Alternate Games Part 3

To start off the return of Resources for Every GM I have some games for you guys to try out. All three of these are a bit different from your average tabletop fantasy (re: D&D). They are, however, great games in their own right.

Cypher System

I have talked about this system a few times now, but it is a system I fell in love with quite quickly. It isn’t hard for me to enjoy a game, to be fair, though there is always a reason. The Cypher system is not one that I became attached to because of the various worlds created for it, as is often the case. I did discovered it by looking into those worlds and, when I backed the Kickstarter recently, it was the perfect excuse to check it out. The thing about Cypher is that you define your character in description, a single sentence and that determines the pool of powers you have to choose from. That factor, along with the focus on exploration and discovery, make this a fantastic narrative game, rewarding risk taking and expecting you to use items in order to get more. The fact that this is a universal system allows for you to do anything with it.

Monster of the Week

This game, based on the Apocalypse system, is so much fun because it tackles something I love: monster of the weeks. Whether we are talking Scooby-Doo or X-Files, Supernatural or Doctor Who, monster of the weeks are something I have always enjoyed. There is a certain flair to them, they are drama at times, sitcom at others, but both of these are created, not by a scenario mimicking life but by introducing a, well, monster. The fact that such a formula can be applied to so many styles makes it that much more enjoyable, and Monster of the Week takes this formula and applies it to the game table. Character choices are vague enough to mix into a variety of settings, but specific enough to see the influences and style. The formula for making those shows plays itself out in the rules equally well, and playing the game creates the feel of being in one of those shows. There is little more to say about the game except that you should check it out if any of these shows appeal to you.

4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

I saved this one for last for two reasons. First of all, it is D&D, thats not much of an alternate from your average game. Especially if that game isn’t already something like Savage Worlds, Cypher, or Shadowrun. The second reason is because there is a lot of dislike for this game and I didn’t want its appearance to chase you from the article before the other two games were mentioned. 4th Edition is included in this list today because it has been on my mind of late. We looked into it when doing our resurrection episode for the Untamed Rant and I began to recall all the reasons I loved the game, something I have mentioned before. This version of D&D is so different from the others, it stands alone. It is designed for high fantasy. You can get away with low magic, gritty games in other editions but in 4th Edition there is only high powered heroic fantasy and that makes it great. The game is built around it and thrives on it. Now, that’s not to say you cannot do the same in other editions, on the contrary, but you should absolutely give 4th Edition some of your attention if you want to get a high powered game designed to make the characters gods in their own right.