Mini-Review: Swords Without Master

There’s a dichotomy in the range of RPGs: if combat is important to a game, it must be tactically deep, and therefore long and complicated; alternately, if combat is resolved quickly and without fuss, then it can’t be a game where combat is important or satisfying. In an age where even the most action-packed movie blockbusters are still 75% “talky bits”, rarely is it considered that games about violence should resolve that action with a fast pace that matches the narration.

Swords Without Master is an exception. Continue reading

CAMELOT Trigger: Emergent NPCs

I love CAMELOT Trigger. I love the setting, both the strength of its elevator pitch (“What if the Knights of the Round Table piloted mecha to fight robots in outer space?”), and the extra details that spark the imagination, without including too much to constrain it. And I love the system for mecha construction and combat, which brings an extra level of tactical thinking to Fate conflicts, reflecting the military-focus of the genre. We finished our campaign last weekend, and I’m still buzzing with excitement from a campaign-well-done.

I don’t love the example NPCs. Continue reading

The Third Horsemen: Final Thoughts on the Dystopian Universe Beta

Disclaimer: This post concerns the beta version of an unreleased game. The commentary below may not reflect the contents of the game’s released version.

Evil Hat’s Dystopian Universe beta is now closed, and the last of my feedback is submitted. Bound as I am by “disclosure pledge” obligations, it’d be remiss of me not to conclude our campaign story, and provide one final bit of feedback. Continue reading

The Third Horseman: Initial Feedback for the Dystopian Universe Beta

Disclaimer: This post concerns the beta version of an unreleased game. The commentary below may not reflect the contents of the game’s released version.

A tsunami of post-it notes. That’s my stand-out memory from the first two sessions of the Dystopian Universe RPG. One of the players (or more than one, or less than one MAYBE I’M BLUFFING) ended up with a secret that required them to pass on notes to the GM, and I guess everyone wanted in on the act. Continue reading

Dystopian Universe Beta: Character Generation

Disclaimer: This post concerns the beta version of an unreleased game. The commentary below may not reflect the contents of the game’s released version.

Last week we had our character creation session for the Dystopian Universe RPG. Whilst we were missing a player, that didn’t prevent us cracking on with a systems overview and setting generation. Our fifth player, a Fate veteran, didn’t require quite the same level of education, and has now mostly confirmed what his character is going to be too. Continue reading

GenCon 2016: Day Three

I did the game thing! In fact it’s been most of my day. Started off with Games on Demand for a 2 hour game of Leverage (probably my only chance to play it since most my friends don’t like it), and concluded by running a Firefly Fate Core game for friends (using my hack!). In between, I listened in to a rules explanation for RuneWars, played a short demo of Star Wars Rebellion (which I know isn’t new, but it was to me), and following the recommendation of another great Shut Up and Sit Down live podcast, went hunting for Captain Sonar. Even after a short try, I can understand why SU&SD declared it their most exciting game of the con, and I’m devastated it’s now sold out at the booth. Definitely one to pick up when I get home though. Continue reading