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Witch Dream
by Norbert [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2024 15:03:56

An amazing small TTRPG, though it calls itself an adventure game instead of a roleplaying game for undisclosed reasons (you will very much play a role, a player character in it, however). Presumably, it's made for a game master (called the Judge in this case) and 1 to 5 players. It's got everything you might know and love about D&D and other typical fantasy RPGs except that everything is distilled down to the barest essential core elements. No classes or levels, not even heroic archetypes, no progressing in levels or stats at all - but you are encouraged and expected to discover magical secret abilities, items, weapons, and treasure and build the world narratively as you go along. Witch Dream requires no traditional attributes like dexterity or intelligence for its characters. You get three skills at the beginning, and those are not gradable or broken down into levels, and picked freeform-style. Also, all player characters come with three Hits (wounds that they can take). After taking the third and final Hit, your character could either be dead and removed from play or still alive but out of action within the story for a while. Apparently, this is entirely dependent on context. So, the GM or Judge has above-average narrative say over the characters and the world. But also the players are expected to keep adding to the world and fleshing it out over time. It's also recommended to build not one, but three characters so you have a pool of adventurers to draw on. A group with four players could have a dozen adventurers all living in the same world and appearing in different combinations in different short adventure stories. There is very bare-bones dice rolling, but the math is super-easy. In fact, I have felt that the core resolution for skill rolls and risk rolls and so forth is pretty well hidden in the text. It is almost a case of "blink and you missed it," but I am happy to say I got the rules memorized and instantly understood them. Players typically roll 2d6 against a case-by-case fluctuating difficulty number of 3-12, with 3 being the easiest. The higher the better, meet or beat the target number. If you have an applicable skill or favorable condition while performing an action, that means you are allowed to take an extra d6 and use the highest two out of three d6 results. Unfavorable conditions do the opposite: Roll 3d6 and add the lowest two. I was in fact deeply familiar with that mechanic from Barbarians of Lemuria and Everywhen myself, had been using it for years. But Witch Dream is simpler because skills never add any bonuses to the pips on the d6. It's minimalist because it wants to be minimalist. It is definitely not for the min-maxers or for the number-crunching type of gamer. There is also a section on magic and spellcasting, called Sorcerous Runes. Under those rules, all magic happens by casting runes (possibly, imagined as "rune stones" that are literally thrown from a bag or pouch?). You have to discover a rune first of all. Then it becomes basically a matter of speaking a phrase aloud and with intent, and the "spell" simply happens. This turns the runes into one-use super-abilities that allow characters to do seemingly impossible feats and break the normal laws of reality, such as stepping through a mirror like Alice in Wonderland, or gaining the power of flight, or turning invisible for a while. Fifty sample runes are provided. Whether that is truly, definitively the only available magic in the setting is debatable at best, and might go against the freeform narrative nature of the rest of the game. If there are only runes, and the runes' effects are fixed, then what are all the alleged witches and sorcerers of the setting really doing? The Runes chapter is likely intended as the only form of magic available "on the go" to adventurers, yet slowly discovered over time. The world is probably full of other magic secrets, power batteries and artifacts, and the fragments of scrolls and tablets containing spells. It is likely one of the strange dark fantasy worlds where magical knowledge is mostly forgotten and unavailable, with magic slowly receding from the world, and only a few sorcerers left. Those will also almost certainly be corrupted and evil. Think more Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja than your typical D&D world where every village has spellcasters. There is a liberating ease of gameplay in Witch Dream. It got me very excited within 2 to 3 days. To me, it sits exactly midway between the Everywhen system and the one-page story games like Sorcerers & Sellswords. With the latter, it clearly shares the tone and feel of psychedelic weird fantasy worlds such as Ralph Bakshi's Wizards (that weirdly mesmerizing animated feature film from 1977) and possibly also his Lord of the Rings adaptation and the Frazetta-inspired Fire and Ice, so, all three of Bakshi's fantasy epics. Combine that with Richard Corben comics and other weird and whacko over-the-top fantasy from Heavy Metal (the magazine), far-out 1970s rock album art like the stuff by Hawkwind, and the retro dungeon-crawling fun of DCC, Swords and Wizardry, and more, only with a lot less math. One of the philosophies I took from Witch Dream is contained in the catchphrase "Play the world, not only the characters!" This is the type of freestyle story game where even the GM doesn't necessarily know where the heck the story is going. Mutual trust and easy-going cooperative storytelling are key here. There is no prescribed or fleshed out world setting for Witch Dream, deliberately so. In fact, the whole thing seems appropriately dreamlike to me. There are a few references to dreams, dreamwitches and the realm of dreams sprinkled throughout the PDF. The monsters and locations are barely two or three lines each (in very large lettering), they are just interesting or compelling-sounding phrases that are meant to get the players' imagination going. There are a dozen weird and fairytale-like locations that are meant to exist somewhere in the world, but strictly speaking they are just names: There are the Gordalian Fjords, the Cascarian Plains, the Gulch of Gundahar, etc. Also, places named "Ord" and "Thornhold" are mentioned several times, without specifying what they are like and what they look like. As long as it's wondrous and foreign and important-sounding, you're good to go. This is probably where one might criticize that Witch Dream is not really a beginner's game as it requires so much previous familiarity with fantasy tropes, legends and fairytales. If you have years of previous experience with those and can easily ad-lib and flesh out ideas, you can go crazy with Witch Dream. I like it immensely because it ties in so well, perhaps unintentionally, with several of the weird fantasy and sword & sorcery RPGs I already have. It can act as a bridge between or a gateway to those other games. Or you just play it as is and see where it might take you. I appreciate the retro "psychedelic rock" '70s aesthetic in the fonts and the colors used throughout the PDF. Maybe with a bigger budget and a full-on art direction, it could be redone with its own unique artwork. For now, it uses strictly public domain art, which might look too generic or blurry to some gamers. My other tiny gripe about it is that the pages don't display well on a smartphone screen or small tablet. The PDF is not meant for easy reading on a phone, and on most pages, you will have to swipe carefully from left to right and up and down to follow the text. That is why I didn't read the game in its entirety weeks earlier. I had to wait till I had time to read it properly on a big screen (I am almost 50 y. o. and have trouble reading anything on a phone). As a matter of fact, the fan-made character sheet uploaded to itch.io looks great but is a nightmare to print because there is a huge black cloak taking up the lower left quarter of the page. On DriveThruRPG, it doesn’t even come with a character sheet. So, that is one thing you have to come up with yourself. Most of the people who are likely to pick up Witch Dream will be DIY types and good at improv, so they will be able to improvise a character sheet. If Witch Dream had a more printer-friendly version out as an alternative, and a less art-intensive character sheet, it would be nearly perfect as an inexpensive "crazy weird" mini RPG.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Witch Dream
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Dead Gods: Miniatures Skirmish Game
by Colton J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2024 17:47:25

Absolutely amazing! The actual best rules lite wargame. This game is easier to learn, read and play than One Page Rules, and it's got stylish art. So many rules over explain things like "pick who goes first randomly," but the author keeps it simple. It's a pretty simple game-- 5 minis each, try to be the first one to go steal a treasure and get out. Well written game, I hope it gets the popularity it deserves!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dead Gods: Miniatures Skirmish Game
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Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player
by Jim L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2024 09:29:52

Quill: A Letter-Writing Role-Playing Game is a gem that really surprised me. It's fun, but more importantly, it is an amazing tool for academic writing purposes, perfect for weaker writers and students with dyslexia. By itself, it's not perfect, but it's a genuine trove of ideas that mean well and work well. Plus, it's PWYW. Easily 5 stars from me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player
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In Darkest Warrens (Ultimate Edition)
by Winter [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2023 01:42:41

This lightweight NSR game has a beautiful aesthetic and one really simple resolution mechanic. I run it PBP style on a forum, and I include friends who are new to RPGs or intimidated by crunchier systems. Some of the players are veteran dungeon crawlers, however, and we have found this game very simple to hack to include our favorite tropes and mechanics. Big thanks to the Trollish Delver!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In Darkest Warrens (Ultimate Edition)
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Quill: Love Letters
by Roger J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2023 16:47:43

Every Quill game is fantastic, and this might be my favorite one. I was playing Quill while working on a separate songwriting project, and it really helped me get past some creative blocks, especially when I was writing more romantic sort of songs.

The framework Quill provides is light enough that you don't have to constantly think or look up the rules, but it provides enough constraint and open-ended detail, that it helps get the creative gears turning. The scoring system is quite clever as well!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Quill: Love Letters
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Dead Gods: Miniatures Skirmish Game
by Dominik H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2023 03:55:54

In my search of funny and easy skirmish systems, i stumbled over Dead gods. Always fond of rules that fit on few pages, I tryed it and was instantly hyped. Fast gameplay, smooth rules and a easily cusomizable rooster made it the purchase of the month for me. It resembles Warcry or WH Underworlds with far smother and better ballanced rules. If you are looking for a fun game that can be played in less than one hour, is prepared in 5, inclusive list building and is easily scaled up for bigger fights, this is for you! Looking foreward for your announced expansion and keep up the fun! Oh, and sorry for my bad english ;) !



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dead Gods: Miniatures Skirmish Game
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Wired Neon Cities: Ultimate Edition
by Stefan L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2022 01:26:17

Wired Neon Cities is a really nice, short, quick to learn cyberpunk rulebook (well... 9 pages). It kinda reminded me of the One Page Rules adapted to cyberpunk. And as the One Page Rules work quite well, this product also does. It might not be enough for hardcore Cyberpunk or Shadowrun players who love the complexity of the related rulebooks. But it works perfect for one shots and short campaigns.

But... layout is quite aweful. If you want to look something up, you have to start some kind of a "mini quest" to find it. On the other hand... with a rulebook of nine pages the rules part is only four pages long. So it's quite easy to keep all importent (on most of the less importend) rules in mind. Nonetheless the layout ist the reason for me to rate it at only four stars.

Only four pages rules? What's with the rest you ask. Well, cover page aside you get two sides quick overview over Glow City, the provided playgound and two sides "Vegas Rise - A Starter Adventure".

All in all a recommendable low-cost rulebook for quick fun. And with some little house rules you could quickly provide mid- to long-term campaign motivation as well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wired Neon Cities: Ultimate Edition
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English Eerie (Second Edition)
by Lawrence P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2022 16:57:45

Really fun game! I played this game at a Halloween party and we had a great time improvising a spooky story about a rural bed & breakfast haunted by a cursed portrait.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
English Eerie (Second Edition)
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Wired Neon Cities - Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying
by Olaf A. R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2022 13:29:16

After trying lots of differents systems for my cyberpunk games, I'm stuck and in love with WNC. Sure, I made some tweaks of my own to appeal to my own tastes, but nothing grandiouse. The rules as they are absolutely spot on the themes of cyberpunk, and allow for plenty of room to modify them on the fly while playing. The background setting is an exquisite add-on, although you can of course use WNC as is to play in Night City, Neuromancer or any other classic cybepunk setting. Great job!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wired Neon Cities - Minimalist Cyberpunk Roleplaying
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Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player
by John P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2022 21:39:54

The game portion is kind of weak. However, using Quill as a creative writing exercise is beautiful and effervescent. For those that like to write, I highly recommend it.

Here's what I wrote: "To the Archduke Godfrey,

I have heard the news of your sister, Mary of Linchester. Her needless passing has affected those far and wide. I’m unable to convey my feelings of sorrow and loss with her removal from our plane. Mary was like another sister to me. Her kindness warmed every room. Her laughter filled the halls with joy and mirth. It seems I am unable to escape those memories as of recent. I keep coming back to our times together, the good times filling my heart to bursting. I hope your memories treat you more kindly than mine Godfrey. I know you spent even more time with her growing up. When we were children we got an education together led by Lady Gness. The lady was always trying to impart math and writing upon us. Mary and I were more interested in quickly climbing trees away from the schoolhouse. We sat by the lake and ran through the hills. We once raced frogs on the fence line. When “Lady Hop” was in the lead I got frustrated and tried to push “Knight Ribbit” to the front. The frog lept up right into my hair. I screamed and flailed and Mary cried laughing. I suppose that is the universe’s response to cheaters. You remember as well as I that stern educators were disapproving of her choices. She shrugged off academia. Even as a young adult the most esteemed scholars wrote her off as a bad apple. I know your parents tried their best to encourage school. Mary just wasn’t of their kind. I’m sure you remember that she spent time tending to small flower patches she found by the brook. She took care of that litter of kittens when their mother was not to be found. Then a young bobcat tried to take one of the litter in the night. I’ve never seen Mary more ferocious. She scared your parents ever so greatly with that stunt. Fortunately the bobcat expected a mother bear and decided not to risk it. Actually a mother bear perfectly sums up the woman: strong, passionate, one with nature. I know she’s the one who started pristine Heather Fields. I know she agreed to a subpar arranged marriage in exchange for that sanctuary. I worried being taken away would break Mary. I didn’t think she could survive without our land. She did though. Excitement filled her when describing the animals so far South. She had her garden here during the summer, and the garden at Ensinbrook during the winter. She treated it like a dream, asked me to pinch her once. Instead I plucked a flower petal and held it to her face. It was sweet on the wind. “Real enough for you?” I know she is currently laying in the Cathedral of Light. I saw her yesterday. It took a few tries before I could look upon her. She was beautiful. The carved marble and gold-fringed coffin are ornate. The rouge and paint bring an unseen lightness to her face. It...didn’t feel right though. Usually her hands were flecked with dirt. Her skin was always red from toiling in the sun. Have you considered where you want her to rest? I may be too late to make a suggestion, but your family tomb isn’t where Mary would want to go. I don’t mean any offense to you. I say this only for Mary: Bury her in Heather Fields. Put her in the middle of a flowerbed, or between the roots of a gnarled oak tree. She would have wanted to be back in nature. A mausoleum is an alien world. I don’t think she would rest as well between those stone walls.

Either way, I defer to you as her brother, and to the will of your estate. I just can feel her, even so far away. She imprinted on me all those years we spent together. I bet you feel it as well.

I hope you find a brighter tomorrow, Bron Trensingtale"



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player
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Echoes of the Labyrinth
by Bob V. G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2022 19:42:53

Recently, I soloed my way through The Manor of Asmodine. It is an adventure for Advanced HeroQuest. This adventure can be found free on the internet. The RPG system that I used to play it is was Echoes of the Labyrinth (inspired by Tunnels & Trolls). It can be found at DriveThruRPG (23 pages, on sale now for $2). For the solo engine, I used The FlexTale Solo Adventuring Toolkit (which also created the manor basement). I created three fighters, Cassandra the thief, and Levus the pixie wizard as my player characters.

The quest was to explore a mysterious manor. In the manor they killed 34 monsters. The bedroom was small and had two surprises. Fighting in there was a pain in the butt. In the basement, the ghost of a wizard looked over their loot and told Levus how to charm the bloodthirster. They were able to charm the monster, but did not know what to do with it. They marched it back to town and tricked it into falling into the well. It started screaming and shaking the nearby dwellings. The tavern owner, a retired wizard, showed up to kill it. The local authorities rounded up the PCs, questioned them, and fined them for the breaking of several ordinances. Well, at least they still had some loot left over. Give this a try!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Echoes of the Labyrinth
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USR 2.0 (Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying)
by Peter G. A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2022 21:29:52

I just played this recently and I enjoyed how easy it was to start up a game and play. It's basic enough but has enough of a "heft" to it so that I made a great session out of it.

The game enough of a dice roll mechanic that fits my taste and the contested rolls are simple enough.

Overall, great game. I enjoyed this and will hopefully use this system again!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
USR 2.0 (Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying)
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Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player
by Peter G. A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2022 09:36:39

Hello! I hope I can write this as constructive that I can. Here it goes!

Now, the overall game for me was good. I only played it once but I think I'll find myself wanting to play this again. And maybe using the other genres of this game as well.

As I played through it, I think that the game is quite hard. Or maybe I just picked the wrong, or rather, a quite hard character-skill-scenario combo.

All in all though, I found it fun. I wrote a letter, lost the game, but I still enjoyed the experience.

My only gripe would be that it is quite hard to win in this game, and the result at the end doesn't really do much for me. I would've rather have just played it even without the result at the end, but I guess it is needed because without it the points wouldn't have mattered.

Well, this is my opinion on the matter. Thank you for the game!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player
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Dark Graal
by Kurt M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/06/2021 11:02:40

A very interesting take on the familiar Arthurian tropes. Good core mechanic that pretty much dominates the system. It's a very Lite rules set so prep and Chargen are ridiculously simple, but it allows for some surprising depth of character with just a little effort. The Afflictions and their effects get pretty grim pretty fast. Don't get too attached to your Knight because he's likely not going to last very long! Would have benefitted from more extensive development of the setting but what is presented is nightmarish enough to convey the Horror in Armor atmospere sufficiently. Hoping more detail could be coming in subsequent releases. Not going to replace Pendragon as the Arthurian rpg of choice any time soon, but a great dark alternative for some Lite Horror pick up games when the Halloween season starts!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Graal
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In Darkest Warrens
by Mike I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2021 23:29:05

OSR micro rpg - just seems bland compared to Maze Rats



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
In Darkest Warrens
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