Violence RPG

Violence is a modern version of dungeon crawling, in which you shot your way through an apartment building instead of slashing your way through a dungeon. The authors write:

Violence is a lot like Dungeons & Dragons by that other company. You and your friends play characters in an imaginary world. You wander about a maze, kicking down doors, killing whatever you find on the other side, and taking its possessions. The main difference is this: The world isn’t some third-rate fantasy writer’s drivel about elves and dwarves and magic spells, but the world of today. The doors you kick down aren’t those of a subterranean dungeon–unless you’re in the subway but those of decent, honest, hard-working people who merely want to live their lives. The things you kill aren’t cardboard monsters whom the game defines as okay to kill because, well, they’re monsters but fellow human beings, with families and friends and hopes and fears and highly developed senses of morality far better people than you, in fact. And the things you steal aren’t magic items and gold pieces but stereos, computers, jewellery, and whatever other items of value you can lift.

In a sense, it seems that you’re not supposed to play this game as much as read it. As they pointed out on Play This Thing, reading it should bring about questions about what you’re doing in a standard dungeon crawl. What’s the real difference between raiding the homes of monsters and stealing their stuff and raiding apartments and stealing their electronics?

I wonder.

It is a good read, though.

Executive Decision Presidential Decision Making Game

I recently played this semi-role playing game with my AP Political Science students and we all enjoyed it very much. In Executive Decision, the players each take on the role of a member of the president’s cabinet and try to promote their agenda as critical events unfold in real time. Highly recommended.

Men and Supermen Super Hero Role Playing Game

The Men and Supermen Role Playing Game is designed to allow super powered characters to fight along side normal characters. In doing this the RPG takes on what I think is one of the most difficult of tasks — creating a common scale between units of disparate strength.

Rough Magic Role Playing Game

Rough Magic is an RPG with an interesting setting:

Rough Magic is a role-playing game of magic, mystery, and guns in 1960s Europe. Europe is united under the polished boot of the Franco-Prussian Empire, and hex use is ruthlessly regulated and (as a result) enormously profitable.

Think of a cross between Casablanca and Angel Heart.

Play is very loose, and players are encouraged to take initiative rather than simply hanging around and waiting for someone to kick in the door, guns a-blazing. Players are also encouraged to flesh out the setting and be creative, rather than passively accepting what has already been described.

Mean Streets and Mean Villains 1970s Role Playing Game

Mean Streets and Mean Villains is a role playing game set in the 1970s world of high fashion cops and robbers, such as such as Starsky and Hutch, Miami Vice, Police Woman, Columbo, Kojak, Hawaii 5-0, Cannon, The Rockford Files, The Avengers and New Avengers, The Professionals, or films like Dragnet and the Dirty Harry series. It looks like a lot of fun, and there are even stats for “dress sense” and “coolness.”