Tag Archive | "indie rpgs"

Stunning Eldritch Tales RPG Review

Posted on September 30, 2008 by

Four Heart-Pounding Pulp Adventures for Trail of Cthulhu

The first supplement for Trail of Cthulhu this book has four new adventures written by Rodin D Laws. These pulp-style adventures are a good companion for the core book, helping folks get started with the Gumshoe system from Pelgrane Press. The book itself is 82 pages (including the handouts) and has a cover by the talented Jerome Huguenin. Most of the book’s layout is a three-column format with occasional sidebars and dark black-n-white images that show off some of the scenes for each adventure.

On with the adventures…One of the things I’m going to try to avoid in this review is revealing too many details about the adventures and the mysteries within them. That way, folks will still be surprised when they get the chance to play along. Hopefully I’ll still be able to provide enough information to let you know how useful the book is and whether or it will add to your Trail of Cthulhu game.


Zombie Cinema Game Review

Posted on September 26, 2008 by

Zombie Cinema is a storytelling game of the Living Dead. It allows players to explore a world that they create based on the zombie classic Night of the Living Dead. The goal of the game is to tell a compelling story of your characters facing zombies. A compelling story will always win over a character making it out alive at the end of your movie.

The rules of the game are rather simple. There are 3 types of character cards that you choose from, but there is no limit to how many you can choose, as long as your character is compelling. You then flesh out a background for your character, and can go as in depth as you want it to be. Your characters start at their starting point, and the zombie marker starts at its place. A red marker is used to show who the director of the scene is. The director sets the scene and is the decision maker for any non-character conflicts that may arise. The director lets the characters set as much of their scene as they want.

Review by Crystal Mazur


Spellcraft & Sorcery RPG Review

Posted on September 12, 2008 by

There has over the last couple of years been a resurgence of various “Old School” games to hit the market. We have companies dedicated to giving us the feel of the first time we have gamed with newer rulesets, companies that give us updates on old rulesets, and companies again that publish supplements for older games. The fact that these companies can co-exist in this market must mean there is at least enough financial interest to give this resurgence some credibility.

Review by Timothy Brannan


Noumenon Sale!

Posted on August 23, 2008 by

Noumenon is a role-playing game of mystery and abstraction. Players assume the roles of the Sarcophagi, strange insect-like creatures trapped within the Silhouette Rouge. During their adventures, players will encounter bizarre entities and explore strange locations. The Silhouette Rouge, Noumenon’s setting, is detailed enough to spark the imagination yet open enough to allow customization. In Noumenon, player cooperation is key. Noumenon uses a domino-based task resolution system that enables players to build upon each other’s successes.

We have a small selection of books left over from GenCon and this is your chance to scoop them up while they last. Each book will be autographed by Monica Valentinelli, contributing author.


Greg Stolze “A Dirty World”

Posted on August 22, 2008 by

Greg Stolze (REIGN, A Hunger Like Fire) has recently released a new game called A Dirty World.

The black and white images conceal a world of baffling gray moral complexities. Noir is about secrets, deception, betrayal and hidden vice. “A Dirty World” rebuilds the One Roll Engine from the ground up to support those themes. Action has consequences, but it’s the only way to make progress. But be careful: Your character’s effectiveness hinges on the choices he makes. It doesn’t matter how nice you say he is: If he acts like a rat, soon a rat is all he’ll be able to be.

Today, Greg takes part in our ongoing design project and tells us how A Dirty World came together and what his goals where while writing the game.


Flash Fire Mini-Reviews (GenCon Wrap-Up)

Posted on August 22, 2008 by

We’re back from GenCon and so are the Flash Fire Mini-Reviews.

This week we’re going to take a look at some of the cool new books we picked up over the weekend in Indianapolis. This mix of Horror and Dark Fantasy game products from large publishers and small press shows off just a few of the interesting items that were available at the convention.

I’ll be upfront and admit I have not completely read these titles yet. GenCon was only a few days ago and some of these books are quite hefty (Starblazer Adventures alone is 600+ pages). So, these are first impressions and notes from playing demos at the convention.


Jason Morningstar “The Roach”

Posted on August 19, 2008 by

The Horror Eassay Project continues this week at Flames Rising with game designer Jason Morningstar (who just won a Diana Jones Award for Grey Ranks). For the project Jason is telling us a bit about the design process that went into The Shab Al-Hiri Roach RPG.

The Shab-al-Hiri Roach is a dark comedy of manners, lampooning academia and asking players to answer a difficult question – are you willing to swallow a soul-eating telepathic insect bent on destroying human civilization?


Eloy LaSanta “Apocalypse Prevention Inc.”

Posted on August 12, 2008 by

Our horror design essay project continues. Last week was Monica Valentinelli’s Initiation to Exquisite Replicas and other essays can be found in the Articles page here at Flames Rising.

Next up is Eloy LaSanta telling us about his new game Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. and how he created his company Third Eye Games.


Judd Karlman “Dictionary of Mu” Interview

Posted on August 6, 2008 by

The Dictionary of Mu, a pulp setting for The Sorceror RPG, was published in 2006 and became and instant hit among the indie games community for its blending of pulp, horror, low-fantasy and science fiction.

I recently contacted author and game designer Judd Karlman about the Dictionary, and he graciously agreed to answer my questions about this unique and imaginative book.

-Interview by Michael Erb


Exquisite Replicas RPG Review

Posted on August 4, 2008 by

Exquisite Replicas is the latest game from Abstract Nova, who specialise in surreal off-the-beaten-track games such as Heaven and Earth 3rd edition, Aletheia, and Noumenon. ER shares this surreal quality, but couples it with horror. This is not the gore-laden horror of zombie films (though there are creatures in the game which you wouldn’t want to come across on a dark night), but the horror of losing your mind, or a distinctly unsettling feeling that you know something’s wrong, but can’t explain (even to yourself) why, and you feel powerless to do something about it.


The Play Collective, GenCon 08: Bigger, Bolder, Tougher!

Posted on August 2, 2008 by

Yes, at Gen Con Indy 08, we’re back!

The Play Collective returns for its second year, a juggernaut of gaming goodness, enthusiasm and energy! And this time, we’ve brought a friend…

This year the Play Collective and the bold adventure that is the Ashcan Front have joined forces to grow our space together. You’ll be able to browse the fine works on display in our half of the booth, then simply stroll a few feet to finger through the assembled ashcans offered by the Front.

The members of the Play Collective are brought together by our passion for independent publishing, creation and design. We want to share our enthusiasm, inspiration and practical advice. If you have a great idea for a game and wonder how to shepherd it through design, presentation, marketing and sales then you need to be right there at our booth, talking to us.


Spirit of the Century RPG Review

Posted on August 1, 2008 by

Only the brave men and women of The Century Club stand between villainy and humanity, and they’re not going down without a fight.

‘‘Spirit of the Century: A Pulp Pickup Roleplaying Game’’ by Evil Hat Productions is a fast-paced, character-driven RPG that seeks to capture the feel of the old, over-the-top dime-store novels where the pulp genre first flourished.

Characters can range from machine-gun wielding dilettantes to two-fisted mystery men to brilliant (or mad) scientists or spiritual seekers of truth.

Review by Michael Erb


Epic Role Playing Quickstart Guide

Posted on July 30, 2008 by

Dark Matter Studios, producer of the well-received fantasy rpg Epic Role Playing, has released its latest offering, the Quick Start Guide in PDF format. A sleek and maneuverable 100 pages, the QSG is a perfect intro for players wanting to know more about the ENnie Award nominated ruleset.

This PDF guide is a down-and-dirty primer to the Epic Role Playing game system. Easily accessible in electronic format, the Quick Start Guide is ready to introduce interested players to the game. As much information as possible has been compressed into this introductory guide book: core rules, character creation process, skills and experience, arcane magic, treasure, teasers from the full game system and more.


Don’t Lose Your Mind Preview “J”

Posted on July 29, 2008 by

J is for Jungle

A few weeks ago we brought you a preview of Don’t Lose Your Mind called A is for Ants. Now the folks at Evil Hat Productions have offered up a second look at this new book.

From author Benjamin Baugh (Monsters & Other Childish Things) comes Don’t Lose Your Mind, a Don’t Rest Your Head supplement that explores the darkest depths of Madness for your game.

Download the preview pdf: Don’t Lose Your Mind Preview “J”


Summer Revolution and IPR ENnies List!

Posted on July 28, 2008 by

Ennies voting is live!

In order for indie and small/micro press games to have a chance and a voice at the Ennies, we need every single one of you reading this to get on over there and vote. Please participate! Earlier is better, of course, but you have a week. And please don’t try to vote multiple times. We’d rather have your honest support!

Here’s the “indie-focused” ballot, as posted on the Summer Revolution last week. Show your support! Become a hero of the Revolution!


Pre-Order Cold City, Version 1.1

Posted on July 28, 2008 by

Contested Ground Studios is delighted to announce the release of an upgraded version of their hit Cold City RPG.

Cold City v1.1 takes all the information from the original book and combines it with the Cold City Companion to create one comprehensive source for Cold City games. In addition to all of that, there’s a new, revised system chapter that offers smoother gameplay and more guidances for participants.

There’s internal artwork by Stuart Beel (SLA Industries, Changeling, Werewolf and many other RPGs and CCGs ) and Paul Bourne (3:16, a|state, Hot War, Piledrivers & Powerbombs), offering a great visual experience.


InSpectres RPG Review

Posted on July 28, 2008 by

“InSpectres” is a role-playing game of horror and comedy written by Jared Sorenson and published by Memento-Mori Theatrics. Players take on the roles of supernatural investigators who are part of a franchise, ala “Ghostbusters.” The players control not only their characters, but also the business itself, allow it to grow financially, physically and in terms of contacts and clientele. A game master sets up the story and calls for different die rolls at different times, controlling all of the non-player characters in the game.

Review by Michael Erb


Donar’s Hammer (Godlike) RPG Review

Posted on July 22, 2008 by

“Donar’s Hammer” is the first of the smaller supplements for “Godlike” RPG, and provides an introductory scenarios as well as optional rules for your “Godlike” game.

Set in Sicily in 1943, players take on the role of a group of Allied Talents that come face to face with a group of Axis Overmen protecting a talent called Mjollnir, the name of the norse god Thor’s mythic hammer. What begins as a simple seek-and-destroy mission instead becomes a fight for survival and the soul of a small town.

Review by Michale Erb


Zorcerer of Zo RPG Review

Posted on July 18, 2008 by

“The Zantabulous Zorceror of Zo,” by Chad Underkoffler and Atomic Sock Monkey Press, is a game of adventure and wonder set in a world of fairy tales. But the land of Zo is more than just pixies and knights. The game includes classic story elements from almost every childhood fantasy, from “The Wizard of Oz” and “Alice in Wonderland” to “Peter Pan” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

The game uses Underkoffler’s Prose Descriptive Qualities (PDQ) system, which is also used in the super-hero RPG “Truth & Justice” and the manic “Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot: the Roleplaying Game.” In PDQ, characters use Qualities to represent their abilities. Qualities can be anything from skills to beliefs to personality quirks.

Review by Michael Erb


Hot War RPG Now Available!

Posted on July 17, 2008 by

London. Winter. 1963.

It is a year since the Cold War went hot.

And this was not just a nuclear war. Far more sinister, darker weapons were deployed from the shadows.

Survival and re-building are all that matter now. But human nature and tragic circumstances mean that everyone has their own ambitions.

…a Government desperate to hold on to what remains of the country.

…military forces who wish to expand their power and influence.

…frightened and brutalised refugees who simply want a place to call home.

Into this maelstrom steps the Special Situations Group, a motley band of men and women tasked with the jobs too dirty or dangerous for anyone else.


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