Category Archives: Reviews & First Looks

RPG a Day 2015 Challenge – Days 1, 2 and 3

I’ve been absent from the blog way too long… Thankfully our fearless leader has kept toiling at it on his own for a while now. RL has really kept me away from posting, but not from my love of games. I still run my weekly session, and remain active in the local gaming community.

Last year I participated in the RPG a Day, but mostly in Facebook. This time around I’m joining the #RPGaDay2015 organized by Autocratik in his blog and posting it here on Stargazer’s World!

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Since I began yesterday, August 2, a day behind I posted my entries for Days 1 and 2 together on Facebook, and separately on Twitter. for Day 3 I’m compiling all three and posting them here on the blog. On the following days I will be sharing my daily entry here in the blog, so look for them and join in the fun if you are interested. I would surely love to know what your takes are on these entries.

Without further ado, here we go!

Day 1 – Forthcoming game you are most looking forward to

torg_eThe answer to this was easy a couple of weeks ago, Savage Rifts BUT, a game that originally came out at almost the same time way back when I was in high school has taken the spot, TORG Eternity. I know almost nothing except for the teasers and the two images of Dr. Mobius (there on the left!) and The Gaunt Man, but I’m on board. Can’t wait!

Day 2 – Kickstarter game most pleased you backed

133973I’ve backed a LOT of great games via Kickstarter, so coming up with just one is hard. My favorite game supplement I’ve back via KS is Calidar in Stranger Skies by Bruce Heard. It’s hard when you catch lightning in a bottle as he did with the Voyage of the Princess Ark, but he did again with the amazing Calidar, it is equal part nostalgia, and an exciting new setting. If I had to go with a full game, and it is the 2nd place after Calidar, it would be Silent Legions by Kevin Crawford.

Day 3 – Favorite new game of the last 12th months

pic2467204Great minds do think alike, and in this case it is a dear friend, Daniel Perez. There is one game I originally learned about because of a game he once ran, and have since discovered my friend Sara is also a fan, Prime Time Adventures. It is a different type of game form the usually crunch heavy or medium I run, but the concept is terrific. I was a backed of the Kickstarter for the latest edition, and I’m really pleased with it. This is a game I need to run! My second choice would be End of the World:  Zombie Apocalypse by Fantasy Flight Games.  I really like how the game mechanics handle the tropes of the genre.

So those are my first three entries in the #RPGaDay2015 challenge! See you all tomorrow for Day 4.

First Look: Apocalypse Prevention Inc. 2nd Edition

imageBack in 2011 Eloy Lasanta of Third Eye Games graciously provided me with a review copy of his roleplaying game Apocalypse Prevention Inc. Recently he released a 2nd edition of his game, so he asked me to have a second look.  You can check out my review of the first edition here.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the 2nd edition of API is a much better looking book (or PDF in the case of the digital edition). The cover artwork gives you a great impression of what the game is all about. In API you play the hard-working employees of the Apocalypse Prevention Inc., the only organization standing between us and impending doom in a world where the supernatural is a thing. Think of Men in Black but with the supernatural instead of aliens. The other thing the game has in common with MiB is the humor. API doesn’t take itself too seriously. Yes, there can be horror, but it is always contrasted by some tongue-in-cheek humor.

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The layout of the 231-paged PDF is a small improvement over the 1st edition. The “faux clipboard” look works pretty well in my opinion. The artwork is pretty nice too and was obviously created by the same artists as in the previous edition. At first I thought a couple of images were reused, but on a second look I noticed that it’s actually all new artwork especially created for this edition.

I have to admit I haven’t had the time to give everything a closer look, but I noticed a couple of changes from the 1st edition. The most obvious addition are the new races. Players get to choose from a couple of new races including (but not limited to) the dragon-like Draconi, Hunchbacks, the devilish Inciters, the slimy Mucks, and the metallic Synchrons.

Skills have been overhauled as well. Fighting skills have been included in the general skill list and some skills have been combined into new ones. While I was leafing through the book I got the impression that the 2nd edition is a bit lighter and more streamlined than the 1st edition.

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But don’t get me wrong, API’s mechanics are still pretty crunchy and especially combat offers a huge amount of options. Overall the game seems to be all about providing players with a lot of interesting options. The number of playable races is quite huge, there are countless gifts and drawbacks that allow you to further customize your characters and in addition to that the game has pretty large sections on Fighting Styles, Cyberware, and Magic.

Having that many options also means that you can easily use API 2nd edition to run games in different setting. You don’t like some of the races? Just throw them out! You prefer a cyberpunk game with no magic? No problem! Even though the game mixes horror and comedy, you can probably focus on the one or the other.

So is API 2nd Edition worth you money? If you already own the 1st edition and liked it, I’m pretty sure you’ll love the new edition. The rules have been overhauled and there are a lot of new options. It’s also easier on the eyes as well. If you haven’t checked out API at all, I recommend giving API 2nd edition a closer look.

The PDF version of Apocalypse Prevention Inc. 2nd Edition is available through DriveThruRPG and sets you back $14.99.

Preview: Cypher System Rulebook

Recently a couple of fellow bloggers had the opportunity to look at Monte Cook Games upcoming Cypher System Rulebook. Since I wasn’t among the lucky ones, I got in touch with Shanna Germain and she was nice enough to tell me who to contact. And lo and behold, a couple of hours later, I had the PDF in my Monte Cook Games store account. Excitement ensued!

So what’s the Cypher System? The Cypher System is the rules system powering both Numenera and The Strange. The Cypher System Rulebook is a variant of those rules designed to fit various genres. With this book you can play games in the Modern age (with or without supernatural elements) or in the Science Fiction, Superhero, Fantasy, and Horror genres.

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Overall the book is gorgeous. As with the other Monte Cook Games products’ it has a clear and easy-to-read layout and awesome artwork. I can’t wait to get the printed version as soon as it hits the shelves! The PDF contains 416 pages, so the hardcover book will be a veritable  tome. Since it contains no setting information it’s all rules. But don’t fret, the actual rules are only a couple of pages. The rest of the book focuses on how to run the game and contains countless foci, descriptors, and cyphers.

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