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Sean Patrick Hagen

Vancouver based programmer who also does stuff with D&D and video games.

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If you’re here to read about the games, skip this section.

So yesterday was my birthday. I’m 23 32 now1. My parents didn’t know what to get me, so they gave me some cash. I used that money to get a bunch of tabletop role-playing games! So now I’ve got a bunch of RPGs and I have a need, a great burning need to play them. If you’re interested in playing you can give this link a shot – it’s a Google Form to sign up for the fun.

Basically, I’m going to start a new podcast. It’s going to be an Actual Play podcast, but the hook is going to be that instead of long campaigns I’m hoping to be switching up the campaign and system every few months. So short campaigns of 5-6 sessions max, preferably a lot shorter.

So here are all the games I’d like to play on the podcast:

Dresden Files Accelerated

From the Evil Hat Games product page:

Welcome to Dresden Files Accelerated Edition, a pared-down, pick-up-and-play RPG set in the world of Jim Butcher’s NYT bestselling novel series. Take a jaunt through the Nevernever, stand up to the Black Court, and sit down for a pint at Mac’s. This book contains all you need to make it happen.

In this book, Ivy the Archive will walk you through everything you need to know to get your game running, including:

  • An introduction to the major supernatural players in the Dresdenverse and the places you might meet them.
  • A new mantle system that speeds up character creation and gets you into the game faster.
  • Faction-based campaign creation that creates immediate drama and action for your group. **Easy-to-learn Fate Accelerated-style gameplay, with a few clever Dresdenverse tweaks. **A scale system to support interacting with and playing at various power levels.

Uses the Fate Accelerated system, so better suited to new players, or players who like story telling over crunch2.

This would be a game set in the Lower Mainland, but with magic and wizards and mobsters and vampires and some kind of murder mystery. The first session would be figuring out what kind of campaign we’d be doing.

Breakfast Cult

From the project’s Kickstarter page:

Breakfast Cult is a tabletop roleplaying game which combines elements of cosmic horror with anime-style mystery, horror and action-adventure. It takes inspiration from multiple sources: cosmic horror RPGs and board games, Danganronpa, Megami Tensei, Soul Eater, and more!

You play students of a near-future occult high school as they’re thrust into the middle of a mystery that threatens to destroy everything. To survive, you’ll have to discover which of your classmates is to blame and stop the awakening of an Ancient One before it’s too late—all while advancing your own secret agenda.

For fans of cosmic horror, the setting of Breakfast Cult offers a new take on the concept. Its tools can be taken and used to build new cosmic horror settings, if this one doesn’t do it for you; if you’re a Lovecraft fan, Breakfast Cult’s tools can be used to run other Cthulhu Mythos games, and stretch goals will do most of the work for you!

Breakfast Cult is powered by the Fate Accelerated roleplaying system—character creation takes minutes, and the rules are simple and easy to understand. If you’re a Fate veteran, the game offers you new stuff to spice things up, from new character mechanics to new kinds of enemies!

I’d be building a custom somewhat custom setting for this, but as this is using the Fate Accelerated system the players would help determine what kind of campaign we’d be playing.

Atomic Robo

From the Evil Hat Games product page:

Action! Science! Robots! Punching! More Science!

Are you ready for some two-fisted science adventure? Then it’s time for the Atomic Robo RPG! Have you ever wanted to face down global conspiracy as an immortal atomic robot or Carl Sagan? The Atomic Robo RPG makes it possible.

The Atomic Robo RPG brings you the most explosive Fate Core system experience yet. This is action science like you’ve never seen it before, coming straight at you from the pages of the popular Atomic Robo comics by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener. Play as an action scientist or immortal robot, super-spy or pulp adventurer—or something stranger still from the hidden corners of super-science!

This is multi-era, pick-up-and-play gaming at its best: get playing in ten minutes, or take your time and make the most of behind-the-scenes rules for added depth. Hop into your Tesladyne jet and travel the globe in one time period, or battle across the decades as a cast of scientifically talented adventurers. Face down demented dinosaurs, rogue government agents, and stolen Tesla-powered technologies!

Are you action scientist material? Grab your gear and get ready for full-contact, high-octane, explosive hypothesis testing!

Another Fate-powered system, but with action science! I have no idea what that means but I like the sound of it.

All Flesh Must Be Eaten

A survival horror RPG using the Unisystem set of rules. From the publisher’s webiste:

All roleplaying games have at their hearts the “What if . . ?” question.

In All Flesh Must Be Eaten, the question is “What if you were faced with a world gone to Hell, where ravenous undead sought living prey?”

What if you had to fight for survival, sometimes against former friends and loved ones?

Would you be curious to find out the cause of the horror?

Would you delve into the heart of the zombie-infested areas to discover the truth?

Would you brave death to end the threat? What if there were no cause, no solution?

Would it be better to simply flee for safety to ensure the survival of the race?

All Flesh Must Be Eaten is a game that combines elements of horror (there are walking dead in this world, and they feed on humans) with survival (characters have the rely on their skills and abilities to live through the night) and conflict (the characters may know the truth; what are they going to do about it?).

I’d do a session zero for this one, to determine if the players want to do a “middle of the zombie uprising” kind of game or an “after the apocalypse” thing.

Monster of the Week

A game from Evil Hat that doesn’t use Fate or Fate Core! This one is powered by the Apocalypse!

From the Evil Hat Games product page:

Most people don’t believe in monsters, but you know the truth. They’re real, and it’s your task to bring them down. This revised edition of Monster of the Week brings that adventure to life.

Monster of the Week is a standalone action-horror RPG for 3-5 people. Hunt high school beasties a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer, travel the country to bring down unnatural creatures like the Winchester brothers of Supernatural, or head up the government investigation like Mulder and Scully.

This book contains everything you need to tackle Bigfoot, collar a chupacabra, and drive away demons. In this revised edition, you’ll find:

  • Character creation rules to bring your hunter to life and create a cohesive hunting team.
  • Eight simple moves to investigate and deal with monsters.
  • An easy-to-use system based on the popular Apocalypse World RPG.
  • Thorough mystery-creation tools and two ready-to-play mysteries.
  • New material including an introductory mystery; example monsters like Balkan vampires, werewolves, and other-dimensional creatures; and hunter types like the Crooked and the Spell-Slinger.

For this one, I’ve already got a setting in mind. Just have to figure out the monster. The Adventure Zone podcast is currently doing a short arc (Amnesty) using Monster of the Week.

World Wide Wrestling

From the World Wide Wrestling site:

The World Wide Wrestling Roleplaying Game enables you to create your own professional wrestling franchise through play, showcasing satisfying and surprising storylines. It’s about feuds, championships, betrayal, and righteous victory. It’s about the clash of good and evil on the grandest stage. It’s about whether you’ve got what it takes. And, in the end, it’s about what the audience thinks of your efforts.

This just seems like it’d be a blast to play. Who doesn’t want to roleplay as a world-famous wrestler?

Fragged Empire

Here’s the setting info for Fragged Empire, from their website:

Exploring the state of the universe after a cataclysmic event is a popular theme in science fiction literature. It allows us to delve into the nature of civilisation, humanity, and rediscovery after we have lost all that we know.

This setting does not take place immediately after this cataclysmic event (a genocidal war), but a hundred years later. Enough time has passed for people to partially accept what has happened and start to rebuild. You are at the dawn of a new civilisation, a time of great opportunity and danger.

What should this new society look like?

Sounds awesome, right?

Here’s some info on the system, also from their site:

Skill rolls are done with a simple 3d6 +/- bonus or penalty vs a difficulty value or target’s defence.

Yay! Simple-sounding system that only relies on one type of die? Sign me up!

Characters have a pool of options available to them, with no set ability or equipment progression path. This allows for Characters to quickly specialise or diversify and to create unique combinations of Abilities and Equipment.

Choose any path you want; cunning mercenary, black market smuggler, archaeological treasure hunter, fighter pilot or power mad scientist.

Sounds like an awesome player feedback loop there.

The only thing that I’m a bit worried about is that the site says that the system is “best for long, sandbox games”. I don’t want to end up running a months-long campaign, but hopefully I can find an intro campaign or quickstart that we can play through to get a feel for the system.

Legacy: Life Among The Ruins

From the project’s Kickstarter page:

Legacy: Life Among the Ruins is a tabletop roleplaying game about the survivors of a reality-twisting apocalypse, the families they form, and the new world they will create as the ages turn. Each generation, new threats and opportunities will emerge, and a hero will rise from each family to deal with them. Legacy takes inspiration from the post-apocalyptic wastelands of Fallout, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., A Canticle for Leibowitz and Mad Max, as well as the epoch-spanning gameplay of Civilisation and other 4X games.

Another awesome-looking game. It’s Powered by the Apocalypse, so that’s awesome. The thing I find neat about this game is that you play as two things at once; a character and a family. The game is apparently built so that you play as members of a family over a long period of time. It sounds like a neat twist, and I’m really curious to see how this game runs.

Monsterhearts 2

From the project’s Kickstarter page:

Monsterhearts 2 lets you and your friends create stories about sexy monsters, teenage angst, personal horror, and secret love triangles. You’re all teenagers in a dark and stormy world, hiding the fact that you are secretly a monster. When you play, you explore the terror and confusion of having a body that is changing without your permission.

This is a roleplaying game powered by the Apocalypse World engine. It draws inspiration from Twilight, True Blood, Buffy, Ginger Snaps, and The Craft.

I’m curious about this game because the creator, Avery Alder, says that the first edition was wrapped up in her coming out process:

I’m a queer trans woman. The first edition of Monsterhearts was all wrapped up in my coming out process, and so has huge significance for me on a personal level. This is the first game I ever wrote that was explicitly queer.

So that’s awesome all on it’s own. Plus, I think it’d be fun to have a few sessions where we basically do a soap opera, but with monsters.

Tales From The Loop

From the publisher’s webpage:

The landscape was full of machines and scrap metal connected to the facility in one way or another. Always present on the horizon were the colossal cooling towers, with their green obstruction lights. If you put your ear to the ground, you could hear the heartbeat of the Loop – the purring of the Gravitron, the central piece of engineering magic that was the focus of the Loop’s experiments. The facility was the largest of its kind in the world, and it was said that its forces could bend space-time itself.

Scifi artist Simon Stålenhag’s paintings of Swedish 1980s suburbia, populated by fantastic machines and strange beasts, have won global acclaim. Now, you can step into the amazing world of the Loop.

In this roleplaying game in the vein of E.T. and Stranger Things, you’ll play teenagers solving mysteries connected to the Loop. The game rules are based on Mutant: Year Zero, which was awarded with a Silver ENnie for Best Rules at Gencon 2015.

The art for this game is just stunning, and the rules system is pretty neat. I can’t wait to tell an alternate history sci-fi story set in my home town.

End Of The World - Zombies, Aliens, Gods

These three books are all from Fantasy Flight Games, who make the great Star Wars: Edge of the Empire RPG system.

These games have a unique hook: the character you play is you, in your world – but the apocalypse is happening!

Each book contains a number of different flavours of apocalypse. For example, in the zombie book, you’ve got:

  • Night of the meteor (radiation from passing meteor raises ALL dead things)
  • No room in hell (just humans come back to life, but we don’t know why)
  • Pandemic (some kind of disease or virus is rewriting the human brain)
  • It ends with a whisper (voodoo zombies)
  • Under the skin (brain parasite, the zombies can combine into huge monstrosities)

So each game book has a few different flavours of the particular type of apocalypse. This one is really well suited to shorter campaigns.

Corolis - The Third Horizon

From the publisher’s website:

Coriolis – The Third Horizon is a science fiction role-playing game from the makers of critically acclaimed Mutant: Year Zero (six-time nominee and winner of a Silver Ennie for Best Rules 2015).

Features:

Create your unique player character – including skills, talents, gear and relationships – in mere minutes. Fight fast and furious battles, praying to the Icons to overcome your enemies. Build and crew your own spaceship, to explore the many star systems of the Third Horizon. Experience thrilling spaceship duels, using a game system that puts all player characters at the heart of the action. Take part in the intrigue between powerful factions on the majestic space station Coriolis. Uncover the mysteries of the Third Horizon, a rich tapestry of cultures that have settled the stars.

It seems like a very cool setting, described as “Arabian Nights in space”.

Conspiracy - The Game They Don’t Want You To Play

From the DriveThruRPG product page:

_I stumbled out of the crashed alien spacecraft and toward the secret government bunker that housed the real Statue of Liberty. Agent Burks unloaded his plasma thrower into the surrounding forest, melting the trees before they had a chance to burn. The lizardman clone we were supposed to transport safely was bleeding to death in my arms. I had only one thought:__

“Abraham Lincoln is going to pay.”

In Conspiracist, you play as a henchman for the Illuminati: a vast organization that controls the world from the shadows. As play proceeds, the story becomes more and more convoluted. By the end, the plot is a tangled mess worthy of being called a paranoid conspiracy theory! Conspiracist is frantically paced and designed for impromptu one-shots. The Controller presents a highly abstract mission briefing such as a bag of fried chicken, and the players must make logical connections with the briefing until they come to a conclusion about what their mission is. From there, the rules help guide the story deep into a web of mystery as the characters discover they are in way over their heads.

Doesn’t that sound awesome?

Honey Heist

You play a bear. You’re out to steal honey. It’s a 2-page RPG, there’s not a ton of depth here.


So that’s all the games – or at least, all the games I can remember right now. I think that all of them sound awesome, and that an Actual Play of these games would be tons of fun.

Interested?

  1. Damn my wishful thinking

  2. “Crunch” is basically the mechanics and rules. So a game where you determine everything based on the flip of a coin is light on crunch, a game where you need a spreadsheet and a calculator to determine if you hit is heavy on crunch.