Well I finally got my physical copy of the MASHED RPG in the mail. the game takes place during the Korean War between 1950 to 1953. the game uses the powered by the apocalypse engine.
my first impression is that this will be a nice RPG and makes good use out of the Apocalypse engine. one noticeable difference is that this author a Mr. Mark Plemons uses less vulgar language in the book and this makes a world of difference in understanding the Apocalypse rules. one of the complaints I had about apocalypse world RPG was the use of cursing in the actual rules of the game. in many ways MASHED simplifies the Apocalypse rules by renaming moves to one or two word descriptors instead of the sentences of Apocalypse. this is very fitting as the military has a habit of shortening words and phrases into acronyms. another nice innovation is the operation room rules. As the players are member of a M.A.S.H unit operating on wounded soldiers is an important element of stories and these extended rules make the situation more intense and involving.
the operation rules has two main parts the trauma clock and the countdown clock. the trauma clock is actually 15 clocks each representing a different part of the body with three of them being primary I.E the important clocks. the countdown clocks are there to represent how much time you have to operate before the patient either dies or losses a limb. this combo means that a cutter (surgeon) needs to prioritize the different trauma clocks in order to save a patient.
the book also goes into a nice summary of the Korean war and how the U.S military operated in the Korean theater. the game also has created a fictional M.A.S.H unit for the game to take place in. the game also included a nice glossary of common military slang one would hear during the War, as well as a listing of how much pay was per rank, the cost of common items and a nice section on how requisitions work in the army.
the game also included 9 pages of references about the war both fictional and non-fictional. each section of the book begins with what I believe are actually quotes from people serving in the war which is very nice. the backer section also has a section where backers could put the name of a service member of the military in lieu or in addition to their own names. the back of the book contains the playbooks as well as a nice step by step character creation guide.
the game engine being powered by the apocalypse works just like the other apocalypse games. the system is very good and works well for this style of story driven game. one interesting aspect of the game is the ability to switch CO’s (commanding officer aka game master) during the game. when one player has their PC advance to the rank of LT. Colonel they have an option of either becoming the new CO, or making a new PC. if they decide to become the CO and everyone agrees, then the old CO makes a character and becomes a player.
overall this seems like it will be a nice RPG for war stories and the interpersonal relationships that develop during conflict. it is however not a war RPG as the players are not normally fighting in the war but rather helping with the aftermath of the war. honestly think of the T.V series M.A.S.H. you could do more black comedy like the early seasons or more drama like the later seasons. I cannot wait to play this and get a more thorough understanding of the game so I can make a more in depth review.