Category Archives: The Independents

Reviews of tabletop role-playing games created by independent and small publishers!

The Independents: Masks: Halcyon City Herald Collection

Keandra Hunt spent a long time working the journalism beat in Halcyon City, eventually rising to Editor-in-Chief of the Halcyon City Herald and its many associated publications. Nobody can stay in this business forever though, tracking down the truth of the City and its many superpowered events. Hunt is finally moving on, but she’s got one last bit of editing to do. She’s leaving behind a portfolio of interviews, articles, reports, and pictures all selected from her time as Editor-in-Chief. Her successor will get it as an inspiration, a challenge, and a warning. We get it as the Halcyon City Herald Collection, the first supplement for Masks: A New Generation!

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The Independents: Conspiracist

Shadow people stalk the back alleys. Reptilians disguise themselves as humans and prowl through our society. The Grays descend from the stars to carry out who-knows-what kind of experiments on whatever people or animals they can seize. Behind the scenes the Illuminati manipulate all this and more to an end known only to them, and it’s your job to keep it all under wraps. It’s not going to be easy, with all the cults and conspiracy theorists running around. Especially considering the only mission briefing you got was a red d20 with every face reading 9. You’re caught in the web of madness that is Conspiracist: The Game THEY Don’t Want You to Play!

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The Independents: Synthicide

Any sort of interstellar community or shining future died in a tide of plague and mutant bodies. The galaxy suffers under the metal boots of a crazed machine cult, and the best that can be hoped for is usually just surviving for another week. For a crew of sharpers like yourself there’s a ship, whatever job is in front of them, and a powerful need to eat sometime this week. It’s been two days since you have, after all. Unfortunately the only job you’ve got in front of you involves killing a robot. Homicide? Not a problem. But you’re going to have all kinds of heat on your tail after committing Synthicide.

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The Independents: Masks

There’s a mad scientist robbing a bank with a swarm of psychically controlled bees. Turns out that your best friend wants to be something more, but thinks your teammate is competition. The Red Dragon’s dad is calling and complaining about him not ‘upholding our legacy’, while Spitfire can’t go outside out of costume without being hunted by nefarious forces or endangering her family. The Lawman just called you in to A.E.G.I.S. HQ to lecture you about the property damage the team caused last night. Did we mention that there’s a AP Calculus test on Monday? Life as a superhero is always a messy affair, but doubly so when you’re a teenager and everyone has ideas about what you should be doing. This is Masks: A New Generation!

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The Independents: Quill

Renowned art dealer Christina Bowbridge is selling a portrait of His Royal Highness Prince Edward IV, and you want to purchase it. You’ve heard rumors, however, that the painting is not genuine. You want to inquire about inspecting the work of art before buying it, but Bowbridge is both enthusiastic about her work and adores the monarchy; it would be quite easy to offend her and lose the chance to buy the painting entirely. You’ll have to write a letter, and it’ll take good penmanship, the right words, a few flourishes, and . . . at least 3d6? That’s because you’re not just writing a letter, you’re playing Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player!

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The Independents: Do: Fate of the Flying Temple

You have been raised by the monks of the Flying Temple as Pilgrims, taught how to fly and sent out into the Many Worlds to help people with whatever problems are plaguing their lives. One day, however, you return to the Flying Temple to find it vanished, with only a dragon’s egg in its place! The Many Worlds still have problems, and the letters asking for the help of the teenage Pilgrims are still arriving, but there are no monks to give you advice. You can’t turn your backs on those in need, so what choices will you make? Will you hold to the tenets of non-violence that the monks taught you, or give into temptation to take the easy path and suffer the consequences? What is the connection between the newborn dragon and the Temple? What sort of adventure awaits you in Do: Fate of the Flying Temple? Continue reading The Independents: Do: Fate of the Flying Temple

The Independents: Mistborn Adventure Game

The immortal Lord Ruler reigns over a land of ash, where it is a daily struggle simply to keep crops growing. Nobles play games of intrigue and lead lives of luxury while an entire peasant/slave caste known as the skaa toil away with no rewards other than enough food to survive and maybe fewer beatings. Every night the land is cloaked in mists, and the skaa whisper of monsters and demons and people who can use metals to perform magic. Among all this are the crews, those who go beyond their station and beyond the Lord Ruler’s laws to try and accomplish their goals. One way or another, the outlaw crews fight back against the world that seeks to oppress them. This is the world of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn novel series, and this is the setting of the Mistborn Adventure Game from Crafty Games!

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The Independents: MASHED

It’s 1950, and you find yourself assigned to the 8099th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, posted to the embattled South Korea. North Korea has invaded their southern neighbor, and the United States and the United Nations have begun a ‘police action’ that will one day be known as the Korean War. Casualties pour in, and whether you’re a surgeon or a nurse or just a grunt who got stuck here you find yourself responsible for trying to save them body, mind, and maybe even soul. The days are long, the sights grisly, the fighting never too far away, and the stress unimaginable. Rotation home seems a long way away, and you’ll have to rely on your fellows to keep yourself alive and sane enough to make it. This is what it is to be a player character in MASHED from Brabblemark Press.

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The Independents: Fear Fetchers

The security guard walked backwards down the hallway, chest heaving with panicked breath and flashlight darting from shadow to shadow. There was something in here. Whatever it was, it had definitely been following him. Flickering lights, unsettling skittering noises, warm breath on the back of his neck. He had to find it before it found him . . . he turned around sharply when he heard a small noise, as if something was clearing its throat. There, right there in the beam of his flashlight, was some furry . . .thing!Despite being apparently headless the thing shrieked, rushing towards him on the legs of a spider, waving tentacles in the air and brandishing the spikes all over its body. The guard let out a matching shriek of terror, turning to run and dropping the flashlight. As he ran, not looking back, one of the monster’s tentacles held up a stone, which began to glow brightly. Excellent! Enough fear to fulfill tonight’s contract and then some. A good haul for any Fear Fetcher!

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The Independents: CRUSH the REBELLION

The Human Empire spans galaxies, its size difficult to truly comprehend, it’s bureaucracy enough to make Kafka weep. As a result the universe is one of amazing technology, ancient mysticism, and near-constant despair and darkness. The Emperor sits upon His throne on the Imperial Homeworld, consulting only with His Inner Circle, using fear, intimidation, and unlimited resources to oppress all who would oppose Him. To that end, He dispatches teams of elite agents to execute his will across the Empire. These agents are highly skilled, but their skill is matched only by their treachery and ambition. Each has their own agenda, and will do anything to see it carried out, even as they work to CRUSH the REBELLION.

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