Just in time Only slightly late for 💖 Valentine’s Day! 💖
Monsterhearts 2 is the second edition of Avery Alder’s1Monsterheartsroleplaying game. As you might guess from the title, this RPG lives in the intersection of teen romance and horror. Not limited to the usual issues presented by puberty, this game has extra issues galore! The player characters in this storytelling game are (almost all) literal monsters, transformed by circumstance and magic into strange new forms.
Despite which, they are still expected to attend high school.
Greg Stafford, Steven Perrin, Jeff Richard, Jason Durall, and friends1’ 2018RuneQuest – Roleplaying in Glorantha (RQG) is the latest2edition of the venerable roleplaying game, RuneQuest (RQ). My review of the 2nd edition can be found here.
And how does this version of the pioneering game stand up, forty years after the first edition saw print?
Rikizou’s Kamigakari: God Hunters is a Japanese urban-fantasy table-top roleplaying game. The 2020 English-language edition was published by Serpent Sea Games.
Ever since the Japanese Synchronous Inferno1, malevolent beings known as Aramitama are invading our world in ever increasing numbers, corrupting mortals in a bid to bring about the apocalypse. Providentially, a handful of mortals, player characters included, are imbued with the attributes needed to hold back these supernatural menaces! These mortals can change the very laws of nature to fight evil!
(Sometimes they end up incinerated after altering reality once too often. Aw shucks.)
Green Ronin’s 2019Superteam Handbook is intended for use with their Mutants and Masterminds superhero roleplaying game. It’s a source book for game masters, with advice on how to run superhero teams in an SHRPG.
As is appropriate for a product of this nature, Superteam Handbook is a team effort:
Writing & design: Jennifer DK, Crystal Frasier, Steve Kenson, Jack Norris, John Polojac, Lucien Soulban, Miranda Sparks, Fred Wan, and Jordan Wyn
Aaron Allston’s 1988Strike Force was a campaign source book for the third edition of Hero Games’ superhero roleplaying game Champions. The book is based on the author’s long experience (close to a decade) of running games based on various editions of Champions.
Many, many role-playing game companies have been tempted into doing RPG adaptations of established media franchises, such as books, TV shows, or movies. The attraction is obvious; the product comes with a built-in market. Unfortunately, there are also many, many pitfalls. Many of the companies who have dabbled in licensed products have emerged from the experience poorer for it. There’s a trick to surviving adaptations and not every company has it.
Way back in 1983, I was thrilled to read in Different Worlds 29 that Chaosium Games had acquired the rights to do a role-playing game based on Larry Niven’s Ringworld (a title that did not at that time inspire feelings of melancholy and despair over the decline of a once-great author). Not only had Chaosium created Runequest, one of my favourite RPGs, but they had ample experience at turning literary properties into games1. By 1983, Chaosium’s licensed products included Thieves’ World, Stormbringer, and of course Call of Cthulhu.
It’s not entirely true to say that Ringworld the RPG got caught up in Development Hell, but I do think it’s safe to say the project turned out to be bigger than John Hewitt or any of the other people involved could have envisioned. Despite delays, Larry Niven’s Ringworld: Roleplaying Adventure Beneath the Great Arch was finally released in 19842.
And what did a youthful James find when he popped open his copy of the game?