Tag Archive: fantasy

Yesterday I finally had the chance to play-test Arrowflight 2E. This game is one of the finest fantasy role-playing games I’ve had the opportunity to game-master. Arrowflight offers just the right amount of game-world fluff. It’s there, but its kept to a minimum so as not to infringe on any game-master ideas. Arrowflight offers a world, or perhaps a foundation, but demands that the game-master sharpen the edges to fit personal tastes. This is perhaps what most impressed me about Arrowflight from the start. Forums have deemed Arrowflight an “alternate fantasy” game, but without knowing exactly what that means, I will say that this game is freshly imaginative across the board; player races, magic system, monsters, etc. If you don’t mind something a bit unusual, and can appreciate a tinge of anime-influence you’ll probably really dig the setting. Arrowflight claims that it is a game of “cinematic grittiness,” which I think attests to the game’s surprisingly dark undercurrent. One of the undead creatures is particularly horrendous, I can’t remember the last time I was legitimately disturbed participating in a fantasy RPG (which I intend purely as a compliment by the way). The system is solid and thankfully simple with an impressive amount of depth if one wants to get into it. But usually 2d6 is the standard roll over the course of play.

 [Artist: Gustave Dore depicting S. Coleridge’s, Rime of the Ancient Mariner] The game allows for a tremendous amount of creativity and inspiration. I’m particularly fond of Arrowflight’s focus on a breadth of martial arts styles, something I will miss in other combat centric games I play. If you are looking to play a particularly inventive and fast-paced fantasy game with excellent character building options you’ll be missing out if you overlook Arrowflight. Even if you are someone who demands a lot of specifics and detail at the game-table, this is a game that will probably appeal to you also. This game practically begs to be played in a sandbox style.

Arrowflight offers plenty of tables, including an especially impressive adventure generating one. In our game thus far, a pirate’s ghost has united the PC’s to find an ancient treasure that their blood claims inheritance to. And yet, the character’s are not sure they fully trust their damned patron. It didn’t take  long before our session took on the form of a “sandbox,” with the characters steadily moving towards their overarching goal of finding the treasure, but with no shortage of “side-quests.” But if the heroes continue to push their luck in the “Dark Lands” they’ll soon have to decide between siding with a band of war-worn savage elves, a nefarious goblin necromancer, or the islands ruthless colonial presence. Regardless of the choice, enemies will be made… I hope to turn this game into an ongoing campaign. I’ve always wanted to run a fantasy-pirate game. Play of the Session goes to the character Vinny, who always managed to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat just when the group needed it most, and yet with such unexpected mobster-gusto.


S/lay w/Me

Ron Edwards’ (creator of cult game “Sorcerer”) “S/lay w/Me” is a beautifully rules light game described as “phantasmagoric.” I can’t say that I entirely know what the heck that means. But I will say that this is one of the most refreshingly unique games that I’ve ever been able to play and game-master. At 28 pages, Edwards’ game is written with a rare directness and succinctness.

I really had a firm grasp of the game mechanics within a half hour of opening the book. And even better, I was able to teach my girlfriend the basics in less than a minute. We were able to play almost right away. This is a game about danger and attraction. The unabashed discussion of sex in an RPG is something I’m new to, but this is only one of many draws the game has to offer.

Instead of numeric stats, the game requires that the character’s characteristics are derived from a short sentence the player makes up to describe their hero. The possibilities are literally limitless. The standard setting is fantasy, but I could see these rules applying to a variety of settings.

The other player, creates the monster and lover for the hero to interact with. All this is done right before the game starts. Most everything is thought out on the fly. The hero player even decides what their quest is! There is no game master to designate a predetermined path.

This game encourages “role-playing” more than any other game I’ve ever played. The art fits perfectly, and leaves a lasting impression. If you want a game you can play on the fly this can’t be beat. For it’s originality and story driven mechanics I give this game an easy 10/10. This is a game veterans and noobs can both appreciate, and together.