A while ago, I said how my 100th session for Solo RPG Voyages is going to be FATAL, easily one of the worst RPGs in the world due to a variety of problems that so many other people have explained better. So, you may ask, if this is one of the worst RPGs in the world… why are you playing it?
Well, that’s going to be the topic for the first part of a four-part series called the Road to FATAL, where I prepare myself and my character for the game. So, why FATAL? Do I have some sort of death wish? Do I just want to milk the fact that it’s bad for the cheap laughs? Well, no… somewhat.
Every 25 games, I do something called a Quarter Quell where I randomly determine my game, engine, and two Drivers to play with. This is basically a means to challenge myself and to mark milestones. However, for the big 100, I knew I had to do something very special. So, instead of randomly determining my toolbox for the session, I’ll instead pick the game, engine and drivers. I knew for #100, it had to be something momentous.
Enter FATAL, easily the most hated upon RPG in the world. People have made novels out of how bad this game is… Well, not novels, but the lengths of their reviews could rival some novellas. In a way, it’s badness is what drew my interest. Some years back, I took a look at the book and noticed how huge it is. Roughly 1000 pages of rules, charts, and math equations, all of which made to service one purpose: to make a realistic RPG.
On paper, this sounds great. However, there are thousands of problems with it, ranging from its needlessly complex system to content that is equal parts racist, ableist, sexist, and anything else ending in -ist. Again, other reviewers have pointed these flaws out. This game is to RPGs what Holy Terror is to comics. So, the entire reason for me trying to solo FATAL is one question:
Can this game be bearable without all that crap? And can this game be played solo?
In this site’s entire span of solo plays, there are only five games I didn’t like, but most of them had the same reasons: they were tedious in dice rolls. Every other game, I either had a blast playing or I wouldn’t mind playing again. Hell, two of the games I didn’t like I wouldn’t mind giving another whirl because they had some value of fun.
That leads to this experiment: If I were to excise the crap that made FATAL the worst RPG, starting with the sexual content for obvious reasons, would this game be playable and would I enjoy playing it? I seemed to have enjoyed all the other games, so I might as well give it a whirl.
And that’s what it boils down to: a question of whether or not FATAL can be played solo and if I can enjoy it. Well, next time I will figure out who to play as… Bon Voyage…