The Name of the Game

As we appear to have wrapped (or brought to a quite reasonable gravity-well-hanging moment), I’ll be the one to raise the question of … What now?

I’ll start by saying, I’m not presently able to GM, largely because I’m already doing that for a group (which is personally noteworthy enough) and but also because I don’t have another system I’m comfortable enough running (without some serious discussion). So I feel like I’m imposing a bit on someone else go run a game.

That said, I’m certainly open to what someone else might want to run. So I’m getting that ball rolling.


Following my tenure as GM for Starforged, as enjoyable as running the game for you folks was, I will likely not be available to run another game immediately. I’ve got some folks on Fridays who are interested in Masks and so will be running a short game for them.

That said, more than willing to pick up the reins sometime in the future, so long as folks are willing to put up with my love of games in eclectic genres.


For what it’s worth you did a great job


Off the top of my head, I’m interested in running:

  • Zombie World
  • The Veil (thinking about how it’d work to run the 1990s anti-warmarchine ‘superhero’ game setting, Underground)
  • Hearts of Wu-Lin, which I think has near-print-ready versions from the kickstarter

That’s basically just what immediately springs to mind. Other ideas might present themselves. If folks have a yearing for a particular genre or something, I’d love to hear it.

I’m down to play most things, though the The Veil seems really cool.


I have a Hearts of Wu-Lin that I am due to receive (Backerkit stuff came out in March), but I don’t think it’s shipped. The last communique for printed books came out in early May. It looks like PDFs are available at the moment.

As to the setting, I am pretty flexible.

Right now, I’m not in a good psychological space for a game that feels at home in 2000AD, which “Underground” feels like - assuming it’s this: Underground (role-playing game) - Wikipedia

Ditto “you’re all going to die” zombie apocalypse type games.

I’m happy to do other things with my Wednesdays if this is what folks want, though.

I’d probably play or run the Veil in other cyberpunk contexts.

Hearts of Wulin sounds good, and the PDF that’s available to backers looks pretty polished and usable.


I hadn’t been keeping up on this, so I was happy to see the PDFs for the game in the Kickstarter. I would need to read it more in depth, but it definitely sounds like a fun time. My interest would skew more towards the Fantastic Wuxia playset in the book but I think I would enjoy anything presented, if we went this route.

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Definitely down for this, although I also need to get back to the rules. Trivia: I think at least some of the stats tech was inspired by stuff from the veil.

Reading through Hearts of Wulin and it’s got a lot of fun stuff in it.

One thing I decided to check on was whether there was a Roll20 character sheet for this already and there is not one that I could find. This means we’ll either need to put something together (not difficult if we keep things simple, just time consuming) or just use Roll20’s journaling to capture details and the default dice roller to handle things. Both are usable options, just a question of what folks are more comfortable with.

For purposes of simple, my suggestion is a hybrid, to save time. There’s a lot of text-based stuff for characters that the Journal is good for. If we* could build a sheet with the Elements (for die rolling), with checkboxes for when injured, and a Wounds checkbox (with the impact on rolls), that’s about all that I’d really need a character sheet to do for me. (Maybe checkboxes or a counter for XP.)

Those also seem to be the things most likely to change in a game, meaning the danger of closing a Journal without saving it is significantly reduced. :slight_smile:

I would also be willing to pull Move stuff into Journal entries for quick reference.

I’ve read about the first fifty-odd pages of the rules, and, as a PBTA game they are quite straightforward. The only differences from others I’ve run across so far are in the combat/scale mechanics, but those are pretty simple.

I think the biggest challenge will be getting into the wuxia genre and mythos. Time to dig up Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon again! (Oh no!)

* For certain values of “we,” though I’d be willing to give it a go, even if I do not know the way.

For inspirational material, I know Lowell has posted several blogs about k-dramas on Netflix and stuff that he’s used as reference points or that his cultural consultant has. If he hasn’t already included it in the back of the book, I’ll see if I can dig it up

P. 206 ff of the full rules.

As for online resources, Lowell is very active in The Gauntlet Community, which doesn’t use roll20 as much as it does Discord, Hangouts and Google Sheets as character Keepers. I believe there are downloadable spreadsheet Style character keepers provided as part of the backer kit.

I’d prefer fully functioning character sheets on roll20 since that’s where I put my money every month, but that may not be how this one shakes out.

Two Three added observations on HoW:

  1. Player section of the main rules runs through p. 80, which includes the playbooks (starting p. 60) and pretty wide margins. So not a long read, esp. for someone familiar with PbtA.

  2. Lowell notes that his influences in the PbtA world are The Veil (one of the other candidates), Masks (yay!) and Pasion de las Pasiones.

  3. I have a nascent idea for someone I think is an Aware-Traveling Teacher with a fun twist. Not that I’m calling dibs or being presumptive about what we’re doing or anything.

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That sheet is here:

File > Make a copy

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Lowell is a HUGE fan of Pasion, so that doesn’t surprise me a bit. (It’s an RPG for playing teledramas, as I understand it.)

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Well since you said it first. I’ll toss out there that I have stronger ideas for Loyal or Unorthodox playbooks, but can work with any of them (except Bravo)

Also, I personally have the most experience/knowledge of the more fantastic setting, so I think that would be fun to do, but honestly it all looks fun. Can’t wait to play it with yall!


The boundary between the “normal” level of fantastic that wuxia entails and the “fantastic” fantastic for that setting remains kind of unclear to me.

Allow me to explain (at least my understanding).

In the “normal” level of the fantastic, our heroes are remarkable figures who can perform great deeds. These deeds stretch into the superhuman, with “lightness of body” techniques allowing folks to all but fly, and cultivation of spirit allowing great masters to extend that force out of their body seemingly being about to hit someone from a distance. Weapons with names will have seemingly magical qualities to them. Basically the upper end of what you could imagine from a your 80’s/90’s Hong Kong martial arts movie.

The fantastical level takes all that, adds magic and mythical creatures into the batch. Someone may have a technique that allows their shadow to attack their foe. There are definitely shapeshifters, both of the comedic and deadly flavors. Heaven may wish you dead for your transgression or representatives of Heaven may come to our heroes to give them quests. Going to the underworld to remove your name from the Ledgers of the Dead to make yourself immortal is not that farfetched. At this point, we are in full Journey to the West “the party is made up of a priest with a mandate from heaven, a demi-god monkey, a shapeshifting pig, a river spirit, and their horse is actually a shapeshifting dragon” territory.

Now this is certainly a flavor-to-taste sort of thing and not just “all or nothing”. Someone could say “ghosts are okay and spiritual powers are okay, but no gods or shapeshifters” and that is reasonable level of the fantastic. It is also a staple of these stories for the heroes to be normal humans and their foes to be fantastical creatures (demons, spirits, etc) except maybe one virtuous monster who has joined the heroes.

This is the sort of comment where you know you’ve tipped from “normal” wuxia into the fantastic.


Makes good sense, thanks.