My first openly trans character-after having come out as a trans woman myself-was a Bull in a Masks: A New Generation one-shot. She was a lone wolf archetype style character. It was even her hero name (original, I know).
My second trans character was also in a Masks game, but now a campaign. Her name was Apollo and she was a Legacy: the first trans woman to bear the mantle in a long line of women. While Lone Wolf’s identity was simply a part of her flavour, Apollya’s trans womanhood was intrinsic to who she was and what her story was about. The good, the bad, and the ugly of it all. And it was what I wanted.
Masks was the first game I felt like I could be the type of character I wanted to see in the superhero media. No, in all media. And I soon learned I wasn’t alone. There was a whole ruleset with a welcoming community, of an easy to learn system with gatekeeping kept to a minimum. It’s Powered By the Apocalypse. And it is my favourite system. And in my opinion, the gayest.
Continue reading Powered By The Apocalypse: How A Rule-System Nurtured A Queer Fanbase
When someone says the word ‘adventurer’, the picture of a steady home life is not often one of the images called to mind. The dusty road, the shadows between the megascrapers, the space between the stars, these are most often the places that adventurers spend their time and make their fortune – or lose everything. While being an adventurer, or really any type of player character. almost universally involves going where others won’t either physically or mentally, I think there’s something to be said for breaking the mold and giving them a tavern, a ship, a base, a business, a home. While it might not be the one they were all born to, a party of adventurers with a place of their own can certainly turn it into a place that makes them feel like they belong.
Continue reading No Place Like (The Party’s) Home
A world-weary medic, everyone’s Angel but not by choice. A naive young soldier, who becomes the Gunlugger to protect himself physically and emotionally. The Chopper, who’s still not sure what makes the difference between a leader and just another Rawsteak. These are just a few of the characters who came out of a short but intense game of Apocalypse World I ran between 2016 and 2017.
Continue reading Adventure Log: Grandfather’s Bastards, an Apocalypse World Tale
Welcome to System Split! Here we’ll 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? Let’s kick this off by looking at Cyberpunk in the Powered by the Apocalypse system with The Sprawl and The Veil!
Brought on the scene with Apocalypse World in 2010, Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) is an indie darling. Apocalypse World itself is a wonderful and incredibly atmospheric game, and the underlying framework has further cemented the game’s popularity and helped propel an entire subgenre of new games. With so many designers embracing the PbtA system, it’s no surprise that Apocalypse World has spawned multiple approaches to popular genres like Cyberpunk.
Continue reading System Split: Cyberpunk in Powered by the Apocalypse
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. This week’s offering: the Powered by the Apocalypse System!
Continue reading Level One Wonk: A Novice’s Guide to Powered by the Apocalypse
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.
Continue reading The Independents: MASHED
The owner of a post-apocalyptic truck stop with a shotgun under the counter and debts to pay. A valkyrie of the wasteland, beautiful in the deadliest way with ice water in her veins. A traveler who lives and who’ll die behind the wheel of his ride, but not any time soon if he can help it. A tech expert who swears the machines talk to them, who’s so damn weird not even gunfire can faze them. Every Meet the Party article gives you an entire group of ready-to-play adventurers (maybe even some heroes) for your gaming needs for a variety of systems and settings. Get ready to open your brain to the psychic maelstrom, because we’re going to Meet the Party for the 2nd Edition of Apocalypse World from D. Vincent Baker and Meguey Baker!
Continue reading Meet the Party: Apocalypse World 2E
Welcome back to The Independents, your source for reviews of out-of-the-box tabletop roleplaying games. The small outfits, the crazy geniuses, the little projects, the ‘Indie’ creators who are simply out to make a name for themselves and a game people can enjoy. Here at The Independents we aim to highlight some of these games, for a change of pace and a new (and great) experience!
On the Eastern Front of World War II the Russians and the forces of Nazi Germany laid waste to one another in one of the deadliest military campaigns in human history. Having begun the war ravaged by the internecine slaughter of the Great Purge, and having been savaged by the initial German offensives, the Russians were forced to draw from reserves and establish new units. Among them was the 588th Night Bomber Regiment. The aviators of the 588th were tasked with perilous night harassment missions using outdated biplanes, and would go on to fly for 1,100 nights of combat from 1942 until the end of the war.
And every single one of them was a woman.
To each other, they were sisters. To the Red Army Air Force, an infuriating challenge to the ideals of soldiering and womanhood. To the Germans that they fought against, however, they were simply the Nachthexen – the Night Witches.
Continue reading The Independents: Night Witches