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 r/rpg's 2020 Game of the Year is MÖRK BORG!
Author: /u/M0dusPwnens

Thanks to everyone who voted! 2020's Game of the Year is MÖRK BORG!

u/JohanToresson nominated the game, and u/diceswap gave us this summary:

It’s art.

It’s metal.

It’s OSR (or old school adjacent, it doesn’t worry about fitting that mold but the same sensibilities apply)

It’s rules you can explain in one breath but atmosphere you need to wail to convey,while winking at the camera.

For me it’s a tough call between Alice is Missing (truly timely and a paradigm shift, but diminishing replayability) and Mörk Borg. However the consistent direction of the designers combined with the sheer creative output of them + their Cult program, generous third-party license, and ability to morkify general OSR content means the future playability is only getting better by the day. Tips the scale for me!

– submitted by – /u/M0dusPwnens
 Free Chat - 12/26/20
Author: /u/AutoModerator

Come here and talk about anything!

This post will stay stickied for (at least) the week-end. Please enjoy this space where you can talk about anything: your last game, your current project, your patreon, etc. You can even talk about video games, ask for a group, or post a survey or share a new meme you've just found. This is the place for small talk on /r/rpg.

The off-topic rules may not apply here, but the other rules still do. This is less the Wild West and more the Mild West. Don't be a jerk.

This submission is generated automatically each Saturday at 7 am (GMT-4, New York time zone).

– submitted by – /u/AutoModerator
 I ran Honey Heist with my English 9 class and it was great. Recs for simple GMless games?
Author: /u/pizzazzeria

As we're wrapping up the quarter, I ran Honey Heist with my English 9 class. It was a blast! I'd like to run more rpgs in the future, as it satisfies some of the curriculum, and got the best whole class engagement I've probably ever had.

From the curriculum...

Kids totally got the spirit of the game, but were less in tune with the mechanics. For example, I helped one group start by describing their wilderness retreat as a misty forest, and a girl immediately replied, "I climb a tree and break off a branch to use as a magic wand, so I can make the sun absorb the mist." Amazing!

Most of them completely ignored the idea of stats, and just using less than 3 bad, higher than 3 good, and had trouble with the concept of the GM. Half of the GMs still made bears and character sheets for themselves.

I think the next game I'll play with them is Lasers & Feelings, but are there any one-page super simple GMless games I could look at? I'm less familiar with Belonging Outside Belonging stuff.

– submitted by – /u/pizzazzeria
 Smiley vs. Karla: A Game of Pen and Paper Espionage
Author: /u/miserlou

Hey all!

In the early months of quarantine, I sat down and created a new Pen and Paper RPG I had in mind. Months have passed and life has moved on, but I wanted to release it to the public so it didn't just on my harddrive, lost to eternity.

Smiley vs. Karla is an espionage role-playing game for 3 to 5 players set in the world of John Le Carré's cold war spy novels.

Unlike most pen and paper role playing games, Smiley vs. Karla is not a strictly collaborative game. Each player has a private objective which may conflict with the objectives of other players.

The game is played by 3-4 player characters, who play as spies employed by the British intelligence services ("The Circus"), and one Spy Master, who controls the context of the adventure and plays as the non-player characters, some of whom will be assets of the Russian intelligence services ("Moscow Centre").

Collectively, players are trying to achieve the assignments ordered by Smiley, the British spymaster and to foil the objectives of Karla, the Russian spymaster.

However, each player also has a private goal that only they know about. These goals may conflict with and supersede the collective goal, particularly if their role is as a double-agent for Karla.

The group wins if they successfully complete Smiley's mission and an individual wins if they complete their own.

The overview and player's guide is here.

Prelude in London, a complete one-shot campaign, based in the 1960's criminal underworld of London, is available here.

My group ran it as a one shot-campaign and had a lot of fun, especially with accents and moments where we got to try to betray and undermine each other.

Anyway, just thought you guys might be interested, so I wanted to share.

Cheers!, Rich

– submitted by – /u/miserlou
 What are the most interesting/scary Eldritch horrors you've played with or read about?
Author: /u/MoonKingGar

This is for a campaign I'm DMing and I'd really like to hear about and terrors or horrors from beyond that you've read about or seen used in a campaign. Think Cthulu type creatures. They don't need to be world destroying or anything, just creepy or strange creatures

– submitted by – /u/MoonKingGar
 External Containment Bureau - an FitD Paranormal Investigation Game!
Author: /u/SnooPandas4985

I have been working with a great team to design External Containment Bureau, a paranormal investigation inspired by SCP, X-Files, and Control. Players will take on the role of Agents working in secret to Identify sources of paranormal activity, Obfuscate its existence, and Contain the threat.

Follow on Kickstart to see when we launch!

As the core entry in the [Redacted Materials] collection, ECB is designed to be easy to understand and a breeze to play. Character creation is quick and each mission is easily created with a handful of improvised elements. The mechanics are a streamlined version of Forged in the Dark with additional inspiration from the investigative tools in Brindlewood Bay. One of our goals was to design a system that is easy to hack and give those interested the flexibility they need to create their own games.

You’ll be sent out on missions to investigate locations of interest and entities, seal interdimensional portals, and collect items infused with Resonance, a measure of the external forces seeking to intrude on our reality. Being an Agent isn’t easy. After each foray you’ll have to answer to your director. You might get caught up in inter-department drama, be transferred to a new department, or develop amazing psychic powers.

Manage your Resonance, work closely with your partners, and you might just earn yourself a commendation. Get too close to the phenomena and you’re bound to become one yourself.

Not a fan of the X-Files or Control? That’s OK. ECB is simple to hack with clear directions and a focus on improvisational play. If there’s a mystery to be solved, the [Redacted Materials] collection will get it done.

– submitted by – /u/SnooPandas4985
 Any good TTRPGs that have a similar technology level to Outer Wilds (not Outer Worlds)
Author: /u/lordberric

I love the game Outer Wilds. For those who don't know, it's a sort of puzzle/mystery game set in a small solar system, where you travel between planets unraveling a mystery. If you want a game where you feel like you are genuinely solving a mystery and putting clues together, this is the game for you. Honestly I don't think I've played anything like it.

Anyway, what I'm really looking for here is more something that matches the aesthetic. Your spaceship in the game is wooden, mostly. Your technology looks scrapped together - if you remember the scene in E.T. where the kid sends a signal to space using a ton of junk, it's kind of like that.

But there's also screens, and cameras, and of course spaceships. So it's a mashup of modern technology with more ancient(probably the wrong word) technology.

And at the same time, you're exploring areas with technology that's much more futuristic, like teleporting, holograms, etc.

Are there any good RPGs that are set in a similar technology level?


– submitted by – /u/lordberric
 My character died
Author: /u/slarkate

I didn't know I would feel so bad about it :(

– submitted by – /u/slarkate
 XENOSCAPE - Extreme survival Sci-Fi RPG
Author: /u/borisbotti

XENOSCAPE is a post-sci-fi tabletop roleplaying game based on survival that features primitive yet fantasy vibes. Players will roleplay the rarest beings on Materia, the sentient ones: Materia is an alien world eons far from our time where nature prevailed over the hard impact the Ancient Human Empire had by colonizing the planet. Only few remains of it can be found today crumbling and covered by a magnificent yet terrible biosphere.

Kickstarter page


The XENOSCAPE setting will challenge all players with its survival tasks in the primitive world of Materia: surreal plants and lethal atmospheric conditions make a very hard living, considering that the surface is also strolled by immense creatures which are totally devoid of what happens in the smaller ecosystem where the players will set their game.

Civilization is long gone, there is no coinage and barter is the only universal type of commerce: the few sentient species that can be found tend to help each other day by day hoping to get better survival chances by gathering in caravans and small nomad groups, but only when taking advantage of someone has already been discarded as the first option.

The Law of the Livings is the only universally known and passed on tradition generation after generation by Rhapsodes and by its Priests, preaching respect for Nature and all the living species, especially for those gifted with sentiency: among its most known precept, the most important one is about writing which is considered a blasphemous act, source of the disaster that annihilated the human society and considered to hide an alien, unnatural power, bringer of chaos and destruction for the living which has always been fooled by prophets, sacred scriptures and propaganda.

You will meet beings that will feature peculiar biology and astounding capacities yet scientifically accurate and conceivable (Forest Wanderer, Arthropoids, Squamata, Neuro-fungi, Kyrbians, etc), you will cross crystal deserts and nuclear forests, caves dug inside gigantic dead corpses or inside the reactor of a long-forgotten era.


The game uses 12mm six-sided dice and cards for items in order to simulate the barter-based commerce system of the setting.

XENOSCAPE features an original and unique game design that mixes elements both from the old and the new wave RPG tradition and it has been designed as a sandbox game that mimics the fundamental aspects of survival in the wilderness. It is in fact based on an old school base system (classic character sheets and round by round combat) but on a pure resource management system too.

Each character will be described by 3 characteristics (Body, Reflexes, Mind) which added in couples sums up to build 3 Systems (Nervous, Energetic, Immunitary) points pool that you will be allowed to spend in order to increase your check results and that you later will need to recover. Rest and feeding will be your main ways to regenerate your resources and such primary needs will be your prime directive in such a wild setting. The game does not need any dice roll on the players' side, yet we suggest using 12mm six-sided dice in order to keep track of your System Points loss which characters may use to get better chances at succeeding checks but also representing their health status.

You will find a finely tailored system inspired by our flora and fauna biology yet adding a sci-fi twist, which has been developed with the help of professional naturalists, virologists, and anthropologists.

Want to know more? We're waiting for you in our Kickstarter page, there you can download a free and playable quickstart and a complete adventure, "Attack of the Titan".

– submitted by – /u/borisbotti
 Any must have City books, regardless of system? (Ptolus is a decent example)
Author: /u/OldTreePuncher

I am looking for more city books as I love to read through them. I have Ptolus, and Five Fingers so far. Both are amazing for different reasons, and I would love to get more.

I don't care about the system, just how fleshed out they are. Heck they could be for Wargames like Warhammer or Age of Sigmar.

Thank you for your time

– submitted by – /u/OldTreePuncher
 Getting into Champions. A few questions.
Author: /u/Spentwaytoolong

Just a few small questions, and in general any information you feel would be helpful.

Can someone explain to me the basics of the difference between Champions and the HERO system? Or am I just out of it?

What would be the best books for a beginner to pick up? The initial plan is for a low-superpower anime game to end up where the players are literally gods.

Anything I should know beforehand? Pitfalls? FAQs? Things and such like that.

I asked for a system recommendation beforehand for this game and it's said the best way to start would be to print out pre-gens and have a story ready. What would be a good point total for some experienced table-top players?

And that's all I have. I'm sure I'll have more questions later, but these are my general concerns. Any advice or information is appreciated heavily!

– submitted by – /u/Spentwaytoolong
 RPG with ritual mechanics (or just any sort of step-by-step magic process)?
Author: /u/Witch-Cat

Alright, so what I mean by rituals is basically games that have an option to let you cast spells with some sort of step-by-step process. The only example I know I could point to is Unknown Armies, which have a list of rituals with steps like "draw a pentagram with ash under the full moon and bury a doll of the target etc. etc." I understand I could easily flavour almost any fantasy RPG to have rituals by just describing my character doing a ritual, but I'd like something with those mechanics or flavour options built-in.

It doesn't necessarily have to be exactly like that, an RPG about alchemists with recipes they actually need to go out and gather the ingredients for would work as well. Basically, as long as it's a magical effect achieved through an actual physical process, it's fair game. Doesn't matter what genre, price, etc.

Thank you all so, so much in advance!

– submitted by – /u/Witch-Cat