Tabletop RPGs in 2023

Its pretty cool! Played it online during the covid lockdown. Definitely worth picking up.

Wow that’s Life is Strange the board game! Same vibe, very slightly changed narrative and setting. It even has very similar setting, NPCs and relationships. Kind of merging the Chloe/Rachael characters into the missing person, including the denouement and search, the indie soundtrack vibe, the texting thing, ect.

Colville has talked about working on the Star Trek RPG (Decipher’s version) and how ship combat in it originally was a lame version of Star Fleet Battles and how he binned that idea and went for the bridge crew angle.

A lot of it was the fantasy of playing the TNG bridge crew and quite a bit was also that it wasn’t fun and didn’t work well shifting to a whole new game where most of the players probably didn’t have anything to do.

Alice is Missing! It is a cool thing. I’m not going to watch a video, but did he mention that they’re funding an expansion right now?? Seems neat. i

I think they timed it to kind of be a part of this year’s Zine Quest thing. I always pay attention to that, but this year was (almost) a bust for me. I looked through the submissions, and ended up only backing one, Hiria: The Eternal City, a sort-of-sequel to the designer’s earlier A Visit To San Sibilia, a neat little solo Journaling RPG about time spent in an odd, shifting city.

… but then I saw a list of late-starting things, mostly on an alternative crowdfunding site, rather imaginatively named Crowdfundr (really?). So I backed a few more.

Dead Letter Society , “a GM-less epistolary and journaling game for 1-2 players. Take on the roles of vampires exchanging letters via a secret society, pursue your ambitions, and delve deep into the world you create together.”

The Lantern " is a solo journaling game with boardgame-like exploration, strategy and resource management mechanics. On this dark and dangerous expedition, you will have to find a path through the forest in search of clues, trying to survive as you keep the lantern lit. This cursed lantern, a gift from a strange creature, is the only light capable of piercing the darkness of the forest. Who this creature is and what their intentions are, are the questions that you will need to answer during your journey."

Ailing Away, a consumptive solo mystery game. “The year is 1905, and you have tuberculosis” the gamelplay “Is like Clue, but with kissing”. Sounds smashing.

In the actually-released-already category, I picked up Monte Cook’s “Stealing Stories From The Devil” tonight- it caught my eye while leaving the game store after my usual boardgame night. It bills itself as a ‘no prep (really!)’ RPG of heists and reality-bending. Kinds of seems like equal parts Quantum Leap, Blades in the Dark, and the Baron Munchausen RPG. Perhaps I’ll be able to rope some folks into it.

Humble Bundle has a deal on Shadowrun 5th Edition books.

I have no idea if this is good or not. I know the latest edition is 6th, but I think people kinda hated that.

Brindlewood Bay preorders are live! Get your “little old ladies in a quaint seaside town solving murder mysteries that stem from a growing eldritch conspiracy lurking just beneath the surface of sanity” action on!

Ia,! Ia! The ducks rise up!

Another big stompy robot Kickstarter. The Alpha Strike and Clan box sets were great.

Free League announcement:

Today, we officially released our two new open game licenses for community creators: a Free Tabletop License (FTL) for the Year Zero Engine and a third-party license for our upcoming fantasy RPG Dragonbane. The Year Zero Engine FTL comes with an updated Standard Reference Document (SRD). All three documents are now available for everyone to use.

Both new community content licenses are royalty-free and irrevocable, meaning that they can be updated but creators will always be able to use any published version.

The new Year Zero Engine FTL is designed to be fair and easy to understand and use for community creators. It gives all creators an irrevocable, worldwide, and royalty-free right to use the Year Zero Engine Standard Reference Document (YZE SRD) and freely publish their own roleplaying material based on it. The YZE FTL can be found here.

Alongside the new YZE FTL, the YZE SRD itself has been given a massive overhaul and update, based on the developments of the Year Zero Engine in recent years. The new SRD adds rules for chases, vehicles, travel, and magic, and introduces the new “step dice” version of YZE found in Twilight: 2000 and the Blade Runner RPG. The new YZE SRD (version 1.0) can be accessed here.

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Chaosium’s latest edition of their Basic Roleplaying System is out now.

The dev posted a list of changes in the new version:

  1. General rewriting for clarity and consistency, and more direct language.

  2. Editing for brevity where possible.

  3. Many powers have had minor tweaks, often getting rid of the occasional “If the % roll for the power succeeds now roll another % to see if X happens then make another X roll to see…”.

  4. Streamlining some rules and getting rid of (what I now consider) tedious and finicky detail.

  5. Removing strike ranks and splitting attacks and parries - the former was only half-assedly implemented and the latter is not particularly useful. I also pared Sanity rules way back because as written, they were very specific to the modern horror setting and that’s more the domain of Call of Cthulhu.

  6. Occasionally just rewriting a section from scratch (I defy anyone to make sense of the first edition’s Encumbrance rules description).

  7. Getting rid of “he or she” and just using “they”.

  8. Some content adjusted, not out of editorial pressure but just me going “Hmm, that wasn’t that great.”

  9. Reputations, Passions.

  10. Augments explained more clearly.

  11. Clarified situational modifiers chart.

  12. Paring back some unnecessary and too-basic content - “How to find a roleplaying group?” “How do you sit at a table?” and acknowledging new resources (online play, VTTs, etc.).

Furthermore, I considered all of the major changes that CoC7e made, and decided against implementing each for various reasons. In some cases, like characteristics as %, they would break many other rules and don’t scale with characteristics above 20/100, and things like advantage dice don’t really sync with situational modifiers and the Difficult/Normal/Easy skill modifiers. All were looked at, and the cascading effects would have caused a dramatic - and to my mind - unnecessary rewriting, rebalancing, and re-playtesting of the entire manuscript.

Paizo has released the first draft of their Open RPG Creative license.

We will continue to refine the license and add to the FAQ based on public feedback provided on the official Discord. Azora will be soliciting commentary and feedback through that platform between now and Friday, April 21, at which point they will incorporate that feedback and release another public draft. If additional rounds of public commentary are required, the process will continue until the license is complete and meets the needs of the majority of participating publishers. It is our intention to wrap up the entire process by the end of April if possible.


I guess I posted to the wrong thread.
Anyway, Heavy Gear RPG, for people that want more robots.
Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game Fourth Edition by Dream Pod 9 — Kickstarter
5 reasons to play Heavy Gear 4e — Dream Pod 9 Community (

Oh, as expected, Critical Role finally announced the name of their in-house D&D competitor they’ve been working on: Daggerheart.

Oddly, this is NOT the previously announced Syndicult, which they claim is still being developed.

Some folks are treating this like some surprise betrayal of D&D, which is ridiculous. People have known for years that this was happening.

Some commenters are saying this is the “death of D&D” which is also ridiculous. Critical Role is popular, but not that influential. I’m sure lots of folks will try out Daggerheart, but D&D is going to remain top dog in the tabletop space.

It’ll be generic fantasy where characters don’t die and players make up a bunch of stupid permutations of generic empowerment and therapy stories to represent “progression.”

Don’t play that shit; play TROIKA! for characters and plots so insane you can’t even deal. Or play The Fantasy Trip if you like to fuckin’ fight.

Also, remember that a princess always is true to herself and never stops following her dreams.

There’s a name I haven’t heard in years. Speaking of which…

Damn. Been a hot minute for sure

Here’s a cool sounding project- TEETH, a Forged in the Dark-based game, being made by Jim Rossignol (Founder of Rock, Paper Shotgun and dev of Sir You Are Being Hunted, etc). It is a “tabletop roleplaying game for 3-6 people about occult criminality and monster-hunting in a cursed corner of 18th-century England.”. Also, project is pretty much done- digital files ship in June, hardcover books shortly after.

Paizo has announced a revamp of their 2nd edition core rules.

Today, we are pleased to reveal the Pathfinder Second Edition Remaster Project, four new hardcover rulebooks that offer a fresh entry point to the Pathfinder Second Edition roleplaying game! The first two books, Pathfinder Player Core and Pathfinder GM Core , release this November, with Pathfinder Monster Core (March 2024) and Pathfinder Player Core 2 (July 2024) completing the remastered presentation of Pathfinder’s core rules. The new rulebooks are compatible with existing Pathfinder Second Edition products, incorporating comprehensive errata and rules updates as well as some of the best additions from later books into new, easy-to-access volumes with streamlined presentations inspired by years of player feedback.

The new core rulebooks will also serve as a new foundation for our publishing partners, transitioning the game away from the Open Game License that caused so much controversy earlier this year to the more stable and reliable Open RPG Creative (ORC) license, which is currently being finalized with the help of hundreds of independent RPG publishers. This transition will result in a few minor modifications to the Pathfinder Second Edition system, notably the removal of alignment and a small number of nostalgic creatures, spells, and magic items exclusive to the OGL. These elements remain a part of the corpus of Pathfinder Second Edition rules for those who still want them, and are fully compatible with the new remastered rules, but will not appear in future Pathfinder releases.

Is this a new edition of Pathfinder?

No. The Pathfinder Second Edition Remaster Project does not change the fundamental core system design of Pathfinder. Small improvements and cosmetic changes appear throughout, but outside of a few minor changes in terminology, the changes are not anywhere substantive enough to be considered a new edition. We like Pathfinder Second Edition. You like Pathfinder Second Edition. This is a remastered version of the original, not a new version altogether.