What's new in story gaming?

I moved a couple years ago, so I don't have quite the gaming group I used to. I also couldn't afford to go to GenCon this year. So I'm feeling a couple years out of date when it comes to new stuff in role-playing games, especially when it comes to narrative focused or experimental games.

So what's new in the last couple years that I should check out? Those of you at GenCon, what's your most interesting find?


  • I can only suggest to take a look at EVENT, the story-driven Role-Playing Game I've released this week!

    The Creative Common edition of the game manual, containing everything required to play, is available for free download (in PDF format). You can find the download links, together with a 3 minutes presentation video and a review of the game in this post.

    Let me know what you think about it!

    P.S.: In case you like it, consider backing the project's crowfunding in the EVENT page on Kickstarter.
  • Lots of really hot "Powered by the Apocalypse" games (based on Apocalypse World game rules):

    * Blades in the Dark (weird-fantasy criminal heists)
    * Bluebeard's Bride (a bride survives a nightmarish husband)
    * The Watch (soldiers fighting to save their homeland)
    * The Sprawl (cyberpunk heists based on Gibson)
    * Cartel (Mexican narcofiction)

    There's a host of threads here about new games coming out. Check those out, too!
  • edited August 2018
    Most of the stuff I've discovered in the last 2 years probably came out before 2 years ago, but here are some highlights from the "experimental" sector:

    * In Dreaming Avalon (part RPG, part script-passing)
    * Whispering Road (kid-friendly Miyazaki movie RPG)
    * Autumn of the Ancients (sci-fi journey to the center of the galaxy using Fall of Magic rules)
    * the 2nd edition of the superhero game With Great Power (using Swords Without Master rules)
    * Montsegur 1244; Mars 244; Hope Was the Last Thing in the Box; Witch - Road to Lindisfarne (all games with a pre-made cast of characters and scripted progression of major events)

    And, in case this is necessary to parse the above:
    * Fall of Magic (traversing a map with scripted stops/locations, each with roleplay prompts)
    * Swords Without Master (sword & sorcery short story RPG with pass-the-talking-stick rules)

    I've also heard very good things about The Veil (philosophical cyberpunk) and The Sword, The Crown, the Unspeakable Power (political scheming). Masks (PbtA teen supers) appears to be a big hit.
  • edited August 2018
    For recent games you might want to look at:
    Indie Groundbreaker Awards (http://www.igdnonline.com/indie-groundbreaker-awards-2018/indie-groundbreaker-awards/)
    Indie RPG Awards (http://www.indie-rpg-awards.com/2017/)

    Interesting indie rpgs still in the works:
    Dream Askew/Dream Apart
    Imp of the Perverse
    Star Crossed
  • * Autumn of the Ancients (sci-fi journey to the center of the galaxy using Fall of Magic rules)
    Oh my god, this sounds exciting. What's the (producible and sellable) science fiction equivalent of a canvas scroll-map? Is this one still in playtesting? I found a website under that title, but since it just says "coming soon," it's hard to tell if it's the same thing.
  • edited August 2018
    @Bricoleur if I remember right, testing is complete, but the logistics of printing might not be.

    When I played, it was a big map printed on fabric, with a spiral instead of linear design. So you don't get to do the "unfolding" thing. I thought I might be disappointed by not having the next step on the journey appear as a surprise, but in practice, nope, not disappointing at all.

    Apologies for mentioning a game that isn't actually procurable yet. :(
  • Perseverant: very good generic survival game. Easy to hack!
    Tall Pines: surreal story game with Dixit like procedure in the veins or Twin Peaks / X Files / Lovecraft.
    Ten Candles: the most atmospheric tragic horror rpg ever!!!
  • Joshua A.C. Newman's literary Sword & Sorcery RPG The Bloody-Handed Name of Bronze just launched on Kickstarter. It's been around for a couple of years, but now it's getting its full release. It's no-prep, rotating cast, rotating GM, small footprint, high impact, socially critical Bronze Age roleplaying. Hot, funny, vivid, and wicked smart, one of my favorite games.
  • Apologies for mentioning a game that isn't actually procurable yet. :(
    Please don't apologize, I am thoroughly delighted to hear this is in the works!

    @deinol The best new thing I encountered at GenCon was the LARP Here is my Power Button, which you can find here. Players pair off to form bonds as a human/AI pairing, in a story that could be tragic or light depending on the players.
  • From my highly biased point of view:

    Cubicle 7 no longer has the Chaosium license (everyone's still friends), and I think plan to make a (compatible?) system for the Lovecraftian / Laundry material. I hope they do.

    Chaosium has new folks running things, and this is a very good thing. 7th edition Call of Cthulhu made me wince because IT MOVED MY CHEESE but is overall a better game. There's going to be a new edition of Masks of Nyarlathotep.

    Pelgrane created One2One Gumshoe for Trail of Cthulhu and is working on doing the same for Night's Black Agents. One player, one GM. Folks asked if this system could be adapted to a full group, as it streamlines a lot of things, and this is being done in the Yellow King RPG, which seems to work well, my grand experience being 2 games of it at GenCon.

    Delta Green is back and, to my relief, was not competing with Fall of Delta Green for awards. Fall of DG is an amazing translation of (CoC compatible) Delta Green into Gumshoe.

    Fat Goblin Games has a lot of stuff for Castle Falkenstein and has been talking with R. Talsorian Games and shared a table with them at Gen Con.

    R Talsorian Games just came out with The Witcher, which I'm told is really good.

    Vampire 5th edition exists, and I've a copy in my hands (though I can't figure out where on the site to enter the "please give me the pdf" code the book has).

    Magpie and Growling Door are working to support a wide range of games, and coming out with ashcans of several I couldn't resist.

    Darker Hue Studios made the book I've been wanting for years and could never have made, Harlem Unbound, which has both Call of Cthulhu and Trail of Cthulhu mechanics.

    Golden Goblin Press released the 7th Edition Guide to Cthulhu Invctus to kickstarter backers and is currently working on correcting the things backers have kindly reported (just finished getting that list ready for layout).

    There's this game City of Mist that might stop a bullet and was probably the single heaviest item in my suitcase on the way back from Gen Con.

    Fate of the Norns's Vanagard is out.

    Greg Stolze is working on new editions of Grim War (which I got to play at Gen Con) and Reign (kickstarter in progress).

    Jonathan Tweet is working on a second edition of Over the Edge (kickstarter in progress) which is pretty much a new game. There's a livestream of him running a two hour game including character creation, at Gen Con.
  • I think Spire - the city must fall has both a unique setting and an interesting take on rules really in synch with the stories it's supposed to tell. Also I really like the style of the artwork, but I realize that is a very subjective matter. It was published last year I believe and the pitch is suppressed dark elves planning revolution against their high elf masters in a city that is a monolithic towering Spire.

    Check it out here: https://rowanrookanddecard.com/spire-rpg/
  • Jason Morningstar and Bully Pulpit Games have new stuff, and it's always good.

    I'm hearing great things about Scum and Villainy (Star Wars / Han Solo with the serial numbers scratched off), which is built on the Blades in the Dark game engine.

    Beyond the Wall is a hot little OSR game, not a story game, but it's got some story-gamish influences that are amazing.

    Monte Cook just finished Invisible Sun and it's about as trad as you can get, but it's freaking amazing and weirdly wonderful.
  • Spire is pretty great, I've been running a game online and the setting has a neat combination of specific color and wide-open spaces for improvisation.
  • Adding to the PbtA love above, ironswornrpg.com has a free PDF and other free downloads if you don't want to buy a deadtree edition. It has some interesting solo (as in, no GM, one player) rules, and explicitly allows you to play a transgender Viking.
  • I can only suggest to take a look at EVENT, the story-driven Role-Playing Game I've released this week!
    Thank you for mentioning your game!

    I've read it and I think it draws from the best examples and has very elegant procedures. I'd put it in the same corner of 'framework' games like Follow. I definitely want to try it out!

    And I hope that with the Kickstarter you will be able to finish the game (how to end a session, master principles, etc).
  • Over the Edge is actually its third edition! The Kickstarter campaign ends next Tuesday at 1pm.
  • Over the Edge is actually its third edition! The Kickstarter campaign ends next Tuesday at 1pm.
    Right, sorry -- I sort of think of second as more of a new printing, which isn't correct.
  • Thanks everyone, lots of cool things for me to go look for.
  • I can only suggest to take a look at EVENT, the story-driven Role-Playing Game I've released this week!
    Quick update: since I managed to arrange a pricing agreement to a local publisher that will publish the EVENT Paperback at a discounted rate, i chose to revamp the Kickstarter Project in order to lower the pricing of all the rewards to allow everyone - including those who already backed them - to save a few bucks.

    Here's the new URL:


    I really hope you'll like (and back) it!

  • Quick update: the EVENT website is now live at https://www.event-rpg.com/

    Let me know if you like it :)
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