AquaVertigo Publishing

Going to the Forge, 2024

This week is going to be a frantic week of getting RL commitments wrapped up before driving to Madison to meet up with friends and share our love of indie ttrpgs.

I’m looking forward to sharing the memories after I recover.

Games of the Week

Reading: I’ve finished reading Kingdom 2 and Monsterhearts 2, and have started reading Thirsty Sword Lesbians and a couple other games.

The Evidence section of the Dark Wall from the end of Series 2, Episode 9 of playtesting Dark Wall.

Dark Well RPG: The Paranormal Conspiracy Thriller continues to deliver in our created X-File meets the West Wing climate conspiracy story.

  • Roland: After successfully negotiating for collaboration on the replacement climate project, Roland shared a moment with Ginelle Donatelli. The next day, Roland had a conversation with a spirit that may be his dead mother, now speaking through Terry, and later worked to help renegotiate the deal with the Saurian faction for the benefit of humanity and Terry specifically. Roland joins in escorting Terry and the others to meet with Baxter to get the Nexus and deal with the Devourer of Worlds, seeing Ginelle gunned down and using his Iron Will to push back the servants of the Devourer along the way to the church.
  • Baxter: Baxter assessed the usefulness of a junior politician before returning to the lab and transferring the Devourer of World’s children to the newly acquired 100 volunteers. He followed up on locating the Nexus at a church. However, Baxter learned that in order to get the Nexus, he must sacrifice something meaningful, such as the life of a true friend, Terry, and that is not a price Baxter is willing to pay. He turned to his uncle’s journals in search of an alternate solution. Meanwhile, while the others advance towards the church, Ward shoots and presumably kills Ginelle after hearing that she was going to kill Baxter to release the Devourer.
  • Terry: He left the hole with the artist, appearing at Roland’s hotel suite and dealing with the artist before allowing Elena to speak to Roland through his body. When the IDP appeared to arrest Terry at Roland’s, Terry surrendered. Charges included the kidnapping of the food court artist, the destruction of the Eclipse Project, and the death of a co-worker (Chris). Thanks in part to help from Roland, Mr. Black served as a lawyer and helped get Terry released. Terry was on the way to a safe house before going with the group to the church to possibly help deal with the Devourer and then save the world.

Legends of the Realm RPG: I’ve finally completed all of my lists of tales for the game but am wondering about asymmetrical usage for each category, which I am likely going to have to test after Forge Midwest.

The Deep Forest RPG (FREE): The Deep Forest is a map game of post-colonial weird fantasy. It’s a re-imagining of The Quiet Year, one that centers upon monstrosity and decolonization.

  • This was the first time I’d played the game, and our group leaned into the strange monster community. We had so much fun that we only completed two decks out of four. Scheduling madness may prevent all of us from concluding the story. However, where we left off was fascinating, with us on the verge of social and cultural division over embracing or rejecting humanity.

Fedora Noir RPG: A game about a Detective and their Hat.

  • I’ve had this game since it arrived, and just today I unwrapped it. We didn’t play it on game day, but I’m going to take it with me to Forge Midwest. It’s meant for four players, with each taking a role: Detective, Partner, Flame, and the Hat.

ArkBall RPG image from nuclearobelisk’s page.

ArkBall RPG: Aboard the sacred arenaship Ersatz, the ceaseless conflicts of the six colony starships of the Ark fleet are tried and mediated by their anointed athletes in an ancient sport of champions: ArkBall.

  • Our team was from the arts and entertainment colony, which included a rookie athlete and heir to a powerful family; a carousing social entrepreneur; a stim-addicted perfectionist; a turncoat veteran athlete; and an aging, formerly fan-favorite veteran player.

Farscape Marathon

With the celebration of 25 years since Farscape aired, I was pleased to come across a Farscape marathon online over YouTube. Farscape is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi shows about found families (puppetry and all) in space that feels alien and hits the feels.

There is a great ttrpg in development along these lines called Starscape. I got to playtest this game a year or so ago, and it was fun. The game includes a setting and ship creation to help focus play, and that’s something I also enjoy.

Starscape RPG: Starscape is a Powered by the Apocalypse game that focuses on the ebb and flow of trust and the dynamic relationships that form between a crew as they explore the stars. It is a found-family game that is ideal for stories that focus on a small number of main characters who agree on a central goal, such as in Star Trek, Farscape, or Firefly. Trust means life or death for a crew. Everyone must trust in each other, their ship, and even their own abilities to successfully navigate the vast emptiness of space.

Next Steps

Get through the next week!


Let me know what you think. Was this helpful or insightful?


DMK, the founder of AquaVertigo, is a creatively curious artist, author, designer, educator, entrepreneur, and organizer based in the Midwest, USA.

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