Weekly Indie RPG & Storygame Review Week 24, 2017


Interviews with illustrator Claudia Cangini and game designer James Wallis; Haley Gordon about GMing with questions; Jason D’Angelo analyzing Apocalypse World; Kickstarters for Clink and Big Bad Con. Storybrewers’ new game Dynasty, tools for Blades in the Dark, a free Codex zine, and adventures and tools for Mouse Guard.

Interesting RPG thoughts/Interviews

Claudia Cangini talks RPG illustration

Alex Roberts has a pleasant voice and you should subscribe to her interview podcast backstory! She also does wonderful text interviews at http://bullypulpitgames.com; this week she talked with prolific and talented game illustrator and gamer Claudia Cangini. Previous interviews were with Karen Twelves about RPG editing and Brennen Reece on RPG book design and layout. Here’s a link to all of them.

James Wallis talks Paranoia, Once Upon a Time, and more

The 3W6 podcast, which is usually in German, has a new episode that’s completely in English, interviewing +James Wallis, who co-created the most recent version of Paranoia, the storytelling cardgame Once Upon a Time, The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and several older games I’m too young to know ;). An interesting look at the history of storygames. He even mentions Dark Cults as possibly one of the first ever published storygames. (Recreating that game is actually one of my personal art projects; I’m redrawing each of the cards one by one.)

Storybrewers talk about GMing

When +Hayley Gordon blogs, she always has something interesting to say about games, and this week she blogged her thoughts about being a good GM. The gist: 1. Ask questions - and listen - ALL THE time! 2. Make stuff happen and make it relevant, based on your players’ answers to your questions! That’s not all, though - she explains why, provides plenty of options how to do it, and gives examples. (If you’re a German speaker, you might want to wait for a German translation of this post that +ThorstenPanknin is planning.)

Jason D’Angelo’s Daily Apocalypse

Jason D’Angelo is writing an interesting series of G+ posts analyzing Apocalypse World 2nd Edition in detail. Reading the comments is also worthwhile, with many good thoughts and discussions.

Cool Kickstarters

Ben Dutter’s Sigil Stone Publishing is kickstarting Clink, “a non-linear, coin-based RPG” about a group of shady drifters following their creed in a customizable alternate Western setting, by +David Schirduan. Touchstones are Clint Eastwood movies and shows like Supernatural and Firefly - as well as John Harper’s Blades in the Dark.

Clink Kickstarter image
The first thing to notice is probably the sweet art by Per Folmer. From what I can tell from a quick look at the draft rules linked on the Kickstarter page, action resolution is based on a coin flip system. Players gain coins by following their creed, and they can spend coins to gain flashback scenes that they co-create with another player. Flashbacks become concrete abilities or defining experiences that can help them accomplish one of their current related tasks. They can also gain Scars (when an action coin flip goes badly), bad memories of dark moments from their past. If these (bad) Scars outnumber their (good) Flasbacks, they lose their creed and thus, their ability to gain coins.

Big Bad Con 2017

I won’t be able to go, but if the California Bay Area is your neck of the woods, you might want to take a look at the Big Bad Con 2017 Kickstarter, where Sean Nittner is organizing a non-profit gaming convention taking place October 13-15.

Useful and cool downloads!

Play dynasties competing for power over an empire in “Dynasty”

The Storybrewers are at it AGAIN! They put up a new version of their older game Dynasty for free RPG day (17.6.)!

Download it from their site here! I already received a link for the game in a newsletter for backers of their game Alas for the Awful Sea, but hesitate to put that up publicly yet. I’ll wait for the official release and add the link here. Until then, here’s a teaser video

and a video explaining the game!
This game of backstabbing and skulduggery is, I think, inspired by Game of Thrones before the authors ever had a chance to see the actual show (or read the books), it can work in any setting you can come up with, though. The first version was created in 24 hours for a contest on RPGGeek.

Tools for Blades in the Dark

+PhilVecchione posted another useful thing - a cheat sheet for “The Score”, and +EricVulgaris made backgrounds for BitD to use on Roll20 in two different styles (classic b&w BitD and antique map style).

Free “Madness” issue of the Gauntlet’s Codex zine

The Gauntlet community’s monthly RPG fanzine “Codex” is free this month! The theme is “Madness”, with a dungeon starter for Dungeon World, a Cheat Your Own Adventure scenario based on a women’s mental asylum, and several smaller stand-alone storygames and random tables, one of them a pbtA Obsessive Compulsive Disorder simulator. (The beautiful cover illustration is by Claudia Cangini, whose interview I mentioned above.) Previous and future issues are available as Patreon pledge rewards. Hat-tip to +SophiaBrandt!

Adventure seeds and helpful printables for Mouse Guard

+EricVulgaris has shared several of his Mouse Guard adventures in the past, most recently this one about transporting a bee queen And here’s “The Sickness of Sun Break” - the post also includes a “session recap […] my notes, what I thought went well this session, and what we as a group thought we could improve.”

And in this related G+ thread, +kenneth mcnay posted links to his own helpful documents for Mouse Guard - Player Turn Suggestions, a sample mission template, a campaign template, and a session cheat sheet.

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