My Visit to San Sibilia – A Cartographer’s Journal by Campbell McNevin – Day One
What surprisingly good fortune! The last thing I remember from last night, having had perhaps one libation too many, was staggering home in a foul mood after a series of less-than-civil conversations at the Cartographers Guild biennial convention in Paris. Yet here I stand in the light of day, only slightly under the weather, in the strange city of San Sibilia!
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: A Visit to San Sibilia
RPG licensing. RPG licensing never changes. In some ways it’s amazing that it took until 2021 to get an honest Fallout tabletop RPG, given the original game’s mechanical dalliance with GURPS and other design elements borrowed heavily from pen and paper games of the time. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until Fallout 4 that the series turned back to its roots and, with the help of Modiphius, got an official licensed port. Fallout the Role-Playing Game leans heavily on the most recent iteration of the video game series; both the mechanics and the setting borrow heavily and almost exclusively from Bethesda’s Fallout 4 for source material. Comparing this game to a Bethesda game ends up being quite apt, though; like most of the modern software titles released by this game’s licensor, Fallout the Role-Playing Game shows a lot of promise and appears at first glance to be ported well into its new mechanics…but in reality it’s hampered by a raft of grave unforced errors in editing and product management. So is it endearingly buggy, or is it hopeless? Let’s take a look.
Continue reading Fallout: The Roleplaying Game Review
Adventuring through an old-school-style sandbox setting, or mapping your way through a sprawling hexcrawl? The biggest challenge of playing a game where the characters can go any direction they want is making sure there’s something worth finding in every direction they can possibly go – even more so if the world is functionally boundless. From vast ancient cities consumed by the forest to a monastery of living mummies, from a desert falling into a black hole serving as the hourglass for the world’s life to a barge-bound casino-temple to the god of luck and gambling, there are plenty of options to be found in the Lands of Legends from Axian Spice!
Continue reading Lands of Legends Review – A Thousand Options For Your Game
Welcome to Kickstarter Wonk for August! Now, you might be looking down the headings and notice we only have seven games and an honorable mention. Well, that’s because, whether you know it or not, you got way more Kickstarter content this month than usual! Check out my preview of Dreampunk, which is still live for another ten days…really neat game using imagery cards to drive play through a dream world. Then you can read Seamus’s quickstart review of Avatar Legends, the new game from Magpie Games! That brings us up to nine, but you can count Avatar Legends twice if you also read the Meet the Party Seamus put together. Beyond those, though, all eight below are all worth checking out, and should help you ease the pain of missing this year’s
Continue reading Kickstarter Wonk: August, 2021
superspreader event GenCon.
A waterbender of the North who refuses to hide behind walls. A firebender who suffered a great tragedy but knows who is really to blame. A scion of great shipbuilders who would much rather create things that helped instead of harm. An outlaw earthbender who has carved a line in the stone and refuses to let any cross it to hurt those behind her. Can they save their part of the world? What stories will they tell? Let’s Meet the Party for the Avatar Legends Quickstart from Magpie Games!
Continue reading Meet the Party: Avatar Legends Quickstart
Water… Earth… Fire… Air. Long ago, Avatar: The Last Airbender told the story of a nascent master of all four elements and the group of young heroes that helped him save the world. Then everything changed when the Legend of Korra brought us the tale of his successor and her many trials and tribulations. But then, as these things go, that journey ended and that world vanished from the screen. Seven years passed, with the story continuing in novels and comics, but now we’ve discovered a new window into the Avatar world. Magpie Games is telling the story this time, and the prologue is the Quickstart for their newest roleplaying game: Avatar Legends!
Continue reading Avatar Legends Quickstart Review
If you are reading this, there is a good chance you already know who I am, but just in case: Hello there! My name is Cory Deepwood, and I am a witch. I have been practicing for many years, now, learning the ways of the earth and the sky and quite a bit in between. At first it was tradition, passed down from my mother to me . Eventually, though, I began to think of myself as something of a steward, taking care of the lands I have worked on and the people within them. Within these pages are the spells and appurtenances I have used in my craft. Whether I have now passed it to you or you have found it in a dusty library somewhere, I hope you use my Grimoire well.
Continue reading Solitaire Storytelling: Grimoire
Welcome to Kickstarter Wonk for July! Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of games being campaigned out there this summer. You may be wondering why I don’t have ten this month, if there were more than ten to choose from. Well, I see two potential reasons. First, even with the delays from COVID, we’re entering GenCon season. GenCon season means people worried about *selling* games are running to Kickstarter, producing dozens of campaigns with that two-character automatic disqualification: 5E. Don’t get me wrong, these games might be perfectly fine, but they aren’t original games, so they fall outside my criteria. Beyond that, a number of the games out in the Kickstarter aether this month were… well, not great. I’m going to tend to not cover games which use some of their precious campaign wordcount to tell me they “use a dice-rolling mechanic”. Oh brother. Fear not, though! These eight campaigns are worth reading. Are they worth spending your hard-earned cash? You’ll only know if you read past the jump.
Continue reading Kickstarter Wonk: July, 2021
“You are a bug. There is little time to comprehend what this means to you. Life is brutally short and brief, full of amazing colors and creatures that will dazzle, trap, and kill you in an instant. The ground shakes, your world turns upside down, and everything begins to spin. But there is one place of solace for you in the constant flux of chaos, the peaceful Cuticorium. No insect remembers where it came from, but the longer you stay around this place, the more you begin to think for yourself instead of just trying to survive from moment to moment.” This is the RPG about a small insectoid world with big secrets and dramatic connections, Cuticorium by Ulysses Duckler!
Continue reading Cuticorium Review – Microcosmic Insect Adventures
I don’t review a lot of new editions, at least not of games we’ve already reviewed. While everyone remembers the giant step changes like D&D 4e, Cyberpunk v3, and WFRP 3e, most edition changes are relatively small. Reviewing the playtest version of Pathfinder 2e way back when required very careful reading to pull out the changes that would be most apparent to players of the first edition, and that was a more significant revision than many games receive.
Aberrant is one of very few games we’ve actually reviewed multiple editions of; the only other one I can think of off the top of my head is Cyberpunk, and Cyberpunk 2020 was given a full review only in the context of the Cyberpunk Chimera System Hack series. Aberrant, though, is kind of fascinating. I spent some time jumping between Ari’s review of 1e and the new core rulebook and realized that while many elements of the game have been preserved, there is a core change to how the game is presented that both changes the experience entirely and strikes in complete opposition to a game design ethos which is slowly becoming more central to the hobby.
Continue reading Aberrant Second Edition Review