I’ve heard of like five of these. Man oh man has indie gaming sprawled out into a hundred directions.

I’ve heard of like five of these. Man oh man has indie gaming sprawled out into a hundred directions.

EDIT: Here’s what I have heard of and my thoughts on them. Feel free to give no shits.

Blades in the Dark: It’s very good! I’m kind of astonished that it’s got the whole open license thing going as well (I think), because it doesn’t look nearly as useful or innovative a hacking platform as Apocalypse World or Cortex Plus or Fate. I know that’s not the main point, it’s just something I think about reading it. We played a couple sessions of release 7 and we’ll almost certainly run a campaign of it at some point. It is undeniably solid.

Godbound: Not sure I’ll ever actually play it! But I’d very much like to. This game, of everything on my shelf, has the biggest chasm of interest between me and who I play with.

#Feminism: I have only read about the nanogames in this. I love that it exists! I’m also not sure what the use case of nanogames is, which is something I chatted with Jason Morningstar about related to the upcoming Golden Cobras.

Singularity: Possibly the most clever title ever. It’s a scifi game about transhuman dating. Haven’t read it.

Praxis: King of Storms: I haven’t heard of King of Storms directly but I’m interested in reading more about Praxis. I’ve heard good things.

War Birds: Another game I can’t really play locally but I’d sign up for anything in this book that showed up at a con. This is the first time I’ve read that the games interact with one another. Interesting! Reminds me of the Sundered Land games, maybe.

Noirlandia: Miiiight be able to pull a one-shot of this together some evening. It feels like I could sell it to the folks who have played and enjoyed Durance and Carolina Death Crawl and Fall of Magic. We’re not anti-GMless one-shots, but the local preference is heavily skewed toward character-driven GM-facilitated campaign play.

Undying: We’ve played it! Not our jam. Glad it exists. It provides an answer for fair PvP conflict on the PbtA framework, which was informative to me for how not to do it. But folks I know and respect have played and enjoyed this, so I suspect this is mostly just a bad local mismatch.

Headspace: Love the conceit. Didn’t work for us but I think it’s solid and interesting.

A Single Moment: I’ve seen it mentioned a lot, so whatever chat Tobie has generated is working.

Seven Wonders: I keep meaning to pick this up. I love that Pelgrane put it out. I also love how carefully they avoid the phrase “larp” and “freeform” in talking about it.

The Black Hack: Heard of it. It’s unavoidable I think. Don’t see us ever needing a retroclone and damned if I know how to evaluate one.

The Nightmares Underneath: Maaaannnn…I really liked what Johnstone Metzger did with Space Wurm vs Moonicorn so my instinct is to give this a look at the very least. And yet I have no interest in playing it on any flavor of OSR. I know he’s put together a PbtA version, so maybe? It came out right when I was gearing up to take a break from AW hacks. It’s on my get list.

The Beast: Go single-player games! Marvelous form factor. Great idea.

Bubblegumshoe: Gumshoe is Not My Jam so I’m not really interested, but the teen sleuth niche is badly underserved so yay! Glad it exists.

Masks: A New Generation: This arrived here a couple weeks ago. It’ll get played. I like the Magpie vibe when it comes to PbtA games.

The Sprawl: Ran it and it worked great! I’d happily run this as a one-shot at a convention. Felt hard to make it do anything more than what it does, which is high-tech criming. I think my final takeaway was that it was an awful lot of pages in support of something so narrow and specific.

Belly of the Beast: I saw this go by on Kickstarter and I called it out as the most WTF game I’d ever seen. No idea how it plays but I love the audacity of the game’s conceit (dungeoneering inside a living thing).

Meridian: I have this! I’ve only gotten to play it once. I intend to whip it out as a novel filler at cons. Keeps not happening. It’s worthy!

183 Days: I have not read this yet and I hate that I haven’t. Sorry! But it’s a Fastaval winner, so at the very least I’m sure it does exactly what it says on the box.

Downfall: I haven’t quite gotten up to speed on the make-a-setting games (this, Kingdom, A Quiet Year, etc.) but I know folks who speak highly of it. Keep meaning to get in on a convention game of this.

Malandros: It’s a Dramasystem game, which again, Not My Jam. But I’ve heard of it! Terrific premise. Feels like any number of relationship-intense storygames could have carried the weight.

The Skeletons: A Jason Morningstar thing, I’ve seen it played and have heard…gosh, hours of commentary about it at conventions at this point. Seems inevitable that I’ll play it eventually. Starting to run out of time and space for my play-once-and-store-forever collection though.

Firebrands: I have the PDF, and because it’s a PDF I always forget I have it. Mostly it’s study material from one of the giants of design.

ScreenPlay: I really, really need to get past the fact that Primetime Adventures exists so I can evaluate this for myself. But it does seem like a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist as long as PTA does.

Epyllion: Just marvelous. It’ll get local play at some point. I’ve got the crystals and cards and everything!

Laser Kittens: Came out right when I had run up against a slew of games I’d blindly supported on Kickstarter. I specifically remember this being the one where I said no more. For no good reason. I’m sure this is a cute game. And cheap!

Love in the Time of Khvareneh: It’s another Love in the Time of thing, I assume? And I like Archipelago. Jason mentioned it but maybe just once. He has so very many titles that I can’t blame him for not revisiting some of his stuff to talk about again. But it does feel a bit like a firehose.

Masks of the Mummy Kings: I think I’ve seen a demo of this at some convention. Nathan Paoletta is almost entirely absent from Plus anymore, which is too bad because his games aren’t getting talked about much any more. I haven’t even seen much World Wide Wrestling hype lately. The physical mask props for the game look like a ton of fun.

Lovecraftesque: Heard nothing but great things and I probably ought to pick it up despite my Cthulhu allergy. The fact that it’s more broadly cosmic horror and not specifically a Lovecraftian monster manual is appealing.

The Veil: This is way, way high on my play-soon list. Probably the next thing I’ll run after Torchbearer.

Okay, so, obviously I’d heard of more than 5. But this is maybe…half of what is listed?


0 thoughts on “I’ve heard of like five of these. Man oh man has indie gaming sprawled out into a hundred directions.”

  1. I think Belly of the Beast is the one that holds the most interest to me. But I also thought it seemed like more of a really cool setting then one that needed its own engine.

  2. Paul Beakley Ah 🙂 In this case, the game actually took a looong time. Jason Morningstar and I tried two entirely different concepts for LiToS sequels before he came up with this one. Then, as it approached finished state, personal stuff on my side delayed everything for a year or two. So it might have been one of Jason’s slower releases, I think.

  3. My only sense of Jason’s work pace is that he keeps somewhere between a hundred and a thousand irons in the fire, and occasionally thirty or forty of them suddenly show up for sale.

  4. Even with the alternate PbtA rules, Nightmares is still all about old school horror dungeoncrawling. It doesn’t become a different game, it just lets the players interact with the rules a little bit differently.

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