[generic] What rpgs have you read recently?

#41
Should I read it? I mean, should I understand it before going to Cons where the only games I can get into are SW ones?
I'd actually argue yes - even if its just the first half of the Explorers edition. As I see it, Savage Worlds looks like its a dead simple game, but it isn't. This isn't the four-rules to remember of Fate, or the everything on the sheet of PbtA. In some ways I see it more like Shadowrun 5e - which may sound strange, but follow me through. In SRun5r, you can easily make a character but without really understanding the interplay of cyber and equipment you may well be far behind the curve when compared to someone who does. Similarly in SW, there are nuances of the game - especially combat moves - that you need to know to be competitive. Being aware of how Double Tap works, or Wild Attack, or when to roll to Soak, or that you get a free Vigor roll to get rid of Shaken before spending the Bennie etc. It all counts.

But why would you want to be competitive? That's a strange word to use! By having a clue about how things work, you stand a chance for your character to be able to pulp-it-up more effectively. You're more likely to be able to do the madness that the game can allow within the quite rigid rules-bound structure that it has. I've warmed a lot to SW over the last few weeks, and I've realised that in the con games I have played in the past I could have done a lot more if I hadn't just looked on in awe at the SW masters doing their thing around me
 

Guvnor

Administrator
Staff member
#43
I read Beta Eris V for Savage Last Parsec and it is one of the best, in fact probably the best, SF campaign settings I have ever read.
Entirely in one system with a broad range of choice, adventures and an epic thread and reveal.
Plenty of room for player led narrative, GM ideas, and variant use of the campaign.
Lots of reusable NPCs, creatures and ideas.
Very portable to Traveller.
 

Attachments

Dom

SuperMunchkin
#44
Read a few RPGs the last few months:

## *Delta Green Handler’s Guide* (Dennis Detwiller)
I printed out a copy of the Handler’s Guide to read as part of my preparation for North Star. I’m really impressed with the quality of the book; it’s very usable, well written and beautifully laid out. This is in effect the setting book for Delta Green.

## *Delta Green Agent’s Handbook* (Dennis Detwiller)
I re-read the player’s book (which contains much of the rules) for Delta Green just before North Star. Very well done.

## *The Forbidden Lands Player’s Guide (Beta)*
This is the retro-styled fantasy heartbreaker from Fria Ligan. I’m impressed with what I’ve read; it definitely lifts from other sources such as the resources dice in the Black Hack along with shades of Dungeon World’s play agendas. It may be a little on the lethal side; I need to explore this a bit more and maybe play it.

## *The Cthulhu Hack* (Paul Baldowski)
Sixth revision printing of the Cthulhu Hack, which features a significantly improved layout with a new font that makes it far more readable with a cleaner look. I think that this is one of the cleverest evolutions of *The Black Hack* and well worth the time. I need to get this to the table.

## *The Dark Brood* (Paul Baldowski)
A new supplement for the *Cthulhu Hack*, focussing around the mythos of Shub Niggurath. This gives plenty of interesting material, plot ideas and options for you game. It would be usable with other Cthulhu games and more Lovecraftian D&D. It does link back to an earlier book, *From Unformed Realms*.
 
Last edited:
#45
I'm reading Sins at the moment - an impulse buy at the FLGS. I like the bits where they emphasise alien crystals, zombie apocalypse and Mad Max lifestyle. I'm not so keen when they seem to forget all that and write it like it is a standard fantasy game. The game layout is a bit weird: I keep reading big chunks (e.g. on healing and regeneration) and then find a sentence at the end saying "Hey but all this is just for ordinary humans! Player characters do things differently - go see this other bit of the book". The PCs died and became zombies, but then sort of recovered and are now super-powered killing machines.

Not sure if I'd ever run it. Rules for things like getting 'magic points' back by having sex is probably in the squick zone for some of my players, and the rules where you get points back for encouraging NPCs to create great works of art, will only encourage hours of lonely fun in the player who always wants to do that sort of thing in games which have NO in-game rewards for ignoring the plot to do arty stuff.

Oh and the fact that a PC's 'inner demon' will take control now and then... so the PC suddenly is being run by the GM not the player... not sure how some of my players will take that.
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r
Staff member
#46
I'm diving back into Coriolis after a fair long while in preparation for a game in a week or so time. Underpinned by the customary simple and easy to pick up Free League system, the game provides a rich setting for factional, Middle Eastern flavoured, mystic space opera.

D6 dice pool where a 6 means you succeed and any more can be critical results. Modifiers due to external factors and task difficulty either provide extra or remove dice from your pool. The Icons, a ubiquitous mystical presence, can always be prayed to to give you a re-roll of any dice that didn't come up a 6. Every such prayer enhances the 'Dark Between the Stars' giving the GM a Darkness Point, which can be spent to enhance NPCs and make everyone's life difficult.

The setting is full of rich flavour as The Third Horizon provides a Portal linked 36 systems to play around in, many with evocative descriptions. The recent history of the emerging alien Emissaries and mystic powers (illness) have shook up the settling powers of Firstcomers and later more dominant Zenithites.

I'm background dipping just now, picking up elements here and there to give me enough of a grounding for my game. Nothing is overwhelming and plenty is left in the space between the Dark to form new areas to add to the foundation in the book.

There's plenty to do. No shortage of play potential, full of adventure.

I kind of wish that Modiphius' new Dune game would be built using this engine, though I suspect it will be another wholly fine 2d20 incarnation.
 
#47
I'm diving back into Coriolis after a fair long while in preparation for a game in a week or so time. Underpinned by the customary simple and easy to pick up Free League system, the game provides a rich setting for factional, Middle Eastern flavoured, mystic space opera.

D6 dice pool where a 6 means you succeed and any more can be critical results. Modifiers due to external factors and task difficulty either provide extra or remove dice from your pool. The Icons, a ubiquitous mystical presence, can always be prayed to to give you a re-roll of any dice that didn't come up a 6. Every such prayer enhances the 'Dark Between the Stars' giving the GM a Darkness Point, which can be spent to enhance NPCs and make everyone's life difficult.

The setting is full of rich flavour as The Third Horizon provides a Portal linked 36 systems to play around in, many with evocative descriptions. The recent history of the emerging alien Emissaries and mystic powers (illness) have shook up the settling powers of Firstcomers and later more dominant Zenithites.

I'm background dipping just now, picking up elements here and there to give me enough of a grounding for my game. Nothing is overwhelming and plenty is left in the space between the Dark to form new areas to add to the foundation in the book.

There's plenty to do. No shortage of play potential, full of adventure.

I kind of wish that Modiphius' new Dune game would be built using this engine, though I suspect it will be another wholly fine 2d20 incarnation.
The setting and themes of "Arabian Nights in Space" is what really drew me into the Coriolis setting.

The dice system is a simple d6 dice pool, and I prefer pools to single dice rolls, plus I also enjoy the re-rolls mechanics of Modiphus' 2d20 games with their Fortune or Determination or what-not, thus, was easy for me to adopt Fria Ligan's Coriolis MYZ mechanic too, which is pretty neat by having those re-rolls linked to mystical prayers woven deeply into the universe.
 

Dom

SuperMunchkin
#48
I kind of wish that Modiphius' new Dune game would be built using this engine, though I suspect it will be another wholly fine 2d20 incarnation.
2d20 is Modiphius’ system and the D6 engine in Coriolis is Fria Ligan’s so I’m betting on 2d20.
 
Last edited:

Newt

RunePriest
#50
Currently absorbing the massive 13th Age Glorantha, now that I've got it in print form. A bit confused because it's not a standalone rulebook, so going to take notes and keep track of how much hopping between the main rulebook and the Glorantha book is necessary. This could be a deal breaker for me. I like straightforward rulebooks that I can either absorb and keep in my head, or refer with ease during play, and with two 400+ page books to flip between - this could be problematic. But its early days, but I want to grok it soon because I'm thinking off offering for my Saturday afternoon game at Furnace 2018. Early signs are good, its very much a fun take on Glorantha that while respectful of the material doesn't take itself too seriously. Which is where I'm with Glorantha these days :)
 

Guvnor

Administrator
Staff member
#52
#53
I have Mutant Year Zero and will probably run it for the Tuesday group when it is my turn to GM. I like all their homages to Planet of the Apes, Mad Max, etc. Also I have a bunch of published scenarios including the adventure zones from the core rules.
Thanks for the Furnace info but that weekend clashes with Dragondaze, which is much closer to home.
 

Dom

SuperMunchkin
#54
I've started working my way through Spire: The City Must Fall which was my single RPG purchase at Furnace XIII. I really like the idea (a huge tower in a steam/diesel punk world where you play Drow Terrorists oppressed by High Elves) but I've not yet managed to feel the love while I'm reading it. It may be because it jumps straight into the system after a taster in the background. I'm hoping that the text catches fire and starts to inspire me soon. It looks very unique, almost comic book like. However, the spreads feel a little sterile. I need to find the heart in this. I'm sure it's there...
 

Dom

SuperMunchkin
#55
## *Spire* RPG.
The Spire is a fantasy Megacity, inhabited by the Drow, and conquered and occupied by the cruel Aelfir, but its origins are lost to time. In this game, your characters are Drow Terrorists, sorry Freedom Fighters, striving to liberate the city from the High Elven overlords.

The book is an attractive blue hardback; stylistically, it is cleanly laid out, almost to the point of sterility, and the artwork is excellent and very distinctive. It does look good.

The system is a simple dice pool one, where you can build a hand of up to four dice (more if you have assistance), and take the highest result rolled on any of them for the quality of the result. Failures cause stress, and stress can cause Fallout (damage traits of some form whether physical, mental or social). The system isn’t very clearly presented, so I tied it together in a two-page document for quick reference here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ateliul1qt82myp/Spire Cribsheet.pdf?dl=0

In particular, the fallout section is laid out in a way that makes it useful to read but fare less useful in actual play. However, I think it would work well in play. If it didn’t, I’d just map it to Wordplay. An interesting take is that character advancement is linked to creating significant change in the social structures of the Spire.

The books starts with a short introduction to the Drow, Aelfir and the Spire but then dives into pages and pages of system and characters. It’s dry and sterile and nearly put me off. Fortunately, it gets interesting about eighty pages in when it starts to describe the districts of the city. The organisation here is pretty basic, but it’s not done well for quick referencing. It’s nowhere near the standard of *Cthulhu City* in the way you can quickly parse and use the information inside. I think I’d be doing some work before I played the game to get this workable; maybe using index card summaries for districts and NPCs.

That said, I really like this book and want to explore it further, perhaps running a short campaign. It reminds me of a less structured, more brutal *Blades in the Dark*.


## *Black Magic* (Spire RPG)
A short supplement about Occult Magic and Demonology. It presents the Blood Witch as an alternative character type, and the the Grangou, Demonologist and Deep Apiarist extra advances (effectively options that characters could gain beyond their core builds). Demons are discussed (albeit briefly) and then options for Occult Fallout are presented. A short, focused supplement.


## *Codex of the Deep Spire* (Spire RPG)
Purportedly a report about the discovery of Escatoph Tembrark, a Delver who was lost in the Heart of the Spire, this is an eclectic mix of extra advances, details of parts of the Spire (Husks), threats such as the Mirror World, and a mixture of descriptions of artefacts. It’s a pot pouri of ideas that a GM can draw upon for inspiration.


## *Secrets kept from the Sun* (Spire RPG)
A short essay that pretends to be a training codex for new Ministers. It covers how the Ministry communicates and maintains the security of its cells, the threat of the Solar Guard (especially the Confessors who sit behind it) and tactics for engaging them, and then finally how to die a good death for the cause of Drow liberation when you are captured. Entertaining and interesting, but not essential for a game of the *Spire*.


## *Blood and Dust* (Spire RPG)
This a campaign frame for the Spire RPG; it’s a down and dirty low society operation where the Ministers (the player characters) try to stop the slum district of Red Row going up in flames as the decay at the Heart of the Spire reaches out. The campaign frame is written in a style similar to *Dungeon World* adventures; a situation is presented, along with factions and possible introductions and escalations. An idea for how the story may go is given, but there is very little detail. Key NPCs are also described. Finally, a set of pre-generated characters are given with links into the situation. There are some good ideas in this, and it is scoped for five to six sessions of play


## *Eidolon Sky* (Spire RPG)
Another campaign frame; this one is set in high society, in the streets of New Heaven and the Perch. It’s described as needing six to ten sessions to play through, which feels about right. A new addictive drug has hit the streets, while a serial killer thrills the Aelfir (High Elf) intelligensia with the art of their murders. Meanwhile, there are rumours of demonic incursions. The Ministers must intervene in a plot that could destroy the Spire. I really like this frame.


## *Kings of Silver* (Spire RPG).
Whereas *Eidolon Sky* and *Blood and Dust* are quite lightly developed, *Kings of Silver* is a much more expansive treatment for a campaign frame. The Ministers take over a nightclub in the Silver Quarter with the instructions to destabilise things enough to either take control from the current crime-lord or install someone sympathetic in his place. There is a set of random tables to help build background and motivations on the fly, plus a set of press cutting handouts that serve as deep background to kick the whole thing off. Pre-gens are provided, as are details of all the key NPCs and some ideas on how the campaign could end. There is easily enough material here to have a campaign at least the length of that given in *Eidolon Sky* but it could, in fact, be much longer. It depends upon the style you’re after. The Silver Quarter is the casino quarter, the place that connected Drow and Aelfir want to be seen. And the characters are being dropped right into the centre of it.
 
Last edited:
#56
## *Delta Green Handler’s Guide* (Dennis Detwiller)
I printed out a copy of the Handler’s Guide to read as part of my preparation for North Star. I’m really impressed with the quality of the book; it’s very usable, well written and beautifully laid out. This is in effect the setting book for Delta Green.

## *Delta Green Agent’s Handbook* (Dennis Detwiller)
I re-read the player’s book (which contains much of the rules) for Delta Green just before North Star. Very well done.
I'm ploughing through these at the moment. Don't reckon much to the updated setting and I loathed the interminable timeline but...am taken with the modified BRP system and the general approach to player character agents with their crumbling personal lives. I will probably run the game at some point but in the classic cusp of the millenium setting.
 
#58
Read Spire: The City Must Fall and Robert E. Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of last month. Read Legend of the Five Rings this week and will continue reading RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha next week.
 
#59
The system is really slick - I’ve run and played it and prefer it to CoC 6 & 7.
I played in a game of 7th edition the other day. Not entirely convinced by the need to make the stats percentile but it struck me as a workable system and the Keeper knew what she was about. I'd play it again, although with a different group - I've never encountered what I think is called the "gonzo convention style" before but it seemed to be the other players' default setting and rather got on my wick.
 

Guvnor

Administrator
Staff member
#60
Top