Saturday, April 3, 2021

Three Micro-Reviews from the Help Tiago Bundle

Cover to "The Moon King Wants to Party" from
Roll 4 Tarrasque

So, yesterday I grabbed the Help Tiago Rolim Fight COVID-19 Bundle. Today I thought I'd talk about a few of the cool things I grabbed in rapid fire, just because they were stand-out items.

Most of the material in this bundle is business card, pamphlet, or 'zine style creations in line with the Brazilian OSR aesthetic of keeping everything compact and minimal. The BROSR guys know that you already know how these games work. They aren't keen on wasting energy or words. Most of the time this works in their favor. Most if the documents here are both short and brilliantly done.

The Moon King Wants to Party

Author: Roll 4 Tarrasque
Marketplace : Itch.io
Engine: Troika!

This module has been something I've considered ever since I read its premise and saw the absolutely glorious cover art.

The Moon King Wants to Party embraces the weird, surreal, and satiritical tone of Troika! complete with biting social commentary. The PCs are forced by law to serve as the retinue for an entitled aristocratic buffoon who appears to have had his common sense gland removed along with his Charisma.

The PCs have to keep this stupid, spiteful lush alive as he attends a party with multiple bounces attended by genies, demons, and alien intelligences, and hosted by creatures who punish killing their buzz with Death.

Like many good Troika! adventures every encounter is strange, nuanced, and requires a mix of clever role-playing and savoir-faire to resolve. Violence is only occasionally the answer, and risky in more ways than one. My hat is off to anyone who can write Troika! adventures at this level.

Moon King Wants to Party is thoroughly randomized, as well, and has some replay value. I could see this adventure becoming a running gag, with PCs landing themselves at yet another party guarding this asshole every time their adventures gets too far out of hand.

I am looking forward to playing this one with my group.


Cover Folds for Minimo by M. A. Guax

Minimo

Author: M. A. Guax
Marketplace: Itch.io
Engine: Minimo

I am a sucker for a minimalist TTRPG and Minimo takes the concept to its extreme. The manual is designed to be folded into a tiny square and read as it is unfolded.

The game is based around haggling between the GM and player over which narrative descriptors of the characters and situations work for or against the PCs to build a pool of Fudge Dice (it has a guide to using standard dice in lieu). A net positive result is a success, a negative is a failure. Advantage or Disadvantage determine whether a neutral result is counted as a +, -, or neither.

The bundle also includes a scenario for Minimo entitled In the Land of Giants in which the PCs play J├Âtunn trying to outwit Thor and Loki. It is a very clever premise.

Cover to In the Land of Giants


Beyond the Borderlands Issue #1
By Alex Damaceno. 
Beyond the Borderlands Issue #1

Author: Alex Damaceno (@gnarledmonster)
Marketplace: Itch.io
Engine: OSR-Compatible 

I have been watching this project evolve on @gnarledmonster's Twitter feed for the last few months with great interest.

Beyond the Borderlands is a whimsical and beautifully decorated adaptation of The Keep on the Borderlands translated into a beautifully illustrated 36-Hex crawl.

This adaptation has most of the original encounters in Keep on the Borderlands, and far more besides, with some sort of danger, interesting encounter, or potential ally in every Hex.

This is the first of three issues of Beyond the Borderlands. The next one will include maps of the numerous caves, Mines, and dungeons found scattered across the map. Two of those dungeons are also in the Help Tiago Rolim Fight COVID-19 Budle as one page dungeons. 

BtB is full of whimsy, strange encounters any Mysteries. If it weren't for the obscenities peppered lightlythrough the text it would be a perfect reimagining of Keep on the Borderlands for younger children.  Alex Damaceno's map design is beautiful and innovative in places, like using colors as guides to light levels or his method of numerating the hex grid. I am looking forward to seeing the future issues, which will eventually be bound in Hardcover by Swordfish Islands.


This is only a fragment of what I grabbed while trying to help Tiago out. You can expect much more to come. And you can grab it all yourself for the cost of coffee and a muffin at Starbucks. 


2 comments:

  1. The standout to me is Carapace - roleplaying as insects vs/ animated marble statues (among other threats and hazards).

    I have to admit that Backpack & Dream baffles me. There's rules light, then there is rules vague and mostly left out.

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    1. I haven't looked at carapace yet. But B&D... yeah. confusing as.

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