Within Reach

Within Reach is a live-action roleplaying game (LARP) that explores ideas and feelings about solitary confinement.

System: Cards.

Influence: News coverage of solitary confinement in the United States of America.

Requirements: Works best with a table and chair for the Warden’s office, and three or more chairs to help facilitate different scenes. Uses a deck of cards mapped to charts for participation and final sentencing.

Vigilance

Part mortal. Part god. All justice. As a Living Law, you were created to right the wrongs and restore that which the Wildstorm took from your people before it strikes again. Vigilance is a Late Bronze Age mythic fantasy tabletop roleplaying game that explores legends of loss, humanity, and justice both in a home community and in the wider fallen world ripe with Chaos.

System: Dice pools.

Space Station Omega RPG poster square

Space Station Omega

A tabletop roleplaying game about fighting for a future against The Galactic War.

Story – What Is Space Station Omega the Roleplaying Game?

Space Station Omega is a science-fiction tabletop roleplaying game of political dramatic action among the stars.

In this game you play pivotal characters who live on and work with each other aboard a space station. The station is strategically located at a focal point in time – post- or pre-war, and space – in the thick of the most critical decisions fought among the most powerful political factions who are invested in the future of the galaxy. Everyone is still figuring out where they belong and what they are really fighting for while mysterious events unfold to challenge daily life. Nothing is the same anymore.

In Space Station Omega, you discuss and map your part of the galaxy, your station (fixed or mobile, singular or dispersed), and then create your personnel built on supporting roles, conflicting values and beliefs, and opposing factions before jumping into the midst of a charged situation.

If you enjoy TV shows such as Babylon 5, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Battlestar Galactica, and The Expanse, then strap in and get ready for intense dramatic galactic roleplaying.

Playing Space Station Omega

Space Station Omega is a tabletop roleplaying game for 3-5 players that takes about 3-4 hours to play. The game uses Cortex Prime as a starting point and shares an origin with games such as Smallville, Leverage, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, and Firefly. As you play and follow the fiction of the story, you look for when your character’s decisions lead to interesting situations that would call for a roll of the dice with three or more traits along with one of the following Basic Actions: Command, Craft, Deal, Fight, Help, Search, or Study.

Shadow Hunters RPG

Shadow Hunters

A tabletop roleplaying game about hunting mutants like yourself in a dystopian society.

Story – What Is Shadow Hunters the Roleplaying Game?

Shadow Hunters is a tabletop roleplaying game about extraordinary people hunting and being hunted because of who they are and how they could threaten the established world order.

Shadow Hunters is set in a grim near-future world where the dark things you hunt look a lot like you.

The game explores fear of “the different” in society and what that means for us and is inspired by Marvel’s X-Men, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Witch Hunter Robin.

In recent years, murders and destruction by people have been increasing at an alarming rate, forcing governments to look for outside help. The strongest response came from the well-respected and funded research company, Aegis. Their report claimed that a genetic mutation is causing people to suddenly go mad and take it out on others. As of yet, no definitive cause has been discovered and there are cases of the mutation across the globe. Aegis’ recommendation was to institute a secret monitoring and capture program throughout international government police agencies. This program is called Tartarus and was granted active status within months following a successful three-week test run in the USA. Simultaneously, Aegis is working to create ways to reduce or inhibit the mutation’s effects in people.

All people with the gene mutation are logged in a world-wide master database. Those identified with the inactive mutations, called Shadowseeds face a life-long series of annual tests and watchers assigned to them. Those who have succumbed to the mutation and threaten others are labeled as Shadows and are captured and imprisoned far from civilized communities. And lastly, those who have an active mutation but who have not lost control, Shadowlings, are more closely monitored with weekly tests and screenings by agents. It’s also from this Shadowling cohort where about 5% of them are recruited and trained as agents of Aegis for Project Tartarus.

This is where you come in as an agent of Aegis, nicknamed Shadow Hunters you may serve in the field monitoring, screening, and capturing others affected by the mutation in order to protect the innocent and limit the damage caused by this unfortunate genetic condition. In return for your service, you are provided with housing, transportation, healthcare, education, professional training, a monthly stipend, retirement options, and a purpose during these unfortunate dark days.

TOP SECRET: The genetic anomaly allegedly grants affected persons unnatural abilities which often prove to be too powerful for most to handle and are usually responsible for heightened personal and property damage. Agents assigned to Aegis are provided resources and help to control and use their abilities for Project Tartarus, and for the good of humanity.

Urban Fantasy

Urban fantasy is a fantastic genre of English-language fiction, or a subgenre of fantasy, in which the narrative uses supernatural elements in an urban society. Works of urban fantasy may be set in the real world and introduce aspects of fantasy, or in a fantasy world with operating rules recognizably similar to ours.

In Shadow Hunters, players are Shadowlings—genetic anomaly patients who are trained as agents to help protect others from mutants like themselves in a grittier near-future modern world like our own.

As agents of Aegis, you are responsible for monitoring, screening, and capturing people suffering from the mutation for the good of society. As a trained Shadowling, hopefully, you’ll never become a Shadow, losing control and killing innocent people and destroying their communities; to then be hunted down and imprisoned in Tartarus with the other Shadows by your colleagues.

TOP SECRET: Maybe someday Aegis will create a cure and you’ll all be free of the drudgery and personal danger, or maybe Aegis will have other plans for its international empowered army?

Playing Shadow Hunters

Shadow Hunters is a tabletop roleplaying game for 3-5 players that takes about 3-4 hours to play. The game uses the Fantasy Flight Genesys system similar to their Star Wars and Android games where you add a Characteristic score to a Skill plus and roll the dice to help shape the narrative result.

Genotypes

The genotype you select for your character encompasses their character type, starting ability, skill, and talents. There are four species with the first three of them playable in the base game of Shadow Hunters:

  • Human: people without the genetic mutation. Most of the population that is slowly decreasing.
  • Shadowseed: people with the inactive genetic mutation. A small subset of the population that is slowly increasing.
  • Shadowling: people with the active genetic mutation who may or may not be an immediate threat to society; also potential or active agent of Aegis.
  • Shadows: creatures who may or may not have been human at one point and are now consumed with the genetic mutation effects; often shadowlings who become fully corrupted and require a response from Aegis—usually by agents who capture and turn the Shadows over to Project Tartarus.

The Twilit World

The world of Shadow Hunters is similar to our own in geography and history, though the technology is perhaps more advanced with forays into fringe science or paranormal connections native to or outside of the world. In particular, engineering and biosciences seem more capable with the potential to create hovercars, nanosuits, elixirs, chimeras, and other unusual products.

TOP SECRET: In order to prevent hysteria and hate-crimes targeting people with the genetic mutation, Aegis works with international governments to obscure the full nature of the problem facing the world.

The Territories

In Shadow Hunters, player characters work together through a secret organization called Aegis and are to district areas or territories across the globe. Each district territory serves the needs of Aegis in one of the following ways:

  • Xxx: xxx.
  • Xxx: xxx.
  • Xxx: xxx.
  • Xxx: xxx.
  • Xxx: xxx.

The Power of the Shadow

Xxx.

Abilities

Shadow Hunter Abilities default to the strength of their Characteristics plus any levels in Corruption as figured as follows.

Shadowling Characteristics

  • Sense [(Intellect + Cunning)/2 round down]: able to obtain information or experiences in new ways. You can spend points from this
  • Control [(Brawn + Agility)/2 round down]: able to affect oneself.
  • Alter [(Willpower + Presence)/2 round down]: able to influence others or the environment.

 

Example Character Characteristics: Brawn 3, Agility 2, Intellect 4, Cunning 2, Willpower 4, Presence 3

Intellect 4 + Cunning 2 = 6 / 2 = 3pts for Sense Shadow Characteristic and Sense Focus Ability points (max 3 to start in any 1)

  • Enhance Senses 1
  • Farseeing (Psychometry Specialty) 2

Brawn 3 + Agility 2 = 5 / 2 rounded down = 2pts for Control Shadow Characteristic and Control Focus Ability points (max 3 to start in any 1)

  • Adaptation 1
  • Battlebred (Defense Specialty) 1

Willpower 4 + Presence 3 = 7 / 2 rounded down = 3pts for Alter Shadow Characteristic and Alter Focus Ability points (max 3 to start in any 1)

  • Manipulate Source (Fire Specialty) 3

 

Shadowling Abilities by Focus Table (Talents and Special Abilities)

Abilities

Sense

Control

Alter

Description

Absorb Energy

X

Reduce the effects of energy, such as heat, electricity, and even lasers, possibly repurposing it. Choose a specialty.
Adaptation

X

Physical changes to survive exotic environments.
Astralgation

X

Intuitively feeling a course for travel through astralspace to the desired destination as well as perceiving astralspace while in the body.
Astral Projection

X

Going to and interacting on the astral plane / astralspace while leaving your body behind; allows for greater interaction, knowledge, and potential hazards.
Battlebred

X

Living in the moment during combat—gaining temporary adjustments for combat-related actions, such as improving defensive or offensive capabilities, or avoiding surprise, increasing initiative and meditating on tactics. See the Abilities Effects Table. Choose a specialty.
Empathy, Receptive

X

Feeling the surface emotions of other sentients.
Empathy, Projective

X

Actively sharing emotions with others. Distraction, Suggestion, Communication, Probing, or Conditioning. Choose a specialty.
Enhance Physical

X

Temporary increase in raw physical capabilities: Brawn and Agility using the Abilities Effects Table.
Enhance Senses

X

Become more attuned with the surroundings, heightening one’s natural perceptions for surprise.
Farseeing

X

Experiences events elsewhere. Choose a specialty: clairvoyance, psychometry, precognition, or postcognition.
Heal Others

X

Reducing Wounds in others. Once per day, per the Abilities Effects Table.
Heal Self

X

Reduce Wounds in self. Once per day, per the Abilities Effects Table.
Hibernation

X

Slowing one’s body to a coma-like trance in order to sustain it indefinitely (used for survival, poison, etc.).
Manipulate Source

X

Working with a specific available type or element source, such as water, insects, light, etc., often for attacks and defenses. Choose a specialty.
Shadow Sense

X

An ill-feeling perceived when near Shadows, often indicating a general direction and threat level.
Shadow Shape

X

Temporarily able to mimic the form and abilities of any contacted inhuman Shadow.
Telekinesis

X

Movement of objects, usually crudely and in one direction. More success allows for greater capacity and finesse.
Telepathy, Receptive

X

Reading the surface thoughts of other sentients.
Telepathy, Projective

X

Actively sharing thoughts with others. Distraction, Suggestion, Communication, Probing, or Conditioning. Choose a specialty.

 

Effects

An Effect of 1 means that something happens, though a Failure or Botched result may make it complicated. Besides signaling that an Ability has done something, Effects after the first can be spent to extend or enhance the result. For each additional Effect if appropriate you may:

  • Add or decrease an additional target
  • Increase or reduce the range, capacity, or time
  • Increase or decrease the difficulty or reward
  • Combining two or more allowed Ability Effects from ranked Abilities

 

Abilities Effects Table

Success

Effects

Botched

1

Failed

1

1 Success

1

2 Successes

2

3 Successes

3

4 Successes

4

5+ Successes

5

 

Combining Abilities

You can also spend Successes to use additional Abilities if it makes sense and with the following restrictions: you cannot spend equal to or more successes on additional Abilities than on the initial Ability for which the action was originally described. These additional Ability successes provide mechanical oomph to their narrative counterparts.

Countermeasures & Equipment

Xxx.

  • Gleamstone: a thumbnail-sized diamond containing a silvery fluid, worn as a necklace to protect Shadow Hunters from Shadow abilities.
  • Gleamshot: experimental (and expensive) ammunition containing Gleam for use against Shadows.
  • Comtat: a tattoo engraved on all Shadow Hunters which allows mental communication.
  • Cloak: a nanotech uniform that can adapt for disguise, environmental conditions, and protection.

Play Style

Shadow Hunters is a game of fast-action and intrigue. It can be played as a one-shot or over more sessions either with more character interaction or as a kind of Monster of the Week format. In either case, be sure to discuss this with the group to make sure everyone is in agreement. The characters fill roles on a district team—one of thousands around the world so it’s not unlikely to have transfers and side assignments in case of player absence or joining, or if you want to try a new character for a while. Each team will get assignments from Aegis through regional directors. Sometimes this will involve working with other teams and working with standard law enforcement agencies to coordinate resources and objectives.

Corruption

Corruption is what Aegis calls the loss of will and control over oneself due to the mutation. Once a person has been labeled as a Shadow they are considered a major threat and to be taken down, alive if possible, and handed over to Project Tartarus personnel to deal with. Supposedly, no one has ever made it back from being fully corrupted, though many hope for it for their loved ones.

TOP SECRET: With so many mutants being put away to protect the world, what does Aegis do for them or with them that isn’t being shared, and why won’t they let agents into Tartarus?

NightMirror preview

NightMirror

A Gothic Horror game about the search for humanity and salvation through a world of monsters and madness.

Story – What Is NightMirror the Roleplaying Game?

A DEATH! It begins with the scent of murder. A broken life, connected by sharp fractured edges to you, dear Seeker through pain and loss. The taste of blood, soot, and sweat heavy in the damp cold night as you push past what others might call fear, or dread. You step down into the dingy dark crypt under the cathedral, snapping a twig, alerting the dark thing gnawing on a bone in the corner of your presence. You steel your nerves and withdraw the small worn vellum book from an inner pocket. Opening it to the marked page and positioning it in the crack of moonlight, you read hastily. The words roll from tongue and soul and it, the slavering Agent of the Night moves closer and chatters staccato grunts with short sharp bloodied teeth. The chattering transforms into a whisper with each syllable read aloud. The secrets of its Master—the knowledge needed to complete the quest manifest through the maw of our mentor’s cursed child and murderer. And now we know its bane. The Master will come for us, and when it does, we will be ready.

NightMirror is a Gothic horror tabletop roleplaying game. It’s inspired by mid-1700 to mid-1900 fiction, which combines horror with romanticism and deals with both the unexplainable as well as new discoveries with science, religion, and industry. It is also directly inspired by the television show, Penny Dreadful.

NightMirror’s mechanics are inspired by Meguey Baker’s amazing Psi*Run game (from Night Sky Games, http://www.nightskygames.com) about amnesiacs with powers, Runners, who are pursued by mysterious Chasers. You play to find out who they are, who you are, and what happens next. However, instead of dice, a tarot deck is used to help shape the stories for the Seekers.

Every one-shot short story session or two or more sessions campaign novel of NightMirror begins with the death of someone meaningful. This is a death that draws the characters, whom you play called Seekers, together for a common purpose. All Seekers are extraordinary people who are discontent with their place in life and have burning questions that often exceed accepted social conventions, including into the private affairs of each other, esoteric topics, traumatic experiences, and the occult. Seekers are torn between the Night and the Light. In each case, this existence has created connections with the supernatural through abilities and desires. Inevitably, these desires draw the attention of others–agents of the Night or Light—Chasers, who pursue the Seekers to whatever ends that may be.

Gameplay includes shared storytelling over one or more sessions with riskier decisions determined through drawing tarot cards, placing the cards one by one into categories called Fortunes, and interpreting their results in ways evocative of the gothic horror genre and the shared tonal game space with the group.

It’s your job, as Seekers to find the Night or Light you are searching for and decide what to do with it once you’ve got it.

Along the way, the Seekers leave a Trail of information as they travel from location to location, and the Chasers pursue this trail relentlessly.

Will the Seekers learn the truth? Will the Night or Light destroy them?

Play to find out as you search for humanity and salvation through a world of monsters and madness!

Gothic Horror

Gothic Horror refers to a style of writing that is characterized by elements of fear, horror, death, and gloom, as well as romantic elements, such as nature, individuality, and very high emotion. These emotions can include fear and suspense. This style of fiction began in the mid 1700s with a story titled, The Castle of Otranto (in 1764), by Horace Walpole. This story was about a doomed family and is filled with death, desire, and intrigue. This story is considered to be the first of the Gothic fiction tales, since it encompassed many of the characteristics of the genre. The term Gothic actually originated as a term belittling the architecture and art of the period, which was dark, decaying, and dismal.

Playing NightMirror

NightMirror is a tabletop roleplaying game for 3-5 players that takes about 3-4 hours to play. The game uses light rules, narration, and a standard deck of tarot cards. As you play and follow the fiction of the story, you look for when your character is risking something which could change their fortune during the game. When this happens the Host will ask the player to draw 3-5 cards, one at a time, and collaborate on the results. At times this may reveal something about the seeker or bring them closer to a direct conflict with the darkness within.

In NightMirror, players are seekers, people who are driven to look beyond normal conventions for answers to life and more. This leads them to experience the supernatural and supertechnology like that found in the stories of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Jekyll Hyde, H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Jewel of Seven Stars, or more recently from the Showtime television series, Penny Dreadful.

The World

NightMirror is set in a pre-20th century world where science and nature, industry and faith are mixed and in conflict between the old and the new world thinking. The supernatural maintains a strong presence while the microscope and telecommunications are being invented. This is a world of shadowy imaginings on top of the anxiety of an uncertain future threated by the industrial revolution, nationalistic military powers, and social upheaval like never before. In NightMirror, ghosts and artificial persons are explored by willful persons willing to defy the limits of society for their answers.

The Power of the Night & Light

The Higher Powers that manipulate events and people are known as the Night & Light. They have agendas and servants who work to execute the plans which are usually in opposition with each side, and they both prefer to have the seekers among their ranks as agents of Night or Light in the world.

Long-Term Play

NightMirror can be played as a one-shot, but is strongest when played through several sessions, as players reveal more about their seekers, the way of the Night and Light, and the beautiful eerie world that they inhabit.

Corruption & Redemption

Sometimes when seekers go too far or risk too much they become corrupted by the Night which hungers for seekers to join in union. When this happens it’s never certain that a seeker can or will be saved, but if it happens it’s usually through the work of redemption by one or more seekers.

Feudal Fairy World

Feudal Fairy World

A tabletop roleplaying game about fantasy adventures of honor, romance, and magic in feudal worlds.

Story – What Is Feudal Fairy World The Roleplaying Game?

Feudal Fairy World is a tabletop roleplaying game of honor, romance, and magic in feudal worlds. In Feudal Fairy World you play heroes who go on quests to help their realm, often while also dealing with the inhabitants and complications from other realms. Caught in the middle of honor and romance during courtly intrigue, pitched battles, and mysterious rituals, you work to bring hope and salvation to a world deep in despair and chaos.

Feudal Fairy World builds utilized the Powered by the Apocalypse system used in Apocalypse World, Urban Shadows, Dungeon World and more. When your character’s actions trigger a move, the move tells you what happens in the fiction or you roll two six-sided dice to find out. Moves are designed to push the fiction forward, building tension and taking the story in unknown and exciting directions.

Feudal Fairy World’s default setting is inspired by various feudal legends, including those of Camelot and King Arthur from the Matter of Britain and other sources.

Feudalism & Fairy Tales

A fairy tale is an instance of a folklore genre that takes the form of a short story. Such stories typically feature entities such as dwarfs, dragons, elves, fairies, giants, gnomes, goblins, griffins, mermaids, talking animals, trolls, unicorns, or witches, and usually magic or enchantments. In most cultures, there is no clear line separating myth from folk or fairy tale; all these together form the literature of preliterate societies.

The term is also used to describe something blessed with unusual happiness, as in “fairy-tale ending” (a happy ending) or “fairy-tale romance”. Legends are perceived as real; fairy tales may merge into legends, where the narrative is perceived both by teller and hearers as being grounded in historical truth. However, unlike legends and epics, fairy tales usually do not contain more than superficial references to religion and to actual places, people, and events; they take place “once upon a time” rather than in actual times.

Playing Feudal Fairy World

Feudal Fairy World is a tabletop roleplaying game for 3-5 players that takes about 3-4 hours to play. The game is Powered by the Apocalypse, revolving around moves and their triggers. As you play and follow the fiction of the story, you look for when your character’s actions hit the trigger of a move—like when you challenge someone to fight you, pursue your destiny, keep yourself from acting rashly, or convince another character to trust you. Sometimes these moves ask you to roll two six-sided dice (2d6) and add the corresponding stat.

The Playbooks

In Feudal Fairy World, each character has their own playbook—a sort of character sheet and template that contains all the necessary rules for creating and playing your character. Each playbook is defined by a different archetype common to stories in this genre.

There are 7 playbooks in the base game of Feudal Fairy World, but we might be able to add more through stretch goals. The basic set includes:

The Reborn

By destiny or otherwise, you have been reincarnated or transported into this new life to complete, or to change the course of events, reshaping a world. It is easy for you to doubt yourself, or your place here under pressure in the shadow of greatness and legends.

The Half-Brood

Part Human and part Brood (monster/demon/ fey…), you straddle the line between two worlds, never fitting into either yet yearning to belong somewhere. It is easy for you to obsess over something of pride which hides a personal pain.

The Created

From old or new remains with a purpose as a tool, puppet, or servant, you walk among the living, though you are a construct designed for another’s intentions. You often question your freedom and reason for existence.

The Faithful

You dwell in the world of faith and souls, prayers and rituals, remedies for life’s problems and the burden of forbidden knowledge. All of this you use to purify evil, perform esoteric rites, or help soothe a troubled conscious, even your own when you are blind to the danger before you for the sake of knowing or helping.

The Slayer

Trained to fight Broods (demons/monsters/fey…) using versatile techniques and gear, you work to make the world a better place. In doing so, it often means sacrificing your own desires, or acting on them for the good of others—all to save the world you tell yourself.

The Undead

You were slain by the hand of malice and have returned to the mortal world due to another who may or may not have your best interests at heart. You often put yourself in dangerous situations to protect another or to feel alive again.

The Full-Brood

Through and through you are a Full-Brood (monster/ demon/fey…), with all the rights and responsibilities that may come with that status for the kind of Brood Family you hail from. You are determined to accomplish something out of pride as a cover for something missing in your life.