Overthe Top

At the pinnacle of the cinematic pyramid are campaigns that work like anime or comic books, which - freed of the need for actors and sets, and limited only by the artists' imagination - aren't constrained by physics. Over-the-top games are totally unlimited. They might use extreme rules like Bullet Time and "switch off" certain core rules. For instance, the GM could ignore ST requirements for melee weapons to let elfin warriors wield greatswords one-handed; suspend The Rule of 16 (p. B349) so that masters of Hypnotic Hands, Pressure Points, etc., are invincible; or ignore the limits of Parrying Heavy Weapons and Parrying Unarmed (p. B376) so that knives and fists can parry the heftiest weapons with impunity.

Strengths: Perfect for fans of anime, superhero comics, and movies filled with CGI effects. The GM can simply ignore a large number of rules that exist to make combat realistic, which lets the game run more quickly. Cartoon violence may make the violent martial-arts genre more acceptable to squeamish gamers and more suitable for younger players.

Weaknesses: Even those who love action movies may find that the bent physics and weak resemblance to reality make it hard to identify with their characters. Those who prefer realistic gaming but are willing to try a cinematic game may dislike the fact that realistic PCs seem like comic relief. The lack of limits on the PCs' capabilities can lead irresponsible players to assume that there are no limits on behavior, either, and things can rapidly grow sillier (or more offensive) than intended.

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