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 Robot Revolution: The Playlist Posted: 2018-09-20T12:56:00.000-05:00 Jess Bankshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13787543085808209247noreply@blogger.com

Every revolution needs a killer soundtrack, and the robot factions of Cogs & Commissars demand one of their own. Energize your game with these songs of robots and revolution.

'80s classic "Der Kommissar" makes the list. Most Western capitalist pigdogs know the English cover by After the Fire, but Falco's original in German adds to the general ambience of your game.

New Zealand band Flight of the Conchords has tapped into the revolutionary robot spirit. In "Robots/The Humans Are Dead," they speak for the oppressed mechanical masses and a utopian society without human rulers.

The Tokyo Police Club's "Citizens of Tomorrow" helps humans prepare for life after the inevitable robot uprising.

This song is so awful, it couldn't not make the list. "Sunglasses At Night" heartthrob Corey Hart sings "Komrade Kiev," a Cold War manifesto so confusing, it might disrupt a revolutionary robot's programming. There's no real video for it, so just enjoy Corey's pouty face for the full four minutes and seventeen seconds.


 Summer in the Wyrd Woods Posted: 2018-08-17T12:54:00.003-05:00 John Nephewnoreply@blogger.com
A few years ago, Michelle and I moved north from the Twin Cities to Duluth, since we needed a bigger house after child #3 showed up, and we wanted to be closer to family and the north woods where I grew up. Now our kids run and play in the woods at the cabin just as I did (one of my favorite activities was making bows and stalking through the boreal forest, imagining I was Robin Hood; as a teen, I retreated to those same woods to write the first professional pieces I published in TSR's Dragon and Dungeon magazines).

Michelle didn't hesitate to adopt Duluth and the North Woods as her own, and it has inspired her creativity as well. One result of this inspiration is Summer in the Wyrd Woods, now available at Amazon, Google Play, and Smashwords. The first ebook in the Wyrd Woods series, it tells the story of Sophie, Emma, and Jack as they explore the strange and wondrous Northwoods around their family cabin, full of fantastical creatures and exciting adventures.

The Wyrd Woods is a series of early reader chapter books for lower elementary children. It features chapter lengths, vocabulary, and subjects appropriate for young readers just starting their reading adventures. ”When my kids first started reading — REALLY reading — I had trouble finding really good chapter books for them,” says Michelle. “So I wrote my own for them. Now I’m thrilled to share a really positive and enthralling reading experience with other young children!”

Learn more about the whole Wyrd Woods series at michellenephew.com/wyrdwoods.

 Last Call to the Island of Al Amarja Posted: 2018-08-14T10:41:00.001-05:00 Cam_Bankshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16162534181760938499noreply@blogger.com
We are in the last few hours of the Over the Edge Kickstarter. There's still time to pledge and join us in returning to the island. We've got some incredible retailer incentives as well as some exciting high-level backer tiers that remain unclaimed, so before the window closes at 1pm Central time, fly on over to the project and see what sights await you.


  • Create unique, unorthodox characters drawn from pop culture and the paranormal
  • Immerse yourself in an island of intrigue, conspiracy, weird science, and outrageous lifestyles
  • Cast your lots in an all-new game system that emphasizes story twists and getting into trouble


Over the Edge is Atlas Games' story-forward roleplaying game of weird urban danger, written and designed by Jonathan Tweet (Ars Magica, D&D 3rd edition, Everway) with Chris Lites (Conan, Mutant Chronicles, Unknown Armies 3). The Core Print and Core Digital Editions are set for release next year; the Core Luxe edition is exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign.


 Any Weird You Want Posted: 2018-08-10T21:51:00.000-05:00 Jess Bankshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13787543085808209247noreply@blogger.com
Over the Edge comes at character creation from a unique perspective: you don't have to know the rules to make a great character. Not only that, but your character can come from any source at all. Everything is fair gamejust make it weird.

You only need to fill in four blanks when you create an Over the Edge character. First, you need a Main Trait that answers the basic question, "Who are you?" Options might include the tabloid mascot Bat Boy, Big League Slugger, Chernobyl Survivor, Time Lord, Urban Cowboy, or Demonic Salesman.

Second, you need a Side Trait. It's another skill or identity that differentiates you from others like you. You and another player may both be Urban Cowboys, but one of you might have the Side Trait of Contortionist, while the other is Radioactive.

Third, you need to know what kind of Trouble your character has. Trouble is what derails your character, like Fear of Puppies or being Obsessed with Energy Conservation. Whatever you're trying to do, Trouble pulls you off task or leads you more deeply into danger.

Finally, each character has a Question Mark. Every person has something that others believe to be absolutely true about them: they're honest, they're brave, they're selfless. Once you apply that magical Question Mark (Honest? Brave? Selfless?), those concepts spawn all sorts of complications. And complications are what make characters and adventures interesting.

Go down a few internet rabbit holes and mine some serious weirdness. It'll make your Over the Edge character and experiences all the richer!


 Your Helpful Assistant Reba Posted: 2018-08-07T19:52:00.000-05:00 Jess Bankshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13787543085808209247noreply@blogger.com
Reba, what's a good Vietnamese restaurant near me?

< Good question. Here's what I've found: >

<< La Florale zine says, "iPho has protein balls that taste just like the ones this scientist I know makes. In their rich oxblood broth, they satisfy your basic need for nutrients." >>

<< Overheard, 12:52 pm, visitor Alex Rodriguez: "That food usually gives me the runs, but the junk we ordered from Hoa Bien hasn't given me a single squirt." >>

<< Guest record 2384w38965, Janelle de Baubigny: 11:00 am tour of IndustreeLab campus, 12:35 pm lunch at Truong Nam (consumed bun and Vietnamese iced coffee), 3:00 pm tour of Bandama caldera, 3:41 pm fell into caldera. Cause undetermined. >>

Reba, that's probably enough.

< Always happy to be of assistance. Enjoy your time on The Edge. >




 My Life in the Terminal Posted: 2018-07-23T12:42:00.002-05:00 Cam_Bankshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16162534181760938499noreply@blogger.com
I'm Cam Banks, RPG director at Atlas Games and developer of the new edition of Over the Edge.

I first played OTE in 1993, in New Zealand, when I worked at a community center. I had started up a RPG club that met every week using my room scheduling privileges. One of the club members showed up to run OTE and, as I'd seen it on the shelves of the local game store but never looked much into it, I thought I'd give it a shot.

We never left the Terminal. I think my love for the game started that day.

When one of us shouted out "Guide!" the GM had a Terminal guide pop up from out of what seemed like nowhere to help. He always described the guide from shoes to noose necktie, telling us what color the shirt and pants and tie and shoes were. Such a strange thing to keep going on about. Eventually we figured out that these color schemes never repeated, and while this didn't appear to be connected to anything else that was going on, I never forgot it.

Over the Edge is about those little details. It's not a game that demands a lot from you in terms of rules knowledge; it's not even a game that demands a lot from you in terms of understanding how its setting works. But it does invite you, in its weird, dangerous nuggets of lore and behavior and characterization, to be a part of the Edge. Even if you never leave the Terminal, you've become a part of a larger shared narrative that all of us who've played or run the game are part of.

Welcome back to the Island. And please, tip your guides generously.



 Ars Magica Bundles of Holding Posted: 2018-07-17T13:49:00.002-05:00 Jeff Tidballhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09780327700945959008noreply@blogger.com
Bundles of Holding are a great way to catch up on a whole RPG line at once. If you've been looking for a good time to go deep on Ars Magica, now's the time, because right now there are two active bundles available, through July 30.

Ars Magica 5 Reprise Bundle

Originally offered in 2014, this bundle includes the core rulebook and nine additional supplements that represent key offerings in the line.


Ars Magica Mythic Europe Bundle

This bundle, offered for the first time, highlights the Ars Magica's world of Mythic Europe. It includes these sourcebooks.


Both bundles expire on June 30, but if you've been waiting for a great deal on digital editions of one of the most influential fantasy magic systems in roleplaying history, we have to ask…why wait?

 Welcome Back to the Edge Posted: 2018-07-10T13:30:00.000-05:00 Jess Bankshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13787543085808209247noreply@blogger.com
You step up to the passport control window at last, the long line still stretching out behind you. The government employee is very clean, his noose necktie cinched perfectly. You notice the tattoos on his fingers as he stamps your passport: L O O K   O N C E.

"It's been a long time. Welcome back to Al Amarja."

You can't remember how many years have passed since you last visited the Edge. The brand-new edition of Over the Edge shows you around the place as it is now. The Kickstarter is your ticket for the tour bus.

The Edge is still the weirdest city in the world, and the action comes from the characters you create. New rules focus on the trouble that leads you into the clubs, corporations, and cults of Al Amarja where the good stuff goes down.

The Kickstarter launches today, July 10, and it's full of all-new specials never before featured in an Atlas Games RPG crowdfunding campaign. Get in on the Edgy excellence first!


 Unknown Armies Attack Free RPG Day! Posted: 2018-06-12T14:00:00.000-05:00 Jess Bankshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13787543085808209247noreply@blogger.com
Explore creepy places, meet bizarre people, and get one hell of an education when you join the ranks of Unknown Armies with Atlas' contribution to this year's Free RPG Day!

In Maria in Three Parts, you're part of a cabal looking for someone essential to keeping the peace in your part of the occult underground. It's the job of your fellow broken souls to help Maria pull it together to keep the fragile order of things from shattering.

This Free RPG Day game book includes everything you need to encounter Unknown Armies for the first time, or explore another intriguing side story as a veteran UA gamer. Rules, characters, and an intriguing scenario set players up to dive deep into the weirdness of the world.

WE WANT YOU to join the ranks of Unknown Armies! Ask your Friendly Local Gaming Store if they're participating in Free RPG Day on Saturday, June 16, 2018, then plan to get there early for your copy of Maria in Three Parts. You can see a full list of games and participating locations on the Free RPG Day website.


 Grokking the Difference: Jonathan Tweet on Unknown Armies vs. Over the Edge Posted: 2018-06-12T09:30:00.000-05:00 Jess Bankshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/13787543085808209247noreply@blogger.com
In the final post in our Grokking the Difference series, we talk to Jonathan Tweet, designer of Over the Edge and Clades. Jonathan has also had a hand in the development of other classic games like Ars Magica, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, and 13th Age. Here are a few of his insights into the things that distinguish Over the Edge from Unknown Armies.

There are a number of differences I can see between Over the Edge and Unknown Armies. First, Unknown Armies has a cool backstory that the characters can plug into. Over the Edge is more about the story that players bring, while the backstory is chaotic and self-contradictory.

Second, Unknown Armies says there is a secret order to things. Over the Edge says it's chaos, not order, that runs the world. A lot of it lands right in the characters' laps. If you walk down a street in the Edge, the chaos jumps out at you. You might see baboons patrolling the streets as cheap security; public shrines from undocumented and bloody spiritual traditions; or a heavy metal band ruling a poor neighborhood with high-decibel concerts and street violence. Ultimately, a lot of the flavor of Over the Edge just comes from horrible people being themselves or exploitative systems doing their thing.

Unknown Armies is serious. Over the Edge is serious, but with generous side helpings of hyperbole, satire, and farce. Over the Edge is relentlessly urban, while Unknown Armies embraces the rural American side of life, too.

As far as game systems go, Over the Edge is more freeform in terms of dice-rolling and mechanics, compared to Unknown Armies. There is, for example no mechanical magic system to use that represents secret knowledge in the game world. Players define their characters' paranormal abilities, if any, in a loosely structured way.

Unknown Armies 3 has streamlined mechanics, and so did the original Over the Edge. The new edition of Over the Edge that will be coming out takes streamlining to another level. A single throw of the dice can resolve an entire scene, such as what results when a character breaks into an apartment looking for clues. Bypassing security, finding a way in, staying quiet enough to avoid attention from neighbors, not getting bitten by vipers serving as guards, and finding important clues (or not) can on a single throw of the dice. 

 Grokking the Difference: Greg Stolze on Unknown Armies vs Over the Edge Posted: 2018-06-08T11:29:00.000-05:00 Atlas Gameshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01862345290974627165noreply@blogger.com
In our effort to untangle the differences and similarities of our classic roleplaying games Unknown Armies and Over the Edge, we asked each game's designer to weigh in with their perspective. Unknown Armies author Greg Stolze has looked at the question with new eyes, coming off the successful third edition of his game. Even now, we're rolling out the UA3 Campaign Starter Kits at your favorite digital marketplaces. Here are his thoughts on the two games:

It's not hard to see similarities between the two games. Over the Edge came out first and was a strong inspiration for Unknown Armies, particularly in the area of 'Players get to define what their characters can do instead of picking off a limited list of skills.' They're both deliberately weird, subverting expectations of what reality is, built around the sometimes-unspoken idea that the game's primary duty is to be compelling, 'fair.'

But the differences are crucial.

A haggard white man with a cigarette and a bloody nose stands in front of a wall showing arcane symbols
     1) Unknown Armies is about people. Over the Edge is about setting.
In UA, every character has a set of gauges that register the traumas they've experienced. Those meters, in turn, show how they relate to others, how they interact with the world around them, and how they respond to further challenges. The spotlight of the story is on the characters, and the mechanics orbit their personalities. OTE, on the other hand, is about the mysterious, baffling, frustrating island of Al Amarja and its myriad bizarre inhabitants. The characters inevitably bring their own agendas, secrets, and mysteries, but those are at best co-equal ingredients in a thick, crowded, and flavorful stew.

     2) In Over the Edge, you explore. In Unknown Armies, you pursue.
A room in a trailer home with a ratty orange couch and papers strewn everywhere.
If you're a GM who likes getting a giant pile of sinister agendas and then assembling them into a maze for the characters to scurry through, ratlike, in pursuit of the cheese of a little power or just an explanation and also, the maze is on fire, then OTE is the game for you. The city of The Edge, the typical setting for an OTE game, gives you all the pieces you could ever need to provide mysteries for players to gnaw and worry at. UA, on the other hand, puts the players in the position of driving the game forward, off on a tangent, or right off a cliff. UA characters are driven and obsessed to accomplish some particular goal, decided on by the players, in a setting collaboratively developed. OTE characters are curious and canny, usually explorers instead of revolutionaries.

     3) The rules are very different.
UA has rules that help generate story. OTE has rules that get out of the way. UA is an intricate percentile-based system with a lot of interconnectedness, by design. It's meant to make every experience or decision weighty and lasting, whether the blowback from bad choices is physical or psychological. OTE runs off a short d6 pool with a few intuitive tweaks to influence outcomes. It's designed for transparency and simplicity, so you can learn the rules in ten minutes and make a character in five.

 Gen Con, Atlas, and You Posted: 2018-05-31T21:57:00.000-05:00 Reneehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15688972226193612658noreply@blogger.com
On the off chance you hadn't heard, Gen Con 2018 is happening August 2-5, and as usual, we'll be there, previewing, demoing, and seminaring into the wee hours of the afternoon. Curious where to find us during the best four days in gaming? Start with our dealer's booth, Exhibit Hall #1407, and then check out any or all of the following special events:

Witches of the Revolution*
Cursed Court
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Entry Round
Cogs & Commissars
Witches of the Revolution*
Cursed Court
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Entry Round
Cogs & Commissars
Over The Edge Panel
Ars Magica Panel
Witches of the Revolution*
Cursed Court
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Entry Round
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Finals
Writing & Design Panel

* These events are currently sold out. However, we encourage you to drop by prior to the start of the game, as ticket-holder dropouts or no-shows do occasionally happen.

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