Daredevils (role-playing game)
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Daredevils is a pulp tabletop role-playing game, written by Robert Charrette and Paul Hume. It was first published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1982. The box set included a staple-bound rulebook, a staple-bound scenario book, a cardstock character sheet, and a three-panel cardstock gamemaster screen. Daredevils was the third game added to the series published by Charrette and Hume which included Bushido and Aftermath!. All three games feature similar game mechanics, but the mechanics in Daredevils are simpler and more refined than those used in Aftermath!
Daredevils was the third collaboration between Paul Hume and Robert Charrette, and was another game in a previously untouched genre. The game was derived from Aftermath! but was greatly simplified. Shannon Appelcline noted that despite its simplicity it never caught on. "It was probably still a bit too awkward and it was only supported with four supplements". In 1985, freelancers J. Andrew Keith and William H. Keith, Jr. expanded from Chivalry & Sorcery to Daredevils and FGU's other lines.
The 64-pages rulebook covers character abilities, careers, skills (numerous but un-detailed), movement, combat (with an emphasis on firearms) and vehicles. There are overview sections on "The World of the Thirties," adventure creation, and NPCs. Four mini scenarios are included in the 32-page "Adventures" book. The box includes a GM's screen.
Daredevils is set in the 1930s as a detective and pulp-hero game with moderately complex combat rules. It is based on the pulp adventures of characters like Doc Savage and The Shadow. While the core roles focused on extraordinary but realistic adventures, supplements expanded the game for other areas popular to the pulp magazines of the 30s, such as lost worlds, exotic locations, and supernatural horror.
In The Name of the Game feature of White Dwarf #55, Marcus Rowland stated "(t)he complications of this game's character generation and combat systems make it unsuitable for beginners, but experienced players may enjoy it."
Dragon Magazine gave Daredevils a rather lengthy review comparing it to the adventures of Indiana Jones. The reviewer, Ken Ralston, stated that the rules are more complex than the causal gamer might be used to, but they were the right complexity for someone that is a fan of the Pulp Era.
Daredevils received a positive review from Paul Cockburn of Imagine Magazine. He compared the game favorably to the earlier Pulp Adventures game Gangbusters, and also praised its realism, something that Call of Cthulhu — another 30s-era RPG — lacked. Again, the game is compared to the adventures of Indiana Jones. This feeling was shared by the editors of Different Worlds magazine, but the rules were also criticized as being too cumbersome and complex.
These points were all encapsulated in a retrospective of Daredevils by RPG designer James Maliszewski.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-653-5.
- Rowland, Marcus (July 1984), The Name of the Game, White Dwarf (55): 13
- "Fantasy Games Unlimited: Daredevils". Fantasy Games Unlimited. 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Ralston, Ken (February 1983). "This game’s for daredevils only". Dragon (magazine) (in English) (Lake Geneva, WI: TSR Hobbies). VII, 8 (70): 73. ISSN 0279-6848.
- Cockburn, Paul (December 1983). "Scenario Reviews" (in English) 1 (9). TSR Hobbies (UK) Ltd. p. 42.
- "Review: Daredevils". Different Worlds (Chaosium) (27): 43. March 1983.
- Gygax, Gary (1987), Role-Playing Mastery (1st ed.), New York: Putnam Publishing
- Maliszewski, James (26 May 2010). "Retrospective: Daredevils". Grognardia. Retrieved 26 October 2012.