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Nomadic Review: Explore. Document. Survive.

Nomadic is a solo sci-fi adventuring game of exploration, documentation, and Survival. Explore new planets, document what is on them, and hope to survive to the next one. 

Good luck out there! From Fari RPGs

Ships Log 345A: The radiation shielding on my suit is starting to fail. This planet looks so promising from orbit, but soon after landing, I found the exotic radiation was quickly eroding any shielding I had. I’m making my way back to the ship in the greatest haste but I’m not sure I can make it. The forests of this planet are thick, lively, and difficult to transfer. My disappointment is immeasurable. I was so hopeful this could be our new home. Now I may die here.

You are humanity's last hope. You are tasked with finding a hospitable world while what is left of the human race is in deep sleep aboard giant cryo ships. Discovery isn’t easy, or safe and you are likely to die on your journey. All worth it if you can cross a few more planets off the list. For this is your mission brave Nomad, to explore, report back and survive, as long as you can.

What alien planets will you explore? Photo by Dwinanda Nurhanif Mujito on Unsplash

Introduction

Nomadic is a solo RPG based on exploration and survival by Fari RPGs. You are a Nomad, tasked with finding a new Earth after our earth was destroyed. You are not the only Nomad but there aren’t many of you out there. All of humanity’s hopes rest on the shoulders of the few.

Nomadic is based on the Breathless SRD, which has spawned dozens of games and even a few other solo games. If you like Nomadic you are in luck because you’ll be able to pick up more games built similarly but with different themes and genres.

Nomadic is a pick-up-and-play game. You can read Nomadic, and get playing within 15-minutes, so it's perfect for breaks between larger Solo campaigns or that day when your traditional group can’t meet. But I don’t want you to think Nomadic is a shallow game, it has a lot of depth and will create a deep and potentially sad story.

What do you need to play?

Ship Log: 34E5 I’ve approached a new planet today, it had promise according to the long-range scans. But as I entered orbit I was deeply disappointed, yet again. Jagged mountains reach skyward, almost into space, and the whole planet is covered in a cold, windy tundra. Blizzards wrack the planet, from one end to the other. Yet, surveys show small mammal-like creatures living in more temperate places, scuttling from burrow to burrow with thick fur. If they can survive here, maybe humans can.

Nomadic is easy to play. No VTT, digital tool, or multiple-character sheets are required. All you need is the PDF, purchased from Fari RPG itch store, something to record your progress, and dice. The character sheet is built into the game rules.

You will need the standard array of dice, D20, D12, D8, D6, and a D4. If you don’t have them all, just type Roll Dice into google for a pretty good dice roller.

This is the perfect game for a trip, or on an airplane!

Design and Feel

Nomadic has a great space design and feel to it. What I really like is the game comes with two designs you can download. The fancy, high graphic design with a beautiful cover shot of an alien plant of some type. And a printer-friendly design that is black and white and won’t destroy your color ink. It still looks good though, don’t get me wrong!

The other notable aspect of Nomadic is its easy-to-read layout, with plenty of space to let you take in the words and mechanics.

Also, it's only 8 pages including the cover page and the character sheet. Again, this is a great game to print out and take with you somewhere.

Character and Setting Creation

Again, it's simple, and easy but has a good amount of depth to it. You start with your character's name and pronouns. Then you rate your six skills. You select your best three skills and give them a D6, a D8, and a D10. The other three get the standard D4. When you have to do a skills check, you pick the most appropriate skill and roll that dice.

And that is it for character creation. Your Nomad is ready to go flying into the universe.

How it Plays

Ships Log: 98H4: I stepped onto some sort of nest today. The alien insects crawled all over my suit and attempted to bite me. I laughed at first, knowing my suit was made of the best Earth had to offer before the disasters. I wasn’t laughing when the venom from the bite started to burn holes in the outer fabric. I rushed back to the ship to clean it before I became exposed to the alien atmosphere. I don’t think this planet will work for us, sadly we must continue to move on.

The rules state the gameplay loop quite clearly and it's easy to follow.

You spot a new planet that could host human life. You think about how your character feels. Are they hopeful or jaded? Excited or depressed? How does this tie into your life on earth?

Then you land on the planet and develop what the planet looks and feels like using the Planet Scanner tool in the rules.

You then explore the planet and roll to see if you succeed at certain activities.

Next, make a resource roll to see if you found anything of use in your travels over the planet.

Now it’s time to leave and you can record in your ship log the expedition and what trials and tribulations your character faced. Your character beams the record to wherever humanity is sleeping.

Then you start the process over again.

It's a harsh universe out there. Photo by Diego Jimenez on Unsplash

How it Ends

Ships Log 86N5: My ship’s fuel has run out. I’m between planets and there is a zero percent chance that I’ll make it to my destination. The computer says that if I shut off all systems except cryo, I can sleep for a few hundred years. Maybe someone will find me? Maybe I’ll never wake up? This is this ship’s last log. I hope another Nomad found us a home.

Will your Nomad find a suitable planet to become humanity's new home? Maybe, maybe not. It seems to be a hopeless task filled with countless dangers and most likely your Nomad won’t make the discovery, but you still must try.

Through your explorations, your resources will slowly dwindle down until you have nothing left of a category. At that point, you can choose to abandon the mission. You realize it is useless to continue and you give up. Hopefully, another Nomadic will find a new home for the remainder of humanity.

Or you can Push Forward, summon the will to keep going on your quest until you’ve searched every planet out there.

Should I Buy this Game and Who is it for?

As I keep saying in my reviews, there are thousands of RPGs you could play solo, so should you take time out of your busy day to play this?

Yes, you should! The key selling point for me is Nomadic is self-contained. No need for external character sheets, looking through pages of oracles and all that. You just need some dice, as the book even has a place to write down your journey logs.

Do you want a game you can play in bed or on the couch without a computer or anything else? This is for you! Print out the 8 pages (less if double-sided, even less if you print a booklet) and get to exploring!

Do you like the exploration aspect of Sci-fi from movies and shows like Star Trek and Interstellar? Get this game. Explore new worlds, do your part for humanity, and try to survive to find humanity a new home.

Do you want a game you can pick up, read and start playing within 15 minutes? Buy Nomadic! You can start exploring your first planet as soon as you finish reading the rules. But, there is depth there and you can keep coming back to this game for days or longer, exploring a new

Finally, do you want to support a great Indie creator, Fari RPG? Of course, you do. Fari does great work, has written other great games and gratefully he’s released the SRD (the bare bones of his games) so others can make creative games using the underlining systems. And wow, have people made creative games.

So go out and buy Nomadic today! Explore. Document. Survive!

Buy it on itch.io Today!

And be sure to check out what Fari is doing on farirpgs.com!

Want more reviews? Check out my review of Grimoire or Starforged!

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- Croaker

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