I watched Netflix’s new movie Bright with a mixed bag of expectations. On the one hand it kinda looks like a generic brand Shadowrun and that could be awesome or unwatchable. On the other hand, it could be something else entirely and then it’s a big question mark that might be awesome or unwatchable? Well, other people have written film reviews (some calling it good, some bad) and you should check out the professionals to see their takes. For the record, I thought it was great. What I want to write about instead is using the ideas in Bright for your RPGs.
Lately I’ve been reading Mouse Guard with the little Mephling. Even though it’s a little intense for him at times, it’s full of great adventure and brave mice. It occurred to me that mice are often subject of adventure stories for young audiences including The Tale of Despereaux, the Redwall series, the board game Mice and Mystics and, reaching back a little earlier, The Mouse and the Motorcycle and Stuart Little. If you also have young gamers interested in adventurous mice, feel free to use this brand new noun for No Thank You, Evil!.
Happy 2018! Hopefully this year is a little better than last year and at the moment it is full of possibility… Full disclosure, I’m writing this in 2017 so I’m a little nervous that something is going to happen between now and then but in the mean time I’m focusing on ways that we can all improve our gaming experience in the new year.
Well, I’ve already published some guidelines for expanding Star Trek Adventures to cover Klingon and Romulan crews. Today, I’m going to push the space-horizon a little further with the perennial adversaries of Deep Space Nine, the Cardassians.
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.
I’ve been thinking a lot about different sorts of games, and often about kids games. Reading stories to the little Mephling gets me thinking about playing RPGs with him eventually and what I’d want to start him on. The more I thought, though, the more I realized this is a tricky subject.
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.”
Thinking through the various stories of gods in the modern world for my Godlings Fiasco scenario, I started to wonder why all these tales seem to be snapshots of the past. If the gods are real and they’ve been around since the beginning of civilization then what have they been up to for two thousand years?
I love starting off campaigns with things already in motion but sometimes you’re starting something new and you need to take it slow. My preferred compromise is the Active Session Zero, a “pre-campaign” session where your gaming group can build characters together but also actually play the game. Today, we look at an Active Session Zero for Red Markets, the game of roaming zombies and cutthroat capitalism.