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Star Crossed
by Emily G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/25/2019 03:29:32

This game is fantastic. My girlfriend and I bought it for Valentines Day to play together and have not stopped playing since! Since then we have reccomended this game to all of our friends, who also love it.

Since we don't have a tower (and play online a lot), we have adapted to using a standard deck of Playing Cards to simulate the Jenga tower. We shuffle in 2 Jokers. The major suite cards (King, Queen, Jack) will make you pull more cards/"bricks" than normal, increasing tension.

In Depth

The book itself has tons of good roleplaying advice that is applicable even to other tabletop games. I love the use of the X-card, and the encouragement to be open-minded and clear with your intentions. It is definitely some advice I will be sharing with my other gaming groups to make gaming not only more accessible but to make roleplaying more rich.

The pacing in this game makes for some of the most excellent and concise storytelling I've ever experienced.

Each scene contains a Prompt that you and your partner decide to interpret together. It really makes each play through entirely unique.

The Moves you get (2 that are Once per Scene and 2 that are Once per Game) prevents meandering too long on prompts/scenes. Once you run out of moves for a scene, you are highly encouraged by the gameplay to jump to a new scene. This keeps the game moving quickly and without stagnation.

The mechanics reward cooperative play even for competitive people. You are playing "Against the Stars" or "Against Fate" to try and get a good, satisfying ending. The combined effort of trying to make things work out feels like a team building exercise that encourages good communication between both parties working together.

It is an amazingly satisfying experience to get to the end, whatever end that is, and wrap things up with the Epilogue that you both tell together.

I love how creative it inspires you to be, and how it encourages working together to actively listen your friends ideas and build something unique as a whole.

Special Notes

This game is GM-less!! I was surprised and delighted.

Since some might be interested; you really can only play this game with two people unless you are into polyamory.

Then maybe you could play with up to 4. But you should definitely play in even numbers.

Even though this game has elements of Dread, there is no place for "friend" type characters. The mechanics revolve around an evolving relationship (although not necessarily romantic, if you choose to interpret it that way).

You can use it for other things but its not great for a Multiplayer Party Game unless you pair off as friends. Better to run two games at once.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Crossed
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Star Crossed
by Rachel C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/17/2019 19:06:37

This game is a delight. It gives you all the tools you need to write a sweet (or bittersweet!) love story with a friend. Definitely for any players who want to dive into the storytelling aspect and have a fondness for romance!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Crossed
by Colin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2019 11:09:41

Star Crossed tries to riff off of what Dread did so well with the Jenga tower but somehow fails to invoke the same tension. Starts great when your at the begining phase but becomes more fustrating as the game goes on and both of you can only come up with so many ideas. As the Follow I always ended scenes early because I was just flat out of inspiration and wanted something new to work with.

Game is overpriced at $12 dollars.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Star Crossed
by Abby H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2019 19:22:17

I wish I had known about this during the kickstarter! It's so delightful and the pdf is wonderfully and cleanly done.

As for the gameplay itself, it completely fits what I would be expecting with a relationship based on this kind of set up. I found it lovely and wonderful and easy to pick up and play. It was fun and something I know I can play a bunch now. I'm excited to see more from this creator, as well as a possible physical book of this as well! Ready and waiting <3



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Night Witches - Nachthexen Cards
by Charles E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2019 05:00:50

These are a fantastic addition. I admit I didn't see use for all of the cards contained, but those I did became essential. The pilot cards changed things up with the NPCs, where the group suddenly had to deal with them as people instead of simply being narrative hit points when they're on a mission #RIPDasha. The squadron leader being able to hand out cards to show who's assigned to which plane makes a nice physical element to the briefings. I didn't bother printing the medal cards as they're represented on the sheet and the oaths can be read from the book itself, but the rest are great.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Night Witches - Nachthexen Cards
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Night Witches
by Charles E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2019 04:57:51

This is the closest to an HBO show that I've experienced in an RPG, and it's been close before. My group are on a break from it just because our emotional stamina can only take so much, but we can't wait to get back into it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Night Witches
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The Warren
by Charles E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2019 04:56:26

This is a gorgeous game, which uses the PbtA design in some fun, different ways.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Warren
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Winterhorn
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2018 16:31:58

Winterhorn is an incredible game that does for LARPs what Papers Please did for videogames, making the banality of evil in authoritarian regimes real.

You are an interagency working group in an unnamed country loosely based on East Germany (but even western democracies have secret police, the FBI ran COINTELPRO for decades, and in 2003 a British undercover agent had a child with an activist before disappearing.) Your target is Winterhorn, an activist group composed of seven core members with ideals, desires, and weaknesses laid out in the briefing material. Additionally, you have a role as a secret police agent, with a past and an agenda of your own.

Over three rounds of thirty minutes each, your secret police squad will select seven options from deck of twelve secret police tactics, ranging in violence from hands-off wiretapping to sending 'patriotic' thugs (off-duty cops) to assault members of Winterhorn. You can also be tricky, setting up front groups to siphon away recruits and using "bad jacketing" to destroy the cohesion of the group by planting rumors suggesting some members are informers for the secret police. At the end of the game, the seven tactics that you chose in the last round are used to create a final report drawn from paragraphs in the rules, which describes how well the group succeeded in its mission. Then you debrief and discuss the ethics of the secret police.

Winterhorn is a shining example of rules-light design. Key game information like character roleplaying notes, OOC roles, and the results of operations, are contained on playing cards. The system of choosing seven of twelve options forces the group to evaluate and select tactics, but it is possible to over-commit and blow the operation. It's a brilliant piece of game design which creates an emergent narrative without getting tied down in complex rules or props. Twelve alternate operation cards provide a smidgen of replayability, but Winterhorn is mostly a one-and-done experience. The graphic design is top-notch, with bureaucratic memos describing Winterhorn, and a samizdat zine describing the secret police. You can choose to print-and-play the cards or buy them (mine are in the mail, and I full expect them to be excellent). A brief essay on the history of subverting political enemies rounds out the materials.

With the caveats that this is a read-through review rather than a playtest review, though I can't imagine the rules breaking, and that I didn't comprehensively crosscheck the cards to see if nonsense outcomes could arise, I love this game. Education and LARPing are two flavors that should go together like chocolate and peanut butter, but making a good EduLARP is surprisingly hard. As a tabletop gamer and professor, I've been only moderately impressed with the games put out by the Reacting to the Past (RttP) consortium. RttP may beat the standard rigmarole of lectures and essays, but the game design is not particularly sophisticated, and my time in the RttP facebook group suggests that most professors have similar problems about students not reading background material, not getting involved, and the game system giving nonsensical answers about how the siege of Athens proceeds. My own efforts in this area were a near-total failure of design goals saved only by brilliant improvisation on the part of my co-instructors. So believe me when I say A) this stuff is hard and B) Jason Morningstar has cracked the code.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Winterhorn
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Winterhorn
by Tim O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/22/2018 19:08:01

Ran as a convention game. Chilling, bleak, one of the best games of the year.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Skeletons
by Annie C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/04/2017 04:10:44

This is a really fun game that was really great and easy to play. The mechanics were light enough to not be a pain but existent enough that I didn't feel abandoned by the writers or anything. Great replayability potential, and it led us in some storytelling directions I don't think we would have gone on our own.

Easily worth the price for the PDF, and I can imagine buying a hard copy to make it easier to play IRL. This might be a good game to play with (older) kids to introduce them to the idea of tabletop gaming; I can definitely see my younger cousins, nieces, and nephews, having fun with this.

This was a great one-shot to play on a day my regular campaign was missing players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Skeletons
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The Skeletons
by Cian B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2017 13:26:05

Really very cool, a fun experience to share with friends who care about mysterious



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiasco
by malachai j. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/28/2017 13:15:26

The game is fun. Its a system thats easy to learn and dosent take much setup. It has an improv feel, and i enjoy that. Twas Good.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiasco
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Night Witches
by Patrick H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2016 22:02:00

This is basically genius. It's one of the weirder niche settings I've encountered, but somehow all the more powerful for it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Night Witches
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Old Friends
by Tore P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/01/2016 11:57:10

A very well-written game. The rules are brief and concise, containing everything you need to play. The only thing that prevents you from running this game in ten minutes from printing is that it takes a while to cut the cards. I've now run the game five times, and the stories that emerged varied wildly, from love stories to murder mysteries to the cthulhuoid. The mask has been used as described in the rules, but also forced unto players to send them to Hell, used as self-sacrifice and everything in between. It's an awesome tool! If the game lacks anything, it would be a list of pitfalls to avoid. Last run I had, the players played themselves into a corner where they needed a non-existing NPC to be physically present to conclude the game, but luckily they managed to kidnap a bystander (I was filming the session, normally I'd have participated).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Old Friends
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The Skeletons
by Tomer G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2016 19:10:41

I got this earlier in the year, and have play/run it about 3-4 times. The first time it was with just 2 of us, the next times it was a short play-test with 3, and the last time I ran it as a pseudo-GM/facilitator with 5 players.

This game does some really clever things. You start with a character sheet that is almost entirely blank. You have no memory of your past life. You get to draw over the skeleton on the sheet, so there is a little art period, where you add a sword, or helmet, or whatever. I.e. what you might look like.

The great thing is that the questionairre on the character sheet gets filled out during the game, as you play... you start to fill in your path and remember things.

And then there are quite periods during the long dark between scenes, where you sit, quiet, in the dark, for a few minutes. It really catures some great essence.

If interested, I write about my sessions in pictures / more details / writeup: http://www.supernovembergames.com/tomes-of-tomes/2016/9/6/strategicon-gateway-2016-saturday-and-god-and-praxis (about half-way down) http://www.supernovembergames.com/tomes-of-tomes/2016/7/12/the-skeletons-in-space-a-very-short-playtest http://www.supernovembergames.com/tomes-of-tomes/2016/6/3/astg-the-skeletons



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Skeletons
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