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    Weighing in at 680 pages, Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition (M20 from here on out), like any forbidden tome of arcane knowledge worth the name, is a massive brick of a book.


    Starship Commandos is a rules lite, storytelling RPG by Sword's Edge Publishing. It's likely a lot to do with the title, but after clicking past the table of contents on the PDF, I'm immediately asking: "Would this RPG scratch that alien(s), survive the evil xenomorph, itch?" Let's get into it.


    The new GURPS Dungeon Fantasy game is getting out into the wilds, and into the hands of gamers. This Powered By GURPS boxed set funded on Kickstarter just over a year ago. The standalone game is inspired by the Dungeons & Dragons school of fantasy role-playing (as the name implies) and spins out of a successful line of PDF and print products for Steve Jackson Games' fourth edition of their GURPS role-playing game. There is a lot of good, and a few not as good things to be found in this big, fancy box, so let's open it up and talk about what is inside.


    Written by Rich Lescouflair and published by Alligator Alley Entertainment, Esper Genesis is an RPG subtitled Heroic Sci-Fi Roleplaying. The cover bears a "5E Compatible" stamp, and indeed this game presents what is essentially the current edition of D&D reskinned for over-the-top space opera gaming.


    The Fate Adversary Toolkit, the latest in the Toolkit line of supplements for Fate Core from Evil Hat Productions, opens up some interesting new avenues for your Fate games. Written by Ed Turner and Brian Engard, one of the architects of the Fate Core rules, this supplement widens the scope of the adversaries that characters can face in Fate Core games. Building off of the idea of the Fate Fractal and expanding the idea of adversaries beyond being a character or a creature that you can get into a conflict with during a game session, the Fate Adversary Toolkit brings some smart new ideas to the gaming table.


    Pugmire is a fantasy game that has gone to the dogs. Not just dogs, but also cats, rats, badgers and lizards as well. Set in a far future world that has reverted to the tropes of medieval fantasy, you play characters that are on a quest to become a "good dog."


    In the last four years, I've noticed an increased frequency in regards to Storyteller and narrative type games. It might be resurgence, or my imagination… But, what I've been excited about is the sheer variety of these games; specifically, the ways in which the fundamental idea of creating story, is still being reimagined for the purpose of a role playing game.


    This is my unboxing of the August 2017 Mythoard RPG crate. This crate is definitely something different for Mythoard, and is probably the best value for a crate to date. With a hardcover valued at over $100 along with a variety of props, this is a good deal -- so long as you're interested in a pirate-themed campaign.




    The Index Card RPG is a 190 page RPG with two worlds, five adventures, and stand up mini art pages. Prop and location index sized cards are sold separately. The current rules cover fantasy and science fiction and one horror adventure. Created by Hankerin Ferinale of Drunkens & Dragons on YouTube, The Index Card RPG (or ICRPG) started as an experiment in using index card sized illustrations in place of square by square combats. I interviewed Hankerin at Gen Con to discuss how he became a full-time creator and his future plans. Included below are two not-yet-announced products he revealed to me.


    With the Azurth Adventures Digest, Trey Causey returns to the World of Azurth that he first brought to the public in the D&D 5E adventure supplement Mortzengersturm, The Mad Manticore of the Prismatic Peak. With the Azurth Adventures Digest (promised to be an irregularly published periodical) Causey brings the same sense of humor and whimsy that marked the first foray into Azurth, but in a much easier to spell package. The digest is published by Causey's Armchair Planet imprint, which is a part of the Hydra Cooperative group of small press publishers who share resources and talent among each other.


    Here at EN World, I’m looking at all-ages tabletop role-playing games, board games, and card games. Do they engage the players at the kids' gaming table? Would they cut it at the adults' table? Are they genuinely fun for every age? Dagger: A Toolkit for Fantasy Gaming with Kids, Revised Edition is a free, action-oriented fantasy RPG for kids. The core book contains rules, monsters, treasure ideas, and charts in a six-page document, all for free.


    Here at EN World, I’m looking at all-ages tabletop role-playing games, board games, and card games. Do they engage the players at the kids' gaming table? Would they cut it at the adults' table? Are they genuinely fun for every age? Little Heroes is an ENnie Award-nominated storytelling tabletop role-playing game for ages 5 and up. The core book contains system rules, ten player personalities/species/ adversaries, and more for $5 (PDF).


    Shadow of the Demon Lord (SotDL) plays like D&D with ten levels, great house rules, and with every character multiclassing. Layered in are rules for corruption and insanity. The setting features a haunted, dying world being invaded by a demon lord, whose corrupting shadow brings a variety of different rule and story effects. A dying empire is the default end of the world and nineteen other choices are detailed.


    This latest RPG crate shows promise but there are a few missteps in execution. I'd like to see the scroll without rules on it so it can be used in any version of D&D, less artwork that I could easily print myself, and props that you can actually wear.




    One open review call on G+, and my email is completely under siege with storyteller RPGs. Leave it to those designers to never miss an opportunity to change the narrative… Eh? All kidding aside, many of these indie products will be featured in the next couple of reviews, and I’m really looking forward to it.


    Here at EN World, I’m continuing to look at all-ages tabletop role-playing games, board games, and card games. Do they engage the players at the kids' gaming table? Would they cut it at the adults' table? Are they genuinely fun for every age? Hero Kids core rules and the Basement O Rats adventure is a tabletop role-playing game for 4 to 10 year olds. The core book provides rules for GM’ing younger audiences, combat, skill tests, character creation, monster compendium, and character tokens for $5.99 (PDF).


    Published by White Wolf in 1999 as part of its line of supplements for Vampire: the Dark Ages, the 94-page Cainite Heresy provides details on a heretical sect within the vampiric world. Part of the apocalyptic "Year of the Reckoning" line of World of Darkness products that traded on real-world millennialist fears, this book is clearly marked on the cover as "For Adults Only" and was published under White Wolf's "mature content" imprint, Black Dog Studios. As the disclaimer quoted above indicates, this book earns this moniker, both in concept and execution. (As is usual for Black Dog publications, there's more than a bit of nudity scattered throughout the illustrations.)


    Starfinder is here, and it is everything that you would expect from a science fantasy hack of Paizo's popular Pathfinder rules. Paizo dropped the embargo on reviews of the game early, so we're going to talk some about the Starfinder game and share some early thoughts on it. The game is an evolution of everything that you've seen to date in the Pathfinder line, cleaned up and consolidated with a cool science fantasy paint job.


    There is no shortage of fantasy RPGs. While one look at the market proves a severe drop after D&D 5th Edition & Pathfinder, it never ceases to amaze how many smaller companies are churning out interesting (non-D&D, fantasy) products on a yearly basis. Let’s take a look at one. Sertorius is a fantasy and high magic RPG, by indie veteran Bedrock Games. Players will likely create Sertori, inheritors of an ancient and deceased ogre deity’s spirit. Sertori wield powerful emotionally driven magic, which if incanted foolishly cause the character to be overwhelmed with primal energy. If abused, the effect potentially leads to madness, physical affliction, and eventual (unwanted) transformation to an entity/creature known as the Grim. In the words of Sir John Dalberg: “… absolute power corrupts absolutely…”

    For a while there, it felt like Mythoard was slipping into obscurity, but with this installment they came roaring back with what they call a "double crate." This video is also where I rant about making it clear in the packaging what RPG is for what system -- it's like trying to unlock a puzzle every time I read through one of these books.


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