Proposed Game List

This is a wiki post, for listing game systems that have been talked about by the group. Name the game, provide a link to where to learn more about it (home page, blog post, DTRPG, Kickstarter, etc.), and give the Twitter-length elevator pitch (“it’s Apocalypse World but with Japanese idol singers”). To discuss the merits or specifics of a particular game, or to talk about how to do a campaign with a particular ruleset, please start a new thread.


I think it’s fascinating how it tracks clicks on each link.

One interesting note about Zombie World “PBTA card game about zombies - written by the same author as Masks”

I have further thoughts about some of these. More soon.

It’s a wiki post so any user can also edit it directly, feel free to update the short descriptions or add more. Longer pitches deserve their own thread.

So I’ve stated the following elsewhere, but now that we have a here I’ll restate it.

I’m less into the weeds on detailed pros and cons of specific gaming mechanics (and am happy to be so), and so will probably not go through the above links until things start to coalesce (I’ve glanced at a couple and they all had that surface “this could be fun” thing to them). My personal preferences for systems and settings are more tonal:

  1. A system that encourages cooperation vs competition. Not as an absolute, but PvE is always more fun for me than PvP, even if it’s just around character advancement. That doesn’t mean getting XP for sitting around singing Kumbaya, or that everyone has to be BFFs or never say a harsh word. But I’d generally prefer watching the walls and ceiling and floor to watching my back, and I want the opportunity there for character friendships to occur, even if only as comrades-in-arms.

    One traitor? Okay. Everyone planning, by design, to betray each other? Not so much.

  2. Alongside the above, I like feeling like a hero. The game where we’re catching children to sell them to orcs for unspeakable purposes? Not my bag, baby. Being doomed is okay, because how you go down is part of it; being faced with hard decisions (do I save the kids or the grannies?) is okay in small doses; being a scumbag is not.

    (Having evil impulses is an interesting thing, to be sure, and there’s the truism that everyone is a hero in their own story. There are lines I’d rather not cross in RP, though, nor even necessarily sidle up to them.)

  3. From a gaming standpoint, agency and efficacy are important. I’ve waxed lyrical about Masks enough regarding that, but mechanics that easily kill, knock out, or sideline characters, or regularly force them to do things that may feel out of character = not fun.

  4. The group of players is a key to all this, so even the above could be bent a bit in order to do something with this crew. (Duration also plays a role – a 3-session dark thing is less of a boundary than a six month one.)

  5. I am copacetic with any narrative setting – SF, Fantasy, Western, or themes and variations and combinations of the above (Urban Fantasy, Detective Western, SF Romance, Antarctic Explorer Cookbook). By preference, I’d like the setting to encourage (or allow for) both drama and humor.

    I’m always a little skeptical about heist/con types of systems, just because I find players are not as imaginative (okay, I, as a player, am not as imaginative, or as risk-averse) as screenwriters. I am always willing to be convinced otherwise.

Bottom line, I trust you guys. :sweat_smile:

To the extent that I can speak for Margie, she’s pretty much the same – probably even more so on #1 and #3.

All good points, Dave.

To point 1. I’m fine with people having personal goals that may contradict the group aims, cuz that’s just drama. Less so with the outright PvP, although that might come from a great place also. We got really in Adam’s face a few sessions ago, and it felt like that could just as easily have been a fight, for all the damage it dealt over the course of the session, so I guess it’s PvP, but…

Well, let’s parse that. I don’t love Player v Player. I’m quite fine with Character V Character, though I’m less interested in that being the POINT.

  1. The default Blades setting assumptions makes #2… challenging, barring certain add-ons. Worth noting that, and also that it’s not insurmountable. Ditto but moreso with Scum and Villainy, which assumes you a (probably) neither.

  2. Any time the game’s fallen down on that. It’s been me enacting it. Masks takes a good route in that being Taken Out is pretty much always in the player’s hands (barring getting 6 conditions at once, which hasn’t happened in 60 sessions, so…) Keeping that level of personal autonomy available is a good thing for us. Noted!

  3. Yup.

  4. Blades in the Dark/Scum and Villainy has a GREAT caper mechanic that I just love. Basically you make the plan, make the roll, and we jump to the point in the caper where the roll says it went off the rails. :slight_smile: It’s fun. All depends on what system we end up with and what we end up doing.

Of course! If the whole thing is about being shouty, that’s different, but we’ve had a certain amount of that in the current game, and could probably have even tried for more. (Indeed, one of my goals with bringing in Alycia was to foment a bit of interpersonal conflict). And, yes, CvC is better than PvP.

I will take a look at Blades and S&V – being a hero can mean different things. Dark characters aren’t necessarily bad – I just want to be able to sleep at night (as a player, if not a character).

More thoughts!

  • After the War - I like the tone-mix here, and the mystery. I’ll note it doesn’t come with community built in, so that’s our own creative lifting to manage.
  • Apocalypse World - I had that faepocalypse pitch that folks seemed somewhat interested in, and I’ll admit I’m intrigued by the idea of both exploring the setting further AND playing the original PBTA game :slight_smile:
    • Demihumans - There was a lot of interest expressed about this, including by me. Community strongly implied, and as it’s more nakedly just an AWorld hack, we’d be able to leverage that game’s juice in that regard. Going to be a bit more mental lifting to connect the tendons between the hack and the original ruleset. Bonus: I’m back to not being blocked by the author (neither of us know why, how, or when that happened), so that’s a plus.
  • Blades in the Dark - As I mentioned, a GREAT caper mechanic, and if we tie things into whatever the home neighborhood is, some of that good NPC action to get into as well, maybe as a shorter game, just in case it’s too bleak. :stuck_out_tongue:
    • Vigilantes playset - also there’s this add-on option that makes you a lot less criminals (except in the eyes of the law)
  • Dungeon World - Vanilla-mode - no.
    • Stonetop - this has some promise, though not a huge amount of specific interest expressed thus far.
  • Hearts of Wulin - Interesting mechanics, I’m not sure I’m in the right head space for it at the moment. who knows.
  • Impulse Drive - Whatever we say about Scum and Villainy we can probably also say here.
  • Legacy: Life Among the Ruins - The only thing that leaves me a little unsure here is that we jump generations during play and make up all new characters, and that’s either great or ehh. I’m not sure which. The generation ship add-on to this provides a really interesting spin.
  • Masks - I mean… we could obviously play the holy hell out of this forever. Why wouldn’t we just do it again? Same reason you don’t order your absolute favorite meal every day, I guess?
  • Monsterhearts 2 - I think this MAY have too much PvP or at least CvC in it for some if not most of us. I just backed a game called Turn which is a LOT less PvP and more small down slice of life, but I’m not throwing that one in the ring til I actually see the book.
  • Monster of the Week - Unless we had a strong centralizing concept to give us a home base, I don’t know if this gives us what we want.
  • Orun - I’m backing this, but I’m not sure it gives us what we want right now.
  • Scum and Villainy - See BitD comments.
  • Thousand Arrows - See Hearts of Wulin thoughts.
  • Urban Shadows - So… this is urban fantasy, I guess, but that’s not my BIG draw here. I personally think the million-dollar app in this game is the Factions that everyone’s connected to, and how that all connects you to them and to each other. I think there’s probably some meaty large-scale drama, melodrama, and intrigue here, from that. I wish more games had borrowed the faction mechanics and ported them into other genres. That said, like Masks, this is modern-day stuff and thus lets us get into reflecting on the game via IC social media and stuff, so that’s also a plus.
  • White Hack - I want to do this. But not here or now.
  • Zombie World - This is probably a shorter-play game if we did it. Strong community (enclave) focus, and NPC-connections baked into character generation. Sort of a mix of PBTA and Blades in the Dark die mechanics, but using a deck of custom cards. I’ve built the decks out in Roll20, so we don’t have to limp through most of us not having the related gear.

    Another thing I like in ZW is how, of the three ‘sections’ of a character, we’re only privvy to one at the outset, and the others are revealed in play, to the immediate benefit of the PC and those around them. Seems fun to me. Sort of mini-moments of truth. (Figuratively and literally.)

A post was merged into an existing topic: Game Pitch: Blades in the Dark

6 posts were split to a new topic: Game Pitch: Blades in the Dark

I think there are a lot of other depths and variations to be explored here, but, then, I actually do tend to order the same favorites at restaurants we visit, and had my mom pack essentially the same lunch every day through high school, so bear that in mind. :crazy_face:

I’m not going to comment on all your other comments, except they all sound interesting and along the lines I could go with.

(“Bleak” is something I’d as soon avoid. I do this for fun and escapism. :scream:)

Since this thread has been a little quiet, I figure I’ll throw an oddball or two out.

Mouse Guard: Play as mice scouts protecting your home. Based on a comic series of the same name.
Ryuutama: Go on a road trip with friends in a rustic fantasy world. GM also picks a class (a dragon of different types) which helps determine the tone of the series. Also has a very fun nickname: “Hayao Miyazaki’s Oregon Trail”

The topic is a wiki post, so you should be able to edit it directly. For now, I added those two games to the list.

I’ve done Mouse Guard before, and, though I like the comics, I never quite thrilled by the game (for reasons I really don’t recall now). this is still in playtest and isn’t actually a fully baked game yet, so I don’t think it’s probably legitimately in the running anytime soon, but I found this podcast from the guy who’s creating hearts of wulin to be very interesting.

Added my gag suggestion from last night, HENSHIN! It is a game where basically everyone makes GM moves (from a very constrained list) in any other PbtA game.

Also, I want to throw out Stonetop as a suggestion again. It might be easy to overlook with its Dungeon World roots, but a lot of the changes the game makes to the core assumptions (“you’re powerful people in a small town/city looking out for its continued prosperity” instead of “you’re a bunch of adventurers and/or murderhobos”) really changes what the game feels like.

Plus I really like the Seeker.

Come to think of it, my usual hangup with any game is “can I make a character I’m excited to play?” Superheroes were easy, I had like fifteen ideas before I settled into “emotional Green Lantern.” Fantasy is really easy (heroic, urban, or other) because I’m a sucker for wizards or scholars are really anything I could play like the Librarian. So if I’m having trouble with a system, it’s probably because I can’t think of a character archetype I’d enjoy, but don’t take that to mean I’ll never like something… the point where the Star Wars game turned around for me was when Doyce said “Here’s Hesmit, he’s cool,” and I agreed

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Bill missed this last night, so I’ll mention here that the plan for next week’s session is to sort of figure out a game and figure out the particulars.

The method(s) Mike suggested, which I really like, is 7/3/1, or 7/2/1.

7/3/1 - Doyce lists seven games he’s interested in running. Someone else trims the list down to three things they’re most excited about, someone else (or the group) trims THAT down to 1.

7/2/1 - Doyce lists seven games he’s interested in running. Everyone else vetoes a game they don’t dig, getting us down to 2, then we pick from the two survivors to get to 1.

We don’t have to go hard and fast with either method (it might be “list seven, people speak up with ‘please just not this’, narrow down to 3, pick one, go”) as long as we have some kind of roadmap.

Either way, we then prooooobably figure out characters/background through the holiday weeks, then we probably play after the holidays.

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Sounds good.

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Not immediately important, but that trip to Taiwan I had scheduled for December is now scheduled for the first half of January (if the vendor can get things in order). Doesn’t affect game selection but may affect the first couple of sessions.

Again, it’s not a rigid process, but I had thought the 7/3/1 was

  1. Doyce proposes 7 games he’d be interested in running.
  2. We veto / squee the list of 7 down, collectively, to 3 we can all live with (and have some excitement for).
  3. Doyce picks the 1 he really wants to do from that 3.

Which is a bit different from what Doyce wrote, which is fine, but I wanted to confirm I understood what I did, as I like these kind of decision-making tools.

(I used to use a very truncated version of this for “Hey, let’s watch a movie” where I would propose 3 films I wanted to watch and Margie and James would pick one (or James would pick one, with Margie offering a veto if needed.)