This weekend we finally got around to playing Wild Talents, a superhero game that uses the “One Roll Engine” and here’s the basic impressions I came away with:

1) The intention seems to be to make the mechanics very quick and streamlined…it can play that way, but I think you have to have played it a few times before you are really comfortable with it. In moments of play where the player has to make a test, you roll a number of #d10 equal to your skill and attribute, or your power’s rating. You then look for matches — say three 7s (or 3×7) is a pretty good result. You want to beat the highest set of matches or highest number the opponent rolls. In play, it slows things a bit trying to figure out what matches you have, but it was nowhere as bad as the rules read or I expected.

2) Powers — we built characters for a low-level campaign (250 pts, if you need to know) and even then, my mentalist was powerful. Twice in the session, I used my mental blast and sent both targets to Hades with a thought. I had planned on him being strong, but not that strong. His ability to mold people’s thoughts — he main ability — was 7d10. At no point did he had much trouble with the opposition. Physical powers, however, do not appear to be quite as deadly, but we still accounted for a half dozen bad guys without too much trouble.

This seems to fit with my initial assessment that the purpose of the game was a “dark” supers environment where “shit gets fucked up quick.”

3) Character generation: I took a crack at this, gave up, and sloughed it off on the GM. It’s far too complex to be fun making a character. It reminds me of old Champions…but more annoying.

So at this point, I think I’m going thumbs down on Wild Talents, although if you get an enthusiastic GM who knows the system, it might be worth it.