All posts by Stargazer

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team.

In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games.

Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

Games I am excited about: 2018 Edition

Yes, I am easily excited. There are a lot of gamers who are wary of new things, who stick to their old and well-tread ways, but I am not one of those. I love new games. If I could I’d get a new game every day. Leafing through a new rulebook makes me excited about all the games I could run with it. Sure, most of the time, the book ends up on the shelf unused, but if I got at least some excitement out of it, the purchase was IMHO not wasted. And you can always come back to a game later.

2018 is still young, but I thought this might be the right time to talk about a couple of games I am looking forward to. Let’s start which was actually funded on Kickstarter last year: Forbidden Lands.

Forbidden Lands
Forbidden Lands is the latest game created by the people behind Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis and Tales from the Loop. This time around it’s a fantasy roleplaying game designed with sandbox play in mind. The Forbidden Lands are actually said sandbox where the players can explore countless locations, fight the bad guys, make a name for themselves and build their stronghold. It seems like the perfect combination between everything which makes MY:0 great (check out my review!) and a classic fantasy world. Recently the first three chapters of the rules have been released to backers in English (the Swedish version is almost done), but hopefully the complete package will be available in the early months of 2018.

The Expanse Roleplaying Game
Last year Green Ronin announced that they have secured the license to create a roleplaying game based on the popular book series (and TV show) by James S.A. Corey. If you are at least remotely interested in Science Fiction you definitely should check out the books or the show. I could now add paragraph upon paragraph why I love the series, but this would be way beyond the scope of this article. Let’s just say that it was a breath of fresh air, because of its believable world and characters, and the fact that the authors really cared about the underlying science of space travel (aside from a few aspects like the super-efficient Epstein drive).
Green Ronin is going to use it’s Fantasy Age ruleset adapted to science fiction, which will probably a variant of their upcoming Modern Age game. I have to admit I am a bit skeptic if these rules are really a good fit for a science fiction setting, but I am still looking forward to this release. Even if the rules are not to my liking, the corebook and any sourcebooks will probably worth it for the background alone!

John Carter of Mars
Modiphius is currently raising funds for the production of a roleplaying game based on a streamlined version of their 2d20 system set into the world of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ book series. I wouldn’t call myself a huge John Carter fan, but I’ve read and enjoyed the first book of the series and I totally loved the 2012 movie. It’s a shame there will never be a sequel.
John Carter of Mars sounds like it could be a very fun game. Barsoom is a great setting for adventure stories and planetary romance is a genre we don’t see that often in roleplaying games nowadays. The 2d20 system is solid, if a little slow at times, but the more streamlined version used in John Carter might do the trick. Modiphius also has a pretty good track record when it comes to Kickstarters, so I was not surprised that the goal was hit in no time and it seems they hit a new stretch goal every other day. Exciting!

These are three upcoming games I am excited about! What are you looking forward to? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Happy New Year

While I am still enjoying a few days off from work (and blogging) I thought it would be nice to wish you all a happy new year. I hope you had pleasant and not too stressful holidays and survived the translation from 2017 to 2018 without any troubles. My wife and I were celebrating with friends and played the brand-new Fallout board game on New Year’s Eve which I might write about in the near future.

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Holiday reading material
As some of you might have noticed I am currently reading Fantasy Flight Games’ newest RPG called Genesys. It’s basically the system they’ve created for their line of Star Wars RPGs. It a generic system which currently supports the Fantasy, Weird Wars, Steampunk, Science Fiction, Space Opera and Modern Age genres. Example settings are included and there are rules for creating your own settings including new skills, new items, new adversaries, et cetera. To my surprise the core rulebook includes everything you need to play, so no splat books are needed if you want to run games in your homebrew settings.

Ending my break from GMing
Although I have ran two game sessions over the last few weeks my gamemastering break is still in full effect. Being a player for most of the time has been pretty relaxing, but I am itching for starting a new game soon. Genesys looks pretty interesting, but I am also looking forward to try out Stars Without Numbers Revised which I backed on Kickstarter last year. But before making any concrete plans I want to get a print copy. Unfortunately I spent too much money in the latest Steam sale, so SWN will have to wait.

So what’s new with you folks? Feel free to share your stories in the comment section below!

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition available as PDF

228084Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition was the first roleplaying game I’ve played for an extended period of time, and it’s to this day one of my favorites. Recently there was a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition RPG Book Bundle at Humble Bundle which included a PDF of the 1st Edition rules, but this was only a limited offer. But since yesterday or so, this classic is available on DrivethruRPG to everyone and hopefully for at least a few years to come. I am really glad that Cubicle 7, which is currently working on a 4th Edition of the classic dark fantasy RPG, has decided to bring this old game to the digital age.

For just $9.99 you can get your hands on a piece of roleplaying game history. WFRP 1st Edition may be clunky in parts – especially the magic rules were always a bit bonkers – but it’s a great game nevertheless. The 385-paged PDF contains everything you need to run a full campaign: countless careers, an extended bestiary, a huge number of spells from various schools, a complete setting for you to play in. I really hope they’ll add a POD option, too, since I’d love to get a hardcover version of this book even though I still own the book in softcover back from the days when it was published by Hogshead. Ahh, the memories …