Tunnels & Trolls
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Recently I came across Polygon’s Board game geeks’ review of 2015, which you can read HERE (Charlie Hall you rock!). It really is a great list and some of the Kickstarters I’ve backed are on it and deservingly so!
The team at BoardGameGeek.com did do a great job in digging into and playing a ton of games last year, and a great year it was thanks to numerous kick starters and gaming companies for all over the world cross marketing and bring new ideas and systems to the USA!
I’ll be making a poll at @CreativePPNet to see which of these your make your top one pick today and check it out HERE.
So on to the list! I know for some groups its hard to break out of your usual gaming system weither it’s Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Scion or Edge of Empire like our groups. But going outside your comfort zone and learning new games can be hugely rewarding in different ideas and points of view (I know I absolutely fell in love with the Dresden files/Fate world building idea and the Edge of Empire narrative dice!!!).
“Sherlock Holmes is Missing and Presumed Dead! Intrepid investigators are asked by the stoic Dr. Watson to take cases out of Baker Street in Holmes’s absence. Victorian streets, foggy nights, and crime most foul await. Will the nefarious plans of crafty villains come to fruition or can the champions of justice from Baker Street save the day?
“Baker Street is a Role Playing Game in which the players attempt to solve some of the most baffling crimes in history. Featuring over 30 careers, 25 unique criminal extras, and rules for making your own nefarious villains, Baker Street features a robust investigation mechanic, easy character generation, and rules for making your own mystery.”
I’ve had friends who backed the Kickstarter and play this and they let me know it is really fun, currently it’s available as a print-and-play download through DriveThruRPG.
This Next game I backed on Kickstarter and am super excited to get my hands on the final edition in hardbound:
Stealing our attention with this awesome RPG from tabletop designer John Harper, Blades in the Dark raised $180,000+ in funding last year and was selected as a Kickstarter Staff Pick! Not only that but Blades in the Dark was also the winner of this year’s Golden Geek Award for RPG of the year, and is in early access right now.
“The streets of Duskwall are haunted. By vengeful ghosts and cruel demons. By the masked spirit wardens and their lightning-hooks. By sharp-eyed inspectors and their gossiping crows. By the alluring hawkers of vice and pleasure. By thieves and killers and scoundrels like you — the Blades in the Dark.
The noble elite grow ever richer from the profits of their leviathan-hunting fleets and electroplasm refineries. The Bluecoats of the constabulary crack skulls and line their pockets with graft. The powerful crime syndicates leech coin from every business, brothel, drug den, and gambling house. And then there’s your crew of scoundrels: all the way down at the bottom rung. Can you make it to the top? What are you willing to do to get there? There’s only one way to find out…”
I love this games defining teamwork system as well as using flashback scenes to replace long drawn out planning sessions to ‘cut’ right to the action!
The Next Pick needs no decoding and is of no surprise to see:
Monte Cook’s Cypher system is a true GM’s dream system it takes the GM to being the story teller and pulls so much stress of conflict off the story that this system makes running a game super easy for a new or time stressed GM in my opinion!
“A Cypher System campaign of Victorian Horror? High Fantasy? Espionage? Galaxy-spanning Space Opera? The Cypher System Rulebook gives players loads of new rules content for their Numenera campaign, as well as everything they need to use Numenera’s Cypher System to run campaigns in virtually any setting and genre they like.”
“New and improved, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. T&T is the second ever fantasy role playing game, and the easiest to use. This book contains everything you need to play the game solo (with the many solo adventures) or with a group of friends. Includes a lot of extra material and descriptions of the worlds played in by the designer and his friends back in the late 1970’s. The first 166 pages are the core rules, followed by the Elaborations section which has optional rules and systems you can pick and choose from to add to your T&T games. “
It is a super flexible system with a ton of content in the rulebook weighing in at 360 pages of this definitive edition of a game that’s been growing and evolving over 40+ years! Available on Amazon and DrivethruRPG.com
The next few I have little experience with but asked around and after looking into them I am very interested indeed and slipping these onto my Christmas wish list!
Caroline Hobbs’ creation is an RPG has a group of up to 3 players working over 2-4 hours creating an Apocalyptic story world together, a well as the main character who will have a tragic odyssey that personally reflects the world created, in a word Epic!
“Downfall is a tabletop role-playing game that explores the collapse of a society, a cataclysm brought about by a fatal Flaw at work within it. First you sit down and build your world, then you destroy it. You tell the story of a hero who tries to save their home. But in Downfall, the hero fails.
The game works in any kind of setting, from mythical fantasy to the real world to high-flying science fiction.”
This sounds like it would be a blast to podcast with some friends!
Faith is a beautiful amalgam of tabletop RPGs, board games and living card games. The core set includes everything you need to play in its unique science fiction universe. This is a BEAUTIFUL game! Unfortunately it is currently a victim of its success as it is out of print and super rare to find! Also the game system is also available in Spanish.
The system seems pretty clever in that it plays like a standard pen-and-paper RPG, but without the pen and paper.
Another collaborative storytelling game and this one sounds so epic I ordered it right off the bat! The heart and soul centerpiece of this game is a handmade, silk-screened, five-foot-long scroll. It’s also one of the few games on the list that’s suitable for kids, and plays well with ages eight and up and the optional languages aside form English are French, Italian and Japanese!
“Magic is dying, and the Magus is dying with it. We travel together to the realm of Umbra where magic was born.
Fall of Magic is a collaborative story game in the tradition of the fantasy journey where the landscape, hospitality, and exploration of our character’s relationships take center stage.
We begin by choosing a name and title for our characters. Each turn we chose an area on the map and use the prompt there to inspire the next part of our story. The character of the Magus is shared between us and on your turn you may choose to play as the Magus, advancing us along the road to a new place on the map.
The map itself is a hand silk-screened scroll, over 5’ (1.5m) in length that unrolls as we travel revealing perilous roads, strange hosts, and fantastic locals, masterfully illustrated by award-winning artists, Doug Keith and Taylor Dow.”
And if you’re interested the rules are free online and can be found HERE.
The Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook is your entry point to tabletop roleplaying. Now you can be the hero in your own sword and sorcery adventures! This is the game played on Wil Wheaton’s new tabletop RPG show, Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana. The Adventure Game Engine (AGE) rules are easy to learn, and feature an innovative stunt system that keeps the action tense and exciting. This Basic Rulebook includes full 20 level advancement for all three classes, a new magic system, advice for players and GMs, and an introductory adventure so you can get started right away. You can useFantasy AGE to run adventures in the campaign setting of your choice or a world of your own creation. A new AGE is upon us!
Wil Wheaton has an amazing intro to the game here:
This is where will end Part one, but fear not Part Two will be out next week! And some much more awesome games to cover! I’d just like to say thank you to the Board Game Geek for coming up with such an awesome list of top games of 2015!