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    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.




    Mutant: Year Zero (MY0) is a hardcover 272 page full color post-apocalyptic RPG by Swedish Fria Ligan (Free League). Awarded with a Silver ENnie for Best Rules at Gen Con 2015, Mutant: Year Zero uses attributes, skills, and items to form a d6 dice pool with one 6 indicating success. Players play human mutants with roles like enforcer and gearhead. Each PC has one or two mutations, all randomly determined and extremely powerful.


    It shouldn't be much of a shock to people that I am more of a fan of science fiction than fantasy. And probably because of the fact that my tastes have always been more defined by my reading comics than the classics of the genre, I don't sweat about the science in my science fiction. Laser swords. Explosions in space. Kidnapped space royalty. Robots. Space battles. I can't get enough of that stuff. My ideals for science fiction tend towards Metal Hurlant (I like the original French name of the magazine better because it causes less confusion with the music genre), The Incal, Valerian and Laureline and Judge Dredd than Asimov and Clarke. In this vein, I decided to talk about the Bulldogs! science fiction role-playing game from Galileo Games, and using the Fate Core rules, today.


    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? Little Wizards is the English version of Contes Ensorcelés, which is based on P'tites sorcières. Antoine Bauza created the French originals while Amanda Valentine is responsible for co-translations and some modifications to Antoine’s work. Without a command of French to verify, Little Wizards is akin to the third edition of this game. Targeting ages 6 to 10, the game puts each player into two roles: a lil' mage and a familiar. For $14.95 PDF or $24.95 print, the 128-page rulebook covers character creation, game mechanics, magic, GMing for a young audience, and three adventures.


    Talislanta is a fantasy role-playing game created by Stephen Sechi. Talislanta: The Savage Land is a recent kickstarter that takes place right after the disaster that in the original rules took place centuries in the past. Stewart Wieck was the sponsor and publisher of this newest version. The game will be full color and available in five games systems: the original rules, D&D 5E, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, and Open D6. Mr. Wieck worked hard to bring visionary RPGs to gamers everywhere and he will be missed. I am sorry for his family’s loss.


    I don't think that I am stepping out onto a particularly fragile limb when I say that Mindjammer is one of the best original science fiction settings to be created in the contemporary era. It also isn't much of a risk to that that the setting, and the games attached to it, isn't as well known as it could be. We're facing a resurgence in science fiction, and science fantasy, gaming right now, and Mindjammer should be a game that you check out as you are looking for things to scratch that science fiction itch.



    Most RPGs are designed around slipping into the shoes of someone exceptional, but in Tales From the Loop the heroes are a bunch of teenagers whose powers are limited to baseball, punk rock and half-remembered DOS prompts. Perhaps that’s what makes it one of the most fascinating games to be released in a long time? Produced by Sweden’s Free League Publishing, Tales From the Loop was spawned from two interwoven strands of inspiration. The first is a series of paintings by Simon Stålenhag showing an imaginary town based around a powerful and mysterious particle accelerator known as 'The Loop.'

    This video is my unboxing of the May 2017 Mythoard RPG crate. Mythoard 28 is a much-improved collection of RPG accessories over previous installments. It's clear that the Mythoard gang has gotten the message that subscribers want more accessories and less books, and that change is evident in the latest Mythoard.




    Four blocks from the subway, in South Philadelphia’s Point Breeze neighborhood, you find a novel take on cuisine and nightlife called American Sardine Bar. This hotspot features the staples of art crowd and hipster culture. Home to creative food, craft beer, cheap shots of rotgut whiskey, and an upstairs bar with a stage where one could expect to see local comics, acoustic acts, and open mic nights. Tonight however, was something a little different. Tonight ASB was hosting Drinks and Dragons.


    The Paranoia role-playing game is probably the longest running satirical role-playing game available in print. A recent successful Kickstarter project funded the new edition hitting the shelves currently. The game is published by Mongoose Publishing and project managed by seminal designer James Wallis. What should make a lot of people happy is that the game is a compact, streamlined take on the classic game that comes in a boxed set that includes the game and dice. Probably my favorite bit of the new game is that the character "sheets" that you can get for the game are in fact dry erase mini-boards, in keeping with the lethality of the game.


    Big Eyes Small Mouth 3rd edition might have been a more popular game despite coming too late to save its parent company of Guardians of the Order. That having been said, the 3rd edition of Big Eyes Small Mouth (shortened to BESM) is exemplary of quality and dedication to the anime aesthetic coupled with tabletop game design.


    After a successful Kickstarter project, Green Ronin Publishing have put out a second edition of their Blue Rose role-playing game. Inspired by the works of romantic fantasy from authors such as Mercedes Lackey, Tamora Pierce and Diane Duane, Blue Rose was originally powered by a variant of the D20 rules that Green Ronin called True20, and this new game uses the company's house system called the Adventure Game Engine, or AGE. The rules themselves are descended from the company's licensed role-playing game based upon the franchise of the Dragon Age computer games.


    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? Mouse Tails: Rodent Playing Game is an all-ages RPG by David Bezio’s Grey Area Games. In it you play a mouse, a straight up four paws with a tail and a low position in the food chain rodent. As a role-player, that’s a win. You want to role-play, play something that is not human in any way. To support the role, Mouse Tails contains character generation, PC, and GM rules as well as a mouse character sheet all for the price of Pay What You Want.


    This past weekend was Free RPG Day, the red-headed step child of Free Comic Book Day, where gamers descend upon shops for free SWAG. This year I spent part of the day at a local gaming store, Serenity Games, running a Fate Accelerated game for a busy table, connecting with some friends that I don't get to see often enough, talking about future events and meeting new people. I picked up a few of the items available (the store is much more generous about how much people can pick up than a lot of stores).


    While most of us are more versed in the popularity of Manga, rather than Chinese or Japanese history the mash of these elements in Ninja Crusade Second Edition (NC2E), might escape your notice check. The game not only offers player characters an opportunity to dawn the balaclava and take the role of ninja, but incorporates a unique juxtaposed setting, merging elements of 10th century Chinese and 12th century (Feudal) Japanese, histories. One caveat: Samurai don’t exist.
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