Been out of the loop for 5+ years - Recs?

Hey folks!

I've pretty much been out of the loop when it comes to RPGs / Story Games for the last five years, and less involved for a few before that. At there any must-play games that you would recommend? I'm especially interested in innovative design or challenging subject matter, but would honestly just love to hear about some of the games that have passed under my radar!


  • Well, 5 years being quite a lot, what used to be your favorites 5+ years ago?
  • edited September 2018
    Polaris, Dogs In The Vineyard, Shock: Social Science Fiction, AW, Grey Ranks, probably others I can't bring to mind at this very moment?

    I've also played and enjoyed Night Witches, which is one of the few games I've picked up in that time span.
  • Throwing out things before I forget. Links will come later - of from other wonderful users.

    News on old faves:

    Ben Lehman (Polaris) hasn't published any big new things over the last few years, but has created several "small, weird games" through his Patreon.

    Joshua Newman (Shock:) has released a swords & sorcery game to his Patreon patrons, then kickstarted it. It's called The Bloody-Handed Name of Bronze. He's also releasing small games (also via Patreon, 3 so far) that are supposed to be steps into the building of a new edition of Shock (the one I've played was quite good).

    In case "swords & sorcery" is your thing, BTW, I think you've missed the whole run of Worlds Without Master, a magazine edited by Epidiah Ravachol, more or less exactly. It's got several interesting games in it (OK, I have a horse in that race) including Swords Without Master, which is quite innovative.

    Jason Morningstar has been making lots of parlor-larp scenarios, a couple card-driven role-playing games and a role-playing party game. Bully Pulpit Games is also releasing games by other people, such as Star Crossed, and is on Drip (Kickstarter's own competitor to Patreon).

    Lots of people have been doing quite a lot of stuff based on AW. The most interesting ones I haven't played, and most loosely based on AW, are probably Bluebeard's Bride (scary!) and John Harper's Blades in the Dark, which has itself spawned a lot of reskins and hacks.

    Vincent Baker himself has released AW 2nd edition, but his freshest works are his "casual" RPGs: Mobile Frame Zero Firebrands and The King is Dead. He too seems to be mainly active on Patreon now, providing first looks and behind-the-scenes exclusives to patrons.

    Hey, turns out I mostly play games which are older than 5 years old, too!
  • Oh, and have a look at this very similar, recent thread!
  • edited September 2018
    If you're looking for games with challenging/unusual themes consider checking out The Watch , MASHed: A Korean War RPG, Bluebeard's Bride, The Warren, Night Witches and Golden Sky Stories. (Not all of these are challenging topics, though some definitely are, and they are all unusual.)

    For interesting design tricks, perhaps Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, Blades in the Dark, World Wide Wrestling, Masks: The New Generation, Fall of Magic, and Follow, all of which have some interesting things going on from a design perspective.

    I THINK all that stuff is the past five years (Good gravy) but my chronology is a bit fuzzy. If you want me to unpack what is cool about some of them I can, but if I wrote about every nifty thing I've encountered in the past five years, I'd break my keyboard.
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