Reviewed by D. Andrew
Ferguson, Copyright ©2001
Edited by Suzanne Campbell for The Guild Companion
is a "beer and pretzels game" written by James Mathe and
produced by Minion Games. It is a 60 page Adobe Acrobat file that you
download and print. The cover art is color, and the interior is gray
scale, or black and white. It is for sale on the rpgnow.com website.
My first impression of Hyper-Killer
was that it would be Paranoia meets Cyberpunk.
Life is cheap, guns are everywhere, and somebody always has better
technology than you. All of this can combine to make Cyberpunk-like
characters with Paranoia-like life spans.
Actually, my current view of the game isn't far from that initial
artwork ranges from adequate to excellent, and oddly enough the piece that
I liked the least was the one chosen for the cover. Most of the art depicts gun-wielding maniacs in vicious
firefights; these are probably supposed to be the PCs.
There is a wide range of subjects for the artwork, similar to what
you might expect to see if you read a Rifts sourcebook and a
Warhammer 40K sourcebook.
Nothing Going on but the Rent
Going on but the Rent is a five-page short story by Pete Hernandez that acts as an excellent
introduction to the setting. The
story really catches the gritty tone that the game strives for. It does
not carry over into the game, but the potential is there to mine it for
setting and NPC ideas.
The game mechanics are very simple with one rule
surpassing all others: the GM has the right to make up the rules.
The rules presented in the book are a great set of skeleton rules
that allow for most situations that trigger happy PCs will find themselves
four stats are: Brains, Cool, Dex, Power. Each stat is generated by
distributing 90 points among the four stats but you are required to put at
least ten points into each stat.
Attack and skill rolls are percentile with rolls of
96 or above being open ended. Damage is done in multiples of d6; for
example, a hit from a Needle Pistol does 4d6 damage (rolls 6, 4,3,1 doing
14 points of damage) and if the attack roll was over 100 then an
additional D puncture critical is added to the damage. However, if the PC
being hit had "2d6 armor" the armor would absorb the two highest
rolls (6 and 4, letting 4 damage penetrate to the character). All
characters start with 50 Kill Points, which is the amount of damage that
they can take.
This game was designed to be used a filler game and
as such has minimal game mechanics with easy to use character generation
steps. It is best used with miniatures.
As a quick game it actually does an excellent job.
An average game can run anywhere from one hour to an entire evening. This,
however, will vary greatly depending on the Game Masters style and whether
the PCs kill each other or not. From the games that I have played it
does seem that it would be a bit difficult to use this system to play an
entire campaign, but this is due mostly to the campaign rather than the
Weapons and Equipment Lists
The Weapons and Equipment Lists span eleven
technology levels (from muskets and sabers to gauss rifles and tachionic
shotguns) and have enough gear to allow for many great Sci-fi items, and
lots of opportunities to surprise the PCs with something that they
haven't encountered before.
Critical Hits Charts
game comes with several Critical Hits Charts that are reminiscent of Rolemaster
or Spacemaster Critical Charts.
The critical categories are Crush, Heat, Impact, Puncture,
Radiation, Shrapnel, Slash, and Unbalance.
Each of the critical types has its own table and each table has
several amusing critical resolutions.
is very expandable so you can take ideas from your favorite games and
stories to incorporate within the game.
It would also be quick and easy to produce a lot of your own
material for various races and such that are not covered in the book.
A Final Note
game is well worth the $5 US price tag, and I really would like to see
expansions or even a module or two in the future. This game really does succeed in fitting into the
often-overlooked quick, easy, and fun games category, and I would suggest
it for anyone who would like a space filler game.
is published by Minion Games. You can purchase Hyper-Killer
at the following web address: