The Gaming Shelf Reaps What It Sows

So… Gen Con happened. To like, all of us. The annual gaming con held in Indianapolis brought “record breaking” numbers of fans through the convention center. Also, a few awards. Yours truly lost the Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming to a truly excellent and deserving game, Coyote & Crow. Additionally Free League came away as a massive winner at this years’ ENnie awards with Vaesen snagging four medals across the night. Taking a minute to brag, but I got one myself for January’s D&D reporting.

Featured this week is Gila RPGs’ Reap, a solo RPG that uses tactical combat and narrative storytelling. There are stories within parts of the map that players can explore, as “pointcrawl exploration meets environmental storytelling as you uncover what has happened here,” according to a press release for the game.

Spencer Campbell explained why he decided to pursue more solo RPGs after releasing Rune in 2022. “Reap was a natural follow up,” Campbell said in the release. “The story of a lone necromancer lends itself perfectly to the system. However, I haven’t just repainted Rune with some blood and skulls. Reap may be built on the bones of Rune, but it has brought about some really cool changes that I’m excited for people to see.”

One of the tweaks from Rune to Reap is the combat, which allows for a more “fluid” and “soulslike experience.” Campbell describes a game where “spells take center stage, and fueling them with the components you reap from the corpses of your enemy gives you even more control over how you want to approach the game.”

Tales of the Burned Stones is a free and solo-friendly dark-fantasy role-playing game of journeying and dungeon delving. In this game inspired by Diablo, The Witcher, and The Warded Man, players assume the roles of raiders and treasure hunters who are brave and foolish enough to delve into the derelict kingdom, located next to the demonic-controlled lands of Mount Baram, in search of stories, mementos, wealth, and lost artifacts.”

The Lost Bay is a tabletop RPG set in the ‘90s that never were. The implied setting is a low fantasy coastal suburb inspired by films and media from the ‘80s and ‘90s.”

Cosmic Ray Kids is a single-page (front and back) atomic-age adventure roleplaying game for all ages. Play as superpowered youngsters who fight the forces of evil with heroics and heart!”

Albyon Absey’s Geographical Almanac is an ENnie Award-nominated resource of 26 strange & fantastical locations. Each location is system-agnostic, ready for you to drag & drop into your fantasy table-top tole-playing games, or scour for ideas & inspirations new!”

Issliss is a flexible grimdark roleplay setting with a rich, diverse world full of stunning and treacherous locales and equally dangerous inhabitants. Gameplay is fast-paced and dangerous, with a focus on creative problem-solving and teamwork. The technology and culture of Issliss is roughly analogous to a steampunk setting, and the worst of human treatment is assumed to be behind the times.”

Cloudbreaker Alliance is a counter-apocalyptic fantasy tabletop roleplaying game that unites emergent narrative gameplay with collaborative problem-solving. It is highly accessible, requiring only two six-sided dice to play (2d6); tokens can be used to enhance the experience.”

Sky Zephyrs is a 250+ page tome that reimagines how vehicles and airships operate in DnD5e. Unlock a whole new way to experience swashbuckling, dynamic three-dimensional vehicle movement and combat as you take your adventures to new uncharted heights. Create everlasting memories with you friends as you soar across the skies in your custom built Zephyr and hand-selected Aircrew. Use our vast collection of items, spells, and player options to turn the tide as you face a menagerie of creatures and NPC Zephyrs.”

Cthulhu Dreamt is a sci-fi horror tabletop RPG and original soundtrack where you and your team of Survivors will explore a near-future Earth that is suffering under the influence of Cthulhu and his cosmic denizens. Using your talents, special tech from the secret government agency Salien-Welf, and even the tools of the old ones, you must rescue one of the few scientists who can help…”

Reap is designed using a modified version of the rules originally created for the Rune TTRPG by Gila RPGs. You play as a Reaper, a necromancer of considerable power, pushed to hunt the horrors that haunt the dead world of Obron.”

  • BackerKit’s crowdfunding platform is now opening its doors to all creators after a year of Beta testing.
  • The first edition of Critters & Companions, a detailed bestiary of 30 unique farm animals, is now available for download after a successful Kickstarter.
  • Daybreak Games launched the Commander Masters set on Magic: The Gathering Online on August 3.
  • Free League announced a slew of new products and releases at Gen Con including The One Ring expansion, Moria – The Long Dark, coming to Kickstarter August 29; WASTE 20X4, a new expansion for CY_BORG; and Dead Flag Contracts, a new expansion for Death in Space.
  • Horrified: Greek Monsters—the next Horrified board game from Ravensburger—will officially go on sale October 1.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.