Recent community posts
Patchwork World is unconcerned with convention, it does not care about white space or polish. It is a text that cares about its reader, future players, and trusts they will care more about its content than its cover. It’s a game that I want so badly to be the model for indie designers everywhere, because it’s first and foremost about its words.
With a solid core of prompts and scenes to help players simulate a day in the life of a professional duelist, Corps a Corps ramps up wonderfully into emotional and tense battles that resolve into a satisfying climax.
I think Into the Riverlands...is a perfect example of how to straddle the line between lore-dump and plot hook, a text that’s full of interesting, weird details that provoke far more questions than it answers. In twenty short pages, Riverlands describes a fantasy world of crumbling empires, thriving cities, and awe-inspiring forests, while leaving off loose ends and lingering questions ripe for answering through play. While it still has plenty enough substance to draw a map, it’s absolutely full of ambiguous Proper Nouns that will have you saying, “Oh shit, I can do something wild with this.”
The quality and scope of files up on itchio varies dramatically, but the fact is people love making games. The current “industry” of tabletop games is a mess, but the thing that endears me so deeply to indie games is that they are, by and large, labors of love.
Untitled Moth Game is certainly no exception.
A strategic solo journaling game built on Blades in the Dark mechanics, this game takes a fascinating look at the political and logistical realities of revolution, and gives players the choice to determine whether this one follows historical trends, or becomes immortalized in stories through the ages.
I hope I get a chance to play Mausritter someday. It channels that same sense of adventure and excitement as the media that inspires it, and that cannot be discounted.
But for me? Mausritter nails the terror of being small. And in an RPG scene where heroes are nigh-unkillable, facing down dragons without a second thought, I think it’s good to be reminded that we live alongside real life dragons every day.
That’s where Beak, Feather, and Bone bleeds over from fantasy worldbuilding into the actual politics of cartography. The lines you draw in BFB assert a truth about the world, that your faction actually can and does enforce a claim on specific buildings and regions of the map. But in a game where your map is both objectively accurate and also designed by multiple factions with competing agendas, it makes me wonder how strong a particular crow-person’s hold on that nice duplex might actually be.
Influenced by Three Houses and Naruto, but also by Gundam and Friends at the Table’s “Counter/Weight” season, Spectres is a game that explicitly emulates stories about students facing each other across battlefields, torn between the love they once shared and their devotion to their causes. It’s exactly the kind of narrative-focused game I want to see in the world, and I’m so glad it’s finally being released. Go to class, have big feelings, and have it all fall apart as the world is consumed by mecha warfare. High school never ends, you just graduate to the frontlines.
Anamnesis is about deciding who you are in spite of who you’ve been. Your memories, even if they’re forgotten or manufactured, aren’t as important as what you do with what time you still have. Your past is undoubtedly important, and it may follow you long after you’ve forgotten it. But it’s not some all-powerful force like gravity or destiny. With time, even the past can be re-written. And the good news is: you always have time to become someone new.
What Dust Remains, written by 2022 Diana Jones Emerging Designer Award winner Momatoes, asks players to go behind the scenes of the accomplished and powerful, take up the mantle of legacy, and try to build something that will eclipse you, even at the cost of the things you hold most dear.
More important than its cozy vibes and natural themes, however, is the medium in which you play Brumal/Vernal. While you could send letters over email or one of a half dozen instant messaging platforms, to get its full impact, I firmly believe you need to play it by mail. Because at its core, this is a game about longing.
Navathem’s End, written by Sinta Posadas and Pamela Punzalan, not only achieved the fantasy of expanding a D&D campaign, but elevated it into an entire book. It turns characters from Posadas and Punzalan’s previous game into saints, inspiring a new generation of heroes to look to the past in order to salvage a world that was broken long ago. Absolutely stuffed with lore and employing a blend of Forged in the Dark (FITD) and Powered by the Apocalypse (PBTA) mechanics, Navathem’s End is a robust game that will appeal to both D&D players and indie enthusiasts.
Far Horizons Guide to Cults is an excellent example of the myriad ways cults can be inserted into any tabletop campaign to add intrigue and excitement. As part of their ongoing Kickstarter campaign, they released two sample factions in their preview, which will be the subject of this review. After looking them over, I was impressed with Far Horizons’ sample cults. Each holds unique beliefs and practices that don’t fall into boring stereotypes, and can be easily adapted to any setting.
I’m fairly new to the TTRPG scene. I didn’t even know about itch.io until the middle of 2020, and didn’t plug into the indie Twitter community until 2021. Slayers, a rules-light monster-fighting RPG by Spencer Campbell, was published in September of 2020, and the experience of reading it over the past few weeks makes me wish to God I had been following its launch.