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One roleplaying game I am particularly fond of is Trail of Cthulhu by Robin Laws and Kenneth Hite. It’s the perfect blend of old-school Lovecraftian horror with new-school rules, and its Gumshoe engine-based mystery clue mechanics are brilliant.
However, there are two things I am not particularly fond of with this game: I don’t care for how pacing works in Trail of Cthulhu. It uses a skill point pool mechanic that works excellently for extended game sessions, creating a feeling of building suspense and impending doom. But if you ever try breaking a mystery up into a few shorter sessions, you’ll quickly see the suspense factor only really comes into play when you get closer to the climax — which is a problem when a single mystery spans the course of a month. This also makes the game rather inappropriate for narrative Play by Post or Play by Email mysteries, which can take even longer than that.The game’s mechanics also don’t lend themselves well to improvisation, which is a GM style I …
Guest post by Joseph Brady
This Kickstarter is harkening back to the hallucinogenic tie-dye, post-apocalyptic, mind-warping era of Heavy Metal, Fantastic Planet, and, well, substance abuse. Labeling itself as one part Oregon Trail and one part Dying Earth, players know from the outset that that’s exactly what they’re getting into. What is It All About?
This is set up as a sandbox campaign with ample interesting locales, which has really lived up to, even embraced, its theme. This is a world where powerful cats rule a nation, elves are diseased humans being gradually mentally unraveled and called into the mists of the forest never to return, insects may rewrite an organism’s basic purpose or perhaps even their soul, and those who are many are yet one collective. Also: werepug. You want an absolutely over-the-top campaign setting? UVG has you covered in spades.
And remember: Oregon Trail. Throughout this entire bizarro landscape, the PCs really do have to ramble along in their Old West-s…
It started last year when she was two and a half. I busted out my 2nd edition Mouse Guard boxed set and showed my daughter Zoe the artwork. When she saw the fun picture dice, the map and the mice, she was instantly into it.
I didn’t actually think she would (or could) play, but on a whim, I told her it’s a game and asked if she wanted to try. Of course! So I showed her the New Missions book and had her pick one of the pre-generated characters.
She chose Kenzi. I copied a few basic stats onto a fresh character sheet and let her color her sheet’s cute mouse picture as I prepared some ideas for her first adventure.
For those who don’t know Mouse Guard, it’s a role playing game based on the comic book series of the same name by David Petersen. The RPG is designed by Luke Crane, largely based on his cult classic indie game Burning Wheel with some variations that served as inspiration for Torchbearer. It’s a beautiful masterpiece, incredibly fun to play, and is especially suited to telling…