Review: All for One ~ Regime Diabolique

Produced by Triple Ace Games and using Exile Game Studio’s Ubiquity System, All for One: Regime Diabolique is a powerful force for sword-wielding, insult-tossing, chandelier-swinging, musket-firing, honor-defending, King-Crown-and-Country-saving, wench-wooing, dice-chucking fun. If you don’t believe me, call your seconds and we will settle this like fictional characters. You can be D’Artagnan, and I will be…  the Demonic Cardinal Richelieu.

Yes, the odds are unquestionably stacked in my favor.

Versions:

All for One: Regime Diabolique should be available in hardcover from your local game store, Triple Ace Games, Amazon, etc. It runs 194 pages plus maps on the inside covers, has evocative art in a consistent and recognizable style throughout, and is a quick and easy read.

It is also available, per the typical modus operandi of the publisher, as a 198 page PDF download from the usual sources, most notably Drivethru RPG, and the Triple Ace Games website.  The file toggles easily from screen to print-friendly versions from the index page.

Rules:

The game is run using the Ubiquity System, licensed from Exile Game Studio, the publisher of Hollow Earth Expedition. Ubiquity uses a die pool mechanic based on evens or odds being successes, where difficulty is controlled by modifying the number of successes needed. The system incorporates a number of features to facilitate fast, cinematic, game play, as well as simple, plug & play suggestions for scaling the heroics across the range from over-the-top to gritty.

Character Generation is:

    • fast
    • streamlined
    • able to produce characters of varying skill levels easily
    • focused on producing characters with a core strength, and a clear concept

Skill resolution is

    • fast
    • intuitive
    • able to give players a good sense of their probability of success
    • able to offer significant options to players to enhance their probabilities of success

Conflict resolution is

    • fast
    • adversarial
    • able to contribute to dramatic tension while reducing player frustration
    • able to offer significant rewards to engaged players without hampering newcomers

Additions to the core system for this setting

    • Traits focusing on both the combative and social aspects of fencing
    • Smoothly integrated, free-form, tradition-based, magic system
    • Period specific gear
Setting:

All for One: Regime Diabolique is set in the year 1636 in a fictionalized France where the supernatural threats, which were feared by those in our (ostensibly real) world to the point of creating the Inquisition and burning one’s neighbors, actually do stalk the shadows of an all too dark and mysterious world. While the common man fears such evil, few actually come face-to-face with it. Of those that do, most never know – until it is too late –  what torments them. The characters, assumed to be musketeers in service to the throne, are made of sterner stuff and will pit their wits, steel, and camaraderie against the very forces of Hell for sake of this simple but powerful call-to-arms: All for one, One for all.

The setting itself is very well-balanced, and open to your choice of complete adoption or creative interpretation. Its clean, coherent organization and presentation will allow GMs to easily determine the exact tone they want for the game, from Three Musketeer style adventurous roleplaying straight from the pages of Dumas, to Solomon Kane style grim fantasy, to wild heroics and high magic.

Regular, affordable, digital supplements on very specific themes have been offered each month to expand the setting piece-by-optional-piece, and two entry-level campaigns have been made available as well. Due to the steady pace of releases, please check this link to see what I mean.

Style

The presentation and style poise clarity and wit on a sword’s edge, making the task of reading through the core book an easy and enjoyable experience. Material, once read, is easy to remember or relocate, and readers will soon be the proud players of renowned swordsmen and battlers of villainy. This speed and refinement of focus reflects both the genre, and the core principles of the game system, and has all the earmarks of being a strong foundation on which to build long-term, enjoyable game play, or branch out into other, less archetypal areas.

The layout of the book puts the reader in mind of parchment and old manuscripts lovingly penned by action-starved monks. The art powerfully renders the ferocity of the dark powers aligned against the people of this France that never was, and the majesty of the all-too-human defenders of those helpless people.

Like the rapier that defines the public consciousness of the musketeer, this book thrusts directly at its target and scores a direct and penetrating hit.

Negatives:

There are few things which I found lacking in the core book. I do not mean things like typos or printing errors, but things of a more substantive nature, resulting from editorial choice. I can usually find quite a few things to question in this area, so that was an added bonus when I got the game.

My biggest comment is that there is no ‘Example of Play’ which, despite the true simplicity of learning Ubiquity, could have made the short learning curve even shorter. As far as the system goes, I think most first-time users of Ubiquity would like to have examples of setting difficulties and applying modifiers, and one of the easiest ways to take in that sort of information is in an example of play.

This is not a huge issue, and there are examples of play available for Hollow Earth Expedition, the ‘home setting’ for Ubiquity, and for Desolation (by Greymalkin Games) which also uses the system, but if I had to cite one thing which I would have done differently as the editor of the book, that would be it. I got all three games within a short span of each other, and actually used the Desolation core book to get a grip on the Ubiquity system before jumping back into All for One.

Once I read through all three core books (AFO, HEX, and Desolation) I could see what an extraordinary job was done by Triple Ace Games in streamlining and presenting the game in so few pages, and doubt I will ever need to reference one of the other settings’ core books in the future, however, in the beginning… I looked for ‘an example of play.’

Reaction:

My first reaction when I read the promotional advertisement for this game was hopeful excitement. This was, of course, followed by fear of disappointment, but as you can tell, I was not disappointed.

When I got the game itself, my reaction was a very strong desire to get to play the game. Normally, when I enjoy a game or game concept, I want to run it, and enjoy it through the lens of how my players interact with and flesh out the world I am helping them bring to life. Very few games interest me so much that I want to be the one to interact with and immerse myself in the play through the guise of an ongoing character.

All for One: Regime Diabolique is one of those games.

Want to read more posts  or story seeds about All for One? Click here.

Want to see an in-depth review of the system? Click here.

For some specific themes try these entries on All for One: Regime Diabolique

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3 Responses to “Review: All for One ~ Regime Diabolique”
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  1. […] Review of Desolation, another system featuring Ubiquity […]

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