Category Archives: Reviews & First Looks

It’s the end of the world as we know it…

We are still there! LHC has not killed us (yet), so we still have some time left to play post-apocalyptic roleplaying games! There are probably dozens of interesting roleplaying games featuring the end of the world, but now I want to write about some of my favourites:

  • d20 Apocalypse (Wizards of the Coast)
    D20 Apocalypse is THE toolbox for GMs planning a post-apocalyptic campaign. It’s a sourcebook to Wizards of the Coast’s d20 Modern. In the 96 page softcover book you find rules for playing at the end of the world, several campaign ideas including advanced classes and monsters. The included campaign models are Atomic Sunrise, Earth Inherited and Plague World. If you look for a complete campaign setting with all details fleshed out, d20 Apocalypse is probably not the right book for you. But if you plan to use d20 Modern and you want to run a fully-fledged post-apocalyptic campaign of your own creation, the book is worth a look.
  • RIFTS (Palladium Books)
    If you are a fan of roleplaying games you’ve probably heard from RIFTS. RIFTS is a unique mix of post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk, fantasy and horror elements. Rifts Earth is still one of my favourite campaign settings, but I think that the rules used by the game are nothing short of a catastrophe itself. If you can get over the unbalanced and confusing Palladium system used in the game, you get one of the most unique post-apocalyptic campaigns ever published. In 2005 a revised “Ultimate Edition” was released that made some minor updates to rules and setting, but I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t comment on the changes. If you want to play a cyborged elf wielding magic and piloting a giant robot fighting against ancient demons and a nation of faschists, check out RIFTS!
  • Twilight 2000 (GDW)
    Twilight 2000 is clearly a product of the 80s. NATO and Warsaw Pact have gone to war and dropped a few of those thermo-nuclear devices the military is so fond of.  The campaign is set into a destroyed Europe where the remnants of former armies try to fight against warlords who came to power after everything went down. I made first contact with Twilight 2000 in form of the computer game based on the tabletop RPG. I was at once drawn into the setting and was blown away by the great character creation. The games’ rules are old-school but not as bad as Palladiums’ and the campaign is based on what everyone feared in the 80s. I recommend playing Twilight 2000 with people who still remember the early 80s or check out the upcoming version that features a completely rewritten timeline.
What are your favourite post-apocalyptic roleplaying games? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

“Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition” Review

Savage Worlds is a multi-genre roleplaying game created by Pinnacle Entertainment. So it’s no coincidence that the Savage Worlds rules have some similarities with the classic Deadlands rules. But other than Deadlands which comes with an original background, the Savage World rules are suited for any campaign. And if you don’t want to create your own campaign there are quite a few SW campaign settings available at your FLGS and you can get dozens of “one-sheet adventures” at the official PegInc site for free!

The “Explorer’s Edition”
The SWEE is the newest edition of the SW rules. It’s a 160 pages paperback book and of smaller size than usual roleplaying game rules. The advantage is that you can easily carry the book around and check out the rules with ease instead of hauling around a whole library of books. And in most cases you don’t need anything more than this book, your campaign, dice, and a deck of poker cards to play or run SW.
Continue reading “Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition” Review

Roleplaying music – “WoW: Taverns of Azeroth”

Recently Blizzard Entertainment has released a new game soundtrack album over Apple’s iTunes Store: “World of Warcraft: Taverns of Azeroth” composed by David Arkenstone, who has composed several great albums with Celtic music. I don’t provide a iTunes Store link here, because they are country-specific. So, if you want to check out the album or even buy it, open up your iTunes and use the search function.
The album features 19 tracks of tavern music from the MMORPG “World of Warcraft”.  From the (in)famous “Lion’s Pride”, that was the only tavern music for Alliance taverns before “Burning Crusade”, to the serene “Temple of the Moon” you get a nice compilation of songs, that are probably perfectly suited for listening to during roleplaying sessions.
The complete album sets you back €9.99 and comes as an iTunes Plus album (that is higher quality and without DRM).
By the way, Blizzard has also released several other albums on iTunes Store including the soundtracks from Diablo II, StarCraft and World of Warcraft.