As we careen into summer, it seems like the entire tabletop world is recovering from PAX only to prepare for GenCon. But games are still coming out, and this week we’ve got a fantastically introspective collaborative meditation, some incredibly exciting subway-inspired layouts, and even an RPG source book that doubles as a coloring book.
Creator Spotlight: momatoes
Bianca Canoza, also known by her pen name, momatoes, is an RPG designer I’ve admired for years. She’s a constant champion of the RPG Southeast Asia (#RPGSEA) game design scene, and has developed, designed, and illustrated some of the most innovative games of the last five years. Some standouts from her work include The Magus (a dice-heavy journaling game) and ARC (an anti-apocalypse adventure that uses the real time doomsday clock as a narrative frame). Momatoes has also recently been awarded the Diana Jones Emerging Designer award.
Momatoes’ newest game is titled there is a light at the edge of the world, designed as an asynchronous duet game about two people attempting to fix a lighthouse. As you work together, you must communicate via song, video, literature, or drawings, imitating a language barrier that prevents you from communicating directly. Momatoes describes the experience that led to the creation of this game.
“When I was 20, I had a Japanese pen pal. We did our best to communicate, but because of the language barrier, I was never quite sure if what I said was what was heard,” momatoes said in a press release provided to io9. “But it was a priceless interaction for me, that even though we only knew a fragment of a fragment of one another, we still had a connection. It felt very human to be friends with someone you couldn’t truly communicate with.”
When searching for the right metaphors, momatoes described the “juxtaposition” of a barren lighthouse and the expanse of imagination captured in art. “I love juxtapositions. In The Magus, for example, the juxtaposition was of humanity and thirst for power. In this game, it is lonesomeness and connection. Well, it’s still humanity if you look at it. I would like my games to be human, to show that beautiful or terrible things can arise from our sacred flaws.”
New Releases: Meanwhile, in the Subway; Dead Cleveland; Spiritbreaker
A surrealist game with some absolutely stellar graphic design, Meanwhile, in the Subway is a standalone game that uses interpretive “stop” symbols as a game mechanic, and allows for easy integration into other RPGs as part of an arc or side quest. Everything about this game is seriously impressive and wonderful.
Dead Cleveland is a tactical, rules-light resource management game about surviving the zombie apocalypse in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s focused on creating a base system for gonzo adventure in the Sixth City.
Spiritbreaker is a solo exorcism exercise that pits you against a single demon overcome by a horrible emotion. As you face down the otherworldly creature you must use your one power that makes you a threat, and attempt to set the world right. And then, you do it again.
Crowdfunding: Critters and Companions, Coffee & Chaos, Skyrealms, Gangs of Titan City
“Critters & Companions is a system-neutral bestiary and guide to adding farm animals into your fantasy setting, using the diversity and depth of the natural world. Filled with 30 different animals that can be ridden, milked, declawed, worshipped, and eaten, it additionally showcases random tables, essays, graphs, and hidden secrets! Written for gamemasters, authors, and animal lovers.”
“Coffee & Chaos is a comedy tabletop roleplaying game by CobblePath Games. It is designed for one or more players and shorter sessions of play. The game comes printed on a menu with additional resources available on other cafe stationery.”
“Skyrealms is a game neutral RPG setting, bestiary, and adventure pack. It’s compatible with any system, including OSR, Troika, D&D, Med Fantasy, and Space Fantasy games. The tables and lore are designed to provide a flexible storytelling experience that can be tailored to your system and your style. AND it’s also a coloring zine, featuring art by Evelyn Moreau.”
“Gangs of Titan City is a new grimdark future roleplaying game that thrusts its characters into a nightmare supercity that wants them dead. The game casts your players as desperate gutterscum who will soon dominate the underworld as crimelords or end up riddled with bullets. The game helps you create stories in the vein of Peaky Blinders, Scarface, or Blades in the Dark, but cast into a brutal and uncompromising urban future.”
- In a project funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, Industrial Design students at the University of Wuppertal designed board games to foster pupils’ interest in foreign policy. All board games are available here, free of charge.
- Rae Nedjadi discusses turning music into mechanics as he works through how to interpret and create art in their games.
- The New Yorker interviewed Evan Torner about LARPing.
- Applications are open for the Tabletop Mentorship Program.
- The Queer Games Bundle is available for only $10.
- Spencer Campbell (Gila RPGs) has revealed the cover for RUNE.
- Monte Cook Games has announced the Cypher System Open License as part of their 10 year anniversary celebration.
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