Justice Velocity Review: Simply, I’m Stuck In My Favorite Movies

By Eric of Cluster Cove

Master of the pavement, second to none by the way of the gun; Justice Velocity has given me the tools needed to pull off the perfect heist with my friends. Upon getting my mitts on this tabletop role-playing game, I can’t seem to stop playing it.

I’ve been playing tabletop role-playing games since 2009, both in person and online as a game master and player. One of the biggest fears I contended with was watching my art teacher in high school play Dungeons & Dragons on an early edition, knowing that I had to learn the system before playing my first ever session with a master and his pupils.

I was intimidated by the complex rules that accompanied the game and opted to remain a spectator. Soon some friends who were also new to the experience sought me out to take the leap into tabletop role-playing games, which gave me the confidence to change my life forever.

Justice Velocity – Lao’s Retirement Trailer from Cluster Cove on YouTube

Presently my mission is to never let rules or arguing slow down the story and role-play. The process of throwing a fireball or back-flipping through a hail of bullets should make sense, but never be arduous. You never hand-wave a process when it works perfectly to begin with. 

Justice Velocity has hit the mark, giving the players the right amount of rules and plenty of space to attach their own if they feel so inclined. The game thrives in speed, purposefully so.

For years I’ve put up with complex game systems that seemed to be a pain for the sake of it, only because I loved the flavor of the worlds they offered. Hundreds of hours spent converting said complex games into another streamlined system I favored, it makes me wish Justice Velocity was in my sights before doing so.

Now I find Justice Velocity’s mechanics making friends with all of my role-playing games. The way the developers handle driving is second to none for me. I’ve struggled with making my players who only play driver-type characters feel their speed and skills behind a wheel match the pacing and simplicity of players who swing swords and shoot guns.

Nothing ever feels like I’m fudging the game, so they feel included and powerful when it’s their turn to smash the pedal. Before, others would internally groan when it was my driver’s turn in combat, but now they are revered and wanted–which, to this day, blows my mind.

Justice Velocity has hit the mark, giving the players the right amount of rules and plenty of space to attach their own if they feel so inclined. The game thrives in speed, purposefully so.

I’ve used Justice Velocity to bring in people who have never played tabletop role-playing games before at my college. You can start playing with people who have no concept of taking on a role, and turn them into the best computer hacker to ever grace the internet in under thirty minutes.

There’s no “beginner’s only/veteran’s only” stamp for tabletop role-playing games in my opinion. It either works well with itself and gives users everything they need to function, or it doesn’t. Veteran players and myself that use Justice Velocity simply love it because it’s the former.

Games considered “simple” still dominate, like Mario as an example: fantastic and beloved because they excel at what they offer to the player. Justice Velocity is snugly placed next to my collection of Dungeons & Dragons books on my shelf, all equally a thrilling and stress-free experience to play.

My first question before playing any tabletop role-playing game is, “Does it give me the opportunity to collaboratively tell stories with friends without frying my brain to exist within the game world?” Justice Velocity leaves bullet holes in all the check boxes.

Cluster Cove crafts high quality live plays of tabletop role-playing games, Justice Velocity included, on his YouTube channel.

Justice Velocity Loot Drop #1

Loot Drops is a recurring segment on new items, equipment, weapons, and abilities to airdrop into any Justice Velocity campaign.

“Sorry I’m late,” or whatever. We have arrived just in time with some new items and equipment to save you from that double-agent mini boss. Stock up your treasure chests, shops, and baddies with these new assets.

Cool cool, but not your style? Don’t worry. We’ll be back next week with a new booster pack of three.

This first item is inspired by Clipper’s character, Jack Wolfe. Before jumping into battle, Jack will usually plug in his headphones and put on nu-metal to drown out the noise. It was only appropriate to give him an upgrade that had some additional utility.

No need to seek a shaman, fortune teller, or your g-man anymore. Find out for yourself who is evil and what they’re planning with the magical gift of vague certainty. Prescience awaits.

Must Cop.

Let us know how you decide to throw these into your campaign. We’ll see you soon with more gear to stack up for your next adventure. Thanks for playing JV~

EVOS ULTRA is an artist and contributor to Polyhedra Games.
Twitter: @xtulipmaniax

Justice Velocity Campaign Update #1: Meet the Heroes

I’ve been playing sessions of Justice Velocity on Discord with friends over the past few months. Our game is a rotating GM session between 5 players (plus guests) that meets about once every week or so. We’re 10 sessions deep, and the campaign has been a lot of fun.

Playing a Rotating GM Game

Having only experienced Justice Velocity from a creator, game designer, and GM perspective, it’s been pretty exhilarating to turn the table and see others set up the narratives they’d like to tell in the action movie universe. And — I’ve finally gotten a chance to play the game from a player perspective. My takeaways are more or less what you might anticipate, though worth underscoring nonetheless:

1. Treat the rules as guidelines, keep the action going, and have fun.

I don’t really feel the need to interrupt if another GM has a different interpretation of the rules. The game is in their hands, and as long as everyone’s having fun and rolling dice, that’s what it’s all about.

2. Every session doesn’t require a race or car combat sequence to have that high-octane action movie™ flavor.

Given that the game rules deal heavily with vehicles and car combat sequences, I feel people might be compelled to incorporate these elements into their campaigns for fear of missing out on the action.

The truth is, a couple of sessions of heists and hijinks sans-vehicles can be just as satisfying as chasing down bad guys at a justifiable velocity. Though, these things are nice to pepper in whenever you get the excuse. They say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I feel this is especially the case whenever you get to unleash a bit of adrenaline-pumping tabletop car fu.

3. GM prep can be hard to find time for, but the more prepared you are, the more satisfying it becomes.

Okay, so session #1 was largely improvised on my behalf, though it seems to have turned out just fine. Trading off games with other GMs and accommodating a variety of styles, however, has given me the opportunity to write and plan out quite a bit more for the other sessions I’ve run in this campaign. One of the challenges has been picking up from sparse notes where the last person left off, but that’s definitely a part of the appeal.

It’s also tough finding time to put some ideas down in a notebook once a week, but spacing it out and sharing that task has yielded pretty interesting results. Leaving room for improvisation in your games will always be important, but planning and being able to pull together crucial details will always help move the story along in a fun and interesting direction.

We also will typically do a bit of an impromptu GM discussion at the end of our sessions (i.e. “Did you plan this part or make it up?” or “Where were you going with this?” etc.) that has been pretty fun and enlightening. At first I thought a GM should never reveal their secrets, but we’re all in the same boat — so we might as well discuss the precarious nature of our narratives.

The Campaign and Characters

Throughout the course of play, games have focused on an elaborate luxury yacht deathtrap set by an international crime family, weapons programs and cultists in Antarctica, supply drops in the middle of Yemeni war zones, and combat simulations inside of LG smart fridges with wi-fi capabilities. I’d like to elaborate on these sessions in later blog posts, but first, I’d like to introduce the cast of characters:

Jack Wolfe by Clipper

Jack Wolfe (played by Clipper) – A hard-boiled mercenary from the heartland. It’s safe to say he’s seen more war than peace in his years as a private military foot soldier. He’s kind of dumb, but buff as hell. He likes to relax by listening to early 2000s nu-metal on his Zune, detailing his motorcycle, or adding ink to his growing collection of American Traditional-style tattoos.

Jack is essentially the grunt of the group. If we were playing D&D, he might be a barbarian. He’s based around the quintessential meathead action movie hero, but has a touch of nuanced emotion that undergirds his rough exterior. Game-wise, he’s most useful to the team when he’s swinging a machete, leaping through passenger windows, or unloading lead. His poor INT score and perception make for some good bits as well in terms of balancing out his hand-to-hand and ranged combat prowess.

Paul G. Walker by Dean

Paul G. Walker (played by Dean) – An undercover cop who believes himself to be possessed by the ghost of Paul Walker. An accomplished driver who drives a replica Mitsubishi Eclipse modeled after the one driven by Paul Walker in the first Fast & Furious film.

Paul is the go-to driver of the group. He’s a bit goofy and vapid, and Dean plays him well. A few sessions have involved a group of cultist super-fans who buy into his clearly fabricated narrative about being the reincarnation of Paul Walker, which is always fun. For all his swagger and wise-cracks, however, he knows when to spend the juice on a Mega Drift.

The Lone Stranger (played by Nathan) – A trick shooter and carnival performer. He has a burgeoning social media presence, but would rather be left alone to his gun-slinging. Reluctantly wears a cowboy hat and has a *mysterious past.*

Nathan’s character is definitely the most shoot-y and dexterous of the bunch. He has an affinity for antique firearms and is careful about revealing salacious details regarding his past.

Yoko Oh-No (played by Emily) – An idiosyncratic avant-pop artist with a knack for computer hacking and experimental music. She’s just about as handy with a crossbow as she is with a keyboard. Yoko is a Grammy-award-winning artist who’s always focused on hacking into 1) the mainframe and 2) her next source of creative inspiration.

Emily’s character is certainly the designated hacker of the group. She’s also a bit of a wildcard in terms of her reserved pop acclaim and off-kilter artistic quirks. She’s saved the group with her technical know-how and indie pop fame countless times.

Arlington “Chex” Davenport (played by Dane) – A purveyor of ‘lightly used and pre-owned home appliances.’ Chex has outstanding warrants for his arrest in Florida and Ohio for racketeering. He’s a well-connected face with sleazy used car salesman vibes.

Chex is the bona fide face of the group. He’s just as entertaining as he is peculiar, however, in that his intentions always seem to be lathered in the unsavory lacquer of personal advancement. He’s often running from gunfire, posing as John Chrysler of Chrysler Motors, or saying something just incredulous enough to be believable. He’s the best face a party could hope for.

Overall …

It’s been an amazing game. I can’t wait to tell you all more about it in coming posts.

All the best,

Clipper Arnold

Polyhedra Games

Justice Velocity Review at D20 Radio

There’s a new review of Justice Velocity by Egg Embry over at D20 Radio.

” Over-the-top, hi-octane racing and explosions! If that statement will ignite your gaming table then you’re looking for Justice Velocity. If you want to tell stories of dramatized street racing, Justice Velocity is ready to roll. If you want to be the crew that steals the show and gets away in slick rides, JV is equally at home adjudicating those narratives. If you’re gaming to save the world from the driver’s seat of a muscle car, that’s Justice Velocity! “

Check out the full review here.