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Act Ten Core Rules
by Jeff C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2016 00:54:18

It's got nice art. The layout is really bright and a bit over-done to the point where it begins to detract from the text and becomes distracting. I give it big points for marketing and presentation. However, I think it seriously lacks substance. Another thing that didn't work for me was that there was a lot of large print text. To me, that says you were hurting for actual content.

The system itself spends way too much effort attempting to focus on overblown simple mechanics. This is not a solid system and needs a lot of polish and a lot more content to really be worth the price tag. It needs a better-defined skill set, combat rules, vehicle rules and some notion of whether this is supposed to be a generic game or some sort of cyberpunk-esque thing. The Division setting needs a lot more details and specifics before I would consider it to be a solid setting.

The other factor I felt really detracted from Act 10 is the author constantly inserting personal opinions and oddball comments throughout the book. I felt like I was reading the design notes more than an actual full-fledged game. I'm all happy that Kickstarter was responsible for this game's initial success. I'm glad I didn't back it. I want a solid game system instead of a lot of crazy graphics big text and designer notes.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Act Ten Core Rules
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Creator Reply:
Sorry to hear that you weren\'t happy with the game. This was my first book, so while I\'m proud of actually getting it done, I won\'t deny it\'s got a few problems. I\'d love to hear more of your thoughts so that I can try to avoid some of the \"design note\" pitfalls in the future. If you\'re willing to talk, you can e-mail me at: doc@actten.com I\'m fixing a few of these problems in my next book, like text size, formatting, and art. My next book will also have a more in depth setting as well. Once I get back to work on this project, I\'ll be planning on fixing things up on this book as well (by way of a second edition). This book was a labor of love, and I\'m hoping with some revisions it ends up being a better version of itself. I will say we have a blast playing it though, and problems aside I think there is a great game in there :)
Act Ten Core Rules
by Robert R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2013 19:24:39

I have a problem with this PDF and at this point it's is NOT with the rules. I opened the PDF and saw that not only were there no bookmarks but I could not add any. This is way up there in my "Thinks I can't accept in a PDF game book." I didn't even get to truly read the rules yet. I purchased it because of the reviews and the star ratings. I know a bad review for no bookmarks seems petty but I rely on bookmarks for ease and quickness of access when I use a PDF at the game table . They are, in my opinion, essential for PDF reference reading. If you update with bookmarks and I will delete this.

I will say that the comic book art is different and well done. Gives it a look a feel. Nicely done there.

Now, please add some bookmarks OR allow the ability to create them.

Thanks.

Bob



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
I wasn\'t aware there was an issue with bookmarks, sorry about that. I will check into this and see about getting it fixed. Thanks for letting me know about this issue.
Act Ten Core Rules
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/18/2013 10:20:11

The Introduction contains the usual 'what is role playing?' section, but takes an unusual approach - one I've often used as it happens, comparing role-playing to improvisational drama. Of course role-playing has one significant difference from improv: rules! Even here the approach is civilised, so good it's worth repeating:-

"The rules are only here to litigate scenes in the Episode. Rules do not dictate plot and they never take over the actors."

The roles of Director (GM) and Actors (the players and their characters) are explained, along with the way that the Act Ten Role Playing Network has been constructed as an integral resource for participants in the game. Neat! The terminology for talking about the game draws on the early improv analogy, trending to movie-speak rather than to the stage, and it is used well and consistently throughout.

Straight on to Traits, which begins the character creation process. Traits are used to define the character in terms of the way they act, and to build backstory. Some are positive and cost points, others are negative and give you some instead. Most have in-game mechanical advantages as well as guidelines on how that trait might affect the way the character behaves. In line with the underlying philosophy of this game, there's a reminder that these rules, like all the rest, are guidelines to be used or amended as appropriate: the core thing is to create precisely the character YOU want to play! On the downside, there's a tendency to use terminology and refer to game mechanics that haven't been introduced yet which makes things a bit confusing on the first read-through.

Next comes Stats, again important in defining your character as well as in determining how well he accomplishes tasks. They are divided into physical and mental stats, with a few 'sub-stats' - that is, ones which are derived from other stats. These can be chosen using a point-buy system, or if you prefer you can get the dice out.

We then move on to Skills. Again these go towards defining the character: what they are naturally good at, what they have picked up and what they have learned through formal study or training. There are some core skills that everyone can do to a greater or lesser extent, as well as others that you need to have found out at least something about (i.e. put points into!) before you have a chance of using them. Almost all of the skills are quite generic and so can be shaded depending on the setting you wish to use, although a contemporary/near-future setting is assumed.

Character creation covered, next comes Task Resolution, a detailed look at the mechanics underlying what your character can attempt to do during play. Fundamentally, there are two types of task resolution termed active and inactive. Active task resolution happens when there is an opposed roll - someone is actively hindering you, fighting you or otherwise contesting your attempt to do something. In inactive task resolution your roll is made against an assigned target number, and it is used when you are just doing something that may or may not succeed: baking a cake or climbing a wall. In both cases, the player does the same thing: add the appropriate stat and skill, roll 1d10 and apply any modifiers. In active task resolution, whoever is contesting what the player is doing makes his own roll. Occasionally a percentage roll will be called for instead, this is usually a straight roll without modifiers and is used for a simple succeed/fail - with the more complex task resolutions, an overflow/underflow mechanism is used to determine how well you succeeded (a really tasty cake!) or how badly you failed (you didn't only burn the cake, you set the kitchen alight!). Like many task resolution systems it sounds complex but becomes quite straitforward once you get the dice out and try it - and this one is more intuitive than most.

The rest of this chapter looks at details such as the flow of time in the game, how to determine target numbers and modifiers, and the use of mana and anima - derived stats that can be used to augment your regular capabilities in times of need. This is followed by a chapter on the all-important subject of Combat. This is well-laid out and explains things in detail and clearly with comments to aid Directors in running combat as well as information for players as to what they need to do. Again, complexities in reading become clearer once you try a few sample combats. Whilst basic combat is straightforward, loads of options can be added in to make it more detailed and to permit characters to do, well, just about anything that they want to do. Then the final 'rules' chapter deals with Experience, both the awarding thereof and what you can do with it. Rather neatly, acquiring new skills is done in one of two ways: by figuring it out for yourself or learning it from a teacher. If a character wishes to teach another, there is a teaching skill and associated mechanics to determine how good a job he does, which affects the roll the character learning must make to see if he actually has learned anything - it's not just a case of spending experience points and writing a new skill on the character sheet!

Next comes Creating a Character. You may think that this has already been covered in the preceding 'rules' chapters, but this is a detailed walk-through of the process, very useful when beginning to play the game or when introducing new players to an established group. It also demonstrates something called a 'tuning build' - a system for customising and improving the character throughout the course of the game. This is a fine example of teaching, complete with annotated advice on what to write on the character sheet.

The next chapter is Directing A Series, and is jam-packed with helpful advice for intending Directors (and, for that matter, experienced Game Masters!). This is where the 'improv performance' theme comes into its own, advising Directors to view their game as a TV show and to lift concepts of timing, pace, and flow of events from that medium. An example session of play is used to highlight the points made earlier in the chapter. This section winds up with a collection of useful tables and tips.

Finally there is a sneak-peek into the world of Division, the forthcoming first setting for Act Ten. It is a near-future where technology is all-pervasive and corporations have seemingly replaced democratic government across the world. Psychic powers are on the rise along with augmented reality and other such meldings of humanity and technology. Many are content, but there are always the rebels... The pervading look and feel of this new world is presented in comic-book style, very effectively. There's a time-line from 2008 to the future of 2025, details of life in this brave new world... and also of those who stand against the omipresent corporations and demand the right to be free as well as of the corporations themselves and the major players within them. This rounds out with a look at the world itself and the people you'll find there, including relevant game mechanics to enable you to play them. Then there are details of the devices and equipment available, legally and otherwise. Although this is merely a preview, there's plenty to enable the inventive Director to make a start...

For that is what this is, a start. Good, comprehensive core rules, but generic. You could run pretty any sort of game you like, but are left to get on with devising it for yourself. An excellent beginning and a thoroughly well-considered ruleset - and that's a wrap, for now.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thank you for the wonderful review! I'm always excited to hear what people think of the game, and your wonderful comments definitely put a smile on my face. I hit a couple of snags concerning development time, but I hope to have more stuff coming out soon to help flesh out the world of Division very soon:) You have greatly brightened this writers day!
Act Ten Core Rules
by bash k. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/30/2013 17:29:02

I gave Act Ten a full review on my blog. http://ultimatejosha.blogspot.ca/2013/01/rpg-review-act-ten.html



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Act Ten Core Rules
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2013 13:34:43

I was given this product as a reviewer.

Act Ten is probably the best book I've downloaded on Drive Thru RPG. The artwork is absolutely amazing and the layout and design are the best I've seen yet here. If you head over to the official website it should give you an idea of how good the artwork is, but I was still blown away by the art in the book. It's very cool. Not only is the original, full color artwork awesome; but the ideas presented in the art are super creative as well which is something very rare to find. One woman has a robotic wrist whipping apart and spinning around her arm. I'm not quite sure what she's doing yet, but it looks pretty darn cool.

The book weighs in at around 80 pages making it a little on the light side, but that's a good thing in my books. Generally, weighty books tend to be too complicated unless they were written by a master. There are also hints of upcoming supplements with more Special FX powers.

I'll try to give you a bit of a run down of the product, step-by-step here:

The price is far lower than what it should be. This is a high quality product with a lot of time and effort put into it.

The cover is pretty snazzy.

The rules themselves cover Traits (think Savage Worlds), skills, and stats. Stats are something like ability scores which you combine with skills to do most things in the game. The system functions on 1d10 mostly with straight up rolls. There are some nifty variations of success value based on how much you exceed target numbers or opposed rolls. Especially in combat. Though the mechanics seem simple (which is good), I also noticed a wealth of depth in things you could do in battle including: heavy attacks, dodges, trips, blocks, parries, fancy maneuvers and so on. This should keep the nitty gritty happy. Personally, I like to get combat to run like a smooth engine so I might not use as many of the fancy tactics, but they're nice to have especially for those who are into that sort of thing. In essence, simple mechanics, complex tactical variation.

The list of traits is reasonable and on par with what I would probably do. The skill list is on the extensive side which is another great move in my opinion. I find some systems lacking in enough skills to cover a range of things, but this one covers just the right amount. The wide array of combat skills makes me think of Savage Worlds again.

The stats combined with skills make a neat dynamic where you have raw ability combined with specialized skills. While this feels really cool, I've yet to run a game and see how it works in action. If successful, it'll make the game highly layered and cool. If unsuccessful it might just encourage people to max combat stats to get the highest bonus they can to combat rolls. Crafty GMs can always play against PC weaknesses, but it's just something I feel is worth mentioning.

Navigation in the document felt 'right'. Many times I found myself frustrated by going "where is x?" and looking for 45 minutes only to come up empty handed. The light size, high quality layout, and visual cues make this system a cut above the rest for comprehension. My questions were readily answered within under 10 minutes by the clear rules. The light size of the book helps with this. It's hard to get lost in such a nice looking book. I almost wished there was a little more to the book, but it does the job.

The chapter on task resolution is clear and well laid out with just enough examples to make it quickly digestible. The chapter on combat was equally well laid out, but I felt a tad overwhelmed just because of the sheer number of options and variables in battle. I know some people will love this. I usually just want to know if I hit the guy and if he's dead or not. It's easier to simplify a game than expand it, so this isn't a major problem.

Toward the end of the book you have a nice section of world lore in the Division/Act Ten universe. This coincides with all the coolness in the artwork so is a nice thing. Personally, I almost always invent my own setting, but for anyone who likes good fluff, you have it here. It's not overdone either, with just enough to give you a feel for the world. Those who love it will probably be interested in the promised upcoming supplements.

At the very end of the book you get a pseudo-comic about the world and the game. I felt this was really neat. This book has a strong visual/comics strength and adding in a short comic at the end to show the world in action feels like the perfect move here. It's like having a tutorial on tabletop RPG from a comic genius (no pun intended). I'm not super big into comics, but it feels right considering the atmosphere and layout of the book.

System Notes:

I'm not really sure where to put the system in the ball park of others. It's kind of it's own thing. I personally love really light systems with a lot of add-ons you can throw into them. Kind of like a basic core system but with a million classes/races/powers or whatever. I also favor class based instead of point but because point buy always seems to degenerate into a number crunching syndrome of power-gaming.

Act Ten reminds me of several different games. Savage Worlds for the traits and exploding dice (optional). Also the weapon skill combinations remind me of this. There's a cool mana/anima burn feature where you can use points to do awesome stuff. The d10 reminds me of several super hero d10 based systems. The success ratios also remind me of a couple of games. I'm not sure I like success ratios because they complicate things (but if you like them, you have them here). The stats system reminds me of Dungeons and Dragons ability scores, and the combination of stats and skills reminds me of Gurps. The customization definitely feels like point buy. You pick traits, you use points to buy skills, and you buy stats with points. Without having run a full game yet, I find myself wondering it it'll have the drawbacks of other point buy systems or if it'll beat them in Savage Worlds style.

Primary Awesome Points:

The price is ridiculously low for such a high quality product.

The game designer/artist is awesome.

The art is fantastic and highly creative.

The layout and design is superb. Can almost always find what I'm looking for.

The mechanics appear to be simple enough to use quickly, but with a lot of variations for more complex play and variations.

Visual cues and examples of character design were great.

Minor Complaints:

Book is short (but sweet).

Point Buy annoys me. That's personal taste, though.

Couldn't find an Equipment section (everyone always asks about those in my games).

Couldn't find a character sheet (I make my own, but good for reference and printing).

Summary:

Pretty awesome. I'm looking forward to running a game, and the art is very cool.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the great review, its always encouraging to read things like this about my first game! I'm not sure if there was a connection problem, or your download was corrupted, but you may want to try to re-download it. The book is actually 120 pages, and at the end of the book there is an equipment section covering weapons, armor, and other goodies. There is also a character sheet. All of this is in the preview section which also covers some sample powers and a small overview of the first setting, Division. I just want to make sure you are getting the full Act Ten experience, if the file was corrupted I fear you could be missing a lot. I hope you have as much fun playing this as I did working on it, and thanks again for what is a wonderful review, you don't know what it means to me seeing this. Take care!
Act Ten Art Files volume 1
by Louis D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/20/2013 10:13:13

I really love the way you get to see this pdf evolve, in this pictular case it’s the concept art within the pdf, from the pencils through to its completion, I would love to see some single characters to also go with this fantastic project. Thank you very much Act Ten.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Act Ten Art Files volume 1
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Act Ten Core Rules
by Joe S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2013 17:59:49

Act Ten is a good little beast and I hope to see more of this product line. The core rules holds a lot of promise for a new gaming environment.

It relies very much on a ‘role-your-own’ approach to setting and character creation and tips it’s hat towards the Fate style of play. At the same time, it offers more structure. It is something of a hybrid between the narrative style games such as Rapture: The End of Days, and the crunchier, more strategic games, such as Savage Worlds. It is certainly miles away from the rules heavy systems, such as Dark Heresy.
Now I am the sort of gamer that enjoys the entire spectrum of gaming systems, and my selection of rules is highly dependent upon the genre I am engaging. I’ll be using Act Ten for pulpy games: super-heroes, Indian Jones, Buck Rodgers space adventures and the like. I’d love to use Act Ten for a ‘Saturday morning action/adventure cartoon series’ game: Ultimate Man of the Universe vs the Dimension Invaders… oh, man… that sounds like a great idea!

In summary, I think Act Ten gets the balance of narrative play and strategy near perfect, so in terms of rules, I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. (And I almost never give 5 stars.)

The layout is logical and relatively clean. You can certainly find what you need, when you need it. There are some inconsistencies, but none that would make me turn away from the product. 4 out 5 stars for that.

My only concern with the product is the artwork: and this is purely a matter of personal tastes. I’m not a big far of the hard inking comic book style. But that’s just me. I’ve other friends who I’ve shown Act Ten to, and they like the art just fine. So, yeah, I’m being picky. The art is mostly consistent in its quality and well placed. I’d give it 3 stars, but my friend threatened to punch me, so it gets 3.5 stars.

Now the price… You can’t go past this product for its super-cheap cost. In fact, it’s so cheap I nearly did not purchase it (often cheap games from new indie start-ups are of questionable quality). However, an email from the author prompted me to give it a go… and I’m really glad I spent the pittance to grab it. There is some excellent value to be had with this game, even at four times the cost. It's this value that makes me push this up to five stars.

In summary, get this game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Act Ten Core Rules
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Act Ten Directors Reference (evolve)
by Louis D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/15/2013 11:15:11

One of the other things that I really like about this is (and again love the layout) the fact once you have it put together and make the GM screen, GM rolls behind it (GM makes the narrative statement now rolls, then comes the pause, then the look of anticipation (via outcome of the GM roll) on the players faces........ Priceless) Thank you once again Act Ten.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Act Ten Directors Reference (evolve)
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Act Ten Directors Screen
by Louis D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/15/2013 10:55:01

This is an amazing edition to the core rules (Act Ten) it gives you the versatility to have that GM’s accessory so just in case someone need to look something up within the rulebook the gaming will continue, and again love the layout, it gives you a smooth view on what it is that going on in game play. Thank you Act Ten.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Act Ten Directors Screen
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Act Ten Core Rules
by Louis D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/07/2013 10:58:41

First of all WOW! Let me first start by saying I’m very, very impressed, with the art, the layout, and extensive website http://www.actten.com/ I’m not even into d10 systems, but I will say that I’m into this one, I love the rule set in depth information, a magnificent work of art over all, congratulations to Act Ten I can’t wait to see more additional sourcebooks.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Act Ten Core Rules
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