I don’t remember when I first learned about Simon Stålenhag‘s work. It might have been the article from The Verge in 2013, or a random blog post I stumbled upon while aimlessly surfing the web. What I remember is that I thought someone should create a roleplaying game based on these images. Simon Stålenhag’s art shows the ‘80s that never was. A world where the mundane reality of that decade meets the extraordinary. The protagonists in these pictures were often kids, perhaps 10 to 12 years old. Exactly the same age I was back in the mid ‘80s. Perhaps it’s what makes his art so compelling, he shows the years of my youth exactly as I wished they had been.
In 2016 Fria Ligan, the Swedish publisher behind games like Mutant: Year Zero and Coriolis, joined forces with Simon to create a roleplaying game based on his works. The Kickstarter campaign for the Tales From The Loop RPG was unsurprisingly highly successful. A lot of gamers had just watched the Netflix series Stranger Things which was about a group of kids confronted with technology gone awry, and a world stranger than we deemed possible. The time was definitely right for the Tales From The Loop RPG!
Disclaimer: This review is based on the digital edition which I got from Modiphius as a complementary copy. Thanks again, Chris!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am currently taking a break from GMing. I hung my GM’s mantle on the hanger and for the next few weeks at least I’ll just lean back and be a player for a while. But of course I am already making plans for the time after my hiatus. So what are the plans for my glorious return?
If you have read my reviews of Coriolis and Mutant: Year Zero you might have noticed that I fell in love with Fria Ligan’s games. They are all very well written, gorgeous to look at, and I am pretty excited about running and/or playing them. I am currently playing in a Mutant: Year Zero group, so I doubt I’ll run this game after my hiatus, but Coriolis and Tales From The Loop (expect a review soon) are very high on my list.
A game I want to revisit in the future is Monte Cook’s Numenera. I ran a very successful Numenera campaign in the past, and recently I have considered of returning to it. I love the Cypher System, because it works great with my improvisational GMing style. I also love the fantastic Ninth World setting because it’s a great canvas for all my twisted ideas. I’ve already hinted the prospect at my players and it seems they would love to dust off their old characters and board their fantastic airship again.
Even though Fantasy Flight Games hasn’t revealed the release date yet, I assume their upcoming Genesys RPG should be just around the corner. GenCon would be a great opportunity for a release but I reckon it should be out before Christmas this year. If it arrives in time, I might actually use this to run a game in one of the many homebrew settings I came up with over the years. I already know the mechanics well enough from playing their Star Wars RPG, so this should be easily done.
Last but not least I want to give D&D 5th Edition another chance. It’s definitively my favorite D&D edition, but when it came out I was a bit burned out on standard fantasy fare, so I didn’t put it to much use. But at the moment I wouldn’t mind chasing my players through the Forgotten Realms for a while. There’s also some Eberron material available for D&D 5E available online which may help me to run a short campaign in my favorite D&D setting. Regardless of what I pick, I will surely run some D&D in the future again.
Of course there are countless other RPGs I am currently reading, leafing through, or thinking about. I doubt my GM attention deficit disorder will never be cured completely. There’s always a shiny new game just around the corner. But the games I mentioned before are those which are most likely to be run by me in the foreseeable future.
But before that, I’ll enjoy having less responsibility for a while.
John Wick’s 7th Sea is a pen & paper roleplaying game of swashbuckling and intrigue, exploration and adventure. The 2nd Edition of said game has totally new rules which are very easy, fast, and which encourage swashbuckling action.
I never played the 1st edition but from what I’ve heard the rules it used where much more crunchy and had the tendency to make anything more flamboyant than poking enemies with a stick very hard. I don’t really know if that’s true, but in the case of the 2nd Edition you can actually check out the rules before you buy the game.
There are three free PDFs on the official John Wick Presents website, which include the rules and full character creation, and a setting primer. I’ve included the direct links to the PDFs below for your convenience:
The free PDFs look great and should be a perfect introduction for the game.