Friday, January 26, 2024

Marvels and Prodigies

(I've already posted a slightly different version of this review on the product page on drivethru rpg. I don't really have time to do the in-depth review of all things Marvels and Prodigies I'd love to do now, so I'm re-posting my review here. Let's just say it struck a note with me!)

I thought I'd never touch another RPG going to the Lovecraft. Well, I made an exception for Marvels and Prodigies, which, I'd dare say - is it really possible? - makes Lovecraftian Horror feel fresh again. It is not simply another "take" on the same endlessly regurgigated Mythos tropes "(It's Cthulhu, but this time with aether-powered biplanes!"); it is an unassuming RPG that has a point of view on cosmic horror that is subtly, but significantly different from "RPG mainstream Yog-Sothothry"; and it has me as excited as back then when I first laid my hands on "Call of Cthulhu" by Chaosium, which was just as slim and unassuming and clearly knowing what it was doing.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Some More Everywhen Awesome

So, with about 35 years as a gamer under my belt, I certainly don't have to read to GM tips in an RPG book before reading it? After all, what could they tell me that I don't already know?

Well, there actually is one thing or another, so I need to amend my review of Everywhen: The chapter on game mastering is awesome. It's only 10 pages, but they are packed. There's some system-specific stuff about setting difficulties first, but that already features some good general advice for most RPG genres: Look where the players have put their build points and consider that that's where they want to shine - so make sure that they get the opportunity to do so in your adventure. It also re-iterates an important idea that has been stated before in Everywhen: A failure doesn't necessarily mean that a hero has failed due to ineptitude; always err towards assuming that circumstances beyond their control thwarted them.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Reading Everywhen


I've played a little Barbarians of Lemuria here and there, always found it easy-going, but never got really invested in it. However, in my perpetual search for the right system for my setting heartbreaker, I remembered that with Everywhen, there is a generic rules-set for the engine, so I dug that one out again, and lo and behold: I really like it. Let's see why:

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Metegorgos Gives Us Her Milk

 Evey Lockhart's Ruinous Palace of the Metegorgos is a small Troika!/BX scenario of abject beauty that the author probably needed to write to cleanse the adorable positivity of her very own Very Pretty Paleozoic Pals setting away. It weighs on your soul, far out of proportion for a slim book of 29 pages. It should start with about two pages of trigger warnings, but really, if you're in doubt, just read the product description at Melsonian Arts Council and you'll know whether this is for you. DON'T play it with anyone without proper warning.



Friday, May 26, 2023

Mindjammer Press is Back with Lair of the Leopard Empresses

Yay, one of my favourite authors and publishers is back on the scene - and doesn't disappoint!

Sarah Newton's Lair of the Leopard Empresses is based on the Monsters! Monsters! rules, which are based on Tunnels & Trolls, which means that they are from a family of RPGs I've only ever had the most fleeting contact with. My takeaway after reading most of the rules chapters of LotLE is that it's a system where the players have to start thinking out of the box, and quickly, if they find themselves outmatched. Your randomizers are usually 2,3 or 4d6, added to stats than can, even at the beginning, reach values like 30 or 50, so even a stellar dice-roll might often not allow you to come close to what a superior opposition has in store. I've decided to consider this a feature and not a bug, because at the very least, it is interesting and new (to me), and it really leans heavily into a "rulings, not rules" philosophy.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

AGE Catching Up With Me

With a second edition of Green Ronin's FantasyAGE RPG and the AGE-based Fifth Season RPG coming up (the latter being an adaptation of N.K. Jemisin's excellent postapocalyptic sfnal fantasy trilogy), I've been drawn back to this very nice and simple system. Year's ago, I used FantasyAGE for a lot of one-shots at the open gaming nights in our bookshop and came away from it kind of ambivalent. The pros outhweighed the cons, but I could never get my regular gaming table invested in it, and it kind of faded into the background of my gaming interests for quite some time; but right now, I feel like dusting off my (limited) expertise on all things AGE.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Cloud Empress

 There's a crowdfunding underway for Cloud Empress, an RPG that hits all my buttons: ecological science fantasy with a bingo card of inspirations that has Miyazaki's NausicaƤ, Samuel R. Delany's queer post-apocalytic fever dream Dhalgren, Frank Herbert's Dune, LeGuin's Earthsea, Cixin Liu's Three-Body Problem and the art of Moebius on it: