Hollow Earth Expedition
'One of the key features to this game is that you can really spend your time feeding Nazis to dinosaurs. Which if that's not fun I don't know what is' - Kurt Wiegel.
Hollow Earth Expedition (or HEX) is published by Exile Game Studio, and is a "pulp adventure" roleplaying game set during the mid-1930s. It is aimed more at the "Indiana Jones" or "The Mummy" subgenre rather than the higher-powered costumed adventurer pulps typified by "The Shadow", "The Phantom", "Doc Savage" et cetera.
The main rulebook is a 258-page hardback, with primarily black-and-white interior art and a full colour cover. Character archetypes all receive full-colour illustrations. The book has a comprehensive table-of-contents and index.
Set in the tense pre-war years of the 1930s, the Hollow Earth is a savage land filled with dinosaurs, ferocious savages, strange areas where time behaves oddly, and lost civilizations. Players take on the roles of academics, journalists, explorers, two-fisted adventurers etc investigating the mysteries of the Hollow Earth. Meanwhile, up above, world powers and secret societies secretly vie for control of possibly the greatest discovery in all of history.
The game is powered by the Ubiquity system, an 'enhanced' dice pool system that is keen to promote storytelling and cinematic action. Players roll a number of dice to determine the success or failure of a specific action but Ubiquity has a number of features to simplify play and encourage players to keep the plot rolling along swiftly:
- Roll any dice: Ubiquity uses a binary success/failure (50%/50%) mechanism. Either a die is a success or a failure. Consequently, you can roll any dice as long as they have an even number of sides. For example, on a d8 you could say that 1-4 is a failure and 5-8 a success, or odds were failures and evens successes. You can even mix dice, so you can roll d6, d8 and d10 all in one hand.
- Roll less dice: Ubiquity Dice simplify rolling dice. A completely optional mechanism, these unique (and patented!) dice enable you to roll up to one-third less dice and make counting the number of successes easier.
- Roll less often: Ubiquity minimizes dice rolls with a "Taking the average" mechanism. If the average of your dice pool is greater than the target number you succeed, and don't even need to bother with the dice. You never have to slow down the action unless there's a significant chance of failure, at which point the dice come out.
- Play with style: You don't earn points for heroism or fate, you earn points for Style. If your character is an eccentric professor with no combat skills if you just dive for cover in the middle of a fight that's boring. On the other hand, if you stumble along eccentrically ducking out of the way of a fist as you point out local flora, that's style. Style rewards you in many ways, including bonus dice to get you out of scrapes you might not be able to get out of naturally ...
Other Games that use the Ubiquity System
The Ubiquity system also powers the Desolation role-playing game from Graymalkin Designs, as well as the All for One: Régime Diabolique and Leagues of Adventure Role-Playing Games from Triple-Ace Games.
- Secrets Of The Surface World - this sourcebook expands upon the surface world, with new cults and secret societies, more mad science, more exotic places of interest, et cetera.
- Perils Of The Surface World - an adventure compendium of four adventures set solely upon the Surface World.
- Mysteries Of The Hollow Earth - this sourcebook provides additional information on the Hollow Earth, including more locations, rules for playing natives of the Hollow Earth and much, much, more.
- Hollow Earth Expedition GM Screen - an excellent, and virtually bullet-proof, GM screen packed with useful info and with gorgeous cover art.
- Revelations of Mars - 'Planetary romance' genre sourcebook that takes the pulp action to the planet Mars, a dying and dangerous world filled with strange aliens, savage beasts, and vast inhospitable wastelands ...
Hollow Earth Expedition should be available at all good RPG stockists.
Back Cover Text
First we discovered that the Earth is round.
Then we discovered that it's hollow.
Now we must keep its secrets from falling into the wrong hands.
- GameGeeks review of Hollow Earth Expedition
- GameGeeks review of the Secrets Of The Surface World supplement and GM screen
- Exile Game Studio
- rpg.net Game Index entry for Hollow Earth Expedition
- rpg.net Hollow Earth Expedition review by Christopher W. Richeson
- rpg.net Hollow Earth Expedition review by Dirk Vandereyken
- rpg.net Hollow Earth Expedition review by Michael Erb
- rpg.net Hollow Earth Expedition review by Michael Crow
- rpg.net Hollow Earth Expedition review by Tim Knight
- rpg.net Hollow Earth Expedition review by Andrew Ellis Troubio
- rpg.net Hollow Earth Expedition review by Brannon Boren
- rpg.net Secrets of the Surface World review by Christopher W. Richeson
- rpg.net Secrets of the Surface World review by Dan Davenport
- rpg.net Mysteries of the Hollow Earth review by Dan Davenport
- rpg.net Hollow Earth Expedition Gamemaster Screen review by Christopher W. Richeson