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Truth & Justice

by Chad Underkoffler

(Atomic Sock Monkey, 2005. $25.00, softcover ID: 141060.)

Review by Elizabeth Barrette

Five stars

cover scanThe name of the press gives you a taste of the sense of humor involved here: a blend of the mundane and the extraordinary in a very wacky package. Truth & Justice is a roleplaying game inspired by superhero comics and animation. It uses the "Prose Descriptive Quality" system designed by Chad Underkoffler, which is a streamlined method of play for those folks who want to quit fussing with the rules and get on with the game. You may remember it from the previous game Dead Inside, and it works extraordinarily well with superhero characters and plots.

So, you're a superhero (or superheroine). You get to describe yourself with such fun phrases as "Roguishly Handsome," "Memories of Past Incarnations," "Glass Jaw," "Computer Nerd," "Body of Flame," and "Power Theft," which define what you're like and what you can do. Heroic actions earn you "Hero Points" which you can use to change the odds in your favor, fight harder, recover faster, improve your abilities, and do other nifty things. Your friendly neighborhood game master will introduce you to plenty of supervillains to make your life more interesting (as if getting your Powers by being bitten by a radioactive rattlesnake, or whatever, wasn't enough).

Truth & Justice is a well-organized game handbook which explains the rules clearly but is fun to read even if you never get around to playing the game. Chapters cover the superhero genre, game rules, characters, superpowers, super-conflict, and gamemastering; plus three detailed starter scenarios, "Second-String Supers," "SuperCorps," and "Fanfare for the Amplified Man." If you enjoy superhero comics, you'll love this book. Most highly recommended.

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