Heavy Metal Thunder can get as nerdy as you want. Do you miss the classic Choose Your Own Adventure books and want to strike a blow against linear narratives that don’t even bother to feature you as the protagonist? That’s great: You can read Heavy Metal Thunder, make choices, influence the story, and not worry about all the complicated record-keeping. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, Mass Effect, Rifts, Fallout, or legendary solo-RPG series like Lone Wolf, Grey Star, Way of the Tiger, et cetera, then feel free to use the rules presented in the Heavy Metal Thunder series to keep track of your character’s statistics, equipment, skills, experience and levels. You don’t need any dice; challenges are met and opponents are overcome by combining and comparing numbers that you have assigned to your character’s stats. You can play as a brainy gearhead, a nimble sniper, a raging goon, a hard-as-nails survivalist, or a soldier with a wide variety of skills but no single area of concentration.
Best of all, the rules aren’t presented up-front as an incredibly steep learning curve that you have to “master” before you even begin reading the actual story. Instead, the rules are presented gradually, one concept at a time, throughout the game. As the series progresses, new rules will be introduced for various unique situations and new skills will be presented as you advance through your career as a soldier.