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EABA universal roleplaying (April 2019)

EABA universal roleplaying (April 2019)

Wednesday 9 February 2022
In February 2022 we revived the April 2019 EABA Bundle, featuring EABA (“Ee-buh”), the versatile, high-crunch simulationist universal rules set by Greg Porter that brandishes the whimsically grandiose claim to “End-All, Be-All.” With EABA‘s scaling rules you can build anything from a zipgun to a battleship, and run any conflict from a schoolyard fight to a superhero slugfest. The state-of-the-art interactive .PDF campaign settings in this bargain-priced revival range from steampunk to superheroics, all using the same coherent, deeply thought-out system.

In the Threefold Model and GNS theory of roleplaying design, Simulationist games seek accurate modeling and consistent fine-grained replication of their setting’s interactions; the campaign universe should operate sensibly independent of player concerns. EABA‘s roll-over dice-pool system and Universal Scale relate dice to damage and recovery, mass and size, distance and area, time, money, quantity, and more. Using this one-page chart, you can easily determine most in-game relationships. The chart also helps you set genre-appropriate baselines for your campaign world. Its default cost levels and “efficiency threshold” adjustments (for super-powers) help ensure characters have equipment and abilities suited to the setting’s genre and technology. EABA scales smoothly across many power levels, giving a nice range of variation for normals without going overboard for guys who can pick up a tank.

EABA‘s combat system provides plenty of crunch, with rules for cover, opportunity and covering fire, weapon arcs, advanced aiming, special ammo types, explosions (fragmentation and blast), lethal and nonlethal damage, crippling and bleeding, technology level, and much more. The Stuff! equipment supplement adds extensive rules for weapons, vehicles, gadgets, and creatures. If you think it’s important in combat, rest assured: It’s here.

Combat uses an unusual initiative system where combatants bid secretly to see who acts first, and there’s an action penalty for rushing. In a round, after you take one major action and one minor action, each additional action incurs a cumulative dice penalty. How much time does a combat round represent? That’s EABA‘s most interesting innovation, a fusion of realism and drama. EABA rounds lengthen as the fight progresses, either as specified on the Universal Chart or to serve the Gamemaster’s dramatic needs. The first round lasts one second; later rounds double in length, up to 16 minutes at Round 10. Regardless of round length, you still get one major and one minor action — but each later round grants an increasing “turn mod” bonus, representing your increased time for planning, focus, effort, or supplies spent. In the early stages of a fight, the expanding turn scale accentuates the immediate; later on, it becomes practical to take longer and more dramatic actions.

The rulebook cites the lobby gunfight in The Matrix (1999): “From the first revealing of weapons to the final body falling is about 150 seconds. Even if the time onscreen was divided equally between the two protagonists, in a game with one-second rounds this would take 75 rounds to play, or about three days of your typical gamer wrangling, planning, and arguing. In EABA this entire scene would be seven or eight rounds long.”

This revived April 2019 offer once again presented the EABA core rulebook and much of its support line — and for this run we added two new campaign supplements. Those who purchased this EABA offer during its original 2019 run received the two newly added titles automatically on their Wizard’s Cabinet download page and in their DriveThruRPG Library. When you buy a Bundle of Holding early, you never worry about missing a title added later — even much later.

There were four titles in this revived offer’s Starter Collection (retail value $52) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete EABA v2.01 core rulebook, the steampunk-Martian-dinosaur extravaganza Verne (and its beautiful Verne Maps set); and (NEW in this revival) the conspiracy-minded campaign setting CORPS v3.0.

Those who paid more than this offer’s threshold (average) price also get this revival’s entire Bonus Collection with five more supplements worth an additional $78:
  • Stuff!: A comprehensive equipment construction set that lets you build anything from a penknife to an orbital bombardment platform.
  • NEW in this revival! Interregnum: Your back is to the wall in this harsh “pre-apocalypse” campaign of desperate final battles against an enemy that has already won.
  • Agency: Modern magickal intrigue in a campaign where only you are Real, and everyone else is just Scenery. Includes the 1957 companion game that puts you at the heart of the setting’s early history.
  • Eschaton: Realistic superheroics in the wake of a sudden event that bestows super-powers on hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
Publisher BTRC produces advanced .PDFs with interactive features that enhance tabletop play. The EABA core rulebook .PDF in this offer has a built-in dice roller; its character sheets do calculations automatically; you can generate characters and vehicles with one click; and you can draw and erase on the maps. .PDF readers that support the advanced features include Adobe Reader (desktop), Readdle’s PDF Expert (iOS), and Foxit MobilePDF or Qoppa Software’s qPDF Notes (Android).

Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) went to this EABA revival’s pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief sends protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and to regional response agencies across the world.