a Christian podcast about tabletop RPGs and collaborative storytelling

Sifting the Treasure

So this week I have something a bit less sobering, even if the impetus behind it is tied to the last post. Based on the chatter in the Discord and on general social media, a lot of people affiliated with this community sprang for enormous itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality By the time this post drops, the bundle will be over, so if you missed it, I’m sorry. It’s literally the best deal on anything I have ever seen, and as of the start of me writing this post, it has raised $7,607,651.58 for its absolutely fantastic cause.

But there’s one tiny little problem: it’s so big that it’s hard to know where to start, and it has continued to grow throughout its run. I purchased the bundle about a week ago. When I did, it was about 740 items covering 25 pages of links in the itch.io user interface.

As of this writing, that number has more than doubled in size. it’s up to fifty-seven pages now. That is an overwhelming amount of stuff. Even cooler, it’s a mix of video games and TTRPG content. While there’s no way I am going to even attempt to talk about it all, here’s a list of well-known, well-regarded items in there to help you get started.

Tabletop RPGs

Blades in the Dark: If you’ve ever played a Dishonored or Thief video game, you have a pretty good idea of the feel of the setting in Blades in the Dark. It’s an excellent, well-regarded game, and there are several spin-offs in wildly different settings that use the same mechanics. If you like indie RPGs at all, this is definitely one to look at sooner rather than later.

Lancer: I don’t know a huge amount about this one other than that a) it’s about mechs and b) a couple of people whose opinions I trust (including Jenny’s boyfriend Tyler and Stephen from The Dungeon Pastors) are head-over-heels in love with it. Well, okay, and c) that the art is amazing. I’ve skimmed over it once really quickly, but haven’t dug in properly yet.

Impulse Drive: This one I’ve spent a little bit of time with. It’s also the system that Grant’s “home group” is using for their Star Wars game. In addition to Star Wars, you can easily do Mass Effect, Firefly, and similar “tight-knit group of adventurers on a cool ship” stories. If you like Offworlders, but want a little more crunch, this is something you really should check out.

Atomic Robo: If “action scientist” sounds like fun and you’ve been itching to play something based on FATE Core, then look nor further! This is another well-known one, and it’s also a really pretty one to look for with lots of gorgeous, full-color graphic novel art and excerpts.

Lowcountry Crawl: Designed to simulate the teeming-with-life lowcountry areas of southern 19th-century North America (including a pretty in-depth barrier island generator and an adventure for 1st-2nd-level D&D/OSR PCs), this is only 32 pages, but it got a lot of positive buzz when it was new. If you’re looking for something smaller and more self-contained to check out, you may want to start with this.

Video Games

Pyre: SuperGiant Games is one of those studios where everything they make is worth a look, and Pyre is no exception. The game centers around a bunch of exiles playing a kind of ritualized version of basketball or soccer to get a chance at reintroduction into the society that has shunned them. I haven’t finished it, but it’s well-written, poignant, and marked by the beautiful, stylized visuals that everything SuperGiant makes is. Highly recommended.

Night in the Woods: I haven’t played this one yet, but it’s apparently quite good. It taps into a lot of feeling about small-town life, Millennial angst, and so on. It’s gotten a lot of podcast buzz on Gamers With Jobs and is high on my personal list of things to try.

Celeste: A brutally-hard (as in Super Meat Boy levels of difficulty) that’s also about managing anxiety. This is another one you may have heard of if you keep up on indie video games.

Nuclear Throne: An action-packed, roguelike top-down shooter with pixel graphics. Light on plot, but mechanically solid.

Pikuniku: Grant loved this one – apparently it has a bunch of video-game meta humor in it. He’s also been trying to get Jenny and me to play it for months.

What Did You Find?

That’s 5 TTRPGs and 5 video games – out of a collection that’s over a thousand items in total. What did you find in there?

Image by annca from Pixabay

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