It had been a long few days for the band of Inquisitorial acolytes. They’d boarded the Rogue Trader ship in pursuit of the Faceless Trader Durron, only to be split up until an hour or two ago. Trapped on a truly terrible ship with at least one daemonic incursion, a sputtering Gellar Field Generator, and far too many warpy doorways and malfunctioning grav plates, the group largely considered themselves lucky to have only accrued a few score Insanity Points between them, doubly lucky that only one eyeball had been lost, and triply lucky that only one Fate Point had been burnt. At least they considered themselves lucky until, in the middle of a gunfight with Faceless Trade goons, Meem the Astropath finally noticed the daemonic aura coming off of fellow acolyte Happy the Chirurgeon.
Are you a Butt-Kicker, a Specialist, or a Story-Teller? There is a huge world of games out there to satisfy every player’s and group’s style. And while there are academic discussions in every corner of the internet, sometimes it’s best to start at level one. Join the Level One Wonk in exploring the possibilities that RPGs have to offer, from Aberrant to Zorcerer of Zo. Today, we look into the tricky business of building an empire. Want to turn your role-playing game into a wargame? That’s done with rules for domain-level play!
With the announcement of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything coming out this November the speculation is finally over: Unearthed Arcana materials are being published in their final forms for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition! That doesn’t mean that Unearthed Arcana is done, however, and June’s release features more revised subclasses and player options for us to peruse. A druid from the Circle of the Shepherd, a Cavalier fighter, a paladin under the Oath of Conquest, and a warlock tied to a Celestial are all ready to playtest, so let’s Meet the Party!
Welcome to System Split! Today, our very own Level One Wonk will examine two very similar systems to see what sets them apart. When the genre, complexity, and even rules system are exactly the same, what makes a game unique? Today’s post involves two spooky games which could not be more mechanically similar, or more thematically different! Let’s talk about Urban Shadows and Monsterhearts, two PbtA horror games.
Powered by the Apocalypse is a rules framework with both immense flexibility and a strongly codified play experience. When I looked at Cyberpunk within PbtA, I found two games which sat in very different places in the mechanical design space of PbtA. In contrast, since all of these games are so driven by story it is possible to produce two very different games which keep the rules very close. Urban Shadows and Monsterhearts do just that, carving out two niches in the paranormal horror genre.
Are you a Butt-Kicker, a Specialist, or a Story-Teller? There is a huge world of games out there to satisfy every player’s and group’s style. And while there are academic discussions in every corner of the internet, sometimes it’s best to start at level one. Join the Level One Wonk in exploring the possibilities that RPGs have to offer, from Aberrant to Zorcerer of Zo. Today we talk about games with big rules and games with small rules: how much crunch do you like in your gaming?
Crunch is probably a term you’ve heard if you’ve wandered around RPG discussion groups for more than five minutes. “This game is very crunchy”, “I’m looking for a low-crunch experience”, and other similar phrases help gamers boil down their gaming desires into a reductive but understandable scale. Crunch, in game terms, is the amount of complexity in the rules, and it’s one of the strongest drivers of preference in the RPG market.
In every hobby, no matter what it is, there is a rabbit hole. If you like working on cars, you may start with basic maintenance and go down the rabbit hole to find yourself taking the engine out one weekend. If you like hiking, you may start with day trips and go down the rabbit hole to find yourself planning a hike of the Appalachian Trail. And if you like role-playing, you may start by writing characters for games you play at a table or online, and go down the rabbit hole to buying real fantasy garb and making ‘boffer’ weapons for weekends with 50 or more like-minded people at a Live Action Role-play event.
An Uplifted Scientist who dreams of reclaiming Earth for Transhumanity and securing equal rights for all his kind. A baseline human who crashes through Pandora gates to leave the solar system behind, and believes transhumanity needs to limit its excesses. A soldier of fortune who lives for her own wealth and independence, but still realizes that x-threats could take it all away. A smiling socialite who is really a covert operative for Firewall, determined to fight the anarchy consuming transhumanity. Eclipse Phase is a game of transhuman science fiction horror where death is usually temporary but there are far worse things besides. The Kickstarter for Second Edition just successfully funded, which means new ways to make characters, so get ready to sleeve into a new Morph and let’s Meet the Party!
Are you a Butt-Kicker, a Specialist, or a Story-Teller? There is a huge world of games out there to satisfy every player’s and group’s style. And while there are academic discussions in every corner of the internet, sometimes it’s best to start at level one. Join the Level One Wonk in exploring the possibilities that RPGs have to offer, from Aberrant to Zorcerer of Zo. Today we look at a potential Indie RPG hit in the making: Cortex Prime!
A barbarian who brings the spirits of her ancestors wherever she goes, leading them to protect her allies. A bard who almost seems to prefer a sword to a song, a consummate swashbuckling duelist. A fighter whose arrows are steeped in magic, with every shot visiting a different sort of arcane assault upon his foes. A monk who has studied the martial arts of weaponry, and is one with her blades. A sorcerer who taps into the divine blood within her to heal her allies and strike down her foes. The flurry of weekly Unearthed Arcana for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean Mearls and Crawford are done giving us material to chew on. Five different builds have returned from their original UA foray, so let’s Meet the Party and see what changed!
As the small task force led by the Borrowed Time and now going by the name of the Rabblerousers hurtled through hyperspace to put some distance between itself and Sullust, the various leaders were meeting aboard the CEC L-2783 Rabblerouser One. Definitively out of touch with High Command the mixed group of Special Operations agents, Sullustan Resistance recruits, and Bolthole Station refugees were facing down the prospect of carrying on the Rebellion by themselves. It was a daunting proposition. While they were relatively well-stocked and had essentially been growing the task force ever since leaving Dahvil, they were operating on their own initiative and with no supply line. Thankfully the Intelligence agents assigned to report to Patience had a few leads . . .