Daredevils (role-playing game)
Daredevils is a pulp magazine tabletop role-playing game set in the 1930s. It was written by Robert Charrette and Paul Hume and published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1982. The game comes with a rule book, a scenario book, a character sheet, and a three panel game master screen. Daredevils is Charrette and Hume's third game of a series. The first two games were Bushido and Aftermath!. All three games feature similar game mechanics, but those of Daredevils are simpler than those of Aftermath! Daredevils was not popular. In his book Designers & Dragons, Appelcline said, "It was probably still too awkward and it was only supported with four supplements."
The game consists of a sixty-four page rulebook which describes the characters' abilities, their careers, skills, movements, forms of combat (with an emphasis on firearms) and vehicles. There are chapters which give an overview of life in the 1930s; describe the creation of the game; and list the non-player characters. There is also a thirty-two page book entitled Adventures which describes four mini-scenarios. In addition to these items, the packaging contains a game master's screen.
Daredevils is set in the 1930s. The player takes the persona of a detective cum pulp fiction hero. The game is based on the adventures of Pulp magazine characters such as Doc Savage and The Shadow. The main game, however fantastic, is set in a realistic historic world. The supplementary adventures involve other scenarios which were popular in the pulp magazines of the 1930s, such as lost worlds, exotic locales, and supernatural horror.
In 1984, in The Name of the Game feature of the White Dwarf magazine (issue 55), the author Marcus Rowland said, "The complications of this game's character generation and combat systems make it unsuitable for beginners, but experienced players may enjoy it."
Dragon magazine published a lengthy review of Daredevils. The magazine compared the game to the adventures of Indiana Jones. The reviewer, Ken Ralston, concluded that the rules were complex for a casual gamer but appropriate for a gamer with an interest in the pulp fiction era.
Daredevils received positive comments from Paul Cockburn of Imagine magazine. He compared the game favorably to the earlier Gangbusters game. He praised the realism of Daredevils in comparison to Call of Cthulhu. Cockburn also compared the game to the adventures of Indiana Jones. The editors of Different Worlds magazine, made similar comments but criticised the rules for being too complex.
James Maliszewski, a role playing game designer, summarised the critics' findings in a review of Daredevils.
- Appelcine S. Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing 2011 p75 ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- Schick L. Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books 1991. ISBN 0-87975-653-5.
- Rowland M. The Name of the Game. White Dwarf July 1984 issue 55 p13.
- "Daredevils." Fantasy Games Unlimited 2006. Accessed 26 October 2012.
- Ralston K. This game’s for daredevils only. Dragon February 1983 7(70) p73. TSR Hobbies, Lake Geneva, WI. ISSN 0279-6848.
- Cockburn P. Scenario Reviews. Imagine December 1983 1(9) p42. TSR Hobbies (UK) Ltd.
- Daredevils. Different Worlds March 1983 issue 27 p43. Chaosium.
- Gygax G. Role-Playing Mastery. Putnam Publishing New York 1987, first edition.
- Maliszewski J. "Retrospective: Daredevils." Grognardia 26 May 2010. Accessed 20 October 2012.