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Review: ‘Ladykillers’

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I’m slowly working my way through the first Bundle of Holding I obtained (first of many), and it’s time to review Ladykillers by Matt Snyder, one of the games in the Bundle that I’m most interested in. It features a pitch that could easily be run in most other systems – wronged women return from the grave with magic powers to hunt monsters – but its native system is quick, simple and flavourful.

Content warning: this is a game where you will want to discuss permitted content. One of the character generation questions involves suicide, and obviously given the subject matter, which is very much in the genre of female-centric revenge thriller, there is a lot of potential for upsetting themes to come up. Continue reading

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Review: ‘Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple’

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I’ve reviewed Daniel Solis’ excellent storytelling game, Happy Birthday, Robot! elsewhere on this blog, but he’s most famous for his charming family-friendly RPG Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple. A FATE edition, Do: Fate of the Flying Temple, has recently been released, and Solis has produced an enviable number of tabletop and card games, as well as making some pretty great statements on inclusive art direction in his games. I pretty much want to read everything he’s ever written now! But for now, I’m reading Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, a gentle fantasy game with easy-to-grasp mechanics that don’t lack for depth, inspired by the wondrous tone of adventure stories like Avatar: the Last Airbender. Continue reading

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Review: ‘The Play’s the Thing’

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Roleplaying and Shakespeare? The Play’s the Thing was always going to catch my attention, but I didn’t expect for it to be quite as strange and cool as it is. The players, guided by the Playwright, are actors in a theatre troupe trying to act out a play – however, when anyone can suggest weird and wonderful edits, who knows where things will end up? The Play’s the Thing is a fantastic way of acting out your favourite Shakespearean dramas – just be ready for everything to change at the whim of the players, or sometimes the pettiness of the actors!

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Review: ‘Happy Birthday, Robot!’

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Happy Birthday, Robot! is a lovely game that is self-contained, quick to learn and designed as a group storytelling activity for children, in a classroom environment or elsewhere. I’m reviewing it partly because I find it a fascinating example of roleplaying games as a teaching tool. Specifically, what it’s teaching here (as well as verbal skills, socialising, reasoning, grammar, etc.) is collaboration. Continue reading

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Review: ‘Heroine’

heroineHeroine is a story game for 3-6 players in which a young female character undertakes a magical journey and fights through obstacles to confront the antagonist…and herself. Inspired by Labyrinth, Spirited Away, MirrorMask, The Wizard of Oz and many similar stories of human girls in fantastical worlds, one player in Heroine takes on the role of the Heroine, one the Narrator and any others the Heroine’s quirky Companions who help her through her journey.

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Review: ‘Dead of Night’

dead of night rpgDead of Night is a brilliant horror game explicitly designed for genre emulation and pick-up-and-play short games, and though the mechanics won’t be to everyone’s tastes, there are definitely some really great ideas here. Plus the book is beautifully-produced and filled with inspiring posters and suggestions to get you in the mood for a truly horrifying experience. Even if you’re not interested in the mechanics, it’s a great read for anyone who wants to run horror games.

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Review: ‘Another Fine Mess’

another fine messFor the last few years I’ve been accruing roleplaying games without having the time to read or play them. This is partly due to the ridiculously good Bundle of Holding collections that have been coming out and partly due to prioritising other aspects of my time. However, in an attempt to actually keep up with some of the innovative work being done in RPG design, I’m tasking myself with trying to plough through and write about some of the rpgs I haven’t read.

So, Another Fine Mess by Anne Dupuis, a pre-written adventure for a fantasy setting – what makes it new and different is that the characters are sentient animal familiars to a wizard who has gone missing.

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