So I talked about the Board Game experience at the GaMExpo earlier this week, but do to the many awesome things we were doing I had to wait to write about the great RPGs that were out there. So without further ado here are the cool paper RPGs I ended up playing at the GaMExpo!
First I want to talk a little bit about the vendors that were there. A friend of mine David with WistfulTiger.com was selling his Fate games. There were two settings that were up for sale, the first being Starcrossed. David and I actually got to talk a little bit about this game and I was very interested by the setting itself. The time is in the distant future where mankind has journeyed into the stars, and by a mysterious potentially unscrupulous means no less. Mankind reaches out into the great blackness to find that they are not alone, and beyond that we are all not that different. All of the “aliens” in space have DNA that is around 98% compatible with our own! The problem is that no one knows why this is the case. Was it a higher power or maybe a giant coincidence? Maybe humanity has generated this themselves in some ancient forgotten past. No one knows and the only thing that matters now is that players are faced with living in a cold galaxy. This game faces some great philosophical themes such as “What makes a human human?” or “At what level does a being reach consciousness, and what things are able to reach that level?” As a philosophy major I love these questions and would love to put players in a universe that lets them have opinions about these kind of important questions. Dave also had another setting that was explained to me as “The Dresden files for adults” unfortunately, and this completely my fault, I got immediately sucked into the sci-fi setting game and did not give the proper attention to these specific titles but luckily for us the internet is vast and expansive. Lucky for you I actually follow Dave’s sight through the wordpress reader tools and you can find a link to his site here, and in the widget tool at the bottom of the site (plus some other cool small game content sites like mine that don’t always post as much as we do).
The next game I got to play was Fantaji with Anthropos Games. The guys repping this game were great. You could tell that Calvin and Jake were in it for the games and they also took a really interesting take on RPGs. Calvin, one of the makers of these games, has a degree in anthropology, and is using that education and passion to make some great games. Their first game Early Dark is a really cool idea. Calvin created the universe to help players accept a unique mix of traditional cultures, and his bestiary takes inspiration from cultures all around the world. You are sure to experience unique creatures that capture the imagination from people all around the world. On top of that Calvin explained that he had mixed compatible cultures in a way that brings more ignored cultures into the spotlight. Your fantasy setting will now have a mix of unique Indian culture making the challenges unique and allowing you and your players to experience new things as well.
Their other game is a little newer and called Fantaji. This Is a really cool player driven narrative focused RPG that allows players to cover a wide range of actions. When Calvin and Jake took Hunter and I through the game we mostly got to cover a combat in the game. I did buy this game so I will eventually go into more rule details later but the way that all conflict works goes along a pretty neat system. Players can do one of three major actions. The first is to get a narrative token. The narrative token can be used defensively and will protect you from any major damage, so it’s important to always have one on hand. The next thing you can do is establish a setting detail. In Fantaji nothing is taken for granted. You can narrate your character as being anywhere or doing pretty much anything, but you can change those details unless there is a direct setting condition that puts it into the narrative (the other thing that players can do). The way to establish these things is to roll a single d10 at the GMs challenge level. From there it’s a simple above wins and below looses. The combat is directed by the narrative as well. Every character, including the NPC, considers the drives in the narrative and you get a d10 for every drama token as well. You add a d10 for every drive and drama point then roll off with the NPC. The highest dice wins and for every dice you have the highest you do more damage. Next is the drives. Every character has two drives, as well as the narrative having four drives. These drives are loosely based and can be interpreted in as many ways as possible. When drives are honored they help the players succeed at the game, so you can see the narrative drives the encounters. The coolest thing about Fantaji is that it is a basic system that is meant to be interpreted to any setting you can think of. So if you want high fantasy, sci-fi, or weird war it does not matter. Fantaji is the system for you.
The next thing of course was my RPGs. I got to go to the GaMExpo for free by helping them out and playing games. I decided to run both Mouse Guard and Star Wars: Age of Rebellion. To be sure I had a lot of fun with these systems and I learned some cool stuff that I will talk about later, but for now it’s easy enough to say that I had a ton of fun running these games with some friends that I made while I was playing. Not only that, if you are in the San Antonio area and want to help the GaMExpo GMing is a great way to help. The only warning I have is to take it seriously. You would be representing your hobby to potentially new hobbyists, and that is a big responsibility.
I played other games as well such as World Wide Wrestling, a game where you take the persona of a famous televised wrestler and duke it out with fellow players. I also played Hunters Wheel of Time game that was very fun. I loved hurling fireballs at baddys and dancing around like no one was watching! The best part about the GMs that work towards giving a great experience is that they are completely there for you. If they wanted to play they could just join up and play games, or play with their normal party, but they take the time to come out and show off their favorite games. Everyone’s style was different and every system had it’s own pros and cons! It was really a magical experience and in my mind it was worth going just for that! Anyone going next year needs to hit up the RPG side of things and get into at least one game during the con.
That was my experience with the RPG side of the GaMExpo! I hope y’all enjoyed my article and if you did then please share with the links below! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter @nblogcollective. You can also help us out by visiting our Patreon Page! We have rewards for backers such as voting on games we review and getting access to our Discord Server that we frequent all the time. Thanks again for visiting the website and as always,