Four years and countless adaptations later, the original is still the best. Quibbling over the extent of its innovation (or which gaming primogenitor deserves to be recognised as the “true innovator”) is fundamentally missing the point. This is a landmark achievement of game design, and one of the best RPG releases of the decade. When gaming historians look back at The Forge and the Naughties’ story gaming movement, Apocalypse World will stand out as its crowning accomplishment. Continue reading
Powered by the Apocalypse
I Would Die For You: Death Moves in Monsterhearts
Recently I wrote about the conditions that force Monsterhearts characters into their “Darkest Selves”, the death of that character being one of them. I criticised this approach for its trivialisation of death, and for its contribution to the ubiquity of the Darkest Self condition. Whilst death in a supernaturally themed game doesn’t need to be the end of a PC’s story, it shouldn’t just be a convenient trigger for a roaring rampage of revenge. As Simon Pegg put it: “Death is an impediment, not an energy drink”.
(He was talking about the slow zombies in Shaun of the Dead, but it’s almost relevant.)
As an alternative, I’ve hacked together a series of “Death Moves” for each of the core Skins in Monsterhearts. They are triggered when you take four harm and choose to avoid death, and are a replacement for the “enter Darkest Self or lose all strings” default move in Monsterhearts. Continue reading
Darkness There and Nothing More: My Problem with Monsterhearts
Monsterhearts is a paranormal romance RPG about “the messy lives of teenage monsters” that’s Powered by the Apocalypse. Assuming that the “paranormal romance” part didn’t immediately turn you off, that’s a pretty strong sales pitch, since Apocalypse World remains one of the most innovative advances in tabletop RPG design for the last decade. Let it not be said, though, that Monsterhearts coasts by on the successes of its predecessor – there are plenty of new gameplay options introduced to adapt the system to its new setting, and many of them are implemented successfully. Continue reading
RPG Kickstarters: Hype By Any Other Name
Three weeks since the gush-a-thon that was my 2015 can’t-wait-to-play list, and yet again I’m selling my soul to the Man. This time though, instead of spouting about games we can only speculate about, I’ve decided to be a bit more practical, and point towards future RPGs that you can support right now on Kickstarter. Continue reading
All Aboard the Hype Train: 2015 RPG Releases
Due to some difficult personal stuff I neglected this blog entirely last month, to the confused dismay of absolutely no-one. Now that things have started to settle, for better and worse, I’ve been thinking about the future – roleplaying games included. Continue reading
Dragon World: New Basic Moves
Finally, something Apocalypse World related to justify the title of this blog!
I recently attended a get-together with the London Indie RPG Meetup Group, a lovely bunch of folks who regularly convene to… well, play indie RPGs, as the name implies. Continue reading
GenCon: Day Four Overview
I just sat down for dinner, with dessert, and I’m so tired that my speech is slurred. Which can only mean that GenCon 2014 has come to an end. The unofficial motto of GenCon is “eat, sleep, game: pick two”; I seem to have half-eaten and half-slept over the last four days, which is at least mathematically compliant.
Today was a short day, with events only running for six hours (contrast yesterday, when I was busy 9am to 9pm). Here’s what I got up to: Continue reading
GenCon: Day One Overview
The first day of my first ever GenCon is over. Feeling pretty zonked, but still wired enough to give a recap of the fun so far.
So here’s what I did today: Continue reading