Welcome, and well met!

I'm a fan of pen-and-paper RPG's. That's what you are going to find on this site. Sometimes there might be a blurb about the Secret World MMO; but the focus here is my drifting through Wisconsin's gaming communities.

Links will be added as cons are visited, games are played, and authoring is published.

Wander around. Grab a tankard. Relax and immerse yourself into polyhedron geekness, Wisconsin style!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Era V: 2014: A Giant Steps Back…


This is the year of Dungeons & Dragons rebirth ala Hasbro and WotC. Personally, I have a feeling that this is the point in time where folks are going to buy the core books and a lot of multi-system generic accessories, but the core additions will flounder. Only time will tell what will come…

Segue-ing off from that idea comes the fact that I’ve hit the end of what began as a ‘ten best’ type of list. Instead, I’ve looked at over 1,500 core rules spanning five decades of gaming. The crazy thing is that there is easily twice that number. I was only hitting the more or less common titles for each year!

Wow. 50 years of this nutty d20 stuff and still going strong with no end in sight. I’m wondering when the ‘new’ core rules will begin to taper off and folks will simply begin authoring more content for the already existing rule sets. Like dice and cards, there are only x-number of combo’s that one can manipulate before settling into a routine of “play genre ‘x’ in system ‘y’ for a ‘z’ type of game”. In this example, the GURPS and d20 rules fit nicely…

Horror / Thriller
Dead Teenager RPG by Creepy Doll Studios using a generic system. Play the victims in a card-based RPG horror genre game.
Legacy of the Slayer by The Game Crafter using the Legacy Game system. This card-based rpg is set in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer knockoff universe.

Punk
Lowell Was Right! - A Very Different Now by Flying Mice. Lowell Was Right! is an alt-universe SF game set in a universe where western science as of 1880 was basically correct, and all newer changes were wrong, brought up to the present day, like a Hard SF sort of Steampunk.
Neon Sacntum Playtest Kit by Grenade Punch Games. A dystopian cyberpunk post-cyberpocalypse card-based RPG… featuring cyborgs!

Sci Fi
Firefly RPG by Margaret Weis Productions. Out run Alliance cruisers and deal with bounty hunters as only a star gun slinger can.
The Gaean Reach by Pelgrane Press. Enter the interstellar challenges of Jack Vance classics.
Mindjammer: The RPG by Modiphius Entertianment.  Newly updated to Fate Core rules for the transhuman sci-fi RPG setting.
Warriors of the Red Planet by StudioDenmark. This is a planetary romance set on a Burroughs-esque Mars.
Star Wars: Age of Rebellion by Fantasy Flight Games. This is the hardcover to last year’s box set.
Atomic Robo: By Evil Hat Productions. A sci-fi Fate Core game where you play as a two-fisted action scientist, immortal robot, super spy, etc. Multi-era and pick-up-play oriented.
Dr. Who: Adventures in Time and Space by Cubical 7 Entertainment.  Third edition of this exploration into the Whoverse!
Myriad Song by Santuine Productions Ltd. Play as an adventurer travelling in the strange reaches of an alien empire.
Second Coming 2e by Modern Paradise using a custom d20 system. Aliens have attacked and humanity has spread across the spiral arm.

Modern / Last Century
High Strung being developed by Flying Mice. a game set in the 1970s, where the player characters are rock musicians.
AMP: Year One by Third Eye Games. Set in 2015, when supers begin to become publicly known.
Heroine by Ginger Goat. A coming of age game where the singular Heroine is surrounded by her Companions to bring closure to the story arc and personal issues.
Out of Dodge by Bully Pulpit Games. Designed to be played literally on a road trip, where the passengers in a car take on the roles of fugitives fleeing a botched crime scene, with little swag to divide between the lot of ‘em.
Amazing Adventures by Troll Lord Games. Second edition of the 2012 game.
Corporia by Brabblemark Press using the GRAIL 0 system. Knights of the round table battling the magic of chaos… in contemporary, corporate 2014!

Historic-esque
Building, Talking Playing: A Beginner’s Guide to Bleake Rebellion by Houseless Hills. A low fantasy, simplified version of the 2013 Bleake Rebellion game.

Humor / Toon
Fantasy Heartbreaker RPG 2e by Subcellar Games. Featuring 111% fewer typos! This is a fantasy / humor d20 system.

Fantasy
The One Ring RPG by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. Based on the LotR beginning in the region of Mirkwood. This is the hardcover of the box set released in 2011.
Castles & Crusades Collectors Edition: Black Box by Troll Lord Games. Abbreviated core rules books in a box.
D&D Next, or 5e; whichever you choose to call it! It has been whispered that this is the edition that will make or break its presence under the Hasbro umbrella. So far, the hype has been strong and most of the reviews have been ‘average’ or ‘a little above average’.
D&D PDF (free) Basic rules for play.
D&D Starter Set a box set with stripped down rules.
East Mark by eXtra-Dimensional Publishing. OK, bear with me on this one: This box set is the English translation of the Spanish-language retro-clone that was inspired by Menzter’s red box D&D.
The Clay That Woke by Paul Czege. Play as a minotaur upholding the stoic minotaur philosophy of silence.

Parallel Worlds
Qalidar by Peryton Publishing. Where there is a hole in time, there are cracks called Qalidar. Adventure in the cracks of broken reality and seek alien worlds.

Generic / Non-genre
P.E.R.K. by Dire Ninja Media. A simple, generic-setting / genre RPG system.
Insight RPG by NEVR using a generic system. This is a universal game world using a d10 system.
Simple System RPG by Dashing Inventor Games. Using a generic system that employs cards, this is a genre neutral system.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Era V: 2013: Retro retro retro! Get yer RETRO here!!!

Jordane Thiboust of Beenox criticized the term "action RPG", saying that it does not represent what core experience the game offers to the player. He claimed that "action RPG is not a real subgenre" but "the current marketing slang for [...] 'RPGs that are cool to play with a pad'", so as more and more RPGs are marketed as "action RPGs", the label becomes increasingly useless. He also pointed out the danger of creating false consumer expectations, as "action RPG" describes mainly what type of combat to expect in a game but says nothing about the overall player experience (narrative, sandbox, or dungeon crawl) it has to offer.

Punk
Shadowrun HC / Special Edition by Catalyst Game Labs using the Shadowrun 5 system. This is the 14th and 15th editions of the 1989 game.

Sci Fi
Fading Suns by Holistic Design, Inc. This is the GM’s guide Revised Edition of the space opera game.
Traveller 5e: Reproduced from the earlier editions to create a consistent whole.
Star Wars: Age of Rebellion by Fantasy Flight Games using the Age of Rebellion system.
Foreign Element by Mystic Ages Publishing using the Mark System. The Great Blackout has halted human expansion into the stars. It is up to you to discover why.
Hulks & Horrors by Bedroom Wall Press using a generic system. Explore uncharted space as a scavenger.

Modern / Last Century
The Esoterrorists by Pelgrane Press. This second edition of battling occultist’s intent on tearing the fabric of the world asunder.
The Climb by Evil Hat Productions. Climb to a virgin peak in the Himalayas.
The Day After Ragnarok by Atomic Overmind Press using the Fate Core 1 system. Set in 1948 after Truman’s atomic fire has slain the Midgard Serpent..
1%er- The Outlaw Motercycle Game by Creepy Doll Studios using a custom system. Yep, play a biker ala Sons of Anarchy.
Cover Ops by DwD Studios using the D00Lite system. Espionage! Paramilitary! Rules lite.
Classified by Expeditious Retreat Press using a James Bond 007 retroclone system.

Historic-esque
Hillfolk by Pelgrane Press. An Iron Age saga using the DramaSystem.
GURPS Locations: St. Georges Cathedral: Part of the fictional settings set of design.

Horror / Thriller
Cryptworld by Goblinoid Games using the Pacesetter system. A retroclone of the 1980’s Chill game.
Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle by White Wolf Pub using the Vampire: The Requiem 2 system.
One Foot in the Grave by Creepy Doll Studios using a custom system. Zombies in the assisted living facility!
Bath Salts by Creepy Doll Studios using a custom system. You play a CSR trying to survive your 8 hours in a call center.
Dude, Run! by Creepy Doll Studios using a custom system. Play a reality show member where mundane events are mis-interpreted as supernatural occurrences.

Humor / Toon
The Monster Hunter International Employees Handbook and RPG by Hero Games using the HERO 6 system. The first words out of my mouth was “Really? That’s the title?” A Ghostbusters clone.
Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3 by Spectrum Games using the Cartoon Action Hour system. Using ‘cartoon logic’ of the 1980’s cartoon era.

Anime
Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine by Jenna Moran is a slice-of-life game as well as an adventure game. 2013 A warm-hearted diceless slice-of-life adventure game.
Golden Sky Stories, a Japanese heartwarming, non-violent role-playing game uses resource pools, called Wonder and Feelings, rather than dice.
Tenra Bansho Zero by Kotodama Heavy Industries. A ‘hyper-Asian’ magic / tech anime game.

Science Fantasy
Volant – Kingdoms of Air and Stone by Flying Mice. was released on March 29, 2013. Volant is set on a world where some types of stone float, the mountains tear themselves out of the ground and fly through the air, people ride giant birds through the sky, with sailing ships built from floating stone, and monsters inhabiting the earth below.
Dark Heresy 2e by Fantasy Flight Games using the Dark Heresy 2 system.

Fantasy
Lords of Gossamer and Shadow uses no randomization, but has Good Stuff and Bad Stuff to influence circumstances of chance. This is a spiritual successor to the Amber Diceless system.
Bleake Rebellion by The Houseless Hills, UK using the Sortition system. Set in a fantasy / low-historic 18th century Europe.
Spears of Dawn by Sine Nomine Publishing. African-inspired fantasy iron-age landscape.
Arrows of Indra by Bedrock Games using a D&D retroclone system. Hindi-D&D world with a caste system and reskinned classes.
Atlantis: The Second Age by Morrigan Press using the OMNI system. This version has been purchased by DiLaGames.
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG by Goodman Games using another D&D retroclone system.
Shadows of Esteren by Agage Editions using the Sahdows of Esteren system. A dark fantasy world based on a French RPG system.
Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok by Pendelhaven using the Runic Game System 0 system.
13th Age by Pelgrane Press using the d20 system.
Swords & Six-Siders by Vanishing Leviathan using the Swords & Six-sider system.
Mazes & Perils by WG Productions using a retroclone D&D system.
Blueholme Prentice Rules by Dreamscape Design using a retroclone D&D system.
Age of Arthur by Wordplay Games using the Fate 3 system. Aruthurian fantasy set after the fall of Rome.
Fantasic Heroes & Witchery by Dice of Might using the OSR and OGL system.
Pits & Perils by Olde House Rules using a generic system. Formed off of the old war-games-turned-RPG concepts of the 1970’s.
Sojourner’s Quest by R.C. Ellis using generic AD&D system.
For Gold & Glory by J. Brown using a D&D 2e retroclone system.
Whitehack by C. Mehrstam using a retroclone d20 D&D system.
Grey Matter by Leonaru using the OD&D system. A retroclone of D&D.
Heroes & Other Worlds by Christopher Brandon  using a generic system. Medieval D&D-esque game world.

Child oriented
Mermaid Adventures by Third Eye Games. In this children’s RPG, take on the roll of a resident of submerged Atlantis.
Thimble by Third Eye Games. A children’s RPG where you get to adventure as a Squelk who lives in the walls of a house. Beware the car, the barking dog, and the stealthy cat!
Little Wizards by Crafty Games. This is a re-release of the French version of the children’s game of the same name.
Camp Myth by Third Eye Games. A children’s game where you get to go to summer camp with the mythical creature of your choice.

Generic / Non-genre
Risus 2.01 by Cumberland Games & Diversions using the Risus 0 system.
Bandits and Battlecruisers by Underworld Kingdom using a generic system.
Fate 4e is produced by Evil Hat Productions.
Narratives Unlimited D10 by A Maher using a D10 generic system. This is a meta-system that allows for virtually any story type.
Valiant Girls by Night Sky Games. A nano game, taking one session to play, using a card system.
Dawn of Fate by TRPG CLUB. Urban fantasy multigenre modified FATE system game.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Era V, 2012: A Return to the Now

This year was a little lighter in the RPG release universe. There were a few more leanings to games with a more contemporary flair. Some fantasy retreads and a few new versions of core systems popped onto the market (diceless, card, rock-paper-scissors, etc). More or less a quiet year in publishing. Maybe it was the Summer Olympics this year; or it was the whole Mayan end of the world thingy.

Onyx Path Publishing is founded by White Wolf’s Creative Director Richard Thomas. This company is licensee for WW’s WoD lines and Exalted, Trinity Universe, and Scion.

Nightfall Games announces that they have sold SLA Industries to Romark Entertainment (film, TV, comic, games, and other media production).

Punk / Apocalyptic

Frankenstein Atomic Frontier by Owlman. An Australian role-playing game, uses cards with players drawing a quantity equal to their trait, counting Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks and Jokers as a success. Create and play a Frankenstein creature that is attempting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.
Mystic Empyrean by Level 99 Games. A collaborative world-building / character-building game set in a Fantasy / Post-Apocalyptic.
Rogue Mage by Misfit Studios. In this biblical setting after the Time of Plagues, join with Thorn St. Croix against those who have fallen.
Shadowrun by Catalyst Game Labs. Part of a quick-start rules re-release.
Iron Kingdoms by Privateer Press. Steam-powered magic world of guns, steel, and mechanika.

Sci Fi

Fading Suns by FASA Games. In this 2.5 edition of the game, explore humanities fate among the stars.
Durance – Prison Planet by Evil Hat Productions. Play an inmate or guard to build a new life on this planet of few resources. 2012
Star Wars Roleplaying Game by FFG.
Traveller by Mongoose. Latest edition and all the supplements.
Only War by Fantasy Flight Games. For the Warhammer 40K RPG that looks at the Imperial Guard.
EZ SPACE 2012 by Tri Tac.

Modern / Last Century

In Harm's Way: Pigboats was released on July 27, 2012 by Flying Mice. This game is about American WWII submarine sailors in the Pacific, fighting a silent war beneath the waves.
Stalker by Burger Games. An adaptation of the novel Roaddside Panic, where players enter one of six locked down world locations hiding alien tech.
Colors of Grey by Accessible Games. Play as a ‘Chameleon’ member of an ancient, world-wide thieves guild in this contemporary heist game.
Hobomancer by Hex Games. It is 1930 and your character is riding the rails, protecting the songlines by keeping things in balance.
Amazing Adventures by Troll Lord Games.  1930’s pulp adventure of cultists, fedoras, and steampunk.

Superhero

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying by Margaret Weis Productions, using the Cortex Plus system.
This is a ‘retired’ game, as sales could not bolster further supplements in the line.
The game is the veneer of the Marvel comic universe overlaid upon the Cortex Plus ‘roll-and-keep’ mechanic.
Character write ups are based upon defining each attribute, skill, and power by the strength of the dice (d4~weak, through d12-most powerful). Each character has a Distinction (plot point), Affiliation (solo/buddy/team), Power Set (one dice per power), Specialty (skill mix, knowledge, contacts).
Plot Points are earned and used something like ‘luck’, allowing a character to power up abilities, increase dice pools, keep extra dice in play, or alter an incoming stress.
The Watcher (game master) has ‘doom points’ derived from a ‘doom pool’ which drop stresses into the game story that serve to activate reinforcements or (in extreme cases) may immediately end a scene. This Doom Pool defines the power level of a given game verses the power level of the hero(es) experiencing the story.
Experience points to improve dice pools are also based upon character concepts; so the Thing may earn points for being ‘moody’, and Emma Frost’s checkered past has the potential to earn points as well.

Horror
 
Night’s Black Agents by Pelgrane Press. In this world of espionage, play a shadow soldier in a world controlled secretly by vampires.
Mummy: The Curse by Onyx Path Pub. An esoteric game that is part of the new WoD metaplot.
Monsterhearts published by Buried Without Ceremony using the PbtA game system. Play as a teen with a monster’s heart beating within your body.

Science Fantasy

Eldritch Skies by Battlefield Press. Play within the alien side of the Lovecraft universe.

Fantasy

Lords of Olympus by Precis Intermedia Gaming is inspired by Amber Diceless in which players take roles of Greek pantheon characters.
Troika Moira uses secrecy to replicate chance for most actions and a double-bluff system for combat, similar to rock, paper, scissors. Can be used for almost any fantasy realm, from dungeon crawls to high-politic games.
Rolemaster Unified is a re-release of the previous versions of the Rolemaster games into a single system.
Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea by  North Wind Adventures. Enter the Conan-esque world of adventure!
BareBones Fantasy by DwD Studios. A rules-lite fantasy realm of the Keranak Kingdoms.
Synergy 1.5 the Synergy game was revamped and re-released in this updated version.
Wayfarers by Mongoose Publishing / Ye Old Gaming Companye. This is the second edition of the fantasy game.
Adventurer Conqueror King System by Autarch. In the Auran Empire, your character has retired from adventuring and have turned your wealth and power to kingdom or guild building.
Dungeon World by Sage Kobold Productions and RNDM Games. A simple, yet elegant game system for dungeon crawls.
RuneQuest 6th ed. by Design Mechanism. ‘Nuff said.
 

Parallel Worlds

Broken Rooms by Greymalkin Designs. Enter one of the 12 ‘other’ parallel worlds of the Nearside through broken rooms. They are dying and you have a limited chance to tap into their various powers…

Child oriented

Mermaid Adventures RPG by Third Eye Games. Play in the city of Atlantis!
First Fable by One Book Shelf Inc. This is an introductory fantasy RPG for young players. A free pdf that contains five books; a core book and four character books.
 
Online, the RPG’s of note are World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria release, Dragon's Dogma,  Way of the Samurai, Drakengard, Fable, Yakuza, Devil Summoner, Mass Effect and The Witcher video games.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Era V: 2011 Ugh. Gloom and Doom Year.

Like, it is SO the end of the world this year. No zombies though, at least it isn’t 2008’s zombie apocalypse redux. The films Killer Tattoo and Aeon Flux take place in this year.

Both apocalyptic. Go fig.

Z-Man Games is bought out by Filosofia.
Pacesetter Ltd’s Timemaster 2e
SLA Industries, returns fully to Nightfall Games, but continues to use Cubicle 7 Entertainment as their publisher.
ICE licensing is transferred to Guild Companion Publications Ltd. From this point, comprehensive rebranding and recovery of products from the 30 years of ICE publications (including unpublished properties) begins. HARP SF, HARP Xtreme, and the Shadow World RPG are the current releases.
Cheapass Games returns, selling their goods as PDF formats.

Punk / Apocalyptic
Mutant Epoch Hub Rules by Outland Arts. A hardcore post apocalyptic game of an age of rediscovery.
Degenesis by Posthuman Studios / Sighpress. Asteroids, next Ice Age, now a post-apocalyptic dark age.
Remnants by Outrider Studios. Ride your mecha across the Broken Lands of the desolate future.

Sci Fi
Bulldogs! by Galileo Games. The d20 / 3.5 and Fate 3 core rules for the sci fi action game!!!!!
Ashen Stars by Pelgrane Press. A space opera game using the GUMSHOE system.
Stars Without Number by Mongoose Pub. The sci fi PDF put out in 2010 is released in hardcover form this year.

Modern / Last Century
The Tools of Ignorance  by Flying Mice.was released on January 31, 2011. This game is a baseball RPG, centered around a baseball game simulator. Players play baseball player characters and create a team, then play the characters through the team's season. The title refers to the mask and padding worn by the catcher. A very small game, it is about 11% the size of either of the two most recent previous releases.
Hollowpoint by VSCA Publishing. A crime-riddled contemporary single-session game.
Kingdom of Nothing by Galileo Games. Take on the role of a forgotten person; a transient who has fallen through the cracks of life. Now they must confront the memory-chewing Nothing and re-create the intense drama that allowed the Nothing to consume them.
Part-Time Gods by Third Eye Games. Play a modern person gifted with a ‘spark of divinity’.

Horror / thriller
GURPS Horror: Sorry, SJG, if you are going to only release one new core rule, then you must get in the line with the rest. A genre toolkit designed to help folks create horror campaigns, looking at trends and tropes.
Nightmare Kingdom by Rite Publishing. Using diceless mechanics to create a setting based on a realm of pure fear.
Historic-esque
Outremer by Flying Mice. was released on July 1, 2011. Outremer is a game set contemporaneously with On Her Majesty's Arcane Service, the 16th century, but in an alt-historical world where the Crusader States survived into the Renaissance.

Science Fantasy
Black Crusade by FFG. Warhammer 40K’s sci fantasy chaos crew.
Legend Tabletop RPG by Rule of Cool Gaming. This sci-fantasy game of a post-apocalyptic world is where elves live in the hallows created by gigantic constructs that predate the fall of the world.

Fantasy
Chivalry & Sorcery Essence v1.1 by Brittannia Game Designs. This is an ‘unrelated’ C&S game system designed to provide the same flavor as the core C&S system.
Pathfinder Beginner Box by Paizo Publishing. The boxed version of the 3.5 clone!
Concquest of Nerath by WoC. This is a one-off for the D&D 4e world, where war has swept the world!
Chronicles of Arax: Solo Adventure Game by  Crystal Star Games. A sword and sorcery game designed to play SOLO.
Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG by Goodman Games. Inspired by solid, old school D&D but meshes a number of game systems (OGL, Appendix N, 3E…)
The One Ring: Adventures over the Edge of the Wild by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. A Middle Earth fantasy game box set.
Lorefinder by Pelgrane Press. A fantasy game where mystery meets adventure.

Child oriented
DO: Pilgrims of the Floating Temple: A storytelling, text-based game aimed at a younger audience. The game will take 1-2 hours.
   Character creation is simple; each player chooses a helping attribute and a ‘get into trouble’ attribute. The over-arcing goal is bound to these two attributes.
   The mechanic is based upon drawing out of a bag containing 20 black and 20 white stones –and- a ‘trouble token’ that will be placed on the character sheet when trouble affects that character.
The game begins with a letter, which defines plot hook, setting, and the plots victory condition.
   Within this letter are also 10-20 highlighted key words that must be used in the prose accounting of the game to score enough ‘points’ to achieve the Parades Ending (everyone wins). The mechanical challenge comes from the stones themselves. To make a key word count in the prose, 2 stones of the same color must be set upon it. However, the game will end when 1 character gains 8+ stones on their character sheet. Not achieving the letter’s winning condition forces the characters out of the game (the locals show up with pitchforks and chases the characters away).
   Character advancement is defined as well, being based upon growing up, rather than improving stats. This is reflected in choosing a new helping –or- trouble aspect for the character to try out. In the end of a character’s career, they are assumed to have found their fated destiny, and the player is encouraged to write an epilogue about their lives as an adult.

Generic / Non-genre
FU: Free, Universal RPG by Peril Planet. A generic game system for any setting.
Microscope by Lame Mage Productions. A diceless and GM-less generic game

That’s all I got for this go-around.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Era V: 2010: Brick, motor, and inkwells.

With the digital revolution age fully upon the world, RPGs speed up. One-shots and short scenarios become popular against the more time-requiring ‘saga’ RPGs. Oh, the longer games are still produced, but the gamer cells begin trending to fast games where the characters are pre-canned and the adventures are played out over the course of one or three sessions.

Bits and Mortar initiative.

“We love real, physical brick and mortar game stores, and we want to see them survive — and thrive — even as the digital content options for gaming become more prevalent. Today's game-buying customers want the best of both worlds: the portability of an e-book, and the lasting durability of one made out of paper, glue, and ink. They want to be able to support their favorite local game stores, and they want to be able to support their favorite publishers. The Bits and Mortar initiative is all about making sure they don’t have to choose one or the other. We want them to choose both, every time.”

A’n’SR entertainments is created, providing online distributions for in-house products.
Eldritch Enterprises formed by D&D alum Tim Kask, Frank Mentzer, Jim Ward, and Chris Clark.
The Cortex Plus system is released by Margaret Weis Productions for Leverage: The Roleplaying Game.
The Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) system is produced by Lumpley Games for the Apocalypse World RPG.

Punk
FUBAR by Vulpinoid Studios. Become a cutthroat merc out for revenge!
Remember Tomorrow by Box Ninja. A quick & dirty cyberpunk game.
Rise of Aester LARP: by Aesterlight Steampunk Studios. Includes costuming, set and prop building advice.

Sci Fi
In Harm's Way: StarCluster by Flying Mice. was released on February 22, 2010. This game is a resetting of StarCluster 2E using the StarCluster 3 system, with emphasis on the Cluster military. On the same day, StarCluster 2E was released for Free Download. In Harm's Way: StarCluster won the Gaming Genius Award for Best Setting in 2011.
StarCluster 3 by Flying Mice. was released on September 29, 2010. This is a complete re-imagining of the StarCluster 2E game, concentrating on civilians in the Cluster. It was released in two pdf editions - a Developer's Edition with special appendix and commercial license, and a Standard Edition without - and a print version of the Standard Edition. Later, a Light edition for players only was released. It was named "Best Game of 2010" by the influential RPGBlog.
Fires of Heaven by BTRC. A science fiction setting with the United Worlds against the Vorn seeming to have ended under mysterious circumstances.
Stars without Number by Sine Nomine Publishing. Play old school sci fi that feels like D&D in space.
After the War a MechWarrior edition released by Catalyst Game Labs in the line of Total Warfare.
Deathwatch by FFG. Set in the Warhammer 40K universe where you play a member of the Adeptus Astartes genetic super-soldiers.

Modern / Last Century
Leverage RPG by Margaret Weis Productions. This is a contemporary crime game based on the TV show Leverage.
The Laundry by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. In this dark horror send up of weird things from space-time, you play a member of the British secret service.
ICONS by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. A generic setting superhero game.
Smallville RPG by Margaret Weis Productions. Based on the Superman TV show.
Adventures in Oz 2010 F. Douglas Wall Publishing.
Skulduggery by Pelgrane Press. Any genre, fast play game of ‘verbal fireworks & sudden reversals’.
Untold by Wondering Men Studios. CCG’s meet RPG where there are no rulebooks, only cards with directions and stats!
The Dresden Files RPG by Evil Hat Productions. Based on the book series and using the SRD Fate system.
Progenitor by Arc Dream Publishing. A superhero game for Wild Talents 2.
Wild World Wrestling by Timeout Diversions. ‘Nuff said.

Historic-esque
GURPS Low-Tech:  Up through the Age of Sail handbook that provides GURPS stats.

Anime
Inou Taskai second edition by Enterbrain and Game Field. Japanese superheroes based on legends and ethnic cultures.
Wu Xing: the Ninja Crusade by Third Eye Games. This anime is set in the army of the Lotus Coalition where chi powers are used with sword and shuriken.

Fantasy
Blood and Tears by Wicked Dead Brewing. LARP rules for 2008’s Houses of the Blooded dark fantasy RPG.
Ythrek by BTRC. Return to this v1.1 low tech / fantasy setting.
Legend of the Five Rings Role-Playing Game  4th edition is released.
EABAlarp - a live action role-playing version of the EABA rules.
EABAanywhere - a highly trimmed version of the rules, focusing on portability and playability
Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy RPG by Lamentations of the Flame Princess. A generic fantasy setting with demonic underpinnings and weird magics.
Shadow, Sword, & Spell by Rogue Games. In this sword & sorcery fantasy (generic) game settings, you play in a customizable world awash in conflict and danger.
RuneQuest II / Legend by Mongoose Publishing
Aftermath! Magic! by FGU. This is an ‘other rules’ book where you adventure in a world after magic has collapsed.
Reign Enchiridion by Cubicle 7 Entertainment / Arc Dream Publishing. A stripped down version of the ORE system Reign rules and supplements.
Legends of Anglerre by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. Action-packed sword & sorcery game using the Starblazer system.
RuneQuest II by Mongoose Pub. The revised game from the 80’s is back!
C&C Flip Book by Troll Lord Games. The PH and Monster / treasure books printed back to back in a flip / upside down style.
Warhammer 8e by Fantasy Flight Games. The eighth edition for the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3 system.

Child oriented
rpgKids by Highmoon Games. This d12 game system is designed to introduce kids to the world of RPG’s.
Bean!  by Fabled Worlds. Simple, versatile, and silly!

Generic / Non-genre
Strands of Fate by Void Star Games. A generic genre rule set for the FATE 3 system.
Savage Worlds Starter Kit by Pinnacle.
Mini Six: Bare Bones Ed by AntiPaladin Games. This is a streamlined version of WEG’s Generic, open d6 system.

From the self-published side of things…
Nanopunk by K. Green using the FATE 3 system. Play a nanotech-imbued character and design the corporation who controls them.
Misspent Youth by Robert Bohl. Play a teen beating down authority as only street punks can, then feel the hubris ooze in. Easily a dark ‘R-rated’ game.

This years onlike RPG games include: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm,  Alpha Protocol, and the cult hit NIER. NIER is a multi-genre action-RPG with a heavy emphasis on 2D and 3D Bullet hell game mechanics. Knights in the Nightmare is an RPG with Real Time Strategy/Bullet hell gameplay.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Era V: Questing Technology of 2010 and beyooooooooooond!

The era if iPhone RPG’s is dawning. Games such as Yipe 5 and Cavern boast retro styled dungeon crawling games.

Then 2010 hit.

A quick count of roughly 70 iPhone RPG titles hit in 2010. Game books with interactive maps, hack’n slashes, MUDs, side scrolling, word puzzles, chess-based, sci-fi, Sega retro’s, and even Steve Jackson’s Sorcery!

Virtual tabletops; although not a new thing for this era, expanded in options as the technology did. Everything from game-centric tables such as Ars Magica’s Sessions to the very robust and versatile Fantasy Grounds. Free tabletops such as RPTools expand in versatility in the same way OGL expanded D&D 3.5.

MMO’s exploded and FPS games began to blur into group settings as linked consoles opened the doors for ‘face to face’ real time action games with the players never having to leave the comfort of their own homes.

With that in mind, we enter the pen-and-paper core rules released in the year 2010...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Era IV: 2009: Noir and a LOT of retreads.

Rick Eddleman pleads guilty to embezzling over $1.5 million from Depipher. The losses contributed to the company being forced to lay off more than 90 employees.

Cheapass Games awakens from ‘hibernation’ and creates the Button Men app for iPhone.

Punk
Spite: The Second Book of Pandemonium by Neoplastic Press. Enter this splatterpunk war of angels and demons.

Sci Fi
Commonwealth Space by Flying Mice. This game is set in the Cold Space/FTL Now universe, and is contemporaneous with both other games, but seen from the perspective of the Commonwealth Colonisation Agency.
Shadowrun by Catalyst Game Labs. The 20th anniversary release of the cyberpunk game.
Rogue Trader by Fantasy Flight Games. Set in the Rogue Trader segment of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. Once again, travel in time and space with the Doctor.
Eclipse Phase by  Catalyst Game Labs / Sandstorm Productions / Posthuman Studios. Set in an post-apocalyptic world where aliens infused our technology to work against us.
Diaspora by VSCA Publishing. In this hard-ish sci-fi game, players collaborate to develop a handful of worlds and the politics that function between them.
Judge Dredd RPG by Mongoose Publishing.
Traveller Mongoose by Mongoose Publishing. How to run Traveller using the Mongoose system.
Hardwired Hinterland by Tri Tac. A generic setting sci-fi RPG rule set.

Horror
Geist: The Sin-Eaters by White Wolf. Play a spirit bound into a once-dead person.
Noctum by Mongoose Pub and Wicked World Games. The 3rd edition of this survivor horror RPG.
Dead Reign by Palladium Books is a post-apocalyptic zombie world RPG.

Modern / Last Century
Mutant City Blues by Pelgrane Press. 2009
Fiasco by Bully Pulpit Games. A three-act LARP-meets-RPG modern crime noir game where relationships, needs and objects are created and resolved over a game session.
Slasher Flick by Spectrum Games. What it says on the can, folks!
Beat to Quarters by Omnihedron Games. A Napolionic Era historical RPG.
Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies by  Atomic Sock Monkey / Evil Hat Productions.

Historic-esque
On Her Majesty's Arcane Service by Flying Mice. This game is set in Elizabethan England, and uses the Blood Games II game rules, being essentially a prequel to Blood Games II.
Montsegur 1244 is a game about the fall of Monstsegur Castle, held by the Cathars. The plot is pre-scripted and leads to the question which of the characters burn for heresy, and does one of them escape into the night?
Fringeworthy by . This is the 4th edition of the alternate history game.
Chronica Feudalis by Cellar Games. In this historical game set in medieval Europe, a political, war, and social order game.

Anime
Big Eyes Small Mouth (BESM) by . This is the third (?) edition of the game.
Centauri Knights (BESM) 2009
Witch Girls Adventures by Channel M Publishing. A modern fantasy game set in the Willow-Misst High School anime.

Fantasy
FantasyCraft by Mongoose Publishing / Crafty Games. Generic fantasy game system set to the SpyCraft game engine.
Sword World 2.0 published by Fujimi Shobo, using a 2d6 system.
OpenQuest by D101 Games. A fantasy game set in the Empire of Gatan.
A Song of Ice and Fire RPG by Green Ronin Publishing. Enter Westros and play within the game of thrones.
3D&T Alpha is released, bringing the 3D&T game back from the ashes by .
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay by FFG.
Swords & Wizardry White Box by Mythmere Games. An old-school D&D flavored boxed game.
Spellcraft & swordplay by Elf Lair Games. An old-school D&D flavored boxed game.
Earthdawn 3e by Mongoose Publishing / Redbrick. The third edition of the Earthdawn RPG.
Jaws of the Six Serpents by Silver Branch Games. A dark fantasy sword and sorcery game.
Dragon Age Set 1 by Green Ronin Publishing.
HackMaster Basic by Kenzer & co.
Shard by Shard Studios. A martial art fantasy in the world of Dardunah.
Vorkosigan Saga Sourcebook and Roleplaying Game: Sourcebook of Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga. Part of the fictional settings set of design.

Generic / Non-genre
Ultimate Toolbox by AEG. A generic setting.
Hero System 6e by Hero Games. A generic core rule book.


GURPS Monster Hunter (var): Rules for modern ‘monster hunting’ gaming.
GURPS Martial Arts: Gladiators: Part of the fictional settings set of design.
GURPS Gun Fu: Part of the fictional settings set of design.
GURPS Lacations: Metro of Madness: Part of the fictional settings set of design.
GURPS Hot Spots: Renaissance Florence: Part of the fictional settings set of design.

From the self-published side of things…
Hyperborean Mice by Frank Sronce. Sword & Sorcery of the ancient White (mice) Lords.
Secrets & Lies by Daniel Bayn. A rules-light no DM rpg that emulates films of murder, blackmail, larceny, and extortion.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Era IV: 2008: The Circle Feeds Back Upon Itself…

Travel well, Gary. You will be missed. Gary Con is created from the mourning.

“I would like the world to remember me as the guy who really enjoyed playing games and sharing his knowledge and his fun pastimes with everybody else.”
-E.G.G.

This is the year that D&D 4e breaks onto the scene. Playing very much like hyper-structured MMO’s; with World of Warcraft coming to mind, this new system rebuilt the worlds of D&D. Its strengths were expedited DM prep time, using a plug-and-play kind of game build. Group-wise, the game was far more balanced and greatly enhanced team-based tactics. The down side was the sense of ‘rinse-and-repeat’ redundancy that would eventually give rise to third-party game concepts such as Fourthcore.
The 4th edition Game System License was released to the public on June 17, 2008. This public copyright license is similar to, but more restrictive than, the Open Game License (OGL) that was created for 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons. The license allows third-party publishers to create products using the intellectual property of Dungeons and Dragons. At Origins 2008, WotC brought the Greyhawk line to a conclusion, not updating the game world to the 4th edition rules.

This license differs from the previous OGL in several ways. People wishing to use this license are allowed and granted a logo that must be placed onto their products to state that they are compatible with Dungeon & Dragons 4th Edition. The license also can be updated by Wizards of the Coast and updates affect all licensees; in case of litigation the licensees must pay the legal costs of Wizards of the Coast.

Paizo Publishing introduces the “Pathfinder Society Organized Play” which would release 28 scenarios each year.
Apex Magazine breaks as a webzine from its previous incarnation of Apex Digest.
Black Industries, the role-playing division of BL Publishing (part of Games Workshop) ceases operations, with GW giving new license to Fantasy Flight Games.
Day Dreamer Interactive is founded in Winnipeg.

Punk

Sweet Chariot 2 was released on January 1, 2008 by Flying Mice.. This sci-fi steampunk game is a complete rework of 2003's Sweet Chariot, with a new dice pool task resolution system, and all new illustrations.

Horror

Trail of Cthulhu by Pelgrane Press. Updated GUMSHOE system that supports both the pulp and purist styles of play.
Zombie Cinema by Arkenstone Publishing. This US version of the 2006 Finnish game of post-apocalypse zombie-infested gaming.
Dead Reign: published by Palladium Books. Trot out another zombie apocalypse RPG!
Hunter: The Vigil by White Wolf Publishing. Hunt the monsters in WWP’s other game core books using magic and tech!
World of Darkness: Innocents by White Wolf Publishing. Play a child in this Storytelling System, who sees the horrors of the world ignored by adults.
Apocalypse Prevention Inc by Third Eye Games. Join in this horror / action game in protecting the earth from the shadow agents of the unknown!

Anime

Bubblegum Crisis by R. Talsorian Games. Set in 2033 after hardsuit blueprints become common commodities. Knight Saber groups are global.

Modern Settings (past century)

The Squared Circle: Wrestling RPG by Day Dreamer Interactive. A professional wrestling RPG.
Chimaera by Chimaera Studios. Modern age super heroes and sci fi!
Rocketship Empires 1936 by StoryART Games. A pulpy sci-fi game putting WWII in spaaaaaaace!
A Dirty World by Schroedinger’s Cat Press. Film noir rpg.
Maid: The RPG by Diamond Sutra. A lighthearted game about being a maid in a mansion.
Hot War by Contested GroundStudios. A horror-themed game based in a post-nuclear war 1960’s.
Summerland by Fire Ruby Designs. The apocalypse has come with the sudden growth and rise of the Sea of Leaves, a vast and malevolent forest that has blanketed the globe.
In Harm's Way: Wild Blue was released on March 31, 2008 by Flying Mice.. This game is specifically designed for roleplaying modern mercenary characters. It uses the base
GURPS Action (var): How to GURPS-play 1980’s action flicks.
GURPS Power-Ups series (var): New GURPS abilities for characters. 5 volumes.

Historic-based

The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchaunsen by Mongoose Pub. This is the second edition of the game first published in 1998.
In Harm's Way: Dragons! was released on October 20, 2008 by Flying Mice.. This game is set in an alternate Napoleonic Age where dragons are real and comprise the air arm of the Napoleonic era forces. It is completely compatible with In Harm's Way: A Napoleonic Naval RPG.

Fantasy

Dominion Rules by Dominion Games. 3rd edition of this historical fantasy RPG conceptual approach.
Houses of the Blooded by Wicked Dead Brewing. A dark fantasy / political game about Ambistion, Love, and revenge.
D&D 4e by Wizards of the Coast. And so the polarization of gamers finds crystallization…
Desolation by Greymalkin Designs. Set 18 months after a high-fantasy world has been devastated by apocalyptic events.
Karma Quick Guide by Bards and Sages. A free PDF download that outlines the core game mechanic for the Karma game system.
Wayfarers by Ye Olde Gaming Companye. A fantasy setting in the world of Twylos.
Pathfinder RPG by Paizo. An improved version of the D&D 3.5 ruleset.
Legend of the Five Rings Role-Playing Game (Origins Award winner) by AEG. This is the revised, third edition.
Dragon Warriors by Mongoose Pub. A re-collection of the 1985/6 fantasy series.

Generic

B3YOND game engine by PH Games. A generic RPG engine, expanding on the non-conventional gameplay mechanics of HGII, it added Reflex Time and Two World Mechanics.
Anima: Beyond Fantasy by FFG. This is a generic-setting (Gaia) fantasy game based on virtually any Anima series that can be found.
Cartoon Action Hour by Spectrum Games. The 2nd edition of the game that allows you to relive classic 80’s cartoons.
Dragon Warrior by  Mongoose Publishing. This is a slightly improved version of the earlier game system.

Futuristic

Dark Heresy by FFG. Warhammer 40,000’s RPG game.
3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars by Box Ninja. Sci-fi bug hunt game.
Shadowrun HC by  Catalyst Game Labs using the Shadowrun 4 system. This is the third publisher buy-out of the title and the 11th edition of the game.
Alpha Omega: The Beginning and the End by  Mindstorm Labs. A science fantasy game of far flung future where angels and demons wander the mega-cities.
Starblazer Adventures by Cubicle 7 Entertainment. Based on the 1970 through 80’s comic series.
Star Trek a d20 modern take on the classic TV show.
Hellas: World of Sun and Stone by Khepera Publishing / aethereal FORGE. Ancient Greece set in a space opera fantasy.
Traveller Core Rulebook by Mongoose Publishing. The most recent version.
Thousand Suns by Rogue Games. A deep space RPG.
WarpWorld by BTRC. Set in 2312 in a post nuclear apocalyptic world.
CthulhuTech Developed by WildFire LLC, printed and distributed by Mongoose. Catalyst Game Labs no longer publishes, and has returned the license.

Child-oriented

The PS238 Roleplaying Game by Hero Games. A superhero game for younger players!
Mouse Guard RPG by Archaia Studios Press. Is based on Petersen’s Mouse Guard comic and graphic novel series.

World of Warcraft: Lich King kicked off this year.
A RPS (Role Play Shooter) game titled Fallout 3, and the release of the espionage game White Gold: War in Paradise.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Era IV: 2007; Back to a LOT of Basics

2007 was the first year that more people lived in cities than in rural areas and thus can be seen as the end of the Agrarian Age.

Dragon and Dungeon magazines licenses are allowed to lapse and are not renewed by WotC. Paizo launches the Pathfinder RPG using the 3.5 SRD (via WotC’s OGL).
NeoExodus: A House Divided is an OGL campaign setting for use for the D&D game. This is the world of Exodus and is a place of fantasypunk and political intrigue.
Necromancer Games goes on ‘indefinite hiatus’ after announcing that Paizo would publish their products following the end point of a deal with White Wolf Publishing.
Human Head Studios catches fire! Fortunately, the HQ is rebuilt and up and running again within four months.
FanPro gives up all RPG licenses this year, focusing on publishing novels only.
Cheapass Games goes into ‘hibernation’.
Catalyst Game Labs is created by InMediaRes Productions as a publishing unit for

Punk

Tenra War, a ‘triple genre’ game that mixed science-fantasy, steampunk wild west, and mecha elements into a single ‘world’. This is a combination of earlier publications set within the same world.

Sci Fi

Septimus by West End Games. In this sci fi univserse, you investigate the region of Septimus, where starships disappear ala the Bermuda Triangle.
Fading Suns by RedBrick. Sci fi in the sixth millennium in this second edition.
Starcluster III by Flying Mice. A hard science space opera set in a time after Sol has gone supernova.
Traveller Hero by Comstar Media / Avenger Enterprises. This is a core ruleset for the fifth edition of the popular game.
CthulhuTech by Mongoose Publishing / WilfFire. Sci fi meets Lovecraft horror! Welcome to the Aeon War riding in a thirty-foot war machine against the unknown.
Classic Battle Tech and Shadowrun books. Licenses are tranferred from FanPro in 2008.
Battlestar Galactica RPG is released by Margaret Weis Productions. Based upon the most recent version of the television show.

Modern / Past Century

Changeling: The Lost by White Wolf Publishing. Play a modern-era fey seeking to find their identity against adversity.
Grey Ranks by Evil Hat Productions. In the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, play a teen ‘scout’ who must balance personal needs against the pulls of the national army.
Dirty Secrets by Dark Omen Games. In this modern generic game, everyone has a secret and will do anything to keep them secret.
Scion: Hero by White Wolf Publishing. In this modern fantasy, the Titans have escaped their prison and the Overworld battle rages!
Nemesis II by Bards and Sages. A d20 modern game system verses serial killers.
Aces & Eights by Kenzer & Co. The Western real-life game system.
Poison’d by Lumpley Games. A pirate rpg for adults.
In Harm's Way: Aces and Angels was released on December 7, 2007 by Flying Mice. This game is specifically designed for roleplaying fighter pilots in World War II. It uses the base StarCluster system, but has several additional genre-specific game mechanics overlain. Its emphasis is on emulating the feel of the many novels and films about WWII fighter pilots

Historic-esque

Savage World: Solomon Kane by Pinnacle. Playing in the Robert E Howard world of Solomon Kane.
Witch Hunter: The Invisible World by Paradigm Press. Set in 1698 alternate horror history.
Pirates of the Spanish Main by Great White Games. A swashbuckling pulpy game of pirates!

Horror / Thriller

Unhallowed Metropolis by Eos Press. In this horror game, two hundred years has passed since the zombie plague. Now the world is in a new Dark Age.
Fear Itself by Pelgrane Press. Play an ‘everyperson’ against the horrors of the Outer Black.
Book of Unremitting Horror by Pelgrane Press. Deal with horrors of a far more intimate nature, spawned by vice itself.
Code Black by BTRC. A generic modern horror setting.
Grimm by FFG. The hardcover book to the 2003 boxed game of the same name.
Monte Cook’s World of Darkness by White Wolf Publishing. This is the d20 version of the World of Darkness world.
Monsters and Other Childish Things RPG by Arc Dream Publishing and using the One-Roll Engine.  Not a kids game, but play a child in an action-packed game where the monsters rise and must be dealt with.

Science-Fantasy

Lesser Shades of Evil by Eos Press. In this science fantasy game where the players are disembodied god-beings in a world gripped in a new Dark Age.

Fantasy

Elric of Melnibone by Mongoose Publishing. Fight for Law, Chaos, or Cosmic Balance in this version of the Michael Moorcock world.
Ave Molech by Morbidgames. This is a re-release of the 2002 game, after a full re-work of the line.
Labyrnith Lord published by Goblinoid Games. It is a D&D clone, allowing virtually any OGL based game to be run in this environment.
Beast Hunters by Berengad Games. In this fantasy game, hunt magical beasts to use their blood for magical tattoos of power.
Epic Role Playing Game Manual by  Dark Matter Studios. A rules medium fantasy game that is focused on long-term growth.
NeoExodus: A House Divided is an OGL campaign setting for use for the D&D game. This is the world of Exodus and is a place of fantasypunk and political intrigue.
Blood Games II was released on June 26, 2007 by Flying Mice. This game is a complete rework of the earlier Blood Games, with a new dice pool task resolution system, refined magic systems, new Paths, and all new illustrations by the game's authors.
Forward... to Adventure! was released on July 29, 2007 by Flying Mice. This game is an old-fashioned fantasy romp with several new-style twists, and much random table action.
Broadsword by Deep7. A burly and robust fantasy game system.
Reign by Schroedinger’s Cat Press. A fantasy game from the national and international POV.
Rolemaster Express by I.C.E. is also a republishing of the previous rules, but in a streamlined format.
HARP: The Essentials by ICE. This is a CD-ROM of the five core volumes for HARP.
Warhammer the seventh edition of the wargame RPG side.
In a Wicked Age by Lumpley Games. A fantasy game using personal character motivations to drive the story forward.

Anime

BESM (Big Eyes Small Mouth) is published by ArtHaus Games and White Wolf using an updated Tri-Stat System. An anime game.

Child-oriented

The Princess Game by Valent Games. A fantasy game for kids!

Generic / All-genre

Basic RolePlaying by Chaosium. This is the introduction of the second edition of this generic rpg.
Suzerain by Talisman Studios. This is a generic core rule system.

GURPS Supers: A genre toolkit designed to help folks create superhero campaigns.
GURPS 3: Superiors: Asmodeus by SJG.
GURPS High-Tech: From gunpowder through present day handbook
GURPS Ultra-Tech: From near-future onwards handbook that provides
GURPS Spaceships (var): spaceship design, construction and combat. 8 volumes.
GURPS Creatures of the Night (var): A bestiary of 6 volumes
GURPS Dungeon Fantasy (var): 17 handbooks on how to reduce GURPS to essential abilities and rules for Dungeon Crawl games.

Tumblr is launched.
Online RPG games offer game altering choices such as the interlocking, five-story-arc / protagonist Odin Sphere RPG. Also, World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade drops this year.
The use of intellectual property licensing, common in other video game genres, has also appeared in MMORPGs. 2007 saw the release of The Lord of the Rings Online, based on J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. Other licensed MMOs included The Matrix Online, based on the Matrix trilogy of films, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, based on Games Workshop's table top game, Star Wars Galaxies, Star Wars The Old Republic, Champions Online and Age of Conan. A RPS (Role Play Shooter) game titled Mass Effect begins its publication series this year.