The onslaught of Unearthed Arcana continues for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, and this time we’ve been presented with Mk. III of a UA subject: the psionic Mystic! The two previous iterations of the Mystic included a limited number of builds and only got as far up the ladder as Level 10, but this time we have all 20 levels and another four builds to work with. Psionics can always be an interesting subject for D&D, and with unique mechanics and loads of new material there’s a lot to mull over here, so let’s dig through it and see what the Mystic has to offer!
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.
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, instead of writing about games, we’re writing about writing about games! Let’s check out Jon Peterson’s Playing at the World, an exhaustive tome about how D&D came to be.
It’s been a busy few months for Unearthed Arcana and Dungeons and Dragons. Rather than getting one release a month we’ve been getting an article almost every week aside from the holidays, with a glut of new character options for most of the classes. Recently, however, Mearls and Crawford took a left turn at Sharn and introduced an entirely new class: the Artificer! Rather than give the newest class the Meet the Party treatment, I’ve decided to review it in depth. Let’s see what the 5th Edition artificer has to offer so far, and I’ll let you know what I think of it. Continue reading Unearthing the D&D5E Artificer
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, we take a look at an old school classic with a new school twist: Savage Rifts!
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!
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.
Many stories (and games) define the winner by who has the best . . . well, everything, really. Who won the most glory and money, who found True Love, who lived to see a Happily Ever After. And that’s all well and good. But it can get a little boring after a while, can’t it? Maybe you’re interested in a game (and some stories) that go to some really dark, nasty places where Happily Ever After is replaced by Six Feet Under. If that’s the case, then you just might be interested in a game ‘of Inauspicious Incidents and Grave Consequences’: Gloom, a card game from Atlas Games!
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!
Drinking Quest, the ‘original drinking RPG’ that emphasizes fun, wacky antics, ease-of-play, and sharing a few drinks with your friends (and your characters), was recently the subject of A Glimpse Into the Vault. In it I talked about the original version of Drinking Quest, as well as its two follow-up games and the Trilogy Edition that brought them all together. Towards the very end, I mentioned that Jason Anarchy, the creator of the series, was currently Kickstarting a fourth game: Journey into Draught. Shortly after the article went live Mr. Anarchy got in touch with me himself, wondering if I had any questions for him. Of course, I answered him in the affirmative, and we quickly got down to business: lessons learned over the course of Drinking Quest’s lifespan, what makes Journey into Draught a substantial addition to the series, and other/future projects!