What new tabletop systems have you read or played recently?


#1

Pretty self explanatory. Most people, even those who play tabletop games regularly, aren’t as familiar with the scope of tabletop game systems as they are with video games, so lets us know what cool stuff you’ve picked up!

I recently bought the World Wide Wrestling RPG, and it seems really interesting. It’s a PbtA game that presents wrestling as it really is, with the wrestlers as performers instead of real fighters. There’s a cool dynamic where putting on a great match tends to make you and your opponent look good, but you always want to come out looking better, whether it’s because you perform more impressive feats in the match itself, or you’ve done some backstage politicking to make sure you end up the winner. There’s no HP, but you can get fired if an episode ends while your “Audience” score is at 0.

It ends up being a semi-competitive theater game, where which is pretty perfect for wrestling. Since wrestling is about 1-on-1 action and a large cast, it does seem to shine a spotlight on PbtA’s biggest issue (Since the PC are the only ones to ever do anything mechanically, NPCs can very easily end up feeling passive) but it’s simple to learn and I’d love to give it a try.


#2

What a great topic! I’ve picked up Uncharted Worlds (at the recommendation of the Waypoint Discord) and have found it a good read! It’s a PbtA game designed to simulate gritty Space Opera (Cowboy Bebop, Space Dandy and Red Dwarf are my touchstones)

I found its efforts to bring a supply and demand based trading system to a much more flexible story based environment strange and first but increasingly finding it quite cool as a way of motivating players to explore and get friendly with (or screw over) the locals. The idea of the Wild Jump (where a 7-9 lets you discover new worlds and factions) is also very cool. It’s a small thing but I also like how help/hinder always has an effect by upgrading/downgrading the roll’s result level rather than just the number (as it should be! Come on, Dungeon World!)


#3

I’m currently playing Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, and The Sprawl. I recently picked up Mouse Guard as something more episodic and light to play with friends new yo RPGs. It led to me also getting the Burning Wheel books but I don’t think I’ll be playing it anytime soon. I’m interested in getting a game of Night Witches going after reading the War Birds Anthology article on Waypoint.

I would love to see @austin.walker run a World Wide Wrestling game with Dan Ryckert, @danielle, and the Giant Bomb crew.


#4

I’ve been looking into Uncharted Worlds recently for a new campaign I’ve been working on. It’s a space opera that’s PbtA. I’ve also wanted to get a group of friends together to play 10 candles. It’s a horror RPG where the only lighting is the ten candles and then you blow them out as time goes on. Everyone always dies at the end it sounds like good fun. We were gonna go camping while playing it, but it’s too hot now in Florida.


#5

It’s good to know it’s going well. How did your players do at the beginning for the character creation? I found it asks a lot from the players and I’m worried of players not being into it.


#6

I’m currently running a campaign in Through The Breach, the Malifaux RPG system. I could write down a lot about Malifaux as a setting (it’s a really crazed combination of victorian gothic horror, steampunk, and wild west themes), but the system itself is tight and fun. Instead of dice, players flip cards to randomize their chances, and keep a hand of cards they can use to cheat fate (and the flip) in their favor. It also has a lot of freedom in chargen, along with some crazy and interesting mechanics for character design (one character in my campaign is a spirit medium who managed to contact her greatx15 uncle to return to the world and defend her, while another draws power from those who die nearby to augment her abilities).


#7

I’ve run a couple of fun one-offs with the new Paranoia recently. Paranoia is a longtime favorite of mine and I think the new edition does it well, maintaining the classic ‘the GM does whatever’ vibe of the game with some actually interesting player mechanics. (That said, while the adventures included in the box set are good, the PDF on sale at DTRPG, Robots of Unusual Size, is a dud. Give it a miss.)

I also ran a great Torchbearer game a while ago that lasted until we played The Hand of the Pit (a super cool module), and the players all made deals with a demon that kind of took them permanently out of dungeon-crawling.

As a player, I was in a good Masks mini-campaign that wrapped up satisfyingly, with a group that then switched into Monsterhearts 1e; but we keep canceling sessions and I’m worried its run out of steam. RPGs are hard to do.


#8

So I’m not hip to a lot of newer systems, due to a lack of time but I miss the old days playing battletech and Vor: the maelstrom. Any old Vor players out there?


#9

I just picked up the Veil and have started going through it. I am currently in a Sprawl campaign, so the Veil has many familiar aspects, but also diverges in some really interesting ways. Stats that describe prowess (such a Meat for fighting) are replaced with emotions. As a result, every player roll utilizes an emotion, which has interesting narrative implications.

However, I struggle to understand how PCs will justify these emotions at every turn. Also, I still can’t wrap my head around what sort of structure such a Veil campaign would be like since it lacks the very rigid framework from the Sprawl that I’m used.

If anyone has anyone has more familiarity with the Veil, or PbtA like it, I’d love to get some insight.


#10

I grabbed a copy of the Numenera sourcebook and have been browsing through it; I love the worldbuilding and what its doing conceptually but unfortunately just haven’t been able to find a group to try it out with


#11

I’m sadly not playing anything right at the moment. I was playing some chat based Chronicles of Darkness stuff (the latest editions of Vampire, Mage, Werewolf, originally developed by White Wolf), but had to drop out. Beyond that, I mostly do weird and obscure stuff at conventions. I recently helped playtest a Powered by the Apocalypse game based around medical dramas, and it was pretty sweet.


#12

I’m gearing up to run some Mouse Guard in the VERY near future. It’s my first time running something Burning Wheel adjacent, and I’m SUPER stoked to get stuck in with this system. The way that the game peels back a lot of thing that would bog down an experience to open up the players to choosing and playing to Beliefs and Instincts of their characters is super interesting. It’s more crunchy than I’ve run since the time I spent DMing D&D 4e, but it seems simple enough once I get some mouse friends to the table.

I bought the fancy deluxe edition, because I can’t help myself when I get my RPGs with boxes AND extra dice.


#13

After years of playing nothing but 4th and 5th edition D&D games, I ran a one shot of Dungeon World for my friends on the JoCo Cruise. It was incredible. It uses character creation to create a world from scratch with basically no prep from the GM, which is exactly what I was looking for. After years of building worlds I wanted something my players and I could all build together and it does exactly that.

After an hour we had this brand new fantasy world that included but was not limited to: a tense peace between a human empire and an underwater civilization of frog people, a city full of dozens of thieves guilds who maintained a complex bureaucratic system of government, a civilization of evangelical vikings, isolationist settlements of very drug friendly halflings, and a new narcotic spreading through the world that was derived from the eggs of mindflayers. All this from my players creating characters and me asking them questions about who their characters were and how they came to know each other.

I was inspired to run it after watching the Dungeon World portion of the Waypoint 72 hour stream and boy howdy it did not disappoint. If you want a narrative leaning RPG that is light on rules I cannot recommend it enough at this point. I desperately want to play again.


Feminism, intersectionality and tabletop RPGs
#14

I fucking love Dread. It’s got just enough rules to keep things grounded. The tower is an amazing automatic tension generator. Also I naturally tend towards suspense and horror themes when I GM, so it feels natural to run it. Oh and I got to build a playlist of creepy ambient music and that was fun too.

Ten candles is another really great horror-themed rpg. But that’s more of an… event. Loads of ceremony and you really gotta commit to the game but it’s impressively effective at what it does.


#15

I recently got, and have been in love with, Mobile Frame Zero: Firebrands.

It’s seriously the best. Can’t wait to get it to the table. No game has looked like it actually understood ‘anime-esque’ storytelling and why those tropes exist in the first place like this game. No stats for your mechs, just messy relationships.


#16

I read the latest version of Zweihänder yesterday, rolled up a character too. Ended up with a singing dwarf slayer. I’m pretty sure I want to be a player in one of those games.


#17

I’ve been reading up on a lot of different system-light, narrative-heavy RPGs while preparing to launch an actual play-podcast with my friends.

For our “pilot” we’re playing Lasers & Feelings, a one-page Star Trek parody system with only a single stat. Needs no prep, can be played in a single session, and most people know which clichés they should play into.

We haven’t determined the setting or system for our first actual campaign yet, but I’m liking how Freeform Universal looks, based on how it will work as a podcast, and the fact that it’s setting agnostic. Other options are Fate Core, or a Powered by the Apocalypse system.

Would love some input if anyone has other systems that would fit this use!


#18

Zweihänder is v good. I should run enemy within with it some time.


#19

Working on a postcyberpunk version of monsterparts, so that’s mostly all I’ve been running.


#20

Every time I see someone mention Uncharted Worlds I feel more and more powerful.

Currently digging through Apocalypse world 2E, Legacy, and the Microscope expansion stuff (v recommend it). I lee trying to read eclipse phase stuff but there’s so much and I don’t really like it’s crunch

Right now I’m playing in a Sprawl game, about to start up a Mechnoir run, and am gonna start GM’ing a couple of one shots starting with Masks (my main group just wants to chill for a bit after back to back long campaigns)