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The Best Of 2018’s Tabletop Roleplaying Games, Part Three – Supplements & More

The Best Of 2018’s Tabletop Roleplaying Games, Part Three – Supplements & More

The surge of popularity for Dungeons & Dragons led to a banner year for tabletop RPGs.  A rising tide lifts all boats, as the old saying goes, so we’re looking at the best roleplaying games and products released this year for players and GMs looking to expand their horizons or supplement their adventures. This third and part will focus on 2018’s supplements, add-ons, and other game aids that made games more exciting and compelling.

Mutant: Mechatron

Free League’s Mutant: Year Zero has quietly become one of the most well-built post-apocalyptic games out there. Each expansion, while totally compatible with the original game, offers a new campaign and minigame that makes GMs who run the book feel like they are getting a brand new game that they already know. Mutant:Mechatron brings robots into the mix with a campaign that reads like Blade Runner mixed with Wall-E. Players have to explore their sudden self-awareness while hiding it from their AI overlords all the while trying to keep their automated home up and running. All that plus the resource scavenging and deadly monsters of the Zone makes for a memorable experience.

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Masks of Nyarlathotep

This classic campaign for Call of Cthulhu came back in a big way this year. There’s a new edition updated for the hit 7th Edition of the RPG, a deluxe prop box for those players who want to immerse themselves in the adventure and even an adaptation for Eldritch Horror for those players who might want to hook their board game buddies into RPGs. Masks of Nyarlathotep blends the globetrotting pulp momentum of an Indiana Jones movie with the dark cults and uncaring gods of the Cthulhu Mythos. It’s good to see a fan favorite campaign back after all these years.

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Arcane Scrollworks

A good prop can snap the players to attention like few other things. Arcane Scrollworks from Skeleton Key Games offer stunning art that depict many of the classic first or second level spells that casters know and love in Dungeons & Dragons. They’re great to hand out to players for loot but also work well as coverings for a battlemat to reveal a little at a time, fog of war style or as a gift to that hard working Dungeon Master to hang up on the gaming room wall.

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Strongholds and Followers

This supplement for Fifth Edition just slid under the wire by dropping its PDF a few days ago (and missed our best third party 5e products rundown). Matt Colville put together some rules for two things that D&D players love but are largely unsupported in official rules. The first half of Strongholds and Followers is devoted to building a stronghold, with that stronghold buffing the powers of players based on how well its built and maintained.

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The second half of the book features several different types of followers from sidekicks who help out during an adventure (but are built to let the players keep the spotlight) to artisans and lieutenant who run the party’s castle while they are off adventuring. For games looking to figure out how to spend their dungeon loot or add a dash of local Game of Thrones politics to their dungeon crawl, this is a great choice.

Delta Green: A Night at the Opera

It’s been a banner year for investigators of eldritch horrors. Not only is the original RPG back and standing tall, but its modern cousin, Delta Green has returned to print. A Night at the Opera collects several adventures released in the past few years as PDFs as well as a few that were created by the enormous success of the Kickstarter a few years ago. The adventures show off the range of cases that operatives have to face, from a geneticist’s terrible experiments to one of the most brutal haunted house scenarios out there.

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Atmar’s Cardography Decks

Coming up with clever dungeon layouts week after week is challenging. Atmar’s Cardography offers several decks to inspire dungeon layouts by offering a different room on each card. Deal some out before game and put them together for the night’s dungeon or let the layout ride on the whims of fate with blind draws during the game. Each room has a number that keys into a PDF that has a pre-built encounter for further inspiration. The encounters are built for 5e and Fate Core but could easily be converted to a preferred rules set with a minimum of fuss.

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More RPG Goodness!

Images Credits: Free League Publishing, MCDM Productions, Creature Creation, Chaosium, Arc Dream Publishing, Skeleton Key Games

Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd, with credits on a variety of tabletop games ranging from Star Wars and Firefly to his own creations like CAMELOT Trigger. His Twitter is here. Watch him livestream RPGs with the Theatre of the Mind Players.

 

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