Category Archives: Just my two cents

Three Upcoming Games I’m Excited about

Although I already own quite a few roleplaying games (I stopped counting a while ago), I am usually excited about at least one or two upcoming games. At the moment there are three games which should be released this summer which keep me excited.

Cover-Mockup-2015-04-08-Opt2cThe first on the list is a game I’ve been writing about several times. It’s Monte Cook’s Cypher System Rulebook. The Cypher System was created for Numenera and was also put to great use in the more recent The Strange. What I like about the system is that it’s extremely easy to run, it breaks with a couple of roleplaying traditions and while being pretty easy it has enough depth to even convince players who prefer some crunch at the gaming table.

The upcoming Cypher System will hopefully provide us with enough material to use the system in almost every genre. From what I’ve read so far, the book will have almost 500 pages with no fluff. Since the rules themselves are pretty short, I expect countless descriptors and foci, a a whole lot of cyphers for our games. I already have a couple of ideas what I want to run with it, including a Cyberpunk game. Hopefully there will be support for cyberwear in the core book.

By the way, if you  preorder the hardcover book at Monte Cook Games, you get the PDF for free. The PDF version can also be preordered from DriveThruRPG.

Next in line is Fantasy AGE by Green Ronin. Fantasy AGE is basically the Dragon Age RPG without the setting and a new magic system. It’s the RPG for everyone who loves the rules behind the Dragon Age RPG but want to use it for other settings. While I have owned the rules for ages I just recently had the chance to play it. The AGE system is easy to learn, fast, and the stunt system is the cherry on top.

What excites me even more is the setting Green Ronin will release for Fantasy AGE later this year: Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana. Titansgrave is a Science Fantasy setting created by Wil Wheaton and Green Ronin. It’s also the game Wil is running for his new RPG show. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend you do so.

Savage_Rifts-234x300Last but not least is the Savage Worlds version of RIFTS. I still don’t think that Savage Worlds is the best fit for RIFTS, but I am cautiously optimistic. I like the RIFTS setting a lot. It’s my favorite kitchen-sink setting but alas it’s combined with a mess of a rules system. The Palladium System is playable but only barely so. From what I’ve heard not even Kevin Siembieda uses the rules-as-written, which says a lot. Savage Worlds is definitely not perfect but it fits the over-the-top style of RIFTS even though I doubt it can handle the scales. I still can’t imagine how a Rogue Scientist and a Glitter Boy pilot can coexist in the same party using SW rules. Let’s hope the guys working on it have figured a way out to make it possible.

These are the three games I am currently pretty excited about. What games are you looking forward to? Please share your thoughts below!

Sci-Fi Fridays! Part 22 – A review! What about Obsidian Portal?

You might be wondering… Did he miss a week? Yes I did! Sorry dear reader… Personal matters kept me away from the blog last week. Everything is almost back to normal now, so time for the next instalment on the Sci-Fi Fridays! series. Last week was, what I would would be the last Wanderers of the Outlands post for a while, but the campaign continues apace and I may soon be back to talking about it and sharing information and material created for it. This week, much like I did with the interview in Part 17 I’d like to review a tool I’ve been using for the campaign, Obsidian Portal!

OP1

I’ve known about Obsidian Portal for a while, I created my free account back in 2012 while searching for options to share information about my campaigns. I played around with it, and as nice as it was I ended up not creating my campaign in it. You may ask, why? My biggest reservation at the time was privacy. I don’t mind sharing campaign information, heck I do plenty of that here in the blog, but the day to day details of the game itself, a place where the players can communicate freely, unconcerned about typos or spelling, a private space to share ideas was paramount. The free version of Obsidian Portal did not offer that and I continued my search.

Continue reading Sci-Fi Fridays! Part 22 – A review! What about Obsidian Portal?

On being on the other side of the GM screen

For years I’ve been almost exclusively been in the GM seat, but recently I’ve actually had the chance to play in other people’s games. And I have to admit, I really enjoy being able to play just one character.

I guess I’ve been talking about the SF game I planned to run for ages now. But alas my preparations never reached the point that it would be finally playable. Luckily one of my players offered to run Deathwatch again, so instead of struggling to get the new game ready, I could lay back and just enjoy the show. :)

Storm WardenIn Deathwatch I play Morgan, a Tactical Marine from the Storm Wardens, who recently joined the Deathwatch. My girlfriend takes the role of Skold, a Space Wolves Devastator Marine, who loves to put his Heavy Bolter to action. Last but not least we are accompanied by a Dark Angels Librarian called Xaphan, who is as mysterious as dangerous.

The three of us already freed a planet from a nasty Tyranid infestation, destroyed a Hive Ship almost on our own, and had some quarrels with a Tau army. This time we are sent to help with the reintegration of a lost colony into the Imperium of Man. On the way to this world we also stumbled upon the strange doings of a Tech Adept on board of a Rogue Trader ship. Not even travel to our mission objectives is ever boring and uneventful.

Deathwatch is definitely a bit more crunchy than the games I usually play, but it’s fun nevertheless. But I really hope that the coming adventure will be a bit more about investigations and diplomacy than just killing hordes of monsters. Don’t get me wrong, combat in Deathwatch is a lot of fun, but I want more out of my roleplaying games than just killing monsters and taking their stuff. And as Space Marines we don’t even loot.

Far TraderI also play in a bi-monthly online game. We started with a Realms of Cthulhu adventure, but since one of the players couldn’t join us the last two times, we switched to the Traveller campaign which has been in the planning phase for far too long already. In this game I play Arlen Coronaar, a Solomonai ex-scout who just recently was recruited as engineer for the Far Trader Penthesilea. Last Tuesday the first two player characters where finally introduced to each other, and as soon as possible we’ll start with the “real” campaign.  By the way, we actually use Basic Roleplaying instead of the actual Traveller rules. We even talked about using Savage Worlds. This might seem a bit weird for some Traveller fans but for my GM and me the most interesting aspect of the Traveller game has always been the setting and not the rules.

I have to admit not being in the GM position is a welcome change of pace. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy being a GM, but it definitely puts more pressure on me than just being one of the players. And not having to run a game myself I have more free time to think about future campaigns. At the moment I am looking forward to converting my Fallout Fudged game to Fate Accelerated Edition. So don’t worry, I haven’t hung up the GM mantle yet. 😉