Last time we looked at Kids On Bikes we focused on characters and collaborative worldbuilding. This is how things look from the players’ side of the table and is an important part of the game, but today we want to look at the other half of the equation. What tools does the game provide for GMs (on or off bikes)?
Kids getting in over their heads with some crazy adventure is a genre that has too many classic examples to really list: Stand By Me, The Goonies, E.T., Jumanji, Zathura, and Home Alone just start the list. Then, of course, there are the recent series Stranger Things, The OA, and Runaways which all combine the kid/teen model with the sort of obsessive binge-watching we all know and love today. If you want to harness that sort of power at your gaming table, then Kids On Bikes is the game for you.
I’ve always been on the outskirts of 7th Sea. Before I even knew it was a campaign setting, I bought Swashbuckling Adventures and mined it for material in a 3.5e D&D campaign with lots of ships and pirates. Reading through there, it was clear that the authors had a whole world that they were working with and so I started poking into the original system (which uses a roll-and-keep mechanic) and discovered a fun, semi-familiar world to enjoy. I never ran a game with the first edition (or d20 edition) but the newer Second Wave edition I’m back into it again. I’ve played in a few short scenarios with the new edition but the release of The New World has me racing to find a more substantial connection.
Normally I don’t bother with reviews unless they are about new products, but the Alloy of Law supplement for the Mistborn Adventure Game has a curious lack of reviews around the internet. This is especially curious because I feel it is everything I wanted the original setting to be and so it actually makes me interested in running the game. If you also like the Mistborn series of novels but been less than enthusiastic about the RPG, allow me to sell you on taking a second look.
Fantasy Flight Games has received a lot of well-earned praise for their Star Wars RPGs and just recently they released the system as a stand-alone product perfect for narrative-centered roleplaying. Whether you like the Star Wars games or you’ve never heard of them, whether you are looking for a new system or new ideas, this is a product worth flipping through.
Right now is one of the biggest moments for the 1980s, and I’m very much including the actual 80s. Between Stranger Things, the Ghostbusters remake, 80s-inspired bands, the recent Terminator sequel, the upcoming Top Gun sequel, and (of course) the sequel Star Wars trilogy, there’s plenty to make you take a look back at the 1980s (even if you never lived through them). You can add to that list the most recent Cypher System sourcebook Unmasked.
When I wrote about Upwind a few weeks ago, I mentioned the game Cairn which I called “quirky enough to be nearly unplayable.” I stand by that but I’d heard good things about Nocturnal Media before (for games like Pendragon and Belly of the Beast) that I wanted to give one of their other products a try before I crossed them off the list. Looking through their collection I saw Würm and thought, “Bingo.”
The new RPG City of Mist is part of the Powered by the Apocalypse family, a superhero game that blends the definition of the genre into high fantasy. It’s a complicated idea but I’ll get into all of that below as we start our dive head-first into Amít Moshe’s awesome game!
There’s a new book of adventures for The One Ring and it’s all about Rohan! A companion book to Horse-lords of Rohan, this set of six adventures is a great way to change things up for an established Wilderland-based group or a set of adventures for an all southern campaign.
A new game is coming to your skies, finishing up its Kickstarter pledges and getting ready for general release. Upwind a novel game in a lot of ways and I’ll admit that I hesitated before backing it. Quirky is alright but if you get too quirky you end up with something like Cairn which for me is quirky enough to be nearly unplayable. On the other hand you might get something like Paranoia which is a crazy but enduring classic. In the end it was an actual play called “The Three Beasts” put out by RPPR that convinced me to back it. Now that the beta version is out to backers I’m very glad that I did.