As I’ve said before, miniatures in my games a relatively new addition, only since 2001 when we started playing Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition. I was not weaned into gaming through minis; I did not migrate from wargames to RPGs, instead I jumped right into gaming and was pretty much self-taught, so I never used miniatures. In fact I resisted! When D&D 3rd edition came out I realized the game required some sort of miniatures or counters (the arguments can be made that it CAN be played without them but indulge me for a minute) so I reluctantly dug out my old HeroQuest and Battle Masters miniatures and got to playing.
I figured I had a pretty diverse set of miniatures from these two games. True the Battle Masters minis had unit bases with various miniatures grouped together, but I solved this by getting some foam board, cutting out bases and inserting the miniature on the base. I packed them on some craft supplies boxes and I was set. I told myself I needed no more minis.
See, I had friends who owned a LOT of minis. I had played some Battletech and Epic but always with their miniatures, and I had seen the obsession with these little then lead, and later pewter, figurines. I had flirted with the idea of painting them, actually ordering a set of dwarves and skavens and trying my hand at painting them… Let’s just say the results were less than flattering. Unpainted miniatures looked so, unattractive that I was uninterested in them, so I figured that with no natural talent I was immune to the lure of miniatures.
Last weekend I have played L.A. Noire the latest video game created by Rockstar Games and Team Bondi. The game tells the story of LAPD detective and WW2 hero Cole Phelps. It’s set into the late 1940s and shares a lot of tropes with movies from the “film noir” genre.
And as it is often the case playing the video game made me think about the “noir” genre in RPGs. Of course there’s “Thrilling Noir Stories”, the rules-light game I wrote last year. But there are surely more games along those lines.
What would you consider a “noir” game and what are your favorite games of this genre? I also faintly remember that there is a game that combines the tropes of classic noir stories with urban fantasy, but alas I have forgotten the name. Could you guys help me out?
As with all the “Ask The Readers” posts I am very interested in your opinions. Please post your thoughts in the comments below. Please share your favorite “noir” games with us!
Alternate Title – Everybody Needs Some Leverage
Well, after quite the long hiatus from the world of the internet, I’m back again, this time to finally finish what I started so many weeks and months ago. I finally bring to you my full review of the Leverage Role Playing Game by Margaret Weis Productions. The company that developed the Cortex Plus rules and has brought you such licensed RPG’s as Smallville (which I reviewed here before), Supernatural, and even Firefly, this time brings you their rendition of the Leverage Television Series from TNT.
For those of you not familiar with the Leverage TV show, I’ll try to break down the premise for you: it’s a heist show; I like to think of it as 1/3 Robin Hood, 1/3 Ocean’s 11, 1/6 A-Team, and 1/6th Mission Impossible. If none of those references mean anything to you, you can think of it as a show about a team of specialist, criminal con artists, who work together in order to bring the big evil corporations and rich people of the world to justice for the wrongs they commit against the general, and helpless public. This time around, “the bad guys make the best good guys.”
The Leverage RPG is a licensed take on the TV show. If you understand the premise of the TV show (which by the way is fantastic) then you pretty much get the idea of the game. The RPG itself is a rules light-ish story/character focused game which plays out very much like a TV show would. You play the game in scenes and beats; when the action happens, the beat is where that action goes down.