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Review: BENEATH THE HELMET is a necessary manual for the POWER RANGERS RPG that should have been released sooner

Is it really an RPG book if it doesn’t have colored tabs sticking out?

Renegade Game Studios recently released a new Essence20 sourcebook for Power Rangers RPG. The book is titled Under the helmet and the main goal was to help you enrich your table Power Rangers adventures with things for the alter egos of the player characters. Inside, GMs and players will also find three new roles, equipment, and enemies Dino Charge AND Dino Thunder, new downtime rules, rules for creating a home base, and more. Renegade was kind enough to provide me with a paper copy of the book for this review, but all thoughts that follow are my own. You can purchase your copy for an MSRP of $45 ($30 for PDF) from your favorite game stores.

Under the Helmet presents new story opportunities for teens with character in any Power Rangers role-playing campaign. How does your Ranger balance saving the world with pop quizzes, performance reviews, and the challenges of everyday life? And what happens when your principal or boss is more of a monster than he seems?

When Under the helmet was announced, I was so excited. A key part of Power Rangers it’s seeing how the Rangers’ alter egos are real people and live in the world. They’re not Power Rangers fighting Rita, Mesogog, etc. 24/7. They do community service, enjoy hobbies, work, etc. I’m happy to report it Under the helmet does a fantastic job of helping GMs create those moments for your players. He does such a good job that I’m of the opinion that the entire Chapter 4: Challenges a Flying Kick can’t solve Under the helmet should have been included in the Basic rules.

In the Basic rules, the Downtime mechanic is about 1.25 pages and that’s essentially all we get for running scenes outside of morphing and fighting monsters. As I mentioned before, the alter ego is a huge part Power Rangers and that is why Under the helmet is invaluable for a table and really should have embedded that content in the file Basic rules or at the very least, released much closer to Basic rules. Downtime is expanded for about 5.5 pages with guidelines on how to deal with downtime, as well as seven goals for downtime and how these work to help guide characters and stories. It’s not even part of the aforementioned chapter which, as I said, should have been included in the file Basic rules.

Chapter 4 covers a lot of important information. Provides guidelines for managing and creating alter ego story moments. It also contains more detailed suggestions on what should be done during your party’s Session 0 and how a GM should track game time. The chapter also includes threat blocks for potential NPC threats for “Mundane Story Arcs” (their term for alter ego stories) such as a bully, cultist, or anti-Ranger politician. I devoured that chapter while reading Under the Helm because of how important it was.

There’s more to say Under the helmet Although. The three new roles for players are Aqua, Graphite and Dark Rangers. Aqua is a variant of Blue Basic rules which basically replaces all things technological with science. Personally I think this is a misnomer since all skills are more about natural things like weather and environment. Sometimes they use flavor text to talk about how you use scientific equations to make it happen, but it seems less like it’s science and more like nature. Yes, I understand that a lot of science is about nature, but that’s not what I think of when you say “Power Ranger Science.”

Meanwhile, Graphite is a variant of Silver and, this is a big plus, Renegade has included all the Silver Ranger information here, so you are not dependent on possession Through the stars to play as a Graphite Ranger. One thing I’m not a big fan of about the Graphite Ranger is that it’s written and described as a role for players who don’t regularly join sessions. It seems like a good idea, but depending on the group it could be very frustrating because the Graphite Ranger might be available to play in a certain week but the story hasn’t gotten to the point where he appears. So when the story gets to that point, the Graphite Ranger doesn’t make it. They seem like good intentions to me but a real nightmare to put into practice.

Third, the Dark Ranger. I know the Dark Ranger is a fan favorite and is basically designed to be a more morally ambiguous character. The player can always make the Dark Ranger a good guy, but he uses powers like Terror, Spite, and even a menacing glare. I can see how some people will use this to great effect in telling great stories, but I can’t help but think that many will simply create edgelords to use as an excuse to be an idiot. Of the three new roles, I think Dark Ranger is the one that interests me the most, although one or two Aqua Ranger abilities are as interesting as Elemental Storm.

Maybe my second favorite thing Under the helmet it is more content related to alter egos: the domestic bases. There are guidelines for creating a home base used by characters. It can vary greatly from somewhere like the SPD headquarters to Hailey’s Cyber ​​Cafe Dino Thunder. When your group creates a base (something to consider during Session 0), there’s quite a bit to consider. The book walks you through creating your base, describing what it is/what it looks like, identifying any NPCs present, features such as Fun or Mobile, and Cons including Exposed and Uncool. This is great because it seems like a lot Power Rangers and can help the GM find interesting ideas for the story.

Another couple of interesting features include team bonuses and form perks. Team bonuses are unique to each Ranger team and could include things like Super Dino Mode for the Dino Thunder Rangers. Unfortunately, only two Team Bonuses are included in this book, Dino Thunder and Mighty Morphin. I wish they would include some more from the previously added teams and even Dino Charge which is introduced in Beneath the Casco. They mention that you can use form perks as a team bonus, but form perks are written more on an individual level. The form’s perks are things like abilities to be infused with cheetah DNA as in Beast Morpherthe Ptera Scream from Dino Thunderor be able to use your Wind Ninja powers to dig like Dustin Ninja Storm. I think it works in a pinch to use form perks as a team bonus, but I think they could have included more dedicated team bonuses or even a guide on how to create a team bonus since that’s supposed to be what makes the Ranger team unique compared to the other .

The last big thing I want to talk about is that there’s a nice section on character motivation. In my opinion, anyone playing the game (GM included) should read that section before creating a character. Maybe even read it together. It’s about 2.5 pages long and helps talk about how a character needs motivation and how you need to be careful in planning his motivation so it can serve the story. GMs are also advised to use character motivations for story moments as this can increase player investment and engagement, which then leads to a better experience for everyone at the table.

The rest of Under the helmet adds new materials for other mechanics. There are new origins and influences for character creation, contacts your team of Rangers can use to aid their mission, new threats to face, and new equipment including weapons and Zords. There is also some extra information on energems and dinosaur chargers if you want to use them.

If you play Power Rangers RPG, Under the helmet It’s a necessity in my opinion. I think a lot of information should have been released sooner (if not in Basic rules) and this timing is a big reason why I deduct points from the score. The other main reason is the (in my opinion) weak introduction of Team Bonuses. Also, why don’t these books have indexes on the back?

by Tommy Williams
Source: Geek Tyrant

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