Monday, October 23, 2023

Game Review: White Star Galaxy Edition

: James M. Spahn
Publisher: Barrel Rider Games / Gallant Knight Games
Marketplace: DriveThruRPG, Gallant Knight
Engine: OSR Compatible (Swords & Wizardry)

As I have been rounding up my reviews of old school Science Fiction TTRPGs and the New OSR Games (and Storygames) that do them justice on game really caught my attention in part because I had never heard of it (which is unusual,) in part because it was based on the White Box edition of Swords & Wizardry (S&W: Complete has been my OSR game of choice for a long time), and in part because it looked like the right kind of pulpy fun for my household at the time.

We have been in a dark time in the Rideout household, one family member diagnosed with a life-long challenge, and I still in limbo trying to figure out which of a handful of possible life-altering degenerative conditions I have. Bringing the mood in the household up has been my first and greatest priority for awhile. And what better way than a crazy, Star Wars parodying romp through a universe of bad 1970s scifi pulp after binging the worst the genre has to offer? White Star seemed the perfect investment for something fresh for me.

And it worked. I have seen people smiling, laughing, and excited for the first time in a long time. I hope you will indulge me if the review seems to be very positive, accordingly.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

SciFi Storygame Roundup

Table Top Role-Playing games are used in several different hobbies; different communities prefer different game types to get different results. One of the types of games that I wish I could get more into, but that just doesn't mesh with my social group very well are Storygames.

While old-school TTRPG players are looking for a VR experience using the imagination and narration as an interface, Storygames are interested in creating an emotionally satisfying story at the end of the day that met the expectations of the players going in based on the conventions of the genre and pre-game expectations they set up. To facilitate this, the game rules are often set up very differently from a more traditionally-designed TTRPG.

Because the goal of Storygames are very different, they are often designed to make world-building more collaborative. they tend to take agency away from the GM, and have mechanics allowing the players to take control of the narrative and make Metagame adjustments.

I like Storygames just fine: I think many of them are clever and innovative in ways an more traditional TTRPG cannot be. But, as my players are not interested in the experience, I have had less reason to collect or learn them. Which in turn means that I haven't got much cause to write about or review them here, but as I went through an extensive list of both classic and OSR SciFi games, I think it is interesting to share these games to offer some comparison and contrast.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

New Old-School SciFi TTRPG Roundup

I have actually spent an inordinate amout of time reading, researching, and playtesting for this review. My apologies for its slowness...  but it was definitely a pleasant way to spend the time.

This is a roundup of SciFi TTRPGs from the small publisher and indie scenes that do Scifi well that have that old-school feel: