Feb 15

Review : Fuhgeddaboudit and Badabing Badaboom

What do the phrases Fuhgeddaboudit and Badabing Badaboom bring to mind? Beyond giving my spell check a heart attack, they remind me of classic, old-school, New York mafia tropes. I immediately picture feuding families, deals made over a spaghetti dinner, and crazy shenanigans that devolve into violence. And thanks to the team at Just Insert Imagination, I can now play out these tropes with the Savage Worlds rules.

Overall Review
The material from Just Insert Imagination provides everything you need to run your group through a fun game session of mob-style adventure and violence. The modules require you to know the Savage Worlds rules, which are not included. But they do provide everything else you need for your game, including pre-made characters, maps, and NPCs.

The intent of these modules, beyond being simply entertaining, is to give GMs a quick easy game to break out at a convention or as a filler when plans fall through for a normal game night. These games are not presented as a long campaign, just a short, fun one shot. That being said, I’m sure a longer campaign could easily be developed based on the happenings. If the characters survive, that is.

Fuhgeddaboudit and its sequel Badabing Badaboom are game modules set in the late 1960s. In Fuhgeddaboudit, players are New York mobsters with a stake in a Las Vegas casino. They are taking a drive into the Las Vegas desert with an accountant in the trunk of their car. In Badabing Badaboom, the fallout of the previous mission is dealt with when the accountant’s wife decides to talk to the FBI. While the modules provide a connected story, it’s not required to play them in order. Each provides enough story to jump into the action, provided the players are familiar with mafia tropes.

What’s Included
These modules provide the pieces of a game session. It’s up to the GM and players to assemble them into the story they want. Each module gives a set up for the situation and the people that are involved. There is no pre-set list of events or happenings.

To support this “sandbox” style game session, each module gives lots of support details. There is suggestions for different scenes that might happen and different twists and complications that could arise. There’s a list of secrets that the PCs are keeping that could add drama to the story. There’s even a selection of era-appropriate songs that fit the mood of the game.

Fuhgeddaboudit is about dealing with the specific task of disposing of the problematic accountant. The focus of this module is about what complications develop while the PCs are on the road. The scene suggestions include things like the car breaking down or interference from a rival mob family. The NPCs have stat blocks and suggestions for how to adjust them if other characters are needed.

Badabing Badaboom provides a starting scene – chasing down an informant. The module includes Chase Cards and a few suggestions for how to keep the chase dramatic and exciting. The majority of this module is about tracking down the accountant’s wife before she causes problems. There’s a random generator for locations the PCs can check and what NPCs they might encounter. And just like the previous module, there’s a list of suggestions for twists and complications for the GM to introduce.

Personal Experience
I ran players through the modules a few different times. I had the best experience with players that knew Savage Worlds, simply because there was less down time explaining the rules and looking up Edges and Hindrances. The loose structure of the modules requires player buy-in and confidence in a more improvisational style of gaming. One group I played with was used to gaming with a more defined story structure, so I used the suggested twists and complications in the modules to quickly generate a basic plot.

Both of these modules have a very cinematic feel. Savage Worlds is a mechanical system that makes this style of gaming easy. I encouraged my players to take narrative control and describe scenes like they’d see in a movie. Since there’s no defined end point in either of these modules, I relied on my players to drive the story and based my actions as GM on what they provided. None of my games played out the same way. One took on a gritty, realistic tone and contained some very serious interactions with NPCs. Another was heavy on the action and was more like a big-budget blockbuster movie. My favorite was a session of Fuhgeddaboudit where we used one of my favorite movie tropes, starting with the conclusion and then flashing back to all the events that had led there.

Conclusion
Fuhgeddaboudit and Badabing Badaboom are great to keep around for a game night when some players can’t make it. They’re also perfect for a quick game at a convention. A knowledge of the Savage Worlds mechanics is needed, but that’s no different than any pre-made game module. The most important thing to remember when using these modules is to get player buy-in. These modules provide the elements of a story and need everyone at the game table to get involved with defining the structure. Provided that you have players that enjoy mafia tropes, are willing to take narrative control, and are comfortable with improvisational gaming, these modules will deliver a great gaming experience.

 

You can find these and other Just Insert Imagination products on Drive Thru RPG.

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