How to use spare Christmas $$?

edited January 2008 in Story Games
I have some extra Christmas dollars that want to be spent on games.
So give me some suggestions. I will compile the suggestions into an excel sheet and the one or two with the most votes gets purchased.


  • edited January 2008

    But seriously, hmmm. What are you into?

    On general excellence, I would point to:
    The Redbrick Earthdawn Player's Book ($50 hardcover on
    Graham Wallmsley's Play Unsafe, also at Lulu.

  • Of course!! How callus of me. Happy to help keep thingz goin'.
    Check your inbox.

    To help out with this I'm actually ordering Don't Rest Your Head and Spirit of the Century.
    That may give you a clue to my likes.
    But really anything excellent would be fine.
  • I'm very happy with my Christmas present The Committee for the Exploration of Mysteries, and while I haven't played it, I'm very much looking forward to it. It's also a pulp game, so if you're into SotC, you'll probably like this as well.
  • Yokiboy,
    Thanks for reminding me of that. It is on the list.
    By the way, I'm closing the vote on Saturday so get yours in.
  • Universalis (nar) or HERO System (gam/sim) - pick your GNS flavor, then play any damned genre or setting you want.
  • Okay, just to get it out of the way, I'll recommend my game Dirty Secrets. I have to, to make sure that it gets on the list.

    Now, getting past that, I'll also recommend Dogs in the Vineyard. I'm playing it right now, and it really is as good as everyone says.

    I'm friends with Ralph Mazza, so I'll second the Universalis recommendation.

    If you don't have Polaris, you should.

    Finally, if you're into the weird monster thing, you might want to check out Cold City.

    Seth Ben-Ezra
    Great Wolf
  • If you like the One-Roll Engine (Godlike, Wild Talents, REIGN) and like Don't Rest Your Head, you'll almost certainly like Monsters & Other Childish Things, which is currently up for preorder on IPR.
  • My stuff:
    Two-Fisted Tales Revised for more pulp action, plus random adventure, location, and macguffin generators.
    HardNova: Sovereign Space -- a bagged set (like a boxed set) for all-in-one, low-cost space action gaming.

    Other stuff:
    Æternal Legends - I've only been able to quickly browse it so far, but it looks pretty cool.
    Boomtown Planet by Timeless Games - pulp/noir newspaper reporting in a busy and odd town.
    Mythic Roleplaying or the Mythic GM Emulator - enhance play or engage in solitaire play with any game.
  • edited January 2008
    Posted By: brettmbHardNova: Sovereign Space -- a bagged set (like a boxed set) for all-in-one, low-cost space action gaming.
    I've got this one, and I can second it for cool "lasers and spaceships" style play without a lot of prep or setup.
    EDIT: Oops, I meant HardNova II, I don't have the bagged set.

  • Thanks for the comments.
    No clear winner yet.
    I don't know the One-Roll Engine. Tell me more.
  • edited January 2008
    WARNING: Bias ahead! Not to mention really dry descripto-speak because my brain is tired, so very tired!

    The One-Roll Engine is a rules set created by Greg Stolze. It originally appeared in the WW2 superhero game "Godlike," but grew very popular and spread to other genres -- first the modern-day superhero game "Wild Talents," then the horror game "Nemesis," and most recently the modern action horror comedy game "Monsters and Other Childish Things."

    Generally what people like about it is that it resolves action quickly by (a) reading lots of detail out of a single roll of a pool of dice and (b) having each participant in the action roll simultaneously. Of course, some people dislike it because they prefer resolving individual actions one at a time. YMMV.

    "Monsters and Other Childish Things" is a really fun and funny game about kids whose best friends are horrifying monsters. It uses a much-simplified version of the One-Roll Engine rules, so the action isn't as grittily detailed as you'd expect in, say, a World War Two game like Godlike, and it resolves action that much faster. Characters have stats including Hands, Feet, Guts, Brains and Face, and each stat has a couple of skills, and they have relationships that they can use to get bonuses. Monsters -- well, monsters can do whatever you want them to be able to do, with dice pools assigned to various monster powers and body parts to indicate how powerful they are.

    A game typically features kids in school or at home or at the store or whatever, trying to keep their horrible monsters in line while avoiding all the forces of evil out there -- angry teachers, grounding-happy parents, mad scientists, the Monster Investigation Bureau, bullies, the creepy guy who used to be a kid with a pet monster and never grew out of it so it follows him around like he's a kid even though he's like 20, terrible extradimensional parasites masquerading as substitute teachers, etc. Monsters often don't like to be kept in line, so they find ways to start fighting with each other or eating things they're not supposed to eat, like leftover pot roast, mailboxes, and suspicious-looking substitute teachers.

    Does that help? As the game's editor and publisher I tend to get all wordy and glowing when I talk about Monsters, so I don't want to get carried away. I mentioned the bias, right?

    Oh, previews and stuff:
  • Thanks for the info. The game sounds interesting and goes on the list.
  • Shane, that link needs fixing.
  • edited January 2008
    Let me also shamelessly display my bias, as the author of Monsters and Other Childish Things.

    It was one of those ideas that grew and grew in my brain, like the larva of a hideous but adorable ickle little parasitic insect. Also, something of a wish-fulfillment thing. I'm 32, and I still want to be friends with the monster under the bed (only now, he's turned into a mass of dirty socks and half-read books, and dog hair).

    On the design side, it was one of those situations where mechanics informed theme and theme informed mechanics- the crunchy bits in the way monsters are built was directly inspired by ORE's core hit location system, but the relationship mechanics were spawned by how vital and powerful a child's relationships are, hence how potent they are mechanically and how they can be used to generate conflict situations (complete with one-roll gizmo for doing just so if you get stuck for ideas). The idea was that a GM could sit back, look at his players' character and monster sheets, and from that spawn off complex stories and trouble-riddled situations, keyed right off the stuff on the sheets.

    Edit- oh, and I forgot to add!

    Arc Dream has a whole raft of cool things coming out to support Monsters and the upcoming retail version of Wild Talents. As a couple of them are also mine, Beware The Bias, but I think I'm right to be proud of them. So, these are games which will be seeing a great deal of official and fan support.

  • Ah, this is clearly a thread where we should clearly respond with "My favourite game!" Therefore, I will list a few games I have really loved lately. You already ordered DRYH and SotC, so you're covered there. Where possible, I'm linking to the SG wiki entry. Most of those are games I have played, and a few are ones I have run. All of them are good reading and can be pillaged for ideas.

    * Cat - simple little game, easy to play with non-gamers
    * Cold City - very, very interesting setting and ideas
    * The Committee for the Exploration of Mysteries - well designed, well written, well laid out, lots of fun
    * Conspiracy of Shadows and the CoS Companion - superb GM advice
    * Covenant - fascinating approach and kick-ass premise
    * Dead Inside - interesting premise, great simple mechanics that can even go diceless
    * Dust Devils, Revenged Edition - flexible, simple, with three non-Western bonus settings
    * Full Light, Full Steam - I can't say enough good things about this well-written, clever book; a great game to introduce newcomers to RPGs
    * InSpectres - another excellent games to introduce newcomers to RPGs or trad gamers to story games
    * Mythic Russia - beautiful book, good clean up of the HeroQuest rules (mostly just edited for clarity, a few new optional rules), wonderful setting, great writing
    * Nine Worlds - I had a great time playing this game; it mixes mythology and steampunk into a whole new dish
    * octaNe - gonzo, balls-to-the-wall story gaming
    * The Pirate's Guide to Freeport - excellent systemless setting book mixing pirates and Lovecraftian Mythos inspiration
    * Roanoke - lovely little book running on the Wushu engine and turning it to atmospheric horror and suspense
    * Seven Leagues - sweet little game that tackles fairytales as epic stories
    * The Shab-al-Hiri Roach - roaring good fun, GM-less; lampooning academia and mixing it with Lovecraftian Mythos
    * Shock: v. 1.1 - a prodigious tool to play hard-core revolutionary sci-fi ideas
    * The Tibet RPG - the game engine is nothing to write home about but there are a few key mechanics to port over to a better system; and the setting material is written soberly but very well
    * Truth & Justice - super-heroic stories that work just like in comics; a light-weight engine that is perfect to introduce newbies to gaming and makes the GM's life easy
    * Urchin - nasty, dark little game with sharp pointy teeth
    * vs. Outlaws - the perfect stocking stuffer, the smallest RPG you can buy
    * Wilderness of Mirrors - either a super-light-weight engine in its own right or an add-on for another system, lets players create Mission Impossible- or Ocean's Eleven-style missions and build suspense
    * The Zorcerer of Zo - yet another great game to introduce newcomers to RPGs, the most streamlined and elegant incarnation of the PDQ system to date
  • edited January 2008
    Thanks for the suggestions. Current tally: with two votes each - Committee for the Exploration of Mysteries, Cold City, Nine Worlds, Wild Talents, Monsters and Other Childish Things
    No clear winner.
    Keep 'em coming. One day left.
  • Posted By: tomgAnemone,
    Thanks for the suggestions. Current tally: with two votes each - Committee for the Exploration of Mysteries, Cold City, Nine Worlds, Wild Talents, Monsters and Other Childish Things
    No clear winner.
    Keep 'em coming. One day left.
    I'd put Monsters above Wild Talents -- they're from the same company, and Monsters is more focused and scratches some of the same itches as DRYH.

    Other than that, you've really got a devil's choice.

    Committee: Pulp/Parlor Boasting Adventure (small format softcover)
    Cold City: Cold War Political Agendas blended together with Aliens style Nazi Bug-Hunts (small format softcover)
    Nine Worlds: What Nobilis should have been (smallish format softcover)
    Monsters: "Sorcerer" reimagined as "Calvin and Hobbes" (larger format hardcover)

    I'd prioritize things by taste, based on the above, rather than by votes, honestly. :)
  • Thanks for the suggestions.
    I will consider them.
    The vote goes on.
  • The votes are in and the winner is...Cold City and Nine Worlds.
    I realized I could get two if I get the PDF's. As we had a 5 way tie, I picked the ones that I found most interesting.
    The list still lives and will be whittled down over time. Thanks for all the help.
    If you would like to keep adding your favorites please do so.
  • Thanks man. I'm looking forward to diving in.
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