Game Design

Champions of Time Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 March 2018 - 10:00am
Out in the far reaches of the galaxy, a set of powerful gems control all of space and time. Of course, such a group of stones is going to attract attention, with every form of being wanting to get their hands on them. But more than just some random slug-fest, a fighting league has been […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How Inmates Play Tabletop RPGs in Prisons Where Dice Are Contraband

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 March 2018 - 9:00am
Gaming is pretty universal. You can find people doing it just about everywhere. That includes behind bars. Yes, even those in prison enjoy rolling up characters and going on adventures. But how do they “roll up characters” when dice aren’t generally allowed? Well, in this article from Vice, they go inside and see how the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Job Openings Available At Talk Wargaming

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 March 2018 - 8:00am
Would you like a job in the gaming industry? Maybe you don’t feel you’re cut out for game design, or you’re not interested in doing warehouse work, and your painting game isn’t quite up to par. There’s still opportunities for you. Talk Wargaming is looking to add to their team, hiring for such positions as […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Cryptozoic Running Cult: Choose Your God Wisely Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 March 2018 - 7:00am
There’s a lot of deities out there. Priests and cultists are always trying to find more recruits to join their religion. With more followers comes more power for your god. It’s a race for not just the souls of those in the cult, but for everyone. That’s what you’ll be doing in Cult, the new […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Leaving CDProjekt RED, a first step in the dark (Part 3) - by Ryan Pergent Blogs - 1 March 2018 - 6:23am
The 3rd part of a 4 parts series. How I created my company while still having a full-time job at CDProjekt, and the chain of event that would see me quit.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

An Examination Into Environmental Storytelling - by Josh Bycer Blogs - 1 March 2018 - 6:23am
Environmental Storytelling is a concept that most designers know it when they see it, but for today, we're going to examine what it means for video games.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Doing an HD Remake the Right Way: Chrono Trigger Edition - by Lars Doucet Blogs - 1 March 2018 - 6:04am
The Chrono Trigger "HD re-make" has all the same problems as FFV and FFVI. Let's talk about it.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

River Horse Previews Shrikethorn For Pacific Rim: Extinction

Tabletop Gaming News - 1 March 2018 - 6:00am
Ok, so you’ve got your giant robot. But besides joyriding across the countryside (using buses as skates, because of course), what are you going to go do with it? How about fight giant monsters? Yeah, that sounds like a plan. And River Horse is showing off the first of the monsters (or Kaiju, if you […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Words on a Screen: More Than Words

RPGNet - 1 March 2018 - 12:00am
The benefits of A/V.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Crazy Commute: A Bumper-to-Bumper Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 28 February 2018 - 3:00pm
I love driving. I honestly do. But give me an open highway at night as opposed to having to battle with all the other folks trying to make their way to and from work (that’s why I get to the office at 5:45am and leave at 3pm). So, I do what I can to avoid […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Foreplay Card Game Available Now In Print-and-Play, Coming to Kickstarter soon

Tabletop Gaming News - 28 February 2018 - 2:00pm
There’s a lot of history of cancer in my family. So I’m expecting to go for screenings and such. Heck, I should probably be doing those now. Well, there’s a new card game that can help. It’s also designed for fun. So, I mean, we’re not prudes here at TGN, but suffice to say, Foreplay […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

NecroMech Alternate-history RPG Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 28 February 2018 - 1:00pm
The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did more than instantaneously destroy those cities. It also created what has become known as the Rip. This also awakened latent psychic powers in people that can be enhanced by grafts. So, far from ending the war, it has only caused it to move in […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mini-Expansions Now Available For Z-Man Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 28 February 2018 - 12:00pm
“A little goes a long way.” It really is true. Just a couple small tweaks or additions, and a thing can seem entirely new. That certainly can be the case for a game. Z-Man Games is offering some of its little mini-expansion promos for some of their games as regular releases. So, if you’re a […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Midweek Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 28 February 2018 - 11:00am
The week continues along. It’s been a quick one for me, it seems. Plus, I’m book-ended by some cool new stuff. Monday, I got new Tails of Equestria stuff. By Friday, my latest order from Kraken Dice should be in. So… woo! But while waiting by the mailbox for my new shinies to come in, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Paizo Announces Partnership with Roll20: Virtual Tabletop Coming for Pathfinder and Starfinder Roleplaying Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 28 February 2018 - 10:00am
I love playing RPGs. However, finding enough locals to play can be tricky. I’ve got friends all over the world that’d love to play, but the commute from Australia, Sweden, and Seattle can be a bit rough. Thankfully, there’s Virtual Tabletops like Roll20. They’ve announced that they’re teaming up with Paizo to support official Starfinder […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Become a better producer in a day at the GDC 2018 Producer Bootcamp!

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 28 February 2018 - 9:05am

The GDC 2018 Producer Bootcamp on Tuesday, March 20th is going to be a fantastic day-long learning opportunity with a ton of expert sessions on the ins and outs of being a great producer in game dev. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

USAopoly Announces Deadpool vs The World Party Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 28 February 2018 - 9:00am
For a while now, Deadpool has been a more off-kilter and adult-oriented character in comics. When his movie came out, it showed that people will go and see an R-rated superhero film. Now, he’s bringing his adult nature to your tabletops. USAopoly has announced Deadpool vs The World, a new adult-oriented party card game. From […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

AM2: For Faerie, Queen, and Country Universe Book

New RPG Product Reviews - 28 February 2018 - 8:49am
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Rating: 4
This, the first 'universe book' for Amazing Engine should be used in conjunction with the System Guide, the combination making a complete game.

It opens by describing the alternate history of the setting, a Victorian England where the fey do not only exist, they have seats in Parliament and are invited to all the best parties. This all dates back to Roman times if not before, but at that time the dark powers of the Unseelie Court were defeated in a great battle, and from then faerie blood has mixed with that of human beings throughout the history of Britain. Needless to say, the Unseelies haven't gone away, they've just gone underground, and still cause problems upon occasion although due to their appearance they have to recruit and operate through human allies and agents.

History has taken a largely similar track to the real world, although a descendant of Napoleon rules in France, a foil to Bismarck in Germany, and the big surprise, America is still a colony of Britain having been defeated in 1812 after their brief flirtation with independence. Fey live openly in Ireland, having an enclave named Tir Nan Og that operates as a separate country - or is that countries, as each sidh or barrow has its own British Embassy! Many challenges face the British Empire at this time. This opening portion, The State of England, is presented as a report suggesting the provision of 'special agents' to troubleshoot any problems... and this is where the player characters come in.

The role of both player characters and the GM are briefly touched upon and then the matter of creating player characters based on the existing player core (as detailed in the System Guide) is dealt with in detail. The first thing you have to determine is whether or not your character has fey blood - there's quite a high chance of having at least some, although full-blooded fey are quite rare. There are usually some visible hints of fey blood such as a greenish tint to the skin, pointy ears - or maybe hooves instead of feet. The more fey blood the character has, the more noticeable it is. Apart from full-blooded faeries, you next need to choose nationality. This determines where you come from and the language(s) you speak - apparently everyone from Wales speaks Welsh, which certainly wasn't the case in real Victorian England (in fact, the Welsh language was discouraged!). Next up in social class and occupation. These choices lead to background and to the skills available to that character. Naturally there is plenty of information to aid an informed decision. Much is (mostly) historically accurate, but magic exists and so sorcerer is an established profession.

Setting-specific notes on awards and experience follow material on wealth and resources. Many genuine Britsh awards and medals are listed here. Next up is magic. In this setting, magic works rather like a recipe, with a magic formular being constructed like a sentence including the action, the target, special conditions and so on. Each part has a range of options, this results in every spell cast having the potential, indeed likelihood, of being unique. The best spells are researched in advance, but they can be created on the fly although the chances of success are lower. A skill check is necessary every time a spell is cast, and it takes a physical toll on the caster. There are guidelines and examples aplenty, but spell-casting is something that the player will have to work at, there's no handy spell list to pick a spell from and just cast it as needed.

The next section, By All That is Holy, deals with religion. Faeries are pagan, it's somehow so deeply embedded in their being that they cannot embrace any other religion. There are various Christian denominations - based on real ones although with different names - and it is in their clergy that divine power is concentrated, although they do not cast spells as such but have certain powers that they can wield. No other faiths are mentioned, not is there any detail on what being a pagan entails.

This is followed by a section on Combat. Here we read about violence and the law, along with a note that combat is by and large deadly and ought to be avoided whenever possible. Much fighting is little more than brawling - mostly fistfights, perhaps a knife. Gun crime is rare, although a prudent fellow may take a pistol when entering a situation about which he is nervous. There's plenty of detail on both firearms and melee weapons.

We then turn to details about the fey, presented as Peak-Martin's Index of Faerie, a series of lectures to the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1877. It makes for fascinating reading, categorising the different varieties of fey folk and classifying them... and providing game statistics so that they can be used as opposition! For those who want to know more about the geography of the setting, there is also Crompton's Illustrated Tourbook of Great Britain, a quite comprehensive gazetteer. Back to everyday life, The Glorious British Life provides ample detail on what it's like to live in this setting: time, money, incomes, city and country life... and even how much you ought to be paying your servants! Modern conveniences, or the lack thereof, are discussed, along with price lists for the things characters may require and details of transportation - rail between towns, carriages or horseback within them, or out in the country once you have alighted from your train. The current state of knowledge and the policical scene are also covered, along with foreign relations and law enforcement. Much of this is historically-accurate, but with a distinctive spin on things to reflect the differences between this setting and historical Victorian England.

There's a rather entertaining guide on How to Speak Proper, which seems to be mainly aimed at Americans. This covers not just "the Queen's English" but Scottish and Irish dialects and a somewhat bizarre attempt at Welsh (which, it must be said, is my native tongue), claiming that Welsh words are unpronouncable... Best to move on to the underworld slang section. There's also a note about the role of women in Victorian times: strange to modern attitudes but historically accurate. Likewise, provision for the poor and disabled - mostly woefully inadequate by modern standards - charities and leisure pursuits are also covered. Various leading Victorians are introduced, perhaps the party will bump into them, or they will at least know about them.

The setting, then, is well presented with as much historical accuracy as the introduction of the faerie folk permits. Character creation is a bit clunky, but once you have built the characters and formed the party there's an impressive amount of background to set the scene in which they will operate. The GM, however, is left to come up with adventures. Some of the background might suggest ideas, but nothing is provided in the way of suggestion or plot idea, although the setting is good.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

River Horse Previews Gipsy Avenger for Pacific Rim

Tabletop Gaming News - 28 February 2018 - 8:00am
Giant Robot alert! We have a Giant Robot alert! In this case, it’s Gipsy Avenger, the first preview that River Horse has posted up for their upcoming Pacific Rim: Extinction board game. They’ll be launching a Kickstarter for it starting on March 12th. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to more previews. From the post: […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Palladium Updates Robotech RPG Tactics Shipment Info

Tabletop Gaming News - 28 February 2018 - 7:00am
Palladium Books and their Robotech RPG Tactics game has been one of the long-drawn-out dramas of the gaming industry for several years now. The game was one of the first really huge successes on Kickstarter. Unfortunately, it’s become also the campaign that’s now looked upon as “the one that really went wrong.” Palladium has posted […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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