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Mean Streets '79

Started by James V. West, February 29, 2004, 04:05:07 PM

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James V. West

The buddy-cop action movie RPG by Mike Hall Mean Streets '79 is now available as a free PDF download right here.

This is a cool little game (5 whopping pages including a cover and character sheet) that should make you want to bust some perps and go driving through downtown hotdog venders' carts.

This game was first published in Random Order Comics and Games #4.


I'm a holdin' out for Caper '63 !

The core rules are a stripped-down sim game for the genre; it reminds me of games written specifically for online RPGs.

There are four nods to genre conventions; PCs can't be killed, one-liners, luck, and sidekicks.

Luck has the problem that if you don't have a high luck score (and since scores are predominantly randomly generated, there's no particular reason you would), the rule does you no good; it's mainly effective in respect to sidekicks, who have a luck of six. Although, perhaps it only really needs to be there to make sidekicks effective.

The one-liners rule has two problems for me; people will use them too often, and it's not effective enough. In genre, a character usually won't use more than one per scene, but when he does, it's absolutely effective. I'd change it to use of a one-liner, one per scene, allows the PC to dictate the results of the die roll (whether his or an NPCs).

I'd change the +1 bonus to colorful/genre appropriate description.

The sidekick rule, especially when combined with the luck rule, I quite liked; PCs can't be killed is also simple and effective.

- James

Mike Hall

When I wrote MS'79, I worte the Luck rules basically to give Sidekicks a chance to shine every now and then, which is apparently pretty obvious.

I like the idea that the one liner could be used to allow a player more narrative input instead of a bonus...I've been playing with a similar idea in another game I'm working on, but had never thought about using it in MS '79.  I'm surprised that the +1 bonus in the rules as they are now seems ineffective, though...around here, it worked quite well, and the players never really abused the whole one-liner thing.  Of course, I have the luxury of a damn fine group of gamers who never delve into Munchkinland.

Thanks for the critique!