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The Best Tabletop RPGs We Saw in 2016

The Best Tabletop RPGs We Saw in 2016

A lot of really cool roleplaying games came out this year. Some of them new, some of them updated editions of old favorites. Let’s go over a few of our favorites, just so you know you didn’t miss any. We understand, you’re busy and can’t play games all day. It’s fine.

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7th Sea 2nd Edition

Though well-known to many RPG veterans, some may not have heard of the 1999 swashbuckling classic 7th Sea. Hopefully that will no longer be the case. The Kickstarter for the new edition pulled in $1,316,813 from over 11,000 backers, making it the most funded tabletop roleplaying game in Kickstarter history. Our own Ben Riggs reported on it at the time.

Needless to say, the game that comes out of that kind of fiscal enthusiasm is a wonder to behold. If you’re looking for a way to play Jack Sparrow or the Dread Pirate Roberts this year, you’ve found your game.

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Apocalypse World 2nd Edition

A major award winning game originally published in 2010, Apocalypse World is set within a post-apocalyptic wasteland, destroyed by fire or flood. It’s an indie RPG that’s rougher around the edges than most of the more visually polished games on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing. Its a heady blend of narrative focused interactions, love for combat and chases, and unique character abilities. In fact we’ve extolled its virtues before.

If you’re looking for an interesting change of pace that puts you and your friends into Mad Max or Book of Eli, this is the game for you.

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Exalted 3rd Edition

First released in 2001, Exalted is an epic-scale fantasy game inspired by anime and manga. It’s a game that turns everything up to 11, with over-the-top powers, adventures, and die pools. Though quite popular, previous editions have a reputation for play that can drag or become dominated by min-maxing players.

Wit the newest edition, core mechanics have been improved to speed up combat and provide more cinematic outcomes. It’s an absolutely beautiful book by veteran publisher Onyx Path and its return marks a new revival of this beloved setting.

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Gods of the Fall

A new setting for the award winning Cypher System by legendary designer Bruce Cordell, Gods of the Fall is a post-apocalyptic fantasy game where players take on the roles of new gods. Trekking out into the ruined world and saving it in the name of their own divinity, characters ascend to literal godhood. How epic is that?

You’ll need a copy of the Cypher System Rulebook to play, but it’s an incredibly reusable system that’s worth adding to your collection anyway if you’ve got the cash.

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N.E.W. The Science Fiction Roleplaying Game

N.E.W. is the sci-fi half of the What’s-Old-Is-New RPG duo, though the fantasy-based O.L.D. is not yet released. N.E.W. is a toolbox for creating nearly any science fiction setting you can imagine. Its creator boasts that is has an emphasis on old-school crunchy mechanics, ready for players to get thinking about.

If you’re on the hunt for a flexible system that can be re-used whenever you’ve got a sci-fi idea you’d love to game, N.E.W. is worth a serious look.

Supplements

Big corebooks weren’t all that was exciting this year in RPGs. Many important and interesting supplements hit the shelves. Here are a few worth checking out:

Blood on the Trail
While there are always a ton of thought provoking and inexpensive settings for the rules-light Fate system, this book, which details a wild west full of vampires, piqued our interest.

Storm King’s Thunder
The D&D campaign for 2016 was beautifully designed, pitting characters of levels 1 through 11 against giants of all kinds as they fight to protect the Sword Coast of Forgotten Realms.

V20 The Cainite Conspiracies Anthology
An amazing collection of short stories inspired by the 20th anniversary edition of Vampire the Dark Ages.

 

So check out those goodies or look for them in your holiday stockings. Let us know if you love them or if there are other important games we missed.

Image Credits: John Wick Presents, Lumpley Games, Onyx Path Publishing, Monte Cook Games, EN Publishing

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