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
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
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
A roleplaying game about Big Action in Tall Buildings, for 2-5 people. (Let’s call this in alpha, it is very much un-playtested.) Continue reading
Blades in the Dark is hard. The system ensures that getting everything you want is impossible. It wants you to make difficult choices about character priorities, but sometimes your choices are non-existent – you just do what is necessary to survive. I like it, but some players don’t enjoy being kicked in the teeth over and over again in their free time. Caveat emptor. Continue reading
I’ve been aware of the annual 200 Word RPG Challenge for a few years now, but this is the first year I’m actually submitting something and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself. Better yet, a few friends and my partner have submitted games as well, which has helped to build a lovely sense of camaraderie as we work on each other’s games (most of my best ideas being stolen from them). Continue reading
Last year I produced a rules menu for the Cortex Prime RPG system – a breakdown of all the variant rules modules used by the game, in an digestible format, that GMs could print off and tick through to build their own personal ruleset. Since then, there have been two more versions of the beta released, so I’ve produced a new version of the rules menu to keep up with the changes.
I’ve said before that I don’t really “get” John Harper’s Lady Blackbird, but it’s more accurate to say I don’t “get” the evangelism. Undoubtedly, it triumphs in conveying depth of setting in few words, with a simple system that compels decisive action, from an explosive inciting event. That’s not nothing, but it’s not the best game of the decade either. I thought it was fun, but that the system didn’t translate well outside Blackbird’s controlled environment, and felt no more inclined to replay one scenario than I would any other published adventure.
Released six years later, Magister Lor was precisely the next step I wanted. But like Lasers and Feelings, the shelf-life is limited. If you’re looking for a way to extend your Tales of the Wild Blue Yonder, I wouldn’t set aside longer than another four hours. Continue reading
My obsession with Cortex Prime shows no sign of abating. Since I put together the Cortex Prime Rules Menu last year, I’ve been playing more than ever – both as a GM (a one-player modern day, young adult, superhero thing with my girlfriend) and as a player (a high-concept, pretty gonzo, reformed supervillains game). In between games, I’ve been devouring the latest iteration of the SRD, and sending across bits of feedback to the designer. It’s safe to say I’ve caught the Cortex bug. Continue reading
There’s no shortage of roleplaying games with horror settings. If the book is well written, and the players are receptive, they provide a compelling horror experience. But a horror roleplaying game – where the mechanics themselves exist to scare players, not characters – that’s much rarer. In my perhaps limited experience, only two games come to mind: Ten Candles, the candle-lit tragedy I reviewed last year; and Dread, the one with the Jenga tower. Continue reading