Games I am excited about: 2018 Edition

Yes, I am easily excited. There are a lot of gamers who are wary of new things, who stick to their old and well-tread ways, but I am not one of those. I love new games. If I could I’d get a new game every day. Leafing through a new rulebook makes me excited about all the games I could run with it. Sure, most of the time, the book ends up on the shelf unused, but if I got at least some excitement out of it, the purchase was IMHO not wasted. And you can always come back to a game later.

2018 is still young, but I thought this might be the right time to talk about a couple of games I am looking forward to. Let’s start which was actually funded on Kickstarter last year: Forbidden Lands.

Forbidden Lands
Forbidden Lands is the latest game created by the people behind Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis and Tales from the Loop. This time around it’s a fantasy roleplaying game designed with sandbox play in mind. The Forbidden Lands are actually said sandbox where the players can explore countless locations, fight the bad guys, make a name for themselves and build their stronghold. It seems like the perfect combination between everything which makes MY:0 great (check out my review!) and a classic fantasy world. Recently the first three chapters of the rules have been released to backers in English (the Swedish version is almost done), but hopefully the complete package will be available in the early months of 2018.

The Expanse Roleplaying Game
Last year Green Ronin announced that they have secured the license to create a roleplaying game based on the popular book series (and TV show) by James S.A. Corey. If you are at least remotely interested in Science Fiction you definitely should check out the books or the show. I could now add paragraph upon paragraph why I love the series, but this would be way beyond the scope of this article. Let’s just say that it was a breath of fresh air, because of its believable world and characters, and the fact that the authors really cared about the underlying science of space travel (aside from a few aspects like the super-efficient Epstein drive).
Green Ronin is going to use it’s Fantasy Age ruleset adapted to science fiction, which will probably a variant of their upcoming Modern Age game. I have to admit I am a bit skeptic if these rules are really a good fit for a science fiction setting, but I am still looking forward to this release. Even if the rules are not to my liking, the corebook and any sourcebooks will probably worth it for the background alone!

John Carter of Mars
Modiphius is currently raising funds for the production of a roleplaying game based on a streamlined version of their 2d20 system set into the world of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ book series. I wouldn’t call myself a huge John Carter fan, but I’ve read and enjoyed the first book of the series and I totally loved the 2012 movie. It’s a shame there will never be a sequel.
John Carter of Mars sounds like it could be a very fun game. Barsoom is a great setting for adventure stories and planetary romance is a genre we don’t see that often in roleplaying games nowadays. The 2d20 system is solid, if a little slow at times, but the more streamlined version used in John Carter might do the trick. Modiphius also has a pretty good track record when it comes to Kickstarters, so I was not surprised that the goal was hit in no time and it seems they hit a new stretch goal every other day. Exciting!

These are three upcoming games I am excited about! What are you looking forward to? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

6 thoughts on “Games I am excited about: 2018 Edition”

  1. “Modiphius also has a pretty good track record when it comes to Kickstarters”. I beg to differ.

    If you look at their released product, they actually have a pretty good track record; but I would never back one of their KS (I really wanted to back Infinity, but didn’t because of their previous KS problems with Achtung! Cthulhu and Mutant Chronicles, and boy am I happy about that). They are always late, almost always by years. They promise way more than they can deliver in such a small timeframe (John Carter is less insane in this regard, though). Pledging do not give you some big discount.

    They are not terrible (they ultimately deliver, show lots of prerealeased material for feedback, usually keep communicating, answer questions), true, but that’s a pretty low bar.

    My two cents : don’t pledge, but buy once it’s out if you like it.

    1. Hmm, I don’t remember any issues with the Achtung! Cthulhu and Mutant Chronicles Kickstarters. I’ve heard about problems with the Infinity one but from what I gather it’s not their fault.
      I am quite happy with Modiphius so far, you’re mileage may of course vary.

      1. Both delivered very late.
        – Achtung! Cthulhu was supposed to be done by “early 2014”, but closed at the end of 2015.
        – Mutant Chronicles was supposed to be done “by Dec 2014”, and it looks like it closed around june or july 2017.

        Since then, things is not looking so promising, either.
        – Infinity core PDF was supposed to be delivered by december 2015 (something like 2 months after the KS closed), but was delivered july or august 2017, and everything was supposed to be delivered “October 2016”, and from the look of it, I’d be surprised if it’s done before 2020.
        – Conan looks better, and was supposed to be done march 2017. They sent the first wave (of 3) october 2017, so it’s going to be at least a year and a half late, almost certainly more.
        – The only KS that appear to be decent was the Thunderbird one : only a couple of months late, but the french version was about two year and a half late.

        Modiphius lauched 5 KS before John Carter. All in all, 3 KS out of 5 were (or are) very late, one promises to be at least a year and a half late (I’d bet good money it’s going to be more than that), the other one was partially very late.

        Happy for you that were not bothered by all of this, but in my book, that’s far from “pretty good track record”.

    2. I backed both of those (A!C and MC, as well as Conan), and am actually perfectly happy about how they turned out. In fact, I was “all in” on MC, and despite one glitch that happened due to a warehouse move on their end, I found the entire process to be more than acceptable. And I continue to back their KS projects, without significant worry.

      I recognize that Infinity went way over their delivery timeline (I didn’t back it, though), but that seems to be the exception. A!C, MC, and Conan have been just fine, IMO. And I also backed Siege of the Citadel, went all in for Star Trek Adventures, Fallout, and am pledged for John Carter. No regrets and no worries here.

      1. Almost every KS is late. Kevin Crawford seems to be the only true exception to that rule. I’ve had far worse delays from crowdfunding projects than Modiphius. FAR worse. And far worse experiences than mere lateness … like two projects that up and disappeared after collecting the money. Modiphius might not be perfect in their delivery schedules, but they’re definitely one of the creators I prefer to deal with.

  2. On the topic of the actual games I’m looking forward to, this year:

    Siege of the CItadel
    Fallout (Modiphius; haven’t decided if I’m going to do the FFG version)
    Forbidden Lands
    Tiny-Wasteland (post-apoc version of Tiny-Dungeons and Tiny-Frontiers)
    John Carter

    I’m interested in seeing The Expanse RPG, but I don’t know that I’m enthusiastic about playing it…

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