Borrowing from Other Systems for Fun and (Mechanical) Profit

Pile of translucent polyhedral dice, all in bright colors

While I haven’t been in the RPG community for as long as many, I’ve had the opportunity to play and run a huge variety of systems. I’ve found that most systems have an idea that I always miss when I’m playing any other game. Like spending an XP to reroll my dice when I’m not playing a Cypher Game, or the duel Sanity/Stability system in Trail of Cthulhu. Unfortunately, moving a lot of these mechanics to a new system isn’t possible without re-writing the system, and work instead to be something that makes returning to that system every time we sit down to play. However, I think there are some ideas out there that could be moved to different systems with a little effort.

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Curse of the Masked Jackal 3: Vengeance, Sweet Vengeance

A ship emerges from a bay and a ship on fire is ahead of it

Our heroes are introduced to their new ship, and immediately try out many of its more interesting features.

GM: Patrick
Players: Aser, Bran, Landan, Jonn, Megan.
System: 7th Sea 1e

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Intended Force.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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Finding a System for Your Next Campaign

Every couple of months around here at TRF, we finish up one of the three or so ongoing campaigns we have running at any given moment. For some people, this might represent an opportunity to pause, bask in the afterglow of a satisfying finale and plot out what comes next. More likely than not though, for us it means it’s time to hit the ground running with our next big idea. When you run this many games, you begin to get a good feel for the best, read easiest, ways to plan for these things and the sorts of factors that make for a good experience.

Bookshelf filled with RPG books

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Delta Green: Control Copy

A car is engulfed in fire and completely destroyed

Today marks TRF’s 3 year anniversary! Thank you so much to all of our players and listeners for all you do! To give back, here’s a bonus episode of Delta Green.

A team of agents is sent to investigate a series of gruesome murders, in which a former Delta Green agent is the prime suspect.

GM: Aser
Players: Ben, Megan, Rob D.
System: Delta Green

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Day of Chaos”(incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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Review: Predation

Cover of predation shows a person on the back of a dinosaur fighting of three assailants with a flame thrower and spear

Like most kids, I loved dinosaurs when I was growing up. It was a few hours away, but I made several pilgrimages to the Dinosaur National Monument in Vernal, Utah to pretend to dig up dinosaur bones and learn about why the Utahraptor was the best raptor. (Don’t hold me to that, it’s just what they told me). So I think, like many, opening an RPG where you get to live alongside dinosaurs re-opens a lot of childlike glee.

Predation is the most recent addition to Monte Cook Game’s Cypher Systems line, an adaptation of the wonderfully flexible Cypher System to bring you dinosaurs and science. The setting is that a few hundred years in our future, the Space and Time, Intg. (SATI) corporation started sending ‘commuters’ back to the Cretaceous Period for some now unknown reason. Nine years after this time travel began, all of the machines on the Cretaceous side of the Gre-Vakian c trials malfunctioned, trapping the commuters in the past. Now we’re 100 years after The Last Commute, and Grevakc is its own society, made up of the descendants of the 20,000 people left to live with the dinosaurs. These people are the descendants of scientists and soldiers and have all kinds of advanced technology to build their communities. However, they all know that at some point they’re civilization is going to be wiped out by an asteroid, and many are desperate to find the secrets of time travel once more.

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What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

The Nightmare Gallery
The Nightmare Gallery is a horror movie written by Rob and Jhan of Orpheus Protocol (look for an interview with Rob later this week!). The movie follows a professor of anthropology who receives some cryptic messages that claim to be from a TA that went missing three years earlier, and the path that pushes her and her wife down. What’s really cool is that this professor is played by Amber Benson, aka Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. One of the goals of this movie is to develop a horror movie with fleshed out LGBTQ characters, and I’m really excited to see a movie that is really thoughtful about this. Plus if you’ve listened to Orpheus Protocol you know the horror is going to be amazing. It’s only $15 to get a digital copy of the movie, and you also get access to a lot of amazing additional material from Seraph Films, including a short film, your name in the credits, and an exclusive episode of Horror Haiku. This is a movie that I never knew was missing from my collection, and I can’t wait to see it!

“Amber Benson stars in The Nightmare Gallery as Professor Rand, an anthropology professor whose life is turned upside-down by the sudden, suspicious disappearance of a star pupil. But when a package of paranormal artifacts arrives on her doorstep three years later, the professor embarks on a nightmarish journey into mystery that will shake her and her wife to their cores. Through a terrifying, Lynchian lens, the film follows Professor Rand’s horrifying loss of self in pursuit of an extra-dimensional truth that could doom the world.”
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Curse of the Masked Jackal 2: Daybreak

A room full of pirates drinking and fighting

The new crew work on putting out the fires, literal and figurative, from the last episode.

GM: Patrick
Players: Aser, Bran, Landan, Jonn, Megan.
System: 7th Sea 1e

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Intended Force.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Direct Download!

What’s Cool on Kickstarter

There’s many interesting items to be found on Kickstarter, but these are the coolest ones this week.

Cthulhu Dark
Cthulhu Dark boasts of only two pages of rules, make it a very compact game for you to bring to your table. The rest of the book gives advice for building and running the mysteries for your scenario, creatures and objects, and four very different settings: London 1851, Arkham 1692, Jaiwo 2017, and Mumbai 2037. Most of the material is already written, and will be ready to head to layout as the kickstarter ends. However, you can also pledge for a Season Pass, which gets you the material as it’s finished so that you don’t have to wait too long to begin your game. Aser especially is a fan of the bleak storytelling style of this sort of game, and the futility of fighting against incomprehensible horrors. If you enjoy the mythos, this game looks like a great place to try something a little different.

“Cthulhu Dark is a tabletop roleplaying game of cosmic horror, in the style of H.P. Lovecraft. It’s about the things we fear, amplified until they are unbearable. It’s about stories that genuinely creep you out, not well-worn tropes and creatures you’ve seen hundreds of times before. And it’s about bleak horror, in which humans are powerless when confronted by hyperintelligent alien horrors. You can’t beat them. You can’t fight them. You can only watch, run, hide and fear.

If you love Cthulhu games already, then this is Lovecraftian horror at its most intense. If you’re new to them, then Cthulhu Dark is a great place to start. You’ll enter a world of stories that are both terrifying and terribly human. The rules are incredibly short: they’re tightly focussed on horror and they drive the game.”
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Curse of the Masked Jackal 1: Dry Dock

An old ship  on it's side being careened while in  dry dock

Our heroes gather in a pirate haven to gain information on a hidden threat.

GM: Patrick
Players: Aser, Bran, Landan, Jonn, Megan.
System: 7th Sea 1e

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Intended Force.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Direct Download!

June Schedule

Image showing ships with white sails in battle with a ship with dark sails.

What are we playing this month?

June 4, 2017Curse of the Masked Jackal 1: Dry Dock
An unlikely group of heroes is gathered in a pirate haven to learn of an ominous new threat.

June 11, 2017 – Curse of the Masked Jackal 2: Daybreak
The new crew work on putting out the fires, literal and figurative, from the last episode.

June 18, 2017Curse of the Masked Jackal 3: Out to Sea
Our heroes are introduced to their new ship,and immediately try out many of its more interesting features.

June 25, 2017Only War 5: It Rolls Downhill
The Imperial Guard push forward to reclaim more of the star fort, but the secessionists have other ideas…and tanks that shoot plasma.