Friday, November 7, 2014

Gameplay Update - Cosmic Patrol, Valiant Universe, Shadowrun, Star Wars and Numenera

The previous few months have seen continued play of Castles & Crusades, Dungeon World, Dungeon Crawl Classics and even some Pathfinder. C&C is utilizing the Tainted Lands box set, Dungeon World concluded a story arc based on "Keep on the Borderlands" and explored a new campaign concept in some side sessions. I was able to run various DCC modules and am participating in the Reign of Winter adventure path for Pathfinder.

This post is however not about these games but the selection of new games I've had the opportunity to play with a weekly gaming group at my FLGS.

I had a chance to play Cosmic Patrol (Catalyst Game Labs) after our FATE super-hero game concluded. It was a one shot evening before we transitioned into the new Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight. 

Martian Amazons Included

Cosmic Patrol was amazing. Its super loose on the details and does a great job of pushing the story forward. It's a little zany but that's a bonus for a game based on classic science-fiction. It's essentially a GMless system with the story being adjucated and pushed forward by a player that takes on the role of Lead Narrator, a designation that rotates amongst the players as the scenes of the game change. It's very seat of your pants and perfect for those that like open ended play styles and have a strong imagination. Having been exposed to books, films and television in the related genre goes a long way here but isn't a necessity.

I'm not even familiar with these characters but it was a blast.

During Free RPG day I had the opportunity to play Catalyst Game Labs "Valiant Universe" quick start game based on the super-hero characters published by Valiant Comics. It utilizes the same rules system as Cosmic Patrol. I ran this game too as a one shot at our weekly game when the regular GM was absent but maintained the role of lead narrator for ease of play and to facilitate moving the story forward as easily, smoothly and quickly as possible. Also a very fun experience. Many of these open ended style games are very rewarding for me as both a player and a GM because they never fail to surprise and entertain. Also at Free RPG Day I got a chance to play Shadowrun. Its not a game I've taken any interest in previously but it was fun to play.


Fantasy Flight's Star Wars Edge of the Empire had some good moments but I found it a little difficult to immerse myself in the game. I'm not a super big fan of their proprietary dice system although it works pretty well at providing an interpretive environment that can generate some satisfying cinematic results. I just think that overall the game might be a little too complicated for my tastes. I'm not sure exactly what it was but I just didn't find this game to be very fun. That combined with the fact that the rest of the books in this role playing series (Age of Rebellion, Force of Destiny) add very few new rules but are very pricey (59.95 cover price in US dollars and up to 67.54 Canadian at my focus will likely turn to other gaming systems.

Think Thundarr at the End of Time by Monte Cook

Right now we are playing Numenera my Monty Cook Games. I'm quite impressed with this game, especially considering Mr. Cook's past endeavours fall among what I consider some of the poorest examples of RPG design. This is a true RPG that facilitates great characters, has an intriguing setting and is full of mystery and wonder. Its a science-fantasy adventure that appeals to modern concepts of sci-fi and takes influence from some really impressive sources. I played this last year at JimCon but have an even better appreciation for it since I've had time to go over the rules and read a little more about the setting. This is a game I could devote more time to despite the fact that it's books are at a similar price point as the Star Wars materials I discussed earlier. Interesting new materials and value for investment is a good motivator. I'm even interested in taking a look at Cook's new game 'The Strange" based on the same rules system.

How do I convert this to Lords of Creation?

My next post will be about the "Halloween Special" game session I had with this FLGS group. It deserves a post all to itself.