July Schedule

Three members of the imperial guard move towards the camera with weapons raised. A commissar stands on a tank behind them.

What are we playing this month?

July 2, 2017Only War 6: What Would the Emperor Do?
The squad is sent deeper into the star fort and faces some moral quandaries.

July 9, 2017Only War 7: The Bigger They Are
The guardsmen discover there are more than just secessionists to deal with in the bowels of the star fort.

July 16, 2017Only War 8: The General
The squad finds the man responsible for coordinating the secessionists’ defenses: unfortunately, someone else has found him first.

July 23, 2017Scary on the Choo-Choo 16: An Unexpected Detour
Someone other than the investigators has been up to no good, and now they’re going to have to deal with a beastly problem.

July 30, 2017Scary on the Choo-Choo 17: It’s not Paranoia
The investigators must stop those responsible for the ghastly abominations plaguing the countryside, but at what cost…?

Review: Icons and Conditions Deck for 13th Age

Eaxamples of each of the condition cards and three of the icon cards

This past year, Dread Unicorn Games released Gods and Icons, which expands the Icons in the game, giving them names, organizations, relationships with over icons, and even variations to make them more unique for your game. Each Icon also has a list of gods associated with them, which I love because 13th Age doesn’t have any named gods. I reviewed this excellent supplement earlier this year, and now Dread Unicorn has released cards to make game play even easier.

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Interview with Rob Stith of The Orpheus Protocol and Seraph Films

Aser and Megan had the chance to chat with Rob Stith from The Orpheus Protocol and Seraph Films about his Actual Play podcast, game system in development, and kickstarter that is currently running! You can find Rob on Twitter, on the Orpheus Protocol website, where you can find the in development rules for the game and listen to episodes.

*Note* The Orpheus Protocol is currently experiencing some problems with iTunes, so if you look for it there or in the iOS Podcast app, you’re going to end up with a podcast feed for Moron Gaming. You can access the episode by using a different app.

Rob is also one of the writers for The Nightmare Gallery, a horror film starring Amber Benson, where she plays a professor searching for the truth about a student who went missing three years earlier. The kickstarter is running through July 4! Please check it out for all kinds of cool rewards.

Outro Music:
Port_City_Music_-_29_-_Night_Terrors from ‘Silber Sounds of Halloween’

What’s Cool on Kickstarter

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

The Yellow King RPG
Aser and I backed this kickstarter without even looking at all the details of the campaign. The King in Yellow plus Robin D. Laws? You know it’s going to be good. It features four setting books you can wind your campaign through as the effect the Yellow King has on the world is realized and people band together to fight back. The settings are Belle Epoque Paris as the play is first released, an alternate reality 1947 where soldiers fight in the ongoing WWII while the Yellow King and his daughters make things much more complicated, a 2017 that exists in the same reality as the 1947, where people are trying to rebuild their lives after a vicious civil war, and a 2017 more reminiscent to now, though reality isn’t quite as solid. The game uses the Gumshoe system, but expands some of the combat and health systems based on the recently released GUmshoe One-2-One. The books are going to come in a beautiful slip case, part of which will unfold into a GM screen. There are, of course, deluxe versions and even some super limited versions that you can get, as well as a sourcebook, a novel, and a gaming roll.

“Pelgrane Press is terrified to announce The Yellow King Roleplaying Game, an innovative new GUMSHOE core game written and designed by creator of the system Robin D. Laws. YKRPG takes you on a brain-bending spiral through multiple selves and timelines.

Inspired by Robert W. Chambers’ influential cycle of short stories, YKRPG pits the characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. This suppressed play, once read, invites madness. Or a visit from its titular character, an alien ruler intent on invading and remolding our world into a colony of their planet, Carcosa. Four books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, confront your players with an epic journey into reality horror.”
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We Got This! 5: It Rolls Downhill

Devil Dog tank with large gun pointing forward

The Imperial Guard push forward to reclaim more of the star fort, but the secessionists have other ideas and tanks that shoot plasma.

GM: Megan
Players: Aser, John, Mike D., and Zack.
System: Warhammer 40k: Only War

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Killers” and “Fife and Drum.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Direct Download!

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

Direct Download!

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

Direct Download!

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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