Mini-Review: Follow

When discussing his design goals on Kickstarter, Ben Robbins characterised Follow as “the game I wanted to have in my bag” – a go-to game that’s simple, replayable, good for one-shots and friendly to new roleplayers. It’s a manifesto both modest and quietly revolutionary. Follow might not be my favourite RPG, but it could be my desert island pick if I only played one game for the rest of my life. As staggeringly adaptable as Microscope was purposefully specific, Robbins’ new entry deserves just as much praise as his landmark setting generation epic. Continue reading

Mini-Review: 7th Sea

I was lured to 7th Sea by the Stories. Every PC in this swashbuckling epic gets to pre-define where adventure is taking them next, and where they’ll ultimately end up – an incredible power over the shared narrative, doubling-up as a character advancement system. It’s so unlike the traditional player/GM relationship, but also antithetical to the indie principle of “Play To See What Happens”… something new, provocative, exciting. Honestly I’m more enthusiastic to see how future designer iterate on this idea than I am by 7th Sea itself: a nucleus of a great idea that needed more percolation. Continue reading

KeyForge Genesys Part 2: The Skill List

Part 2 of the KeyForge Genesys Series.

Part 1: Introduction and Character Creation

The Crucible’s melting pot of cultures and habitats lends advantage to adventurers who can master a diverse array of skills. The wide disparity of technology between the Houses, combined with a history of cross-pollination, have resulted in the specialties of one civilisation finding adepts amongst the ranks of all cultures. At the same time, communicating with aliens remains a struggle to all except the Archons, and even masters in their field may struggle when presented with entirely unfamiliar materials.

Keyforge uses a sub-set of the Genesys skill list, with two notable exceptions: three new Knowledge skills have been created to reflect the unique challenges of understanding the Crucible and its inhabitants; and 11 skills have been designated as House skills, which imposes additional difficulties when interacting with peoples or technology from Houses beside your own. Continue reading

KeyForge Genesys Part 1: Character Creation

The upcoming release of KeyForge, Fantasy Flight Games‘ new Unique Card Game, has got me pretty excited. Since I was lucky enough to be given a couple of decks at GenCon for free, I’ve been introducing people to the game wherever I can, and even dropping by preview events for extra game time. November 15th is burned into my memory as the official release day, and I’m sure I’ll be picking up a deck or two in between playing a few more games. Continue reading

Ferrymen: Updated Space Conflicts

Part 8 of the Ferrymen series, a long running home campaign adapting Diaspora to Fate Core.

Last time I hinted that the embellishing of our digital conflict rules in Ferrymen had also coincided with some changes to space conflicts as a whole. These changes were partly made to allow as much compatibility between our different conflict systems as possible. However, the update is also the result of many MANY hours of playtesting the system in our campaign – 71 sessions and counting! – and adapting it to better suit the priorities of what our group wants to focus on with their spaceships (as well as more boring concerns like game balance). Were I to summarise the changes, I’d say they reflect a deviation away from the assumptions inherited from Diaspora, and towards a more streamlined and action-driven focus, with its own hard sci-fi identity. Continue reading

Ferrymen: Digital Conflicts

Part 7 of the Ferrymen series, a long running home campaign adapting Diaspora to Fate Core.

I haven’t blogged much about Ferrymen recently, but it’s always tinkering along in the background. Now entering its 7th – and likely last – year of play, the lead-in to the campaign’s epic finale has ramped up the pace and tension. This year, the crew have gone on trial, been incarcerated for a year, escaped, and now are desperately fleeing the galactic Carthaginian administration that considers them a criminal menace. Continue reading

GenCon, Nine Worlds and What’s Coming Up

I think I’m getting old. I spent all of last weekend at Nine Worlds complaining about how tired I was, how stupid it was to attend the week after GenCon, and how I’d never be that stupid again. So I was pretty surprised to look back at old blog posts and learn that not only did I do the same cons back-to-back two years ago, but that I seemed pretty chipper by the end of it. The weary refrain of all men in their late-twenties: grant me the long-lost vigour of my mid-twenties. Continue reading