Warning!

“IF YOU’RE A PLAYER, DON’T READ SECTION #5”.

Among all advices written in rpg books, this one deserves the award of most retarded one. Why? There are many reasons, but the most important one is that plenty of times people can’t predict whether they will play this game as GM’s or players. Even more: people can’t predict whether they will play this game at all. Asking to not read something is like “hey, bro, read the Lord of the Rings saga, but remember to skip the Hobbit, because there are things out there that will hint you about stuff and that will ruin your fun“.

Come on! How about you write the book in such a way that the knowledge of stuff won’t change a thing?

But that’s impossible!” Yeah, right.

How about the approach presented by KULT or Trail of Cthulhu ? You know, “here’s the set up and here are a few different explanation for how things are“.

It’s actually very simple trick. And it works. So what that players will learn one of possible explanation? Or all of them? They can’t know which one their GM follows and – that’s even better – to which extent.

Warning!

Heaven, Earth, Stephen King and Agent Cooper

Bucyrus was given a copy of some obscure game titled Heaven&Earth (3rd edition). This game is simply awesome! Imagine Twin Peaks, X-files, Supernatural and other works of fiction featuring small town full of secrets, half of which are of supernatural origin.

The mechanics is ok, nothing complicated, nothing extremely ingenious, but the setting? Man, the fictional city of Potter’s lake is just like one of those stories by Stephen King, or Dean Koontz, where author first presents some detailed background, then introduces characters and then shit hits the fan, everyone runs around screaming and the bodycount tries to break Guinness World Record.

It’s damn perfect game for a very wide arc of scenarios, from psychological horror with a hint of religious themes (“The Omen” movie), through “small community trying to survive apocalypse” (“Jericho” tv show), to classic zombie outbreak (for example “Resident Evil” video games series).

Oh, it’s also very well written – every other sentence screams “I’m an awesome concept, use me!” It’s also very nicely illustrated.

Strong recommendation.

rpg-heaven

Its homepage contains free fragments of the game – enough to not only understand what the game is about, but also to play a short scenario in the reality of Potter’s Lake.

Check it out

Heaven, Earth, Stephen King and Agent Cooper

Cosmic Patrol: a wasted potential

rpg-cosmicpatrolPlenty of people complain that things were better “back in my days“. Bucyrus thinks that we simply had more time, less to do and less to choose from, so we forced ourselves to study anything we came across which, in turn, resulted in accepting things of meager quality as “not that bad“.

Well, times changed, we have plenty of new things and alternatives popping out all the time, so we don’t have to waste time on things that require too much effort to learn. Such as Cosmic Patrol…

At first glance, the game seems interesting. It’s “retro” SF, along the lines of Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, or Rick Dangerous (Bucyrus loved that game!). It looks nice, there are interesting concepts, but unfortunately it doesn’t care enough about explaining how exactly things work and when. That makes it hard to get and results in “ummm, can’t say for sure how it’s supposed to work, so let’s say that…

Sure, there’s NO game that doesn’t involve at least a bit of “do it yourself“, or “the GM is the final arbiter“, or “you’re free to change it any way you want“. Yet, it’s no explanation for the game to be hard to understand, unclear every other paragraph and generally not intuitive.

Perhaps some massive, well supported game, featuring many players, helpful sites and other sources of information might get away with being unclear here and there, but not some small, niche product. That’s, actually, kind of… “Self-sustaining impetus“, or whatever it is supposed to be called – the idea is that a good game becomes better, because it attracts more people and they fix it, tweak it, evolve it. On the other hand, shitty, niche game becomes more niche, more shitty, since it attracts only a small number of recipients and their number is more probable to diminish with time.

Anyway. It’s a shame to see something so promising failing to deliver.

Still, the link is here.

Cosmic Patrol: a wasted potential

Outbreak Deep Space, more like Deep Shit

Bucyrus likes zombies, SF and RPgames. What he doesn’t like are RPGs that manage to take such nice elements and mold them into indigestible crap. Just like Outbreak:Undead Deep Space does.

rpg-outbreakdsBucyrus knows a lot of zombie-themed games, but none is as boring as this one…

Continue reading “Outbreak Deep Space, more like Deep Shit”

Outbreak Deep Space, more like Deep Shit

Per excrementum ad astra

Bucyrus likes cheesy movies. Like the one watched recently, titled “The Bermuda Tentacles“.

movie-bermuda
Yeah, in case you still wonder, there ARE tentacles in this movie.

It’s about the President of USA disappearing in Bermuda Triangle, which forces the  army to perform extensive search. Soldiers meet aliens on the way, fight evil robots, explore a graveyard of missing planes and ships & such. There’s lots of bad acting, “Mhurrican” moments and plotholes are big enough to swallow the Titanic.

The movie is absolute, utter crap unworthy of the time needed to see it. And yet…

Continue reading “Per excrementum ad astra”

Per excrementum ad astra

Roleplaying after the end of days

The Internet is vast and deep. Roughly 90% of it is pure shit, but every now and then, while browsing some God’s forgotten site one finds actually interesting things. For example, this is quite challenging question:

Let’s say some apocalyptic scenario happened and the Mankind’s numbers were decimated. Soon, the flames of the Doom were extinguished and the Humanity began slow process of recovery.

You survived. You managed to secure your future. Hell, you even prepared yourself for “stage 4” which is rebuilding of the society.

Continue reading “Roleplaying after the end of days”

Roleplaying after the end of days