Given the changes in my life with the upcoming kid (very soon now!) I’m looking at how I’ll be working some gaming into my schedule. At the moment I don’t really see myself running long campaigns just yet, which makes me more than a little sad. However, it does open up the possibility of running all sorts of one-shot using game systems that I’ve not really had the opportunity to try.

Foremost among these would be Kuro and Numenera, two games that I’ve been very impressed with but have not had time to run. Also on this list is Fantasy Craft, and once I’ve read up on the novels again, the Mistborn Adventure Game. I’ve a few other games in mind as well, with an eye towards supers gaming (so AMP: Year One might see some time in my gaming table as well!)

That’s it for now, I can’t pin things down with specifics just yet, but I’m honestly a little glad to have been given a bit of a break from running games every weekend. I can almost feel my brain decompressing and soaking up new stuff to inspire games in the future. I really ought to take longer breaks more often.

I’ll confess that the most amusing chapter of The Strange would have to be the Bestiary. If a game goes and labels itself “Strange” and expressly states that it is a setting that allows pretty much anything to exist (as a recursion, or something else) then you’ll at least expect to find some totally crazy concepts for monsters.

The Strange core book does not disappoint in this regard.

As with Numenera, creature entries in The Strange feature more than just the mechanical bits, and a general description of what a creature looks like, but also its motivations, possible interactions, combat behavior, and possible uses in game for a GM looking to employ a given monster in their game.

Most of the monsters in this section are given a full color illustration, with some of them looking very weird indeed. I’m normally hesitant to talk about artwork as I don’t consider myself as an expert, but there’s definitely a spark of madness in majority of the monsters in the book.

The monsters aren’t just the usual cookie cutter orc and goblins either, everything is pretty out there, and one of my favorites is the “Dark Energy Pharoah” whose backstory is so amusing that it’s bordering on something I’d expect to see out of a Jodorowsky book.

The NPC section is pretty useful, with a handful of generic builds for the usual people you’d normally run into in a game, while having stats for some noteworthy few characters that would be fun encounters for a group of Agents. I wish there were a few more of these though, as it feels that the authors had to cut out some content for space.

Overall this section of the book alone adds tremendous value to The Strange as a setting, and to Numenera GMs who are looking to add to their already substantial roster of oddities to run into. The beauty of the system found in both games is that it’s simple enough to use assets from either game in the other, without any major hiccups.

If you’d like to study with us, you can get a PDF copy of The Strange from DriveThruRPG for only $19.99 or roughly Php 860.00

We’ve hit on the concept of Recursions earlier on in this series, but this part of the book is the one that deals with the mechanics behind them in play. Recursions are neat in the sens that it’s an excuse for a GM to tack on pretty much any setting they can think of to a game of The Strange and it will work out just fine.

Recursions possess several traits, such as a Level, which determines the difficulty of translating into that recursion, and Laws, which dictate the physics that rule over the particular recursion, such as magic or mad science.

Another interesting fact is that with the discovery of a “Reality Seed” player characters can actually create their own Recursions, ranging from small pocket dimensions to fully mature alternate worlds that follow their whim. Obviously it isn’t easy, and there’s plenty of room for things to get “interesting” but that’s all part of the fun.

This section also delves into the three main settings of The Strange: Earth, the magical realm of Ardeyn and the world of Mad Science known as Ruk. Each of these goes into detail on the nature of each of the settings, including plot hooks, NPC factions and unique locations.

This opens up The Strange to all manner of games, from espionage, to conspiracy and high adventure across dozens of interesting scenarios.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, The Strange isn’t really just a setting as much as it’s ALL settings. Fans of world-hopping and cross-genre stories will adore The Strange as it gives you ever excuse to be elsewhere and elsewhen at the drop of a hat. I can totally see a campaign revolving around agents pursuing villains across a dozen worlds modeled after well-known videogames, for example.

If you’d like to study with us, you can get a PDF copy of The Strange from DriveThruRPG for only $19.99 or roughly Php 860.00

[Review] Kuro: Makkura

Posted: December 15, 2014 by pointyman2000 in Kuro, Roleplaying Games
Tags: , , ,


The second release for the Kuro Roleplaying Game by 7emmeCercle and Cubicle 7 Entertainment, Makkura is a solid series of adventures that delivers the authentic Cyberpunk-Asian Horror vibe that Kuro is best known for.

Makkura is a series of no less than six fully-fleshed out adventures that pick up from the original adventure from the Kuro Corebook. Each one showcases a different type of Japanese ghost story with a technomagical spin to it.

Each adventure is given a background, and supplementary information to help hammer home the feel that each scenario is meant to invoke. There are multiple ways to get the player characters involved, and each adventure has a full complement of NPCs that aid, hinder, or harm the characters as they work their way through each adventure.

The adventures in Makkura aren’t particularly long, as I can see them wrapping up in one or two sessions each. That said, the way that they were presented were very well done, and were always grounded on a Japanese / Asian horror aesthetic that made it feel different from the standard horror fare for those familiar with more western takes on the genre.

I’m normally wary of adventure supplements, as I do poorly with regards to executing them as a GM. That said, I found the formatting for Makkura to be excellent as it deviates from the tired “read by the numbers” approach to giving a general flow of events, and trusting the GM to take it from there. It might not always be helpful for new GMs, but it suits me very well, and gives me the freedom to twist and tweak the scenario as necessary.

One touch that I really like is that each chapter ends with smaller events that the GM is free to use to sprinkle in their Kuro campaigns in order to reinforce the feeling of dread and horror in their games.

Makkura is an excellent collection of adventures that deliver an authentic japanese horror vibe, in the unique cyberpunk world of Kuro. There are some pretty big spoilers in the book so I definitely recommend avoiding any reading if you plan to play through this.

Makkura is available in PDF format from DriveThruRPG for $14.99 or roughly Php 644.00 HERE

Refueling My Creativity & A New Pet Project

Posted: November 26, 2014 by pointyman2000 in Roleplaying Games

The one thing good about being unable to run a game lately is the fact that it’s giving my subconscious a chance to actually start generating ideas again. Without the pressure of needing to come up with a game every weekend, I’ve been able to watch a few TV shows (mainly The Flash and Constantine so far, along with some Gundam Build Fighters Try.)

There’s an acute feeling when you know that you’re getting good ideas and your brain is stowing them away somewhere. It’s like an itch of sorts as your mind looks for ways to fit it into the context of a narrative of several dozen possible campaigns. At the moment however, I’m content to let these things buzz around in my head an percolate, maybe stock up on a bunch more before I go out and try running something again after my son arrives in the world and we’ve managed to get over that bit of craziness.

Speaking of my son, I’ve been thinking about ways to come up with a game that he can play when he’s old enough. While I know there are a lot of good options for kid friendly games out there, there’s a part of me that wants to put something together for him. Maybe it’s because I’m useless with tools, and all I know how to make are tabletop game mechanics.

In either case, this little pet project has the following objectives:

  • Mechanically simple, but flexible – Kids games don’t have to be tactically crunchy, but they have to reward creativity. As such the mechanics have to be simple enough for kids to understand, and won’t get in the way of any inventive solutions they might have.
  • A nod to his heritage – Setting-wise, I’m hoping to be able to instill an appreciation to his Chinese heritage. I’m no expert in Chinese culture (heck I can’t even speak the language) but I want him to be familiar with and accepting of elements of the culture. Needless to say I’m gunning for a Wuxia angle here, but skewed towards a much more kid-friendly approach.
  • Values formation – I never thought I’d end up using that phrase, but key to the role playing game I have in mind is the fact that it can be used to teach lessons relating to values and character traits that I want to instill in him. It has to be mechanically rewarding, but implemented in a way that makes sense.
  • Easy to teach and run – Part of this project is that I’m also looking to be able to have other parents run the game for their own kids. As such I’m hoping to be able to come up with a manuscript that will teach parents to run for their kids, and provide tools for creating scenarios and campaigns for their kids.

The funny thing is that I’ve already got the mechanics and stuff down on notes. I just need to find the time to put the manuscript together and someone to illustrate and lay out the book.