The 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set has been with us for five years. It’s sold over 800,000 copies and been hailed as one of the best RPG starter sets ever produced. Now Wizards of the Coast has released its successor, the Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit.
Degenesis never fails to amaze. In Black Atlantic (BA), the closure of the Jehammed Trilogy adventures, the game shows its strengths in full. I won’t, very unjustly, go over the excellent production values of the art, typesetting and graphic design. If you’ve seen them you know they knock it out of the park. Degenesis truly sets a new gold standard for the RPG industry. Full stop.
I’d picked up the Degenesis rule books months ago. I’d pored over them, ordered all the published adventures, and written a glowing review (which you’ll probably want to read before this post if you want a broader understanding of the game). Finally I’d found a game that delivered that same feeling of discovery and amazement that RuneQuest had first given me many years earlier. Which is why I approached the act of actually running the game with some trepidation. As anyone who has played tabletop RPGs for a while will tell you, the easiest way to ruin a promising game is to actually play it. Read more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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