The Ugly Monster
Published in

The Ugly Monster

Credit: My Jam by Eric Mersmann

PEGBRJE: Software of Page 37

Wait, there are less than 15? What sorcery is this?

Told By Starlight

Starting us off is a TTRPG by ‘The One True Ryan Khan’, where players will be drawing constellations in order to tell their stories. A deck of cards is needed. With the character archetypes, players will come up with new myths that align with these new star charts. Slowly but surely, a collective of heroes will be created for you to tell your brilliant tales.

A Long Night In The Mech Bay

Sticking with TTRPGs is A Long Night In The Mech Bay, a two player game by Nested Games. One person will be an ace pilot who has barely escaped with their life while the other is a trusty mechanic, hoping to repair the mech in time for the pilot’s liftoff tomorrow. The game revolves around the players spending the entire night fixing the mech and reminiscing on their shared past through flashbacks. For every good memory they have, an equally low point in their lives exists. Perfect for two players that want to explore some emotional baggage of the future.

No Stone Unturned

Another GM-less TTRPG is No Stone Unturned by adamebell, where players will explore a world that follows the collapse of society. Interestingly, the first phase of this game is all about building the world in which the players will exist. They work together to create a broad world and a central settlement before breaking away to create other locations secretly on blank notecards. These cards get shuffled together, and then used as places of exploration and danger. Each action has the possibility of putting either the character or world at risk, so weigh your options and cross your fingers. It’s a fantastic worldbuilding system, one you can port over to other games.

Surreal Estate

The TTRPGs continue with a game about creating strange houses to explore, in the style of the reality show ‘House Hunters’. There are wishful buyers, greedy realtors, and wonderfully spooky houses that may or may not be haunted. Players can develop their Psychic Powers to delve in to the housing market and find that perfect house. It’s a weirdly combative yet cooperative game. You want the buyers to win, but some times the evil realtors get the last laugh. Whatever happens, you’ll have some strange house designs left in the wake.

Mossy Mechanics!

Diwata ng Manila is back once again with their plant-centric TTRPGs and classes, and this is no different. This installment is centered around sentient plant mechanics, where you can make modifications through moss to battle against the bugs. Look for Succulent Sorcerers if you enjoy this one, and make an entire plant-basedadventure.

VIDEOSTORE — A Monster of the Week Double Feature

Sinister Beard Games brings us a zine this time centered around the theme of 80’s horror films that you would find in a video store. The mysteries work within Michael Sands’ Monster of the Week mystery series where players can fight demon nuns, robotic tech bros, incels and more. It’s definitely not for younger audiences as many of its topics deal with mature matters. Its content warnings shouldn’t be ignored, but if you are wanting some darker horror games to play around a table, I hope you come prepared for some on-the-nose discussions.

Hootgoblins

Hootgoblins is a TTRPG by Zargo Games that takes inspiration from the infamous myth surrounding the ‘Hopskinville Goblins’ of Kentucky. Players are owls who want to live in an abandoned building without disturbance. Unfortunately people keep visiting and being loud. Fearing that they’ll be discovered, players will try to scare anyone and everyone away. The historical relevance helps to tie the game’s bizarre setting and structure together, as players will come up with scenarios and try their best to drive everyone off. Perfect for a one-shot if you like owls and local myths.

Way With Worlds Book 1: Crafting Great Fictional Settings

Taking a break from explicit TTRPGs is this massive information dump by Steven Savage on how to worldbuild. It covers so many topics its a bit overwhelming, but the goal is to help you craft interesting worlds that don’t exist, and make them seem alive to your audience. There are basic philosophies to understand, topics that need to be handled carefully, like religion and race, and even discussions about sex. Everything you could need is here to help you get started on worldbuilding. Since this is just volume 1, there are more where it came from.

Savage Tokusatsu: Kaiju, Mechs, and Heroes for Savage Worlds

BPB Games has gifted us a TTRPG expansion for Savage Worlds Adventure Edition, focusing on new rules and options to reinforce that ‘tokusatsu’ feeling. Included is a bunch of new frameworks for transforming heroes and building kaiju, new campaign style guides, a massive amount of rules for customizing and building your own unique assets and even a full campaign. It is an expansion in name only. As long as players have some understanding of Savage Worlds they can play this entire edition without worry.

TOGETHER / ALONE

Together / Alone by Tristan B Willis brings the GM-Less TTRPG flavour back as two players will tell the stories of two different national people coming together. One is an Envoy looking to greet the local government to form an alliance, while the other is a Local who offers them passage to the Capital. The players will journey along, sharing tales of their own people and bridging the gap between their cultures through these stories. They can discuss their own personal lives, and slowly come to understand the preconceptions they may have held about the other. Perfect for building a relationship of two characters for another story, or just exploring cultural differences.

The Estate of Baron Archambaud, an Ingrate

In a slight change of pace, Galazor has crafted a single-player card-based adventure in which the player tries to take an heirloom from a massive estate. The estate itself is built in a mechanically interesting way by dividing the deck up by colour, with black representing events and red representing treasure. The mechanics are simple, revolving around three choices of fighting, escaping or charming. It is easy to pick up at any time and give it a try. If you like Victorian-era housing with puzzles and exploration, this might be a good solo adventure to try.

Like Skyscrapers Blotting Out The Sun

Adding another person allows you to play this writing game by Speak the Sky, where a Writer and Translator attempt to draft a magnum opus. The translator will be adding footnotes to the writing to help relay the deeper meanings, but that doesn’t always mean that they are right. It is this tension that drives the conflict. It’s a game of friendship and understanding, while also being about misunderstandings and bitter memories. The entire game’s mechanics are based around Vladimir Nabokov’s life, specifically about the fallout of his good friend after translations of his work. It’s an interesting work in writing, combining clever wordplay with conflicting messages.

Do be aware this is version one; version two is out and not included in the bundle.

https://speakthesky.itch.io/like-skyscrapers-v1

My Jam

Finally we have My Jam by Eric Mersmann, a LARP in which high school magicians attend the biggest dance of the year. It plays like many high school scenarios, where players fawn over crushes and hang out with friends. The twist is that when a specific song is played, that player becomes the most powerful being on the dance floor. Whomever has the best performance will be elected the Dance Monarch at the end of the night, and change the world in whatever way they see fit. If you like LARPs, this might be a fun excursion in to the past with a focus on musical interpretation.

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Jacob Vorstenbosch

Jacob Vorstenbosch

Just a Game Dev who decided to take on the monumental task of giving an overview of all 59 pages in the bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. We keep going.

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