Degenesis: Rebirth is a visually astounding, sumptuous, two-volume, 704-page passion project — a richly-layered, horrific, intrigue-riddled, techno-mystical post-apocalypse Earth that feels like it was discovered rather than created. This is truly a game for players who enjoy being immersed in a deep, artfully-revealed setting. If you are looking for flashy system innovation you’ll have to look elsewhere, but the straightforward KatharSys mechanics incorporate some clever touches and are well-suited to the tone of the game. Read on for more details.
Thinking About the Unthinkable
If a biological armageddon hits the United States, how do vaccines reach Americans quickly? In the event of a nuclear war, who gets the word out about who is in charge and what laws are being enacted?
If you’re planning backstory for a post-apocalypse campaign, these little details can add to the verisimilitude you’re trying to invoke. They’re even more useful if you’re planning a near-future apocalypse-in-progress campaign. For example, when the zombies take over, where’s the President of the United States hiding out? As the GM it’d be good to know, right? Read more
I have this odd relationship with Fate Core. The premise excites me, but I’ve never been able to really make it sing as a player or as a GM. Oddly, my best Fate Core experience occurred recently when I ran a one-shot Eclipse Phase scenario using Fate Core rules by way of the Transhumanity’s Fate conversion guide.
An Unexpected Game
Matt, one of the two primary GMs in our group, supported the Tales from the Loop Kickstarter, spurred on by the splendid Simon Stålenhag art from which the game germinated. The rules are still being polished, but he and the rest of the group started playing with the latest PDF from the Kickstarter. They really enjoyed the first session.
Originally I wasn’t all that interested in the idea of playing as a teenager in the ’80s. I’d actually already been a teenager in the 1980s, and I wasn’t sure visiting an alternate Swedish sci-fi mystery version of it would be very compelling. After hearing about their characters and the fun the rest of my group had with the first session, I was intrigued. Then I got an unexpected opportunity to play. Read more
Wreck Age is a post-apocalypse roleplaying game built around a miniatures skirmish combat system. The rules focus on the group rather than the individual, and resource management drives campaign play. The result is a refreshingly different post-apocalypse game.
2018-02-09: Note that this is a review of the 1st edition of the game. The 2nd edition has just been released.
As I devoured Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks last weekend, I wondered what had kept me from reading the book much earlier. It had been well reviewed by geeks and non-geeks of all stripes. The author, Ethan Gilsdorf, was born a year before me. Like me, he had spent the bulk of his teenage years playing Dungeons & Dragons. The stars, as they say, were aligned. So why had I waited so long to read the book?
Like its predecessor Edge of the Empire, the Age of Rebellion Core Rulebook is a tremendously fun game. It is built for creating campaigns in which the players characters are heroes of the Rebellion. Because this isn’t a traditional murder-hobos-in-search-of-power-and-treasure affair, this sort of campaign may require more than the usual up-front discussion between GM and players to be sure expectations are aligned.
On A Roll: Level Up Your RPG conveys a wealth of hard-won knowledge about how the social interaction of roleplaying can make or break the games we play, and about how to be a better player and gamemaster (storyteller in the book’s parlance). If roleplaying games are an important part of your life and you wish you were having more fun playing them, you owe it to yourself to read this book.
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire is a blast. We started playing on a whim, and the game consumed us for over 30 sessions.