Live at GenCon ’05: A Tour of the Forge, and other things

I must say I feel a little bad. I completely missed the guys at The Forge at GenCon SoCal last year, and they had some new items. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, I stopped in to take a look at what they had for GenCon Indy.

Among the more compelling items was a roleplaying game called Polaris (softcover, 138 pages), a unique roleplaying game where the participants take turns as gamemaster for each other’s characters (which may remind some of Atlas’ Rune). I talked to Ben Lehman, the creator of Polaris, who said that he loved to GM but was frustrated with not being able to pay attention to all the characters, which he was really into. In this game, one player gets focused on at a time. The other advantage is that no one gets stuck with GM duties all the time. The adventure focuses on a civilization in decline. Polaris is a city of ice and stars built by a beautiful race. Somewhere along the way there was a Mistake – with a capital M. This was quickly followed by The End. The game focuses on the time between the Mistake and The End. How the characters deal with this inevitable tragedy is the crux of the game. The artwork is of an art deco style that belies the fantastic and mystical qualities of the world. Price is to be determined but will be in the $24 range and will be available through Indie Press Revolution.

There were a couple of other interesting products as well. The Mountain Witch by Timothy Kleinert is a roleplaying game with a samurai/noir feel, which looks quite good. Bacchanal is the latest offering from Paul Czege (My Life With Master) and is an roleplaying game with more adult themes. Finally, there is The Imp Game Presents Mischief and Mayhem. Written by Nate Peterson, it’s about the rather crappy, but comic, life of imps. It uses a 2d6 roll-under type of system. The difficulty of tasks are not individual to the player but taken on by the group. At the start of the game the difficulty of doing anything is two. Yes, you have to roll under a two on 2d6. It kind of sucks to be an imp.

Other Things

New for GenCon Indy, Atlantis: The Second Age and High Medieval from Morrigan Press. Atlantis: The Second Age is an RPG set at the dawn of time. It features an elegant, rules-light system that is, strangely enough, compatible with all their other d20 products. It’s referred to as the Omni System on Morrigan’s website, which uses a single d20 and an easily memorized five line table. Yeah, I think I’m going to have to take a closer look at that system. Atlantis is hardcover and about 400 pages.

High Medieval is a supplement that is also compatible with Atlantis and Morrigan’s line of Talislantia products. It has been in release as a PDF for a few months now, but is new in print for GenCon Indy. High Medieval is a roleplaying game that attempts to be historically accurate while maintaining some of the fantasy elements that are familiar to most roleplayers.

Out of the Goodness of My Heart

You know them – those game companies so far under the radar that you think they might have crashed somewhere. So, there are these guys and they have a roleplaying game. They have a pretty lousy spot on the exhibition floor. Their online visibility is none too good either. It took some serious Googling on my part to dig out their web page. Their game isn’t even new, having been released at GenCon SoCal last year. But, the guys at Mad Moon Rackets are pretty darn cool. So, with whatever goodness is left in my heart, I’m giving them and their game, Made Men, a mention here. As you probably guessed, Made Men is a mobster RPG set in the 1920’s. It sounds like it uses a system similar to the Alderac d10 system. Aesthetically, this is not the best looking book in the world. However, the information looks pretty solid and Made Men is likely a reasonable sourcebook as well as a decent game. For those looking for a roleplaying game that covers the somewhat ignored mobster niche – check it out.