Sean's Picks of the Week (0829-0901) - Uplifting Games Week!
  • Sean's Picks of the Week (0829-0901) - Uplifting Games Week!


    In the wake of the terrible disaster that fell upon Houston and the rest of that region (and, in many ways, is ongoing as of this writing), I dedicated my first Pick of the Week to pointing out many different avenues to which folks could contribute. I can also report that a bundle is currently being constructed for the purpose of providing aid to the region (more on that when I can). The rest of this past week was dedicated to games that work in some way to elevate, inspire, or just raise the joy in all of us. Welcome to Uplifting Games Week!


    STAR TREK ADVENTURES

    With the disaster befalling much of Texas and the Gulf Coast, I am declaring the rest of this week Uplifting Games Week. Let us look at the games and material that urges us to greatness and just being better heroes.

    Yes, this is a recent Pick, but I cannot think of a more uplifting setting than Star Trek, and we need the light of Roddenberry’s vision for our future more than ever.

    Welcome to your new assignment, Captain. Your continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before…

    Star Trek Adventures takes you to the Final Frontier of the Galaxy, where new discoveries await keen explorers of Starfleet. Your duties may take you to the edges of known space, or to Federation colonies in need, to the borders of neighbouring galactic powers or into the eye of interstellar phenomena. Your ship and your crew epitomise the best Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets has to offer, and you are needed more than ever.

    A new threat looms from across the Gamma Quadrant, as it is confirmed by Commander Sisko and his crew that the Dominion, led by the Founders, represent a significant threat to the Alpha Quadrant. Tension is already high in the region of Bajor and Deep Space 9, as the Maquis continue to act against the Cardassian-Federation peace treaty, with Captain Janeway and the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager preparing for their mission in the Badlands. It is a volatile time for the Federation and new crews have never been in higher demand.

    • Create your own Star Trek stories of discovery and adventure on the Final Frontier with 368 pages of content. Full colour PDF.

    • Complete 2d20 game system from Modiphius Entertainment adapted for Star Trek Adventures, used in Mutant Chronicles, Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, John Carter of Mars and the Infinity RPG.

    • An extensive exploration of the United Federation of Planets and its galactic neighbours in the Alpha, Beta and Gamma Quadrants.

    • Guidelines for Gamemasters old and new, on how to run an adventure of exploration and discovery for the crew of a Federation starship.

    • A full catalogue of aliens and antagonists including Klingons, Romulans, Cardassians, the Borg and the Dominion.

    • Brought to you by a team of expert Star Trek writers including writers from previous editions of Star Trek roleplaying games and other gaming talent.

    • Personal logs and intercepted communications by Starfleet Intelligence provide a new perspective on Star Trek and its events.



    BLUE ROSE

    An all-star cast (Jeremy Crawford, Steve Kenson, Jack Norris, Chris Pramas, John Snead), a beautiful premise, and a fine game engine* makes this a great entry for my Uplifting Games Week. As the Storm Called Harvey comes back in for a second pass across Texas (and I once again point out these exceptional options for you to help folks as you will), I want to focus on games and things that lift us up and bring us hope and light in a dark time. Everything about Blue Rose is about exactly that.

    (*) – Matt Nattress kindly ran an AGE game for me at Gen Con and I discovered just how elegant and wonderful it is. There’s a couple of tweaks I’d make, but it is a good system.

    A decade ago Blue Rose shook up the RPG scene with its vision of romantic fantasy and inclusive gaming. Now the world of Aldea returns in a new edition using the Adventure Game Engine (AGE), the popular rules that power the Fantasy AGE and Dragon Age RPGs. This beautiful, full-color book contains everything needed to create and tell stories of heroic envoys of the Sovereign’s Finest as they protect their homeland of Aldis from threats like the shadowy Kingdom of Kern and the fanatical Theocracy of Jarzon, as well as monsters and artifacts from the cruel reign of the Sorcerer Kings. Aided by the rhydan—their psychic animal allies—the champions of the Kingdom of the Blue Rose safeguard the light of the world against the power of Shadow.

    Will you answer the Sovereign’s call?



    PUGMIRE

    As Uplifting Games Week continues on (in hopes of lifting spirits and elevating us as a community, especially in light of all the troubles we face and the challenges those in Texas and the Gulf area are dealing with), here’s a very heartwarming and uplifting game from my dear friend, Eddy Webb. Originally a loving joke inspired by the lovable Murraypug, it’s become one of the most inspiring and elevating games of recent times.

    The epigraph says it all –

    “Be a good dog. Protect your home. Be loyal to those who are true. These are the words of the Code of Man.”

    — Sister Picassa Collie, Shepherd of the Church of Man

    Dogs have inherited the world, building the kingdom of Pugmire untold centuries after the Ages of Man are over. These dogs have been uplifted to use tools and language, and they seek to rediscover the ruins of the Old Ones. Some have learned to use the leftover technology of humanity, but they believe it to be magic handed to them by their lost gods. Others seek to create an ideal civilization, using a Code of Man compiled from ancient, fragmentary lore left behind by humanity. The world is dangerous and mysterious, but good dogs will persevere.

    Some highlights of Pugmire include:

    • An evocative and mysterious setting that’s both family friendly and deep enough to create compelling stories.
    • A traditional fantasy rules system redesigned for streamlined play and easy creation of heroic dogs, with an emphasis on cooperation and action over competition and violence.
    • A variety of callings and breeds that give access to several fun and interesting tricks.
    • Rival species to interact with, like cats and badgers, along with terrifying and dangerous monsters that roam the landscape.


    Will you be a good dog?



    CARTOON ACTION HOUR 15TH ANNIVERSARY PACK

    What better way to conclude Uplifting Games Week than $75 worth of adventure cartoon RPG products for $15? In the world of Cartoon Action Hour, your heroes are doing things that only cartoon heroes can do, saving the day – and sometimes the entire galaxy – in that way you can only manage in cartoons. Epic escapism at its finest!

    This bundle includes the core CAH rules, plus:

    Crusaders of Sarillon (Steve Long)

    Dark Brigade (Eddy Webb)

    FLAG Force (Rob Wieland)

    Galactic Heroes (Cynthia Celeste Miller)

    Hexslinger (Shane Hensley)

    Infinivaders (John Wick)

    Iron Wolves (Eddy Webb)

    Punk Rock Saves the World (Matt Forbeck)

    The Mighty Mirror Masters (Jason L. Blair)

    The Paranormal Entities of Holiday Present (Barak Blackburn)

    Wasteland 2010 (Cynthia Celeste Miller)

    Remember those bygone Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons spent in front of our television sets back in the ’80s? Remember how we watched the eternal struggle between the forces of good and evil unfold right before our young eyes as our heroes stopped at nothing to out the kibosh on the seemingly endless machinations of the villains? Remember how these wondrously cheesy shows drw us in and spoke to us on a personal level, all the while trying to sell us action figures?

    We remember it too!

    Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3 is the third edition of the game that was nominated for “Best RPG” at the 2004 Origins Awards. The game faithfully and meticulously emulates the action-adventure cartoons of the 1980s, using “cartoon logic” as the basis for every aspect of the system. This is not just a universal game that just happens to be adorned with genre-appropriate art. Every single design decision was made with the purpose of bringing to life the retro-toons of yesteryear, right at your gaming table.

    Everything you need to play Cartoon Action Hour is included in this full-color rulebook. Some of the features include:

    Sleek and Exciting Game System: You roll a d12 and add one or two ratings to it. That’s the core of the system, making it extremely easy to jump right into the animated fray. Every nuance of the system (transformation, vehicles, playsets, etc.) utilize the same game mechanics as a whole.

    Action Scenes: In Cartoon Action Hour, there is no “combat system”. In its place is the “action scene” system, which covers far more than just a slugfest or a laser-filled shootout. Violence is de-emphasized and players are rewarded for making indirect attacks of a less overt nature (“I shoot the tree branch, so that it falls on top of the enemy!”). Characters can be given Setback Tokens, representing anything from physical damage to confusion and everything in between.

    Series Creation: The GM and the players work together to construct the series via the series creation system, which includes character creation. Speaking of which, creating characters has never been this easy in previous versions of the game, as the bookkeeping is now very minimal indeed.

    Sample Series: The book includes eight series seeds and one more detailed sample series.

    26-Page Action Scene Example: This ultra-detailed example of an action scene answers any question you care to ask.

    Preface by Flint Dille: The legendary cartoon writer offers up an insightful preface that discusses the way cartoons were created in the 1980s.


    -----
    This week, I wish to close with my special August 28th entry, which was not a normal Pick, but a reference list to help those find ways to help Harvey victims.

    "Today, in the wake of the terrible disaster that struck Texas and the Gulf Coast and continues to plague the citizens of Houston and many surrounding communities, I want to point out options for folks to contribute to aid and relief efforts."



    Some helpful links, both on DriveThruRPG and elsewhere:

    Feeding America

    The American Red Cross*

    Family Business Beer Company & Random Acts Special Relief Fund (the Supernatural folks are involved with this).

    Disaster Relief List compiled by KTLA 5 (news station out of Los Angeles).

    Disaster Relief List compiled by Vox.com.

    (*) – Yes, I know some folks have issues with them. Today is not the day to get into it, OK? There are lots of other options listed here, so go with what you prefer."

    The Adventure Continues!

    Note that I use affiliate links in all my posts as a way to generate additional revenue for my efforts; I make my Picks and other article choices, however, based on the desire to share a wide variety of things with you. Thank you for your support.

    Sean Patrick Fannon
    Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
    Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. TrippyHippy's Avatar
      TrippyHippy -
      The most uplifting RPG I have ever had, or played in, was Castle Falkenstein. Released in 1994, amidst the era where almost every game depicted a dark vision of the present, past or future, this was like a breath of fresh air. It was very innovative (card-based resolution, a kerr-a-zy magic system and characters built on words not stats), dreamy and had an involved background - but it was also brightly colourful, heroic and, well....uplifting.

      The best news is that it's still quite easy to get your hands on it.
    1. Eponymous's Avatar
      Eponymous -
      Quote Originally Posted by TrippyHippy View Post
      The most uplifting RPG I have ever had, or played in, was Castle Falkenstein. Released in 1994, amidst the era where almost every game depicted a dark vision of the present, past or future, this was like a breath of fresh air. It was very innovative (card-based resolution, a kerr-a-zy magic system and characters built on words not stats), dreamy and had an involved background - but it was also brightly colourful, heroic and, well....uplifting.

      The best news is that it's still quite easy to get your hands on it.
      sy context? this is in relation to... Blue rose? If you liked Falkenstine ( truly grand game, which honestly could have used a 'little bit more work on the resolution system" yet still a very fine game) then you would do well picking up Blue Rose which is really a lovely game book.
    1. TrippyHippy's Avatar
      TrippyHippy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eponymous View Post
      sy context? this is in relation to... Blue rose? If you liked Falkenstine ( truly grand game, which honestly could have used a 'little bit more work on the resolution system" yet still a very fine game) then you would do well picking up Blue Rose which is really a lovely game book.
      My post was just in context of the Uplifting games thread? I know of Blue Rose, and it seems interesting, but I was just relating my own experiences, really.
    Comments Leave Comment