Review of PORTAL

The following review was originally written up on Lulu.com for the universal RPG PORTAL, which can be found at the following address: http://www.lulu.com/shop/jared-presler/portal-player-oriented-roleplaying-timing-action-lucidity/ebook/product-17516076.html

‘Not having played this, I can only speak to the philosophies, writing style and mechanics based on a quick read through. The ideas that apparently drove the author (and friends?) to create the system are very in line with my own: put the focus on story, let the system fade into the background, keep it simple but realistic. So that’s great by me. Unfortunately, to me at least, the mechanics of character creation are more involved than most systems, even if they do begin with a “write the ideas first, then stat out” mentality I appreciate. 9 core stats, confusing nested sub-stats, I got dizzy reading it all. I must point out, however, that the lists of example questions to ask yourself/your players when creating characters are spot on, covering almost all bases when it comes to developing well thought-out, believable characters. The resolution system is simple d100 roll-under with some finer granularity in terms of success (again complicating what could have been simpler) which is fine by me. Guidelines are given for modifiers, etc. The cool innovative bits here come from spending and regaining vitality, which determines action order and effectiveness in combat. Hadn’t seen anything like this before myself, and it’s something I’d consider house ruling into an otherwise initiative-based system if I felt it necessary to enforce order. The writing style is fairly clean, leaving little to question. It is easy to follow and does not pander, which I appreciate. The only annoying bits for me are a few recurring typos, most notably “loose” in place of “lose” several times.’

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