I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately but today I pulled myself together to work on this post. Phew! A lot has been happening lately. And there are a couple of things I want to write about.
Earlier today I noticed that Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana has already been released on DriveThruRPG. Alas I failed my willpower check and bought it immediately. Luckily it’s an awesome-looking book for a reasonable price. The PDF contains some setting information, a couple of rules for Fantasy AGE, and the full campaign Wil Wheaton has run in his latest Youtube series. I would have hoped for more setting information, but I am sure Green Ronin will release more information in the future.
Apropos DriveThruRPG, they are celebrating their Xmas in July Sale again. So if you feel the need to spend your hard-earned cash on some roleplaying game stuff, you should check out what they have to offer.
In other news I am still struggling with my space opera setting. I’ve been working on various ideas for such a setting for ages now, but alas nothing seems to feel “right”. Everything either ends up being too generic or too close to an existing setting. Sometimes I come up with a great idea, but it just doesn’t work as a roleplaying-game setting. Perhaps I should keep some of those ideas in mind if I ever start writing short stories.
Recently I started rewatching the 1970s Captain Future anime series, and even though it didn’t really help me with my space opera project, it was at least entertaining. Yes, the dialogues are sometimes pretty horrible, and sometimes it’s pretty sexist, but that’s probably because the source material was created in less civilized times. By the way, you should definitely check out the soundtrack of the German version of the series, because it totally rocks!
Recently I read about Worlds in Peril, a superhero game powered by the Apocalypse World rules. Has anyone of you already played this game? Obviously you can learn the rules by reading a comic included in the book. Neat!
I have to admit that while I enjoy these games from the player perspective, I haven’t really wrapped my head around the GM side of things. Do you have any advice for me?
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.
The 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.
Last 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!
On Saturday I had the chance to play the Dragon Age RPG by Green Ronin at a local convention. Initially I planned to run two sessions of Into The Odd, but we didn’t find enough players for the second game, so I decided to play some Dragon Age instead.
I’ve owned the rules pretty much since it has been released, but alas I never had the chance to give it a try. So I was pretty excited when I was given the chance to actually play it. The GM had prepared six characters: two rogues, two mages, and two warriors. I picked one of the mages, who turned out to be a human circle mage with a focus on primal magic.
Playing a mage is a lot of fun in Dragon Age, especially because there’s a chance that things can get terribly wrong. My most powerful spell had a slight chance of miscasting. During the game this spell misfired once, but luckily it just damaged my Marbari warhound instead of turning my character into an abomination.
The rules are extremely easy to understand. You roll 3d6, one of those is the dragon die, and if your roll result is equal or higher than the target number you succeed. The dragon die comes into play each time you roll doubles when making an attack roll. In that case the dragon die shows the number of stunt points you can use for that action. Stunt points allow you to move yourself or your enemy, add additional damage, ignore armor, reduce the spell cost of the spell casted, and more. Because of this, the combat rules can be kept simple, but you get additional option from time to time, which make things more dramatic and exciting.
Recently Green Ronin has released the Dragon Age RPG rulebook, which combines the rules found in all the three boxes and adds a new adventure. The PDF is available right now, the hardcover book is still in its preorder phase. I’ve put the PDF on my wishlist, and I am determined to get a copy of the hardcover book as soon as it reaches Germany. Now I just need to find a couple of people who want to play the game with me.