Category Archives: RPG

What’s New?

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.

imageEarlier 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!

150013-thumb140Recently 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?

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.

Where No Man Has Gone Before

These six words immediately conjure up one image: the starship USS Enterprise NCC-1701. It’s also the name of an excellent fan-made Star Trek roleplaying game based on Microlite20. Recently my Numenera campaign had to go on a break because a player was abroad, so I decided to run a Star Trek one-shot instead.

The bold captain of the USS HeisenbergThe premise of the game is that after the V’Ger incident (see Star Trek: The Motion Picture), Starfleet is forced to un-mothball a couple of old Daedalus class ships and man then with inexperienced crews. One of these crews contains the player characters. Fellow RPG blogger and good friend Marcus aka Chaotic GM took on the role of captain and even sported a nice yellow shirt complete with Starfleet command insigna at the game table. The party also consisted of an Andorian chief engineer, a Vulcan security officer, a Human doctor, and a psychic communications officer. Their ship was the USS Heisenberg, a revamped Daedalus class ship, which had a brand-new Warp 8 drive and proper deflector shields and two phaser arrays.

All Artworks by Sven1310<br /><br />  www.sf3dff.de
During their first mission the Heisenberg crew escorted a Starfleet Commodore to his new post at Starbase 15, made first contact with an alien species, the mysterious Maakar (which are loosely based on a species from the Perry Rhodan series), and helped to save said aliens and even the crew of another Starfleet starship. And in the good traditions of Starfleet not one shot was fired.

Overall we were all having a blast. Character creation was fast and each character had the proper Star Trek feel to it. Where No Man Has Gone Before manages to bring the atmosphere of the series to the game table perfectly. The rules are so light that they never got into the way and everyone agreed that we should continue the mission of the USS Heisenberg.

If you are now interested in checking out WNMHGB yourself, you can download it for free from the creator’s website. Please note that the site uses a non-standard port, so it might not work if your computer sits behind a corporate firewall.