I was thinking back the other day to some of the awesome D&D supplements I’ve used in the past and how they are just collecting dust now (in my hard drive or on my shelf). Usually this is because I’m not really playing the games they were written for anymore (old editions, settings I haven’t been back to, etc) but there are some really awesome ones that I think I should have back in my repertoire anyways! Today I want to talk about five older books that you might not have heard of that you should check out anyways.
I thought I’d do a bit of a survey look at games today, sampling a bunch that I go back to again and again but have trouble finding people who are up for them. They are incredible games and tons of fun but for some reason they don’t get the love I think they deserve. Consider this my effort to remedy that!
So a while back I wrote about the fantasy-noir PbtA game called City of Mist. I still have this game on my list of long-term campaigns but now that it has a new campaign book on Kickstarter it seems like the time to revisit this awesome game and give it the attention it deserves. In order to explore the possibilities of this game, I’m going to go through the process of world- and character-creation for the campaign that I’d happily launch tomorrow, players pending.
I was thinking the other day about things that I’d covered in my now-defunct Cypher System treatment of Star Trek and what isn’t already available in Star Trek Adventures. One thing that I’d thought of, and something that turned out to be in the works for the new Numenera Destiny, is teams of NPCs. Groups were covered in a combat sense in the mass combat rules in Red Alert and today I’m jotting down some of my thoughts on how this can expand to non-combat situations.
Earlier in the month I was out for a little bit. Baby Grue arrived and I took family leave from work and personal leave from this blog. During that period I got quality time with the new arrival but I also had to frequently entertain Little Mephling (Grue’s three-year-old brother) and after many days of trips to various locations I wanted something quiet that we could do at the kitchen table. As always (and unsurprisingly) I thought of RPGs but even No Thank You, Evil! starts with five year olds. Tired and with nothing to lose, I pulled a dirt-simple RPG based on Cthulhu Dark out of my butt and ran with it.
It worked like a charm.
The first season of Star Trek: Discovery has been over for a while, but I’m only just getting caught up. This series has caused more consternation than any Star Trek series has, and I’m including the intense wailing about Star Trek: Enterprise back in the day. For the purposes of this post, however, I’m asking you to put aside any negative feelings you have about Discovery to appreciate one interesting aspect: it’s pretty much an RPG campaign.
I really like the 7th Sea family of games and I’m really loving the new edition by John Wick Presents. It’s a fun, topsy-turvy version of medieval Europe with familiar themes and a fun cinematic system for combat. If you are intrigued by this game as well or you want to try your hand at a campaign but need to get players up to speed, then this list’s for you!
Short update today but it involves some homework. I’ve been a longtime fan of the One Shot Podcast Network which features a whole constellation of great shows with amazing actors, master GMs, and great alternative viewpoints. The most recent (I think?) podcast on the network is Character Evolution Cast and the first episode features James D’Amato talking about character voices.
You guys. It’s great.
The first 28 minutes is about James’ gaming philosophy and experience which is a great listen, but the best part for me was the second two thirds where he reviews voice acting tips and demonstrates techniques. I was worried that this would be too abstracted and dry but it was a fascinating listen and had me practicing various character voices in my car on the way to work. An amazing episode and I highly, highly recommend giving it a listen even if you don’t think you’re someone who wants to do character voices.
I really like the feel of a detailed, rich setting for superhero games. I’ve talked about it before but I’ve been thinking about it again as I listened to the awesome podcast Protean City Comics. Their worldbuilding episode is a really fun listen and it got me thinking about the best way collaboratively create a world of superheroes.
Governments have a political structure but that doesn’t mean they have a particular leaning or policy. The political stance of a system’s government, or its stance towards a particular subject, can also be a useful tool in detailing the star system.