Games

Each series of our second season will feature a different Tabletop Roleplaying Game system. As our players explore these adventures we’ll dissect what kinds of storytelling each system favors. This season we’ll be examining campaigns of Blades in the Dark, Kids on Bikes, and Lancer, as well as one-shots of Bluebeard's Bride and Oh Dang! Bigfoot Stole My Car With My Friend’s Birthday Present Inside. To see our lineup for Season One, click here.

Blades in the Dark

by John Harper| published by Evil Hat Productions in association with One Seven Design, 2017

 

Blades in the Dark is one of the most influential of the games that are Powered by the Apocalypse: inspired by or derived from Vincent and Meguey Baker’s Apocalypse World, which you can listen to in Season One. In Blades, the players take on the roles of daring scoundrels pulling off heists and battling foes in the fantasy-industrial city of Duskvol. The game features innovative ways to model both the quiet time between heists and thrilling flashbacks or plot twists within the heists themselves. Just four years after its publication, Blades in the Dark has led to an entire movement of “Forged in the Dark'' games that follow its guiding principles or borrow its core mechanics.

Bluebeard's Bride

by Whitney “Strix” Beltrán, Marissa Kelly, and Sarah Richardson | published by Magpie Games, 2018

 

Bluebeard’s Bride is an award-winning game of supernatural horror and investigation based on the fairy tale Bluebeard. Also Powered by the Apocalypse, Bluebeard’s Bride is remarkable for portraying a single character: the Bride, Bluebeard’s latest wife/victim. The players portray different parts of the Bride’s psyche as she tries to learn the truth about what’s hidden in her husband’s house, but she risks shattering and worse if she uncovers too much.

 

Warning: Bluebeard’s Bride contains themes of gendered violence and images that can be disturbing. Please check the show notes for content warnings on individual episodes.

Kids On Bikes

by Jonathan Gilmour and Doug Levandowski | published by Hunters Entertainment with Renegade Game Studios

and Infectious Play Publishing, 2018

Kids on Bikes is a game about ordinary people facing the extraordinary, the supernatural, and the just-plain-creepy. Set in the recent past, the game evokes stories from Scooby-Doo to Stranger Things as the players attempt to uncover mysterious goings-on in their small town. Kids on Bikes features collaborative character building, a resolution system that puts a twist on the traditional set of polyhedral dice, and the chance to play a communally controlled character with supernatural powers.

Oh, Dang! Bigfoot Stole My Car With My Friend’s

Birthday Present Inside

 by Paul Matijevic | published 2019

Oh Dang! Bigfoot… is a hack of John Harper’s Lasers & Feelings that is also an objectively perfect birthday gift. In the game (available for free here), the players take on the role of a group going to a birthday party that are sidetracked when Bigfoot steals their car - with the birthday present(s) inside! The players must embark on a road trip to track Bigfoot down, get that car back, and maybe learn something along the way.

Lancer

by Miguel Lopez and Tom Parkinson Morgan | published by Massif Press, 2019

Lancer is a far-future TTRPG about huge fighting mechs and the people who pilot them. The setting of Lancer features a post-Anthropocene world in which humanity has spread to the stars, and mech pilots known as Lancers do battle with both human foes and unknowable entities. Lancer features a streamlined set of social rules, engaging tactical combat, and extraordinarily customizable options for mechs.