Short-block games we have played

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These are games we have played previously during a 3 week short block at the club.

Because many short-block games are organised ad hoc on the night, this is necessarily incomplete.

Contents

2015

Block 5: 1st December to 15th December

Pacific Rim vs Cthulhu

"The South Pacific, 1954.

It is with trembling hands that I write this, the final log of Operation Sentinel. It seems so long ago now that the USS Dauntless was dispatched to patrol the pacific coast of South America. Its mission the first field test of our latest weapon against the horrors that lie beneath the seas. We thought we were ready for anything, That our machines would let us stand against the nightmares. We thought that we could cancel the apocalypse, but we were so, so wrong...

For centuries there have been stories of Kraken and Leviathans, but worse things than sea serpents brood in the abyssal depths of the oceans. I had heard the terrible rumours of Dread Cthulhu and the lost city of R'lyeh. But I digress. If this is to be the last testament of our expedition then I should start at the beginning.

In our hubris we thought that in order to fight monsters we should create monsters of our own... and so the Jaeger Program was born..."

Game details
  • System: Experimental
  • No. of Players: 2-6
  • Duration: probably three weeks
  • Proposed by: Alex Barrett


Sweetwater Plantation

So there I am, on a bleeding slave plantation, trying like hell to placate an angry Comanche airship captain. He’s having none of it; he wants those slaves as tribute, no matter how sick they are.

But then he cuts off his retort and his eyes go wide. I turn around to look at what’s caught his attention. Sliding through the cotton fields comes what looks like a person made of smoke, with ropy tendrils for arms and glowing coals for eyes.

I turn to suggest that now is no longer a good time for this conversation, but he’s already backpedalling towards the rope ladder back onto his ship.

And that’s when the trap springs, and everything goes white...

Airships, steamworks, sorcery, skullduggery. Politics, crime, espionage, and the occasional good deed. Renegade Jennys and Boilerplate Jacks is a game of outcasts surviving in an unhinged, steam-powered world. Taking its cues from Firefly, Blake's 7, and Farscape, this roleplaying game invites you to play disreputable steampunk heroes in a world that's already tried once to throw them away.

This is a "try before you buy" session of Renegade Jennys and Boilerplate Jacks, which I'm offering for the next long block.

Game details
  • System: Renegade Jennys and Boilerplate Jacks
  • No. of Players: 3–5
  • Duration: One week, maybe two
  • Proposed by: Neil Smith


All For One: Regime Diabolique - Force Majeure

The year is 1636 and France is battling corrupt nobles, secret societies, demonic forces and worst of all, Protestants!

A great and terrible evil gnaws at its core.

Darkness stalks the land.

All that stands between chaos and order are the King’s Musketeers.

The musketeers find themselves involved in a seemingly minor dispute between two noblemen; a situation that can be very lucrative, if not a little dangerous.

Note: Although this game is about Musketeers in 17th Century France there is a danger that it may end up as 'Allo, 'Allo! the rpg......

Game details
  • No of Players: 5
  • System: Ubiquity
  • Duration: At least 2 short blocks
  • Proposed by: Paul Watts


2014

Block 4: 12th August to 26th August

HEX: The Aurora.

Note: This is an expanded version of the scenario in the HEX rule book.

Game details
  • No of Players: 3 – 6
  • System: The Hollow Earth Expedition
  • Proposed by: Paul Watts


Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

The New version of D&D will be released during the current long block, I'll certainly be wanting to try it out and I'd guess others will to. As to what the game will actually be about...

The Oldest Feud

The enmity between Human folk and Goblin kind is as old as either race. There have been many wars and conflicts down through the ages and now another would seem to be nigh. Ten years ago a Force of goblins calling themselves the “Doom Bringers” sacked the village of Varsaral, they were repulsed, but at considerable cost. Now rumour has it that the goblins have returned to their ruined fortress out in the Wilderlands and folk are going missing on the roads and in the woods once more.

You are Knights Errant, chartered adventurers in the service of the Avrian Crown. You have been sent to assist Lord Robert de Frees, the count of Varsaral in defending his town, and determine whether the goblins intend to start another war.

Game details
  • No of Players: 2+
  • System: Fifth Ed. D&D (Obviously)
  • Proposed by: Alex Barrett


2013

Block 3: 27th May to 10th June

2011

Block 3: 2nd August to 19th August

Doctor Who: It's The End Of The World As We Know It

A strange black monolith has appeared in Trafalgar square, just in front of Hardy's Column. Nobody has found a way to analyze it, nobody has found a way to move it, nobody knows what it is. It's just ... sitting there. Waiting.

And while it waits it sings a silent lament as Time and Space burns and the World is reduced to ashes.

Adventures in all of time and space, everything that ever happened or ever will. Any where you want, any time you want - for 3-5 players, for 2-3 sessions.

Game details


2010

Block 5: 14th December to 28th December

Pirates Of The Hollow Earth

August, 1936. An Imperial Airways Empire-class flying boat is lost at sea, its last message reporting the sudden onset of a strange electrical storm ...

A single session Hollow Earth Expedition scenario I need to playtest ...

Game details


Block 1: 27th July

Full Light, Full Steam (try before you buy)

  • Week: 1
  • Description: Derring-do and heroism in Her Majesty's Royal Astronomical Navy. Portray vibrant characters in a fantastic world of daring heroics, tasteful British culture, and incredible steam engineering. A fast-paced action game of steampunk space-faring, somewhat similar to Space: 1889.
  • GM: Neil Smith
  • Players (4)

Mythic Russia: Death and Taxes

  • Week: 2 or 3
  • GM: Neil Smith
  • Players (4)
  • Description: It's a big, nasty political battle to appoint the new prince of Novgorod before the tax collector from Moscow turns up and makes everyone's life a misery. The PCs conspired to take down the old prince, each for his/her own reason, and each wants to take his place. The scenario is about the race to do this.
Getting there involves treachery, magic, political machinations, religious conflicts, giant clockwork soldiers and a very angry bear.

A Penny for My Thoughts

A game in which players trade coins to remember who they were and what caused them to forget.

  • Week: 2 or 3
  • Description: A game in which players trade coins to remember who they were and what caused them to forget.
  • GM: Paul Fricker
  • Players

In a Wicked Age

  • Week: 3 (if Death and Taxes happens in week 2)
  • Description: Sword & Sorcery pulp adventure with a story-game, blood opera feel.
  • GM: Neil Smith
  • Players (4)


Block 1: 5th January

Poison'd

  • Week: 2
  • Description: A game of brutal and violent pirates. Everyone's sinned, and more heinous sins will be committed in the game. How far will you go to achieve your ambitions?
  • GM: Neil Smith
  • Players (4)


2009

Block 3: 4th August 2009

The City of Brass

  • Week: 1 (of 1)
  • Description:
High Adventure in the ancient middle east using a modified Spirit of the Century system. A peaceful banquet held by the Sultan turns to unseemly chaos and fire. The fate of an entire kingdom is in your hands, A very mixed band of Arabian Heros and the only ones who can save the day. Story and characters are both based on the 1001 nights.


Lacuna

  • Week: 3
  • Description:
Agents in the Matrix + X-Files + Kafka + Naked Lunch. The rest is on a need-to-know basis, Agent, unless you have Wine security level clearance.
James Mullen (provisional on my Doctor Who game not running)


2008

Block 3: 17th May 2008

When Bad Things Happen to Good Magicians

A home brewed game of fantasy failures, having both strong narrativist and gamist elements, where the players take turns to spend points to narrate the story the way they want it to go and the other players spend points to mess it up and make the acting player look bad. The pilot session will take place in the 3 week block commencing the 17th of May.

Game details
  • Proposed by James Mullen


Block 2: 15th April 2008

Dogs in the Vineyard... I mean, Forest....

The players are all members the forces of Julian, Prince of Amber, Guardian of the Forest Arden, Rider of the fabled Morgenstern - the fastest horse he has ever created - and the Father of the Hell Hounds. In fact, while you are no longer an active member of Julian's hunt, your social status is not one of quite some standing! You are one of the chosen, one of Julian's Dog Fathers (or mothers as the case may be). Your one and only duty is to care for your assigned pup until the day it is able to join one of the packs and hunt alongside Julian. It's welfare is more important than... well, anything really.

And so the fateful day comes... Julian has taken the elder Hell Hounds to battle, you and your year mates are the only ones left... and your Pup is ill! The doctors do not understand why, but you have to do something! Strangely, no food has been delivered from Amber for the Pups and while they are growing fast and are beginning to hunt, they need their vitamins. Similarly, Lord Julian should have visited yesterday. It has happened where he has missed a meeting with his hounds, but not often. It simply doesn't add up!

Characters will be pre-genned unless you think you know the ADRPG system well enough to come up with a -40 point character (no point level level limitations). You also have an additional 35 points to create your Pup. Power words (10 pts), sorcery (15 pts) and limited shapeshift (10 pts) are the only powers available. Items can be purchased and a good horse (capable of keeping up with your Pup!!) would be a very very wise purchase.

Game details
Quotes

GM: Are you going to order the Hell hounds ? Player: No we are going to ask for volunteers.

Player: I'm a Ranger we leave no fingerprints

Player OOC: I hate colour coded NPCs (About Corwin)

Player: Frontal assault it is then ... through the side entrance


Polaris

Once upon a time, as far north as north can go, there lived the greatest people that this world will ever see. They are gone now, destroyed just as the world destroys all beautiful things. All that remains are these moments we call memories, moments frozen from the flow of time.

Polaris: Chivalric Tragedy at Utmost North is a game for three to five players (preferably exactly four) set during the final years of the Northernmost People, just before the remnants of their civilization were swallowed up by their own Mistake.

Once, there would have been no need for Knights. Once, when the sky was dark and perfect, the starlight pure and cold, and the people without fear or flaw, there would have been no need for war. But that time has passed now, gone like a long winter dream, and so you are called to battle demons beneath the burning sun and its alien blue sky.

The protagonists of the story are Knights of the Order of the Stars, beholden by ancient oaths to serve the stars and protect their people. The antagonists facing the knights are multitudinous -- demons from the mistake, doubters from the people, and even betrayers within the brotherhood of Knights.

This is no longer a history; this is not yet a story. This is all that remains. Whatever else is what you make of it.

Polaris is a GM-less game. Each player has a character and is the centre of one scene. The other players are co-GMs for that scene. In the next scene, the next player round is the centre. Resolution is generally diceless and handled by certain Key Phrases. The game itself is a tragedy, ending with the Knights either dead or corrupted. The fun comes from deciding how that comes about.
Game details
  • A try-before-you-buy game proposed by Neil Smith.


Lullabies For Dead Children

"I have such nightmares, and you're all in all of them."

It is 1947 and your family has just moved back to England after many years in colonial India. Your mother has accompanied you and your siblings to the family home in rural Hertfordshire, a strange house in a strange country. It is early summer and school is not due to start for several weeks. Your father is still in India, wrapping up his business affairs in the shadow of partition. Your mother seems more withdrawn than ever. You and your siblings have only the company of the servants and their children to help you make sense of this strange new world. Or at least that's what you thought...

It is 2007 and you, the surviving children, now in your sixties, return back to the family home to lay your ghosts to rest, both figuratively and literally.

Lullabies For Dead Children is a one-shot (probably one or two sessions) for Dead of Night, inspired by classic ghost stories like Turn of the Screw and The Woman in Black. Three to five players will take the roles of the children mentioned above or children of the servants in residence, as well as their adult or ghostly counterparts in the present day.

Game details


Dead Man's Chest

A one-stat pirate RPG in a narrative style: as with many indy games, players take it in turns to frame scenes, bringing character traits into play to effect the outcome and determine the consequences. All conflicts use the pirate's 'Reputation' stat, a dice pool that expands and contracts depending on how 'piratey' they are in the fields of cunning, bravado and fear-inducing. Owes some debts to 'Agon' and 'My life with Master'.

Game details


Uncle Herbert's Legacy

A very traditional Call of Cthulhu adventure set in the foggy and mysterious 1890s London. Characters are Pre-generated and can accomodate 3 - 6 players.

You are summoned back to England upon the death of your Uncle Hurbert as the sole hier to his estate. What were the odd circumstances of his death and where has his manservant disappeared to?

Game details


2007

Block 5: <3rd December 2007

Bullet Time

A Feng Shui game for 3-6 players.

Blow things up. Shoot things. Look damn cool doing it. It's conceivable that there may also be some plot, provided it doesn't get in the way of the aforementioned shooting people and blowing things up while looking cool.

The plot, which may or may not exist, may or may not involve saving the world (or a significant chunk thereof).

Game details


Block 4: 30th October 2007

Capes

A very different style of game (really, more as story-telling game than a traditional RPG). It's a superhero game, but don't let that put you off. It's GM-less, and players don't have any particular ownership of specific characters (though they normally seem to line up quite well). It's also competitive between players, but you win the competitions by introducing story elements that other people care enough about to fight over. This would be one-session 'playtest' to see the mechanics in action and get a feel for how the game works.

You can read a review or two.

Game details


The 'I' in Team

A minor problem on a space station orbiting an alien planet tragically escalates into a disaster, leaving a handful of survivors safe in the confines of their individual living quarters... with no air outside their rooms and only one fully functional spacesuit between them. Now each must stake their lives and their private agendas on the one fully mobile survivor, whom they are reduced to watching and communicating with over the station's comm system. A scenario for 3-6 players, using the basic World of Darkness rules with a sci-fi spin.

Game details


If You Can't do The Slime...

A Low Life scenario for Savage Worlds

On a post-post-post-post-post-post-post-apocalyptic world called Mutha Oith, the myhtical Hoomanrace has long since vanished into obscurity, leaving behind only their detritus... some of which is now sentient and pissed off. You get to play the highly evolved descendants of snack cakes, sewage, cockroaches, worms and other unspeakable things in a scenario that sees a group of them trying to break out of jail and clear their names by finding the evil genius who was really behind the crime they were accused of.

Game details


Block 3: 7th August 2007

The Dark Room

A The Dark Room - Xmas Special episode, acting as a modern-day sequel to The Stone Tape

Game details


Rune Metal Jacket

A scenario based in Glorantha using the MGF (Maximum Game Fun) anti-rules system. With songs.

Game details


Tarsh War

A semi-tabletop, semi-freeform Gloranthan game where you're the leaders of a Lunar Expeditionary Force entering rebel Tarsh.

Game details


The Bitter Saint Nick

A Futurama Xmas Special.

Game details


Lullabies for Dead Children for Little Fears

Game details


Cat

Cat one-off. No firm idea for a plot, yet.

Game details


James Bond

The following information is for your eyes only. James Bond is an honorary title given to the top 00 agent. The current James Bond is AWOL, therefore a successor will be chosen from a short list of 12 agents, they are:

    • John Drake
    • Derek Flint
    • Harry Palmer
    • George Smiley
    • Jason King
    • Daniel Briggs
    • John Steed
    • Napoleon Solo
    • Susan Hilton
    • April Dancer
    • Emma Knight
    • Sharron Macready

Of these agents 4 will be chosen to face the evil Auric Goldfinger, the one with the mot Bond points at the end of the game wins the right to be called 007. This message will self destruct in five seconds.

Game details


Marvel Superheroes

Men have you ever wanted to dress up in tights? Then this could be the RPG for you. I have several adventures for the above that can be run whenever desired.

Game details


Tekumel

There are a few intersting Tekumel one-off games knocking around, suitable for newcomers. I'll update the characters is anyone is interested in playing them.

Game details


Dogs in the Vineyard

God's Watchdogs patrol the towns of an old west that never was, guarding the souls of the Faithful, casting out demons and dispensing the justice of the King of Life, Reborn. With guns.

Game details


Dogs in the Vineyard... I mean, Forest....

The game may last for two sessions though I'll try and squeeze it into one. The players are all members the forces of Julian, Prince of Amber, Guardian of the Forest Arden, Rider of the fabled Morgenstern - the fastest horse he has ever created, and the Father of the Hell Hounds. In fact, while you are not one of his hunters, your position gives you quite some standing. You are one of the chosen, one of Julian's Dog Fathers (or mothers as the case may be). Your one and only duty is to care for your assigned pup until the day it is able to join the pack and hunt alongside Julian. It's wellfare is more important than... well, anything really.

And so the fateful day comes... your Pup seems ill at ease. You seem so too but then your are almost one with the Pup at times. Strangely, no food has been delivered from Amber for the Pups and while they are growing fast and are beginning to hunt, they need their vitamins. Similarly, Lord Julian should have visited yesterday. It has happened where he has missed a meeting with his hounds, but not often. It simply doesn't add up!

Characters will be pre-genned unless you think you know the system well enough to come up with a -50 point character (no point level level limitations) . You also have an additional 10 points to create your Pup. Power words (10 pts) and sorcery (15 pts) are the only powers available. Items can be purchased and a good horse (capable of keeping up with your Pup!!) would be a very wise purchase.

Game details