Shitty BIND Review

A lot of people are their own worst critic. In my case this is trivial, because I'm my only critic - very few people have seen BIND yet. Anyway - here are the problems I want to address in the form of a shitty review.

BIND jumps from body-horror with the nura, and griffins eating babies, to semi-comedic nonsense like 'Song magic', which clearly tries to emulate bards playing a +1 flute during combat. It's not an Addams Family theme - it's just an incoherent mess of standard fantasy tropes imitated without any planning.

None of the names are intuitively obvious. 'Team rolls' work one way, 'group rolls' work another way, and nobody can remember which is which, or why it matters.

One of the major aims of the game was speeding up combat, but with the right circumstances, combat grinds to a halt. Demanding a high TN to hit someone means an attack will very often miss, especially when an opponent has a high Dexterity. Couple that with Damage Resistance lowering Damage by 5 each hit, and you can end up in a situation where nobody gets Damaged, and combat rolls on for hours.

Entire schools of magic become useless against particular foes. Illusion does almost nothing against the undead, and Enchantment doesn't affect animals, so any specialist mages are left with nothing to do throughout full rounds of combat.

Having to keep track of three types of wound resources (plus mana points for spell-casters) means that every scene becomes a book-keeping scene. The end of each scene also demands a new calculation of Fatigue Points, even if the characters have done nothing but walk.

Being an unknown RPG, the best bet to get recognition is to have a single clear motif, and allow people to pick up the rules easily. BIND does none of this, and instead chucks on anything which seemed interesting at the time, and lays out a rule-set which wants to sustain a long campaign, without any care as to whether a new GM can pick it up easily.

The antagonists sit in the 'uncanny valley' of 'mostly fantasy', while also rewriting the rules. Goblins are now 'nura', which means something new has taken place, but not enough to make the thing special - just enough to give the reader something to learn. Similarly, griffins sit in the natural world, but the world cannot provide any kind of 'generic fantasy RPG' experience, as Halflings, Otyugh, Orcs, and all manner of other races remain absent. One simply cannot make a +2 sword or a ring of wishes.

It feels a little like an OSR game at times, but fails to provide one of the most essential features of the OSR - the ability to recycle old adventures with a new system. Nothing published by TSR will work here without heavy modification.

Obviously if I knew how to sort these problems I would. A lot of the hopes of 'open sourcing' the thing has been that someone else will have a keener eye for fixing BIND's failures.