Old School Renaissance is a wonderful trend. I don’t know it too well myself, but every time I take a peek or venture a little deeper into the jungle, I find endless adventures, ideas, hacks, additions, and other stuff that all seems very cool. That, of course, means that it can be really difficult to spot the stuff that’s the best for you.
I’ve looked into a lot of games. Many of them promise room for imagination and a return to a rules-light approach, but to me, they don’t live up to the promise. Still, I have kept looking. To find a treasure. A real treasure: a game that would encapsulate OSR ideas and energy but whose design felt modern enough.
With David Black‘s The Black Hack, I may have found what I was looking for.
As Lauri said in his review, I have never played or read any edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay or WFRP. My own experiences in RPGs are mostly horror and then American indie games during the last 10 years. My tastes have been drifting as of late, though, which is why I was eager to set my eyes upon a relaunch of a British classic.
Disclaimer: Cubicle 7 was kind enough to send us a pdf for review.
To my tastes, science fiction in RPGs and television is too often about adventure and excitement. The scifi that grabs me, though, is about ideas and their impact on life and society and thought. Joshua A. C. Newman‘s RPG Shock: Social Science Fiction is built on this very premise. I tried it out with a couple of people I’d never played with, and who hadn’t had any experience with games as Forge-y as this. The experience was two-sided: fun and cerebral on the one hand, heavy and somewhat disconnected on the other. Continue reading →
I started a 13th Age game late this summer. I like the world and I admire the design, so I wanted to try it out. The sessions, however, were quite far apart, which was a clear signal that something wasn’t quite right. I wanted to continue the story of the characters and talked the players into converting them to Fate Core; now, I want to share my observations on how system matters. Continue reading →
If you ever went to Ropecon in Dipoli you know that the place is hard to forget, with its architecture of stone, glass, light wood, dark metal, and its hostility to straight angles. It offered a milieu for roleplaying (and other things) that felt home-made, welcoming, and original, but still professional enough. It wasn’t perfect and like everything that’s dear, you both loved and hated parts of it. The sucky bits were parts of the charm, so much so that I can’t even bear to write anything stronger than “sucky bits”.
As a child I couldn’t watch movies where dogs died. I watched First Blood, I watched Omen II, I watched Robocop (heavily cut); I did feel sympathy for those in pain, but nothing terrified me more than the thought of a dog dying.
Again, there was a short-form scenario contest at Ropecon. I managed to play in six of them, including all three that received a prize. I gave some feedback to the designers on individual games, but now that I can see the bigger picture, I’d like to point on some commonalities and offer critique that I hope will lead to more fun for everyone in the future. Continue reading →
In mere three hours, we created our group of scoundrels and planned and executed an assassination. John Harper’s roleplaying game Blades in the Dark, dear readers, is awesome. This is my experience of our first session. Note that this is not a review nor an analysis of the design, just a description of a subjective experience. Continue reading →