Alternate Games Part 2

Once again I want to share with you some games that you should be adding to your shelves, rather than resources.  Sometimes it is a good idea to switch things up and play a different game.  The games I have for you today are those which you can learn from for your normal game, of course, but they are also great forays into different rule styles and game play.  These three games are great fun, and any one of them is worth giving a try.

Kobolds Ate My Baby (9th Level)

I’ve mentioned this game before, a couple times.  It was on my list of games to finally play this year and I finally did.  This is a game you should grab, for two reasons.  The first of these is the fact that you get to take the time to play out the opposite side of every story: the monsters.  Of course there are other games where you get to play out a villain or the evil character, but how often do you get to play the little guy.  Stated that way it may sound a bit boring, but you get to go all out crazy.  You get to play the insane, fearless, and dangerous little guys.  These are the guys that die to great heroes, but they are also the ones who destroy all those who were not so great.  The other reason you should play this game?  Because it is insane.  It embraces the silly, fun, reckless adventure that RPGs are.  It is a reminder that serious stories, as amazing and fulfilling as those are, are not the only reason to play.  It is a reminder that getting around a table is all about having fun, rolling dice, and enjoying the company of friends.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness (Palladium)

Another game that I have mentioned before.  The reason I bring it up now is that I recently got to watch it played on No Survivors for a month and it was hilarious good fun.  This is based off the Rifts system from Palladium, an old edition since it game out quite a while ago.  While they played an adjusted version of the game, it reveals what drove my interest in the game and what makes it worthwhile as an alternate campaign.  It takes the greatness of comic book action without the super powers, the greatness that made 80s and early 90s cartoons.  Lots of action and seriousness, but also a nice dose of zany fun.  Another thing about the game is that the system is a d% system.  Seeing the benefits and drawbacks of the system are helpful no matter what game you play.  Finally the combat system is interesting in that there is constant action and reaction, no hit points, and an almost bullet-time feel.  While all games have combat that takes longer than real life, this slows it down even further and allows you to create the amazing combat sequences you always imagine happening, move by move.

Mouse Guard (Luke Crane & David Peterson)

This is the game that got me introduced to the Burning Wheel system, even if it is toned down.  The system revolves around a more abstracted form of play where encounters are all played out similarly.  Social or combat, they are scripted in portions and actions revealed against one another.  The different action against others determine outcomes and results are agreed upon based on both sides desires.  It is an excellent system that excels at putting story decisions and outcomes in everyone’s hands.  The other thing I love about this game is the world it is based upon.  It is all realism.  No magic, no advanced technology, no crazy otherworldly things.  What makes it unique is that you take the roles of mice and must balance your actions as heroes with your instincts as a mouse.  It is tons of fun and the creation of characters is a simple but excellent insight to developing well-rounded characters.