GTM #204 - DUST Adventures RPG
Reviewed by Thomas Riccardi

The year is 1947 and the conflict known as World War II still rages across the globe. In this alternate reality, the Earth has encountered an alien race known only as the Vrill.  These creatures possessed advanced technology that surpassed ours by leaps and bounds; new weapons were developed such as giant combat walkers that can take on tanks or laser cannons that cut through steel and flesh. Will you be able to survive in this new world? This is the setting for DUST Adventures, a new roleplaying line from Modiphius Entertainment.

In DUST Adventures you’ll first be tasked with creating a character. You’re given five points to split up between four core characteristics. These are:

  • Mobility: A calculates a character’s speed, agility, and reflexes which affect the accuracy of your weapon.
  • Physique: How tough a character, which not only defines how large he is, but measures his strength, toughness, and endurance, as well.
  • Mind: Determines how intellectual and aware he is of his surroundings.
  • Presence: Which reflects how well your character stays cool under fire, as well as interacts with others.

There’s also derived characteristics which include movement (how far you can move in a turn), capacity (how much damage you can withstand), and initiative (determining who goes first in combat). Each of these characteristics have a rating from 1 (average) to 5 (superhuman), but a normal human may not have a rank higher than 4 in any attribute. Next, you flesh out your character by selecting a background and a branch of service, which in turn grant you skills and access to equipment that you’ll need during your adventures.

As your character goes on and endures various adventures and encounters, he’ll earn Action Points, which can be used to influence the game by either altering dice rolls, creating gadgets, or even altering the plot. However, if the player has Action Points left over he can put those points to use by improving his character’s special abilities, skills, and characteristics.

Whether infiltrating a hidden SS base or exploring the jungles of Africa, the main part of any RPG is action. DUST Adventures uses a simple D6 resolution system and while there are custom dice available any regular D6 would work just as well. The GM assigns a difficulty to any given task, factoring in aspects like cover, line of sight, etc. Once the difficulty is assigned, the player then figures out what attributes and skills can be used in the dice pool. For example, if a character has a 2 in mobility as well as a 2 in rifle skills he would have 4 dice in his pool. The player rolls the dice and tallies up the successes, and then inflicts damage on the target. If the damage exceeds the target’s capacity, then it’s killed on the battlefield. This makes for a streamlined system which is easy to learn and fast-paced battles. There’s also rules for vehicular combat, as well as a list of all the vehicles, weapons, and equipment that you would find in the DUST universe. Also, if you love playing some of the characters from DUST Warfare, there’s rules to convert them over to this system.

When beginning a new campaign, it can be a bit daunting on getting ideas for adventures. The folks over at Modiphius have you covered with a few adventure seeds for each country. You could be trying to find out more about an Eiffel Tower Project in France, or exploring the ruins of a site out in Roswell — there’s tons of great adventure ideas to get you started. There’s also an introductory adventure (“Operation Apocalypse)” that’s a great start for you and your players in the world of DUST. This mission tasks you with trying to free a defecting scientist who has some valuable intel. But, will your task force succeed or fall to the horrors of the Third Reich? This sourcebook also goes into detail about the world of DUST, from an expanded timeline to more comprehensive information on the alien race known as the Vrill.

If you love the DUST universe you need to check out this game, as it’s simply amazing! For more information on this and other games, head over to www.modiphius.net and get ready to strike back against the invaders!

  • Number of players: 2+
  • Time: 30-90 minutes
  • Ages: 12+
When not writing or playing games, Thomas Riccardi can be found in Sacramento preparing for the day when zombies, vampires, or aliens invade.