Indie RPG Spotlight - Lady Blackbird

Lady Blackbird is on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. She hired a smuggler skyship, The Owl, to take her from her palace on the Imperial world of Ilysium to the far reaches of the Remnants, so she could be with her once secret lover: the pirate king Uriah Flint.

HOWEVER, just before reaching the halfway point of Haven, The Owl was pursued and captured by the Imperial cruiser Hand of Sorrow, under charges of flying a false flag.

EVEN NOW, Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard, and the crew of The Owl are detained in the brig, while the Imperial commander runs the smuggler ship's registry over the wireless. It's only a matter of time before they discover the outstanding warrants and learn that The Owl is owned by none other than the infamous outcast, Cyrus Vance.

How will Lady Blackbird and the others escape the Hand of Sorrow?
What dangers lie in their path?

Will they be able to find the secret lair of the pirate king? if they do, will Uriah Flint accept Lady Blackbird as his bride? By the time they get there, will she want him to?

This is a game where backstory is written in play. it starts (and often ends) in media res. Star Wars Firefly, with a touch of steampunk.

Indie RPG Spotlight - Dread

Indie RPG Spotlight - Dread

Dread is a special role playing game. It doesn't use dice or cards for conflict resolution. It uses a Jenga tower. The mechanics of this lead players into the careful buildup of tension, the punctuated climax (where someone typically dies), the backing off, and the resumed slow build. In a sense, this role playing game elegantly uses its rules to emulate the structure of that particular tension-driven style of horror story. It is an excellent example of mechanism design, in the sense that the rules are designed to lead players toward a particular outcome regardless of their individual intents or abilities.

Well, aside from their abilities at Jenga itself.

Rym and Scott of GeekNights presented "Beyond Dungeons & Dragons" at PAX Australia 2013. (They've previously presented this at ConnectiCon 2008, PAX Prime 2008, PAX Prime 2009, PAX East 2010, MAGFest X, and dozens of other conventions). This is a short excerpt from that full lecture, spotlighting one of the specific game examples they used.

Full Lecture

Indie RPG Spotlight - Inspectres

Inspectres is an indie RPG by Jared Sorensen. Its mechanics focus on who controls the narrative at different points (depending on player success or failure), in order to essentially make Ghostbusters (the movie) happen in tabletop RPG form.

Indie RPG Spotlight - Primetime Adventures

Primetime Adventures is an indie RPG that elegantly structures your role playing in the format of a serial television drama. Simple mechanics cause the same interleaving of characters and plots that professional writers use in actual television. Focus on what your character's story is REALLY about and abstract the rest.

Indie RPG Spotlight - A Thousand and One Nights

A Thousand and One Nights is an amazing indie role playing game that centers around a sultan's court. But, rather than merely playing the characters in this court, you play these characters who are THEMSELVES playing characters in stories they tell to pass the time.

Yo Dawg.

This is a game where characters don't have strength stats: they have senses and aspects of envy. They have goals and desires. When you can't express your frustration with the court poet directly without angering the Sultan, you find yourself doing so indirectly in your story.

This is a game where you are expected to lounge and eat dates while you play. Atmosphere and storytelling are paramount. To be sure, this isn't Dungeons & Dragons.

Indie RPG Spotlight - Freemarket

In a post-scarcity transhuman future Utopia, there is only one question worth asking.

What do you do today?

Freemarket is a role playing game that explores this question and the kind of world that would ask it in the first place. Conflict is mediated by cards in an elegant system that enforces an ebb and flow of success and failure. Created by Luke Crane and Jared Sorensen.

Definitions of Game - Orthogame and Idiogame

Excerpted from Beyond Dungeons & Dragons at PAX AUS 2013, we take on the definition of the word "game." Following on from Garfield's "orthogame," we propose "idiogame" for another class of what all fall under the umbrella of "game." If an orthogame is " a competition between two or more players using an agreed-upon set of rules and a method of ranking," then an idiogame is roughly "a series of interesting decisions that produce a personal outcome."

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