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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.

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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.


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.

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.


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.

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