Weekly Indie RPG & Storygame Review Week 25, 2017

This week:

The Twitter game design advice meme, curated by Jason Pitre, a Gauntlet podcast about the 200 word RPG challenge, Ralph Lovegroves’s interview with the designers of Beyond the Wall on the fictoplasm podcast, breaking consent in RPGs by Kate Bullock, a playtest for Kids on Bikes by Jon Gilmour and Doug Levandowski; Kickstarters for Robin Laws’ The Yellow King and Hannah Shaffer’s Damn the Man; John Harper’s Star Force for everybody, new character sheets and characters for Jason Morningstar’s The Skeletons, Fast & Furious tribute games by Grant Howitt and Jason Morningstar, another Lasers & Feelings hack, and Peter Frain’s 80’s game Movie Night.

Thoughts, Blogs, and Interviews:

Ewen Cluney’s Twitter Game Design Advice Meme

+Jason Pitre has collected his favorites from the current Twitter trend (started by Ewen Cluney) of game designers posting many small tidbits of design advice here on Storify - (HT to +Marshall Miller).

Also, here’s a more complete (uncurated) collection by Ewen himself.

Gauntlet Podcast episode about the 200 Word Challenge

There’s now a Gauntlet podcast (Episode 104) all about the 200 word RPG design challenge!

Fictoplasm Podcast Interview: Beyond the Wall

+Ralph Lovegrove of the the fictoplasm podcast interviewed the creators of Beyond the Wall, +John Cocking and +Peter Williams, which may not quite be a storygame, due to its OSR core, but certainly has some storygame elements.

Also, The Gauntlet’s Pocket-sized Play podcast has a series of four short actual play episodes of Beyond the Wall which are very cute!

fictoplasm usually talks about one popular (or neglected) book of fantasy or science fiction literature and then discusses how to use the whole thing or its parts in RPGs. Always worth a listen! My favorite episodes were the ones about Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea (also inspirations for Beyond the Wall) and Dispossessed books and the one about Pride and Prejudice.

+Kate Bullock writes about the breaking of consent in RPGs with mechanisms like charm, love potions and others. Here’s the blog post itself and here on G+ people are discussing it in the comments - HT to +Fraser Simons.

Upcoming Games on Kickstarter and Elsewhere:

Kids on Bikes is looking for Playtesters

Jonathan Gilmour and Doug Levandowski are seeking playtesters for their upcoming RPG “Kids on Bikes” on Twitter!

The the game is inspired by Stranger Things, The Goonies and other shows and movies with 80’s kids encountering weird stuff. It needs a GM but no prep - the story emerges during play. Jon also says it is inspired by some of the things he loves in games powered by the Apocalypse.

By the way, Jon is a prolific game designer who co-designed one of my favorite board games of all time, Dead of Winter! I playtested a card game for him before and he’s great to work with.

Kids on Bikes already has some amazing art - here’s a few pictures of the game in play:

You can go to this Google Form to sign up as a playtester (the playtesting deadline has been extended to mid-August).

The Yellow King

The Yellow King by +Robin Laws is a new Mythos game based on the GUMSHOE system and inspired by the “The King in Yellow” short story (that also featured semi-prominently in season one of True Detective).

Damn the Man, Save the Music

+Hannah Shaffer’s Damn the Man, Save the Music! is a one-shot GMed game about collapsing record stores and inspired by 90’s movies like Empire Records and Clerks, but better (queer characters that aren’t big jokes, women talking about other things than men, and non-white characters in important roles)!

You play a group of 3-4 “underachievers, overachievers, street philosophers, and lovestruck artists united by one cause: to rescue your record store from the oppressive hand of The Man… and to keep the music playing.”

John Harper’s Star Force

You can finally buy John Harper’s game Star Force on DTRPG (5.00 $). The game was previously only available to his Patreon patrons and is set in the same universe (and uses similar rules) as his immensely popular tongue-in-cheek science-fiction game Lasers & Feelings.

You “are officers of the STAR FORCE, the elite law enforcement organization that keeps the peace across the insterstellar republic of the Consortium.”

Game Downloads

The Skeletons Character Sheets & New Characters

+Jason Morningstar’s The Skeletons has new character sheets for download that include two new characters! I love this game and would love to play Crawler or Big Head!

Fast & Furious tribute games by Grant Howitt and Jason Morningstar

Grant Howitt is publishing monthly hand-written small games on his Patreon - for June, it’s The Rapid and the Righteous, a love letter to the Fast and Furious movies.

And it looks like Jason Morningstar is also a fan - he published his (not free; 5 $) solitaire game “First Ride / Last Ride” just a few months back.

Movie Night

Movie Night is a game by +Peter Frain that is inspired by shows and movies like Stranger Things, E.T. and The Goonies and includes many alternative different setting ideas, like My Little Pony and of course, Star Wars. It also has a random adventure generator and an introductory adventure. It’s been made a free download for Free RPG day (but is still available for now). An affordable hardcopy from Lulu is also available. (HT to +Sophia Brandt)

Another Lasers & Feelings fantasy hack

Muscles & Miracles is a new fantasy hack of Lasers & Feelings (Thanks, Sophia!)

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