The cyberpunk/magic roleplaying game Shadowrun was launched in 1990 with the help of this live-action promo video. Previously.
Traveller is a series of related science fiction role-playing games, the first published in 1977 by Game Designers' Workshop and subsequent editions by various companies remaining in print to this day. (previously)
Matt Barton's Matt Chat started as a series of discussions on classic video games from Elite to System Shock 2. It now features interviews with the likes of Chris Avellone (Planescape Torment), Tim Cain (Fallout pt.1, pt.2); Arcanum, Brian Fargo (The Fall of Interplay, Waste land and Fallout, Bard's Tale and Wizardry), John Romero (Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake and the infamous Daikatana) and Al Lowe (Leasure Suite Larry pt.1 and pt.2). [more inside]
It's that time of year again... The 2011 One-Page Dungeon Contest has announced winners[15mb pdf] in 15 categories ranging from the more traditional "Best Investigation"[pdf] to "Best Use of Teleporters."[pdf] (previously.) [more inside]
NationStates is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry back in 2002 (previously). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government, the game starts by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum, practice wargaming in International Incidents, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly (so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki, which provides a detailed legislative record, gameplay guide, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations, 8,000 player regions, and countless characters that currently make up the game world.
Friday Flash Fun: Realm of the Mad God is a co-op MMORPG shooter with cute 8-bit graphics. Death is permanent, play addictive. [more inside]
How Rogue Ended Up On The Sofa - a look at the descendants of the classic game, including MeFi's own 100 Rogues.
Following the success of The Haunter of The Dark, the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcasts presents two new readings, From Beyond and The Picture in The House, by Andrew Leman and Bruce Green. Both recordings are available "In 3D". Alternatively if you like your Lovecraft with both pictures AND sound, the HP Lovecraft Historical Society version of The Whisperer in Darkness is complete and being shown at worldwide film festivals - it's a talkie! (The HPLHS are now also offering a rather handsome "official membership" pack.) Want something more interactive? Cthulhu Dark offers a complete Lovecraftian tabletop RPG system that fits on two sides of a sheet of paper. Please note: "If you fight any creature you meet, you will die. Thus, in these core rules, there are no combat rules or health levels. Instead, roll to hide or escape."
Yes I like playing Dungeons and Dragons with you... "This Fantasy World" by the Doubleclicks, with animation by Brad Jonas. [SLYT]
Courtesy of the indiegames.com weblog, the top 10 indie games of 2010 in a variety of categories:
- Freeware Experimental Games (previously)
- Freeware Shoot 'em Ups
- Freeware Role-Playing Games
- Freeware Puzzle Games
- Freeware Adventure Games
- Browser Arcade Games
- Freeware Arcade Games
- Browser Platformers
- Top 10 Indie Games (overall, including ones that *gasp* actually cost money)
- Indie Games To Watch Out For In 2011
In 1989, Milton Bradley debuted HeroQuest, a board game in the style of Dungeons and Dragons. Not to be bested at their own game, D&D's parent company TSR released Dragon Strike (reviewed here by Angry Video Game Nerd's James Rolfe.) Packaged with the board game was a low-budget fantasy short film meant to simultaneously set the mood, demonstrate a potential adventure and explain the rules.
You are in a warm, dark, comfortable place. This has been your place since you became aware that you are alive. It's almost time to enter a different world now. In 1986, Activision published a roleplaying computer game called Alter Ego. Unlike the action and fantasy titles that ruled the day, this game simulated the course of a single ordinary life. Beginning at birth, players navigated a series of vignettes: learning to crawl, reacting to strangers, getting a first haircut. The outcome of each scenario subtly influenced one's path, and with every choice players slowly progressed through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Graphically minimalist -- one's lifestream is represented by simple icons, and the scenarios are all text -- the game was nevertheless engaging, describing the world in a playful, good-natured tone tinged by darkness and melancholy. And it had quite a pedigree; developer and psychology PhD Peter Favaro interviewed hundreds of people on their most memorable life experiences to generate the game's 1,200 pages of material. Unfortunately for Dr. Favaro, the game didn't sell very well. But it lives on through the web -- PlayAlterEgo.com offers a full copy of the game free to play in your browser, and the same port is available as a $5 app for iPhone and Android. More: Port discussion group - Wishlist - Vintage review - Original game manual (text or scans)
List of Libre Games. Open Game Systems. Compendium of Free Role Playing Games. Free RPGs at 1000 Monkeys, 1000 Typewriters. Tired of role-playing game books the size and price of textbooks? You've got a lot of alternatives. [more inside]
An Illustrated History of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy - Jackson and Livingstone - audio, sans illustrations. The story of how Steve Jackson (not that Steve Jackson) and Ian Livingstone kickstarted tabletop roleplaying in the UK and founded a gaming behemoth that is very different today.
"With 4th Edition, there were good intentions." Escapist Magazine's "Check for Traps" columnist Alexander Macris interviews Dungeons & Dragons Manager Mike Mearls about 4th Edition Essentials, Ryan Dancey's "death spiral" comment, Justin Alexander's "Disassociated Mechanics", and the new Red Box.
Synergon is a fully-playable ruleset for BLARPing (Business Live-Action Role-Playing).
Wanna Play D&D? Nobody to play with? Got a computer? Wanna experience The Temple of Elemental Evil, Castle Amber, The Palace of the Silver Princess, and Danger at Dunwater in your pajamas? Start with Circle of Eight Modpack forThe Temple of Elemental Evil and play the most complete Dungeons and Dragon game ever made. Think 3rd edition is for chumps? Show your true Moxie and revisit the modules of yore with the Classic Adventures Mod for Baldur's Gate II. [more inside]
Got a question about old-school Dungeons and Dragons? Perhaps you should consult this database of questions and answers from Dragon Magazine's "Sage Advice" column.
Nehrim is atotal conversion of the Oblivion engine by the German amateur team at SureAI. Four years in the making and one of the largest mod projects ever completed, it features a massive new hand-crafted world, an elaborate and compelling main quest, dozens of side-quests, over 50 professional voice actors, a reworked leveling and crafting system, new spells, new items, new enemies and an original score of over 50 songs. Those who persevere through the prologue into this open world will be rewarded with a truly brilliant classical RPG. [more inside]
Haiku Quest is an indie rpg featuring voiceover from Christopher Walken. Yes, really. (windows only) [more inside]
One of the better online random dungeon generators out there. Scroll down a bit to see it. You can change the size and learn more about it from the home page. [more inside]
Flash Friday: Mardek 3 is an rpg similar in style and length to the Final Fantasy or Earthbound games from the SNES days. But that's not all! [more inside]
In 1974, a pair of wargame enthusiasts from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin transformed the nascent hobby gaming world by publishing three little brown booklets. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson's Dungeons & Dragons has become an important part of the lives of generations of young gamers. Along the way, D&D went through numerous editions, each with increasingly complex rules. [more inside]
Taking Liberties: a Deus Ex story - on the enduring appeal of the 2000 Cyberpunk RPG/FPS. The Making of Deus Ex. Behind the scenes.
Avatar Days (SLYT) World of Warcraft in real life.
"The impression that Ars Magica requires a Ph.d in medieval history to play was not helped by several supplements for the fourth edition that were in fact written by Ph.d’s in medieval history." Don't let that stop you, though; you can download the fourth edition for free. [more inside]
Impressions of D&D Monsters: Laughing Squid helps you penetrate the pencils/dice barrier in order to fully experience the horror of the Gelatinous Cube. (SLYT)
LARP - what is it? - a comprehensive guide in comicbook form.
Synopsis Quest is a flash collection of retro RPG-themed minigames. An amusing way to kill a half hour or so.
I'm on a mission - not to praise Jesus or ensure that every child in Namibia has a netbook, but to kill every single living vaguely human-like character in Fallout 3. ... everyone ... no matter how friendly, helpful, or beneficial to my completion of the game, must be put into the ground. "Natural Born Killer", an experiment in virtual genocide, parts One, Two and Three.
I have been working on and off for about 2 years building our "D&D ROOM" to hold most of our collection and give us a cool place to play...
Mass Affect will offer a plethora of engaging side-quests, including bike messenger assignments, competitive coffee-brand disparagement, horrible-dancing competitions, and an interactive café-posturing minigame that involves using motion controls to keep the cover of your barely-skimmed copy of Dostoevsky's "The Idiot" within eyeshot of as many cute girls as possible.
Wisconsin inmate loses battle to play Dungeons and Dragons in jail. News article and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion.
Maybe D&D has disappointed you. Too complicated*, too slow, too restrictive? Spirit of the Century (free version, blurbs/store) is a Fate game designed for fast-paced, pulpy adventures. And we should thank Fudge, too. [more inside]
Level Up! A sweet and oddly deep little RPG/platformer flash game that's all about grinding, stats, and broken fences. [more inside]
Although it's commonplace nowadays to assume that J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was the primary source of inspiration for Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax when they created the world's first tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, a careful examination of the game suggests otherwise... James Maliszewski on The Books That Founded D&D. Some disagreement.
Elona Shooter - a fantastic castle-defence-shooter-RPG in Flash. Warning: insanely hard.
Lovecraft 101: Get To Know The Master of Scifi-Horror. For more detailed insights into each of Lovecraft's tales in publication order you might want to follow the H.P.Lovecraft Literary Podcast. For another story-by-story guide to Lovecraft you might want to check out Kenneth Hite's Tour De Lovecraft (also available in expanded form as a book). China Mieville on Lovecraft and racism and a lecture at Treadwells by Archaeologist James Holloway which delves deep into Lovecraft and identity. The making of the Call of Cthulhu RPG. The making of Cthulhu (Hipsters! Ego! Madness!). Happy Halloween with H.P. Lovecraft!
Friday Flash Fun: Frontier is an adventure RPG with an economic bent, very similar to Caravaneer. You travel from town to town dealing in the goods available in each town. [more inside]
The Play-Generated Map and Document Archive: finally providing a place to put all those odd doodles, detailed maps, and character sketches that come out of your weekly gaming sessions. [more inside]
In a similar vein to Progress Quest, but (slightly) more interactive, is... Linear RPG. [more inside]
The New York Times profiles Jack Vance (but fails to mention Vancian Magic. (Curse you Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition!)