close menu
The Best Of 2018’s Tabletop Roleplaying Games, Part Two: Indie RPGs

The Best Of 2018’s Tabletop Roleplaying Games, Part Two: Indie RPGs

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. Here are our favorite six top indie roleplaying games from small-press publishers that we couldn’t stop playing.

Stars Without Number

Sine Nomine Publishing has been putting out excellent small press RPGs for a few years now. It started with Stars Without Number, a well-crafted sandbox RPG full of all sorts of tools and tables useful to GMs running any sort of  sci-fi game. The game expanded with a second edition released this year that added more modern sci-fi elements such as body sleeving and took a lot of systems from the games that followed and provided them as options to use in the new edition. Sci-fi fans looking to create a game from scratch will find a lot of precision tools in this book as well as anyone looking for charts and tables to inspire adventures in more established worlds.

226996

Capers

The 1920s are a great period to use as an RPG background. There are a lot of modern things that connect to players  but also enough missing that make the time feel exotic. There’s also a romanticism about criminals that makes them great protagonists, be they Robin Hood types or low-down dirty rats. Capers stirs in some street-level superpowers that blow the setting out to alternate history, but who cares when players are spitting gangster lingo while chucking fire bolts at coppers? The press-your-luck card mechanism adds enough flavor to make players and GMs alike feel like they’re living on the edge of legend that could end poorly at any moment.

246744

Legacy: Life Among The Ruins

Post apocalyptic games are having a flush of popularity these days. Legacy: Life Among The Ruins asks what happens after the apocalypse. What societies rise up from our ashes? The game zooms into the personal drama of the people affecting history and then back out to the decades and centuries that pass in between the fall of one era and the rise of the next. This effect gives games the sweet feel of an epic 4X game (where players explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) while still allowing for scenes of human drama to dictate the fate of humanity.

Legacy-2-IGclasses-lowres

Dusk City Outlaws

It’s been a good year for fantasy heists between the Waterdeep-based adventure for Dungeons & Dragons and this boxed set from Scratchpad Publishing. Rodney Thompson put together a fabulous package in Dusk City Outlaws to get a group together for a night of stealing from the rich and living to tell the tale. Character creation is a breeze and the GM has nearly 20 jobs to choose from if they don’t want to put together something on their own. And if the fantasy setting doesn’t appeal, Thompson partnered with legendary designer Steve Kenson to put a cyberpunk spin on things with Neon City Outlaws.

download (1)

City of Mist

We’ve been watching this one since last year but City of Mist continues to turn heads because of its gorgeous art and intriguing adaptation of the Powered By the Apocalypse base mechanic. Players play regular people who find themselves embedded with the powers of legend trying to solve mysteries across a strangely familiar city. The characters must balance their regular lives and their mythic ones to make sure neither side takes them over completely. The core book offers a lot of great advice on how to run mystery games plus plenty of example on how to adapt legendary characters to a setting just as comfortable in Marvel Netflix mode as it is in American Gods.

Core_Book

Good Society

Dungeons can be dangerous. Dragons can be deadly. But what could be more dramatic than navigating the world of Regency England trying to find a proper spouse? Good Society brings together fans of Jane Austen and Downton Abbey in a fun storygame that simulates the twists and turns of these stories of heartbreak and intrigue. If that’s not spicy enough, the game will soon have expansions for swashbuckling romance and fantasy stories soon.

Good-Society

What’s your favorite game from this year? Let us know in the comments!

A Tabletop RPG Bonanza!

Images Credits: Sine Nomine Publishing, Scratchpad Publishing, Nerdburger Games, Son of Oak Game Studio, Storybrewers, UFO Press

Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He’s worked on dozens of different tabletop games ranging from Star Wars and Firefly to his own creations like CAMELOT Trigger. His Twitter is here. You can watch him livestream RPGs with the Theatre of the Mind Players here. His meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.

Artist Releases 300 Printable D&D Miniature Patterns. For Free.

Artist Releases 300 Printable D&D Miniature Patterns. For Free.

article
The Complete Beginner’s Guide To Starting A Druid In D&D

The Complete Beginner’s Guide To Starting A Druid In D&D

article
Finding the Perfect RPG Mini

Finding the Perfect RPG Mini

article