The most recent game I got was Legs by Jim Philips. It’s not a PWYW it’s just free so I don’t have to feel bad about not giving a stranger money this time around.
It’s a Call of Cthulhu Adventure and describes itself like this –
“A group of friends have come to Chicago to attend a three-day convention in celebration of their favorite weird-fiction author, Harrison Paul Likenstuff. The weekend consists of mostly of sessions discussing Likenstuff’s work and games based on the characters and monsters created by Likenstuff in his stories. The highlight of the convention is a film festival of fan-created shorts inspired by Likenstuff’s work.
After two full days of a fun and exciting convention, the friends attend the screening of a highly-anticipated fan film called Legs. But what has been a harmless and enjoyable weekend getaway quickly turns into a terrifying race to survive.”
It’s pretty good. I would have paid as much as 1 dollar for it. Maybe two. I imagine that many Cthulhu people would say it’s not Cthulhu-y enough since it’s basically a monster shows up and you try not to die instead of tons of investigation and libraries and going insane. But as a stand-alone thing it’s fine.
Call of Cthulhu is probably hands down the RPG I’ve read the most material for that I have never played and probably never will. It’s a good source of “inspiration”.
Speaking of, obviously when you’re making RPG stuff for your own game table you can steal and use whatever you want. But sometimes I read a thing and think “it would be neat for Grace to get involved in something like that” and then I write it. Then later I wonder “is that plagiarism?” Once or twice I’ve written something that was too on the nose and I put a comment that what I wrote was based on this adventure by this person. I wonder sometimes what the line is between “oh that’s a neat idea that I can build my own thoughts on” and blatant theft.
As per usual I land on “well it’s just a blog that hardly anyone reads so who cares?”.
I’m repeating myself but I used to work with a guy who had been writing a zombie novel for many years and part of his process was to watch every zombie movie ever and make sure that everything in his book was not something anything else had ever done. Which is insane on the face of it. That’s too far the other way but where’s the line you know?
Yesterday I was blathering about Vampire/World of Darkness and how I don’t think it gets played with the themes the creators intended most of the time. Based purely on the adventures I read I think CoC struggles with the same thing. A lot of stuff is on brand, hapless investigators caught up in a web of horrors beyond belief and maybe if you’re lucky you’ll survive with your wits intact. But there’s also a lot of it that’s “this Cthulhu Mythos creature showed up, shoot it!” Which is fine of course but it’s not what you’re “supposed” to do. Which is a meaningless concept in RPGs anyway.
That’s another peeve of mine, when RPG people lecture each other on the way they’re supposed to play their games. I said it before and I’ll say it again because I like being kind of gross, RPGs are like making sweet sweet love, as long as everyone involved is into it there’s no wrong way to do it. No one outside needs to render their opinions on what someone else is doing.
Anyway, Legs is the latest RPG supplement I got this year. If you want to get technical the latest RPG I got was Outgunned.
“Outgunned is a cinematic action rpg inspired by the classics of the action and heist genre, from Die Hard to True Lies, passing through James Bond, Lethal Weapon, Kingsman, Ocean’s Eleven, Hot Fuzz, and the latest John Wick.”
Cinematic RPGs seem to be a hot thing lately. I’m not 100% sure what that means. Probably what it means is that it’s a modern setting but you can get shot and the game doesn’t grind to a halt. One of the MASSIVE divides in my game group (besides everything else) is between those who want a gritty realistic modern game on occasion and those who would never want to do that ever. Because I’m the best person ever I see both sides, it’s fun sometimes to play an RPG knowing there’s no safety net, but also it’s lame when you “hero” dies because a thug hit him with a baseball bat.
Outgunned is a cool ruleset for modern run around and shoot people games, which is not something I dip into much. If I play a modern game I want some supernatural stuff in there. My favorite type of game that I never got people to play very often (besides all the other ones) is mostly normal people facing the supernatural. We only really gave it a try once and aside from the fact that everyone made characters that would never work together (as per usual) it was going well until in session three there was a fight and someone got shot and the rules as written were, well that guy’s in the recovery for three months now.
I don’t know if this is common for other people but for me somehow it’s easier to accept wildly unrealistic combat systems in fantasy and sci-fi games.
“The dragon breathes acid on you for 50 damage” – my brain is fine with that.
“El Scorpio fires with his assault rifle and you get hit for 22 damage” – my brain is more apt to think ‘you can’t categorize damage like that’.
Brains am I right?
Now the positivity as intended – Legs & Outgunned, both good!