Monday, 18 April 2016

Have you played: Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Ok, so this is the second time I've written this because stupid Blogger stupid deleted the post, and it was a pretty long one. Needless to say I'm angry with Google and will be taking legal action against them.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about Lord of the Rings: The Card Game by the sexy bods at Fantasy Flight. For the uninitiated, LotR: TCG is a game for one or more players who are on a mission against the deck, fighting off nasties and completing quests. Each player has three heroes who must travel to various locations, undertake quests and keep the threat level down by gutting orcs and such. The higher the threat level, the more likely stronger enemies will notice and automatically attack you. It's a delicate balance of managing the number of enemies in the staging area and committing your heroes to quests.

Also, it's hard as balls. Ball hard, if you will. In the core game there are three quests, each having multiple parts. I've only been able to beat the first quest and the first part of the second quest. I've heard that the final quest is like being repeatedly kicked in the face except, you know, with cards.

But dammit, I love this game. I love the fact that Fantasy Flight release expansions every month (although I don't love that I can't buy them all). There are even Saga Expansions that let you play out an RPG-like campaign through the Lord of the Rings story. Right now, they're somewhere at the second part of the Two Towers.

Oh, and you can play the game solo, which is a huge bonus. It plays really well solitaire, although it does tend to be harder when you're on your own.

So, have you played it and what were your experiences?

*Fantasy Flight didn't pay me a penny to write this, but if anyone from there is reading and wants to send me sets to review, go ahead ;)

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Quill: Love Letters, Out Now

It's been just over a month since I released Quill and, I have to say, I've been overwhelmed with the positive response its receive. Now, in time for Valentine's Day, you can download Love Letters, five brand new scenarios for Quill all based around, well, love.

As with the original game, Love Letters is pay what you want, so what are you waiting for? Get writing!

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Comic Review: Trans-Planetarium #1

How would you feel if you lost everything because of who you are? In Trans-Planetarium, we immediately find protagonist in the midst of her answer to this question - bleeding out into a bathtub. It's a powerful image to kick off a book and it's that hook that grabs you and thrusts you into Alice's story.

Alice was born 'Alex', but from a young age realised that he was a female in a male's body. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, a young guy dressing in girl's clothes is going to be a to be a target for bullying and ostracization. As Alice is losing blood, we're given a glimpse of the past that led her to where she was right then.

Just as all hope seems to be lost, Alice is visited by what seems to be an angelic savior. It's not made entirely apparent in this first issue who this character is, aside from Alice's self-proclaimed 'teacher'. She works similarly to Ebeneezer Scrooge's ghosts, revealing a window of time to Alice to show all of human history- the sadness, the joy, the death and so on. Through this, we see that Alice was assaulted by a guy she met in a bar once he realised that she was transgender. We see various scenes where Alice is given a pretty raw deal through the shunning of her peers and even the loss of her job. Ultimately, the angel explains to her that through the challenges we find the beauty in life - a positive message and an important one.

Trans-Planetarium is written by Phillip "Flip" Knox, who can convincingly structure an effective narrative, although the dialogue does feel slightly rough around the edges at the moment with some clumsy phrasing - but it still works.

The artwork by John Abiera is composed well, with some genuinely good character expressions. While the colours are a tad flat, they are still nice and vibrant, making the book pop.

Trans-Planetarium ends with a good cliffhanger, but also works well as a stand-alone piece. The thing that really stands out is that it's a book with a trans protagonist dealing with trans issues. This isn't something we necessarily see in mainstream comics, so it's great to see a trans-positive book out there. Although it can come off a little heavy in parts (there's a particular scene where a doctor refers to Alice as 'it' that feels slightly forced) it's wonderful to see that this kind of comic exists and the creative team must be applauded for it.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player

I've been thinking about solo roleplaying a lot recently, which led me to create Quill, a roleplaying game about writing letters.

Yes, instead of thwacking orcs, in Quill your aim is to write the best missives, with characters like the Poet, the Monk, the Knight and the Aristocrat. Rather than attributes like strength and wisdom, in Quill you have Penmanship, Heart and Language.

In a game of Quill you will be writing a real letter, so crack out the parchment and ink - it's time to scribe!

Quill is pay what you want on DriveThruRPG right now

Monday, 4 January 2016

Random Starship Name Generator

One of the best parts of a sci fi game is the ability to fly your very own ship, which holds true for Somnium Void too. Below is one of the random generators found in the new setting book - just roll 2d10 to name your ship.

First Name  

1. Dread
2. Black
3. Silent
4. Moon
5. Flash
6. Century
7. Ace
8. Shock
9. Red

Second Name  

1. Goliath
2. Striker
3. Bandit
4. Cobra
5. Runner
6. Star
7. Nebula
8. Vulture
9. Leviathan
10. Hunter

Pay what you want for Somnium Void today.