I’ll preface this by saying I love space opera. I love stories like Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War books. I’ve wanted to play a game, for so long, of a spaceship crew, going from place to place, looking for work and dealing with the problems they invariably get themselves into. I think I’ve found that game. Bulldogs! appears to be, in every way that matters, the game I have been looking for. Halleluiah. I cannot WAIT to play this game with my group!
To start, this version of the game runs on FATE. According to the book, there have been some changes made from core FATE, but as I’m not an expert on the system, I don’t know where they are. But I will say that the system, as presented, seems to support fast paced action. There is a bit more crunch when dealing with things like combat, so I expect that the game will slow down a bit during combat. This is generally the case in most systems.
The presentation of the setting for Bulldogs! is a quick read and fun to go through. There is an interesting mix of scifi races and racial tension already built into the game. This should make for some wonderfully tense scenes, as the group of characters consists of individuals from every race. The characters in the game are all down on their luck spacers, who’ve joined a freight company and are running ships through the galaxy that really shouldn’t be running at all.
The book also has a wonderful section for the GM, giving advice on how to set up adventures, create conflict and all the other general bad-assery that should be in a GM’s toolbox. The book is organized and well laid out. It’s a very fun read.