The Hype Strikes Back: (Possible) 2016 RPG Releases

About a year ago I wrote about RPG releases I was looking forward to in 2015, and examining the list now is pretty embarrassing. Of the ten games I mentioned, two already had PDF releases in 2014, two still haven’t come out yet, one has been officially abandoned for now, and one seems to have been unofficially abandoned (or least, the hint of an upcoming Cortex Plus “Heroic Roleplaying” game no longer appears on the Margaret Weis website).

I’m hesitant, then, to do something similar for 2016… Continue reading

2015 in Review: My Hobby

Last time I wrote about the RPG campaigns I played in this year (with an unflattering spotlight on Dungeons and Dragons), along with the conventions I attended, the gaming brunches I ate at, and the blog I’m currently writing for.

Today I’m aiming for something a bit less egotistical, with a review of 2015 for the roleplaying hobby as a whole. Though it might just be the bits of the hobby that I find interesting. My ego can’t be contained. Continue reading

Ferrymen: Attack on C5 (and other heists in Fate)

Part 5 of the Ferrymen series, a long running home campaign adapting Diaspora to Fate Core.

Been busy recently – partially with some exciting RPG stuff I unfortunately can’t talk about right now – so today’s Ferrymen post is long overdue. My subject is the player party’s break-in to the Carthaginian Consultancy’s fortified headquarters, a dramatic set-piece from the end of our last arc, that had been foreshadowed from literally the first session of the game.

Undoubtedly, the impact of this moment was derived from the shared history of the player party leading up to the encounter. But the mechanics used to evoke the unique challenges of the heist played their part, I think, and a lot of that could be equally applicable to any GM preparing a heist or similar set-piece for a Fate game. What follows is partly mechanics, partly GM advice, but mostly just extrapolation of material from Fate Core. I hope that having it all in one place will nonetheless be a useful reference. Continue reading

Ferrymen: Factions and Factional Conflicts

Part 4 of the Ferrymen series, a long running home campaign adapting Diaspora to Fate Core. See Part 6 for a post-playtest update to the Factional Conflict rules below.

Over the last three dozen sessions of Ferrymen, the crew of The Erebus (aka the player party) have repeatedly run up against the legislative dominion of the Carthage system – the sole manufacturers of FTL “slipstream drives”, who limit this precious technology to those who pay tribute and abide their trading regulations.

From the harsh taxes that drive business owners into criminality, to the ruthless eradication of “piratical elements”, to the spies of the Carthaginian Consultancy that reside on every slipstreaming vessel… it’s difficult for the crew to escape the evidence of Carthage’s misdeeds. Continue reading

Ferrymen: Combat Interfacers in Space Conflicts

Part 3 of the Ferrymen series, a long running home campaign adapting Diaspora to Fate Core. See Part 8 for a post-playtest update to skill modifiers and interface generation (amongst other things).

Previously in the Ferrymen series, I provided our rules for spaceship conflict in Fate Core, and promised it would be followed up with rules for interface vehicles – smaller spaceships that are used for conveyance between spaceships and planetary surfaces.

The first thing to do when imagining the function of interface vehicles in Ferrymen is to dispel all notions of Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica from your mind. Continue reading

Ferrymen: Spaceships and Space Conflicts

Part 2 of the Ferrymen series, a long running home campaign adapting Diaspora to Fate Core. See Part 8 for a post-playtest update to the campaign skill list and spaceship skill modifiers (amongst other things).

Last time I talked about my “Ferrymen” campaign, I teased the release of our spaceship combat rules, which I created following our translation from Diaspora to Fate Core.

These rules are designed to encompass the elements of Diaspora that resonated with us and had become the most essential parts of our setting, whilst we also embraced the stripped-out, streamlined ethos of Fate Core. Continue reading

Cars Don’t Fly: A Furious Game Jam Review

I recently entered Ryan’s Macklin’s Furious Game Jam with a hack of Night’s Black Agents, titled “2 Nights 2 Agents”. (You can read my hack here.)

One of the competition’s rules is that, in order to be in the running for winning, you have to playtest someone else’s entry. Since winning is the most important thing in the world, I was prompted to try out “Cars Don’t Fly” by Adam Shwaninger, a game which the author describes as “The demon lovechild of Hollowpoint and Uno, welded together and thrown out of airplane.”

This is how we got on! Continue reading