, or make it seem like child’s play.

Character creation is a cinch. A barbarian, which you must be, always comes equipped with the same starting stats. You get one point each in fighting, drinking, toughness, and “other stuff”. After that you get some gold to spend on equipment. Keeping up with the simple theme, you can only buy basic weapons and armor. There are no magical items or the like to further customize your character. The most customization you’ll get is in choosing your character’s name.

Each point you get in a stat allows you a roll of percentile dice to determine your score. So for example, having two points in fighting gives you two rolls. When deciding the outcome of an action, you take your highest roll, add in any bonuses, and then the highest number wins. When dealing damage, you deal the difference between these rolls. This is also quite simple, as you don’t have to make separate attack/damage rolls.

BBB1The drinking system is easily the most unique part of the game. Drinking is a full fledged mechanic, rather than something you do for lore’s sake and occasionally make a fortitude roll for. Basically, you partake in drinking contests, rolling the same dice you did for fighting. Losing a round gives you a drunk point. First to six loses. Interestingly enough, getting drunk can directly affect fighting. For the first few point, you actually get better in combat, but then things start to go downhill quite rapidly. For toughness and other stuff rolls, getting drunk is always a bad thing.

To go along with the drinking theme, the game includes three drinking games. Each of these can technically be used in game, but they’re mainly designed for the players to get trashed. After all, it would be a pain in the butt to roll dice to see what card you drew from a deck and then to calculate the alcohol percentage of the center cup when different people have been adding drinks to it.

The other two stats are kind of throwaways that will only get brought up in the more in depth campaigns. Toughness is basically a strength check that determines if you force open a door. It also serves as a fortitude score. Other stuff is simply a roll for anything else you might think you have to roll for.

Leveling up in the game is also quite simple. You get a set amount experience for each fight you win, each drinking contest you win, and each other roll you win. In order to level up a stat, you simply multiply your current level by one hundred, and that’s the experience you need. So it takes one hundred experience to level fighting up to two, and then it will take two hundred experience the second time you want to level it up. You can also spend a hundred experience to gain some extra HP. Again, this is a very simple system. The game even advises using index cards for character sheets as opposed to full blown pieces of paper. You simply don’t need that much room.

Finally, there is a solo adventure tacked onto the last couple of pages that’s meant to serve as an introduction to the game’s basic mechanics. It basically offers a couple of fights and choices in a short “choose your own adventure” type deal. It’s amusing, but won’t last more than a few minutes. Still, it gives an idea of how to play the game, which is nice.

If this game were more than a buck, I’d probably say it was a waste of time. It really seems like something anyone could make up in a couple of hours. It’s very simplistic, and won’t satisfy most players because of this. However, it might be fun to try it out during a drinking party with friends. For that reason alone, I’d say this game is worth a look. At the very least, it can be easily modified for more advanced play.



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