Crisis is a roleplaying game of escalating stakes racing against disaster to tell a story. Players define the margins and color in the major points at the beginning of the session, and explore those plots, people, and places in detail during the scenes themselves. Each scene features a player character designated the Protagonist whose story is told for that scene. Another player is their Foil, putting obstacles in their way to test them and show all of us what they are capable of. In this way, every player is both a character and a game master.more “Crisis RPG”
Another is a game we spun up in a month for the #cryptidjam last year at itch, where participants built a game in a month’s time on the theme of cryptids. The Good That Zoos Do creates agents of a supernatural zoo as well as the monster they are hunting. The cryptid is revealed during a flashback scene where it interacts with a group of disposable NPCs and its traits are defined through the process of eliminating them. The rest of the session, play is between the players as agents and the GM as both setting and the cryptid itself with a playing card mechanic resolving all the actions. It is based largely on the Zoo Podcast and their ongoing series about monster hunters and occasionally empathetic intelligent cryptids.
As the harvest approaches, the villagers gather and ponder the coming winter. Among them, darkness lurks, corrupting the town and its inhabitants. Unlikely allies will rise either to save this village or condemn it.
Can you make it through the lengthening nights and save the town? Or is something creeping up on you, disguised as a neighbor, waiting for its chance to BITE?
BITE is a social game to be played during a gathering, like a party or convention. Players receive roles and pair up for a few minutes of conversation at a time, at the end of which each reveals an action card to the other player. They resolve these cards and move on to the next discussion, their motives changing throughout the game based upon which side they find themselves: Good or Evil. By the final night, either darkness will have been rooted out of the town, or it will have triumphed.
Officially released in October 2019, Discover the Monster Within!
BITE is a social deduction game for 6 to 17 players, playable in under an hour. Rules are quick to learn and laid out across two books, a rulebook for running play and a reference manual that details role strategy, action cards uses, and more. 10 roles (5 Good and 5 Evil) have access to 13 actions ranging from the fact-finding Talk card to specialties like Haunt, Stake, and Devour. Vampires have Bite cards they share with other players, spreading their malign influence and claiming their victims for an Evil victory. BITE retails for $27.99.
Planned support includes rule videos, expansion options, an RPG tie-in, and the Mayoral Decrees script that provides word-for-word choices on how to run your first few games of BITE. (It’s the next best thing to having the designer in your living room) If you are running the Crisis RPG scenario that calls for BITE cards and you don’t have them (or can’t get a copy yet), then this download will provide the flavor text for the roles, prompts for their actions, and printable slips to use as cards until you snap up a copy for yourself.
Available at local conventions, and in game stores in the Kansas City, MO region at TableTop Game & Hobby in Overland Park, KS and Pawn & Pint in Kansas City, MO. You can also buy directly from us and we ship anywhere in the US:
Last week, I had the treat of sharing an rpg table with my college roommate for the first time. We have games together in other formats (our dining room table was never used for meals but permanently set for Necromunda), but this was the first time we played together. Normally I introduce first-time roleplayers with something straightforward (like Dread) or ridiculous (like Crash Pandas). I opted for straightforward and planned to run something out of the Harrop Collection but there’s the issue of how to do social distance right now within arm’s reach of a Jenga tower…
There are lots of options for running a game online. You have Discord servers, various video chat options, digital tables, and play-by-post. You could even dust off your typewriter and get started on a De Profundis campaign, but I’ve never had one make it more than two letters in, despite our best efforts [link]. But none of those do Jenga, and networked BoomBlox as a resolution mechanic feels cumbersome. Enter Grin.more “Grin RPG (or How Do I Play Jenga Online)”
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to complete a run of Will Hindmarch’s Almost/Never/Now, a cyberpunk take on Lady Blackbird. It was inspired by revisiting a long-running cyberpunk campaign he had been a part of, and wrote the adventures that would become A/N/N as a sort of love letter/dramatic finale to the world and characters he and his friends had created and inhabited a decade prior.
The sessions themselves blend story, action, and character in a flexible form that encourages big storytelling: cinematic action, dramatic blow-outs with your peers, and always pushing what the mechanics allow. This is a collaborative story situation, writ large over international espionage and dystopian intrigue with cyberware and technology and highly specialized weaponry all coming to bear in a system that absolutely does not concern itself with the specifics of how you accomplish any of that.more “Always/Never/Now”