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.
Earlier today I was made aware of a comment Zak S. posted on the Demon City Kickstarter page. I’ve included a screenshot below.
Personally I find this highly disturbing. What he’s doing here is an attempt to monitor spaces where he’s not welcome anymore. Regardless of whether he is eventually found guilty of anything or not, this is unacceptable behavior. There’s also a badly veiled threat included in this: “I likely won’t weigh in, but I will make a record of it and that record will come in handy soon. There will be accountability on all of this.“
Sigh. I don’t know what he’s trying to accomplish with this. Is he collecting “evidence” for a lawsuit? Is he hoping people will censor themselves out of fear? Is he planning to send in his followers? Whatever his plans are, this is IMHO a bad strategy. This behavior is exactly why people have avoided him in the first place, long before any accusations. Damn, I am so sick and tired of his shenanigans…
Unity is a roleplaying game by Zensara Studios distributed by Modiphius which was crowdfunded on Kickstarter back in 2016. I really haven’t had it on my radar until Panny from Modiphius asked me if I was interested in doing a review. At first I was hesitant, because I feared it might be another overly complex fantasy heartbreaker. Oh boy, was I wrong!
In a way it is a heartbreaker. From the setting to the mechanics Unity shows that the authors love fantasy roleplaying in all its forms. The setting is reminiscent of fantasy MMOs like World of Warcraft, and JRPGs like the Final Fantasy series. The rules have elements from fan favorites like D&D 5th Edition or Monte Cook’s Cypher System. But what really sets it apart is that everything works perfectly together. This could have easily turned out like a weird mishmash of ideas, but fortunately it’s a really impressive game with a lot of potential. Unity is a class-based fantasy roleplaying game where magic and technology coexist. It has also elements of a post-apocalyptic game with a world slowly recuperating from a huge cataclysm.
Artwork and Layout
The first thing you notice when you leaf through the 371-paged PDF (there’s also a hardcover version) is the gorgeous artwork. The book just looks awesome. The production values are definitely top notch comparable to what you’d expect from Free League Publishing or Paizo. The book is also laid out in a very clear and readable manner. It uses a standard two column layout with sidebars which often contain helpful information.
If you ever wanted to run a game in a historical setting but didn’t have the time for all the prep and research involved, Tristan has you covered. “Making History: Three One-Session RPGs” contains three complete games including pregenerated characters and adventures set into three eras of play. There’s “Norse Ivory”, a game in which you play Normans in 994 A.D. on a quest to the lands of their Viking ancestors. In “A Killing in Cahokia” you take on the roles of Native Americans investigating a murder and conspiracy in a Native American metropolis long before white men came to American shores. Last but not least there’s “Darken Ship”, a modern day game in which you play low-ranking US Navy sailors alone in a ship which should carry a crew of thousands.
The Kickstarter started today and has a goal of $1500. The game is already finished in digital form, but he needs help to finance a print run. Tristan has graciously provided me with a copy of the game and it looks very cool. All three games sound very intriguing (I am especially excited about the one set in Cahokia), the rules are fairly easy and I’m sure you could use all three games to introduce your friends to the hobby, or run it as a convention or similar event. Each game also comes with reading recommendations in case you want to learn more about the adventures’ subjects.
If you are into historical RPGs and/or a game which you can use to introduce the hobby to new people, you definitely should check out Tristan’s Kickstarter!
A Roleplaying Games blog
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