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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…
Guest post by Joseph Brady
A couple of weeks ago, I was casually going over Forgotten Realms lore, as one does, and discovered that there was a Koryo (the old name for Korea) on Faerûn. I have been living in Korea for over ten years now, so I got rather overly excited and began dreaming up a big project to fill in the lore for a campaign setting based in Koryo.
Then, just last week, I discovered that another expat in Korea by the name of Aurelién Lainé had already done everything I had dreamt up and, as it appears, much, much more. With a finished manuscript for his Koryo-inspired campaign setting and a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign just around the corner, Lainé is sadly the clear winner: I have to hang up my gloves on this one.
So, with my dreams dismally dismissed, even feeling a bit put out, I decided to do the next best thing: check out Aurelién’s setting and review it. :) Which Koryo?
I started this on a bit of a confusing point; Lainé’s campaign setting is not the Koryo of Fa…