Tag Archives: Call of Cthulhu

Star Wars: Age of Rebellion

This week I got to play Star Wars: Age of Rebellion. Read on to find out my thoughts on the game.

Inspired in Japan
It’s surprising how may Japanese role-players seem to get started on Call of Cthulhu. I have no idea why, but, where most westerners start with D&D, and might even refer to all rpgs generally as “D&D”, Japanese players have a firm foundation is the mythos. Certainly all of the Japanese players I’ve met, mostly teenagers, can’t get enough Cthulhu. Perhaps it has something to do with the ghosts and monsters that are so prevalent in Japanese culture?

Justin Mullis writes for the Lovecraft eZine that Lovecraft’s work came to Japan in the 1940’s, and has had a major impact on many creatives, including anime and manga artists. Certainly, Lovecraft’s work has inspired a huge number of artists and game designers all over the world. Maybe that’s why Call is so popular in the Land of the Rising Sun.

If you can find it, check out the anime Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san, but be warned, SAN loss awaits you.

Avernos Unearthed
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Rising Phoenix News
In a few weeks I’ll be introducing you to some of my friends, guest authors who’ve got some fantastic articles that are sure to inspire you.

Campaign Journal
I got my first chance to play Star Wars: Age of Rebellion, playing the ace character Zal in a run of the beginner game. I love starter sets, because they’re well put together and easy to play, and ease you into the bigger game.

The concept: It’s Star Wars, and you’re playing a Rebel up against the Empire. Sign me up. The action is set somewhere during the original Star Wars movies. In the starter, you’re tasked with infiltrating an Imperial base and capturing it for the Rebel cause.

Mechanics: Edge of the Empire shares mechanics with many new generation RPGs I’ve played, such as Marvel Heoric Roleplaying (and Cortex). You’re not going to be counting squares for movement or range, and there’s a fair bit more emphasis placed on telling a story from the results on the dice, rather than just saying “Oh, you hit with your blaster.”

Fantasy Flight love to give you custom dice, and much of the mechanics revolve around rolling a number of dice against other opposing dice. This is all very intuitive, and it seemed to make for a faster game. Combat didn’t take long at all, and was very easy to understand.

Components: I loved the map, the character booklets, the tokens and the dice. I don’t like that I can’t use my own dice for this game, but the dice compliment the game well. Fantasy Flight got better at making dice; the dice from my copy of Doom: The board game are fading fast, but dice from newer products are indented and should last forever. I only got to skim the rulebook, but it looks great, with plenty of pictures to inspire and examples and tables to clarify the rules.

Characters: the included pregenerated characters were great. Out of three players, everyone felt some connection to their character before starting out. Personally, I felt that Zal, my character, would be loads of fun to play and I wanted to really explore her motivations in game. I’m also glad that the characters weren’t rubber stamped copies of Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Luke. You’re very much telling stories in a world where those characters are doing their own things.

Unfortunately there are no rules for character generation in the starter, but it looks like you’ll still get a few sessions and levels out of the box before you need to expand your collection.

In Short: Buy this game if you want to tell your own Star Wars stories. This box will get you started and set you up for expanding your game with other books in the series.

That’s all from me until next week.
Tell Thrilling Tales

Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Spicy Stories, Free Books and Creepy Japan

I cooked a pretty good meal today. Garlic chicken, rice, onions, and cauliflower. It tasted amazing. The thing was that it looked plain, everything was a shade of white. As a GM, it’s our job to bring the excitement, to colour the world and spice it up for a fun session. This takes a number of skills, not least of which is story telling.

At Rising Phoenix Games, our motto is Tell Thrilling Tales. That’s at the heart of everything we do, and the key concept to this blog. I have always wanted to tell stories, and I realised that telling captivating stories is something that can be learnt and that takes time to practice. Role-playing games are the perfect medium to practice with, and the games table makes an excellent “dojo”. So here’s to learning to tell thrilling tales together, cheers!

Avernos Unearthed
Are you ready to discover the secrets of Avernos? Beware, for those who know the truth must choose a side and make a stand.

Get your free copy of Avernos—Secrets when you subscribe to the blog.


Avernos Secrets Cover

Campaign Journal

Have you ever taken a look at dragons in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary? Have you ever played around with their stats, tweaking them to bring something unexpected to challenge your players? A different set of skills and some feat changes can give you some very interesting concepts.

The Covetous Wand Wielding Wurm: Ranks in Appraise, Spellcraft and Use Magic Device give you a wand wielder who knows the worth of every shiny object and has the magic to add it to his collection.

The Silver Tongued Serpent: Ranks is Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate and Sense Motive makes for the kind of dragon that might send the party on a merry dance, all for her own good.

The Slippery Snake: Ranks in Acrobatics (not a class skill for dragons though), Climb, Fly and Stealth make a small or medium dragons particularly deadly. Add feats such as Dodge and Mobility and you’ve got a very tough little worm.

Inspired in Japan

Who better to take you on a tour of Japan than Cthulhu himself… um, actually, I can list several better options. Chaosium, for example, have a book, so their’s need to endanger your soul (just the soul of your character).

Secrets of Japan is a 360 page book that takes you to modern day Japan, Call of Cthulhu style. It’s loaded with stuff for your investigator, delves deep into Japan and Japanese culture, and expands the Mythos into Asia.

That’s all from me until next week.
Tell Thrilling Tales

Zombies! - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

RPGSS2015 – Round 3 Voting

Voting for round 3 of RPG Superstar 2015 has begun. Go check out those monsters.

RPG Superstar 2015

Avernos Unearthed & The Book of Faces
Due to a Japanese national holiday, these sections will return next week.

Campaign Journal
My first game of Call of Cthulhu didn’t happen, probably because of a big event that sucked up the player pool. Never the less, dice were rolled and demons fought, so happiness all around. Instead of CoC we played the Legend of Drizzt D&D Adventure Boardgame, which will soon be joined by a new release for the series, the Temple of Elemental Evil, scheduled for release on April 30th. I’m pretty stocked for that!

Drizzt Vs Owl Bear
Photo by AndyC

Also, if you want to play Call of Cthulhu and you only have two interested people, check out Monophobia, A Fear of Solitude. We might give this a try sometime soon.

Rising Phoenix News
Maze Tiles are a simple and effective solution for building a moving, shifting maze. Complete with levers and gears, these tiles work well as a clockwork dungeon, a gnome’s warren or artificers puzzle.

Maze Tiles

The set includes 4 tiles with unique designs on each face, giving you a total of 8 options to build your mazes with. Available as a PDF download and as Print on Demand.

Inspired in Japan
The ninja create perhaps the most evocative of images; that of the skilled, invisible assassin. But what does it really take to be a ninja? Getting whacked a lot, that’s what.

That’s all from me until next Thursday.
Tell Thrilling Tales

Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Hottest New Book
Ninth World Guidebook
Ninth World Guidebook