Systems

The systems we play are all from small and indie publishers. There are thousands of games out there, and finding the right one for the story you want to tell can make the difference between fun and frustration.

Current system: Scum and Villainy

The cover of the most recent of the systems we play has a black rectangle across the top with the words SCUM AND VILLAINY stacked on atop the other in white text. There is a circular jumpgate in the middle, on a background of purple and red space with stars. There are robotic faces spaced around the ring of the jump gate and a spaceship with three engines approaching it from the bottom right.

Scum and Villainy by Stras Acimovik and John LeBoeuf-Little is “a Forged in the Dark game about a spaceship crew trying to make ends meet under the iron-fisted rule of the Galactic Hegemony.

Work with the members of your crew to thrive despite powerful criminal syndicates, warring noble families, dangerous aliens, and strange mystics. Explore the ruins of lost civilizations for fun and profit. Can your motley crew hold it together long enough to strike it big and insure your fame across the sector?”

We have done some hacking on this system to make it work in an enclosed cyberpunk system, and of course replaced the excellent stock setting with our own.

Hear the setup for season 2 during part 1 and part 2 of our Session 0. We also played Scum and Villainy for the first time during Interseason 1: Asteroid Blues.

Current System: Monster Care Squad

There is a huge white-feathered monster flying in the sky, surrounded by dramatic orange clouds and canyon walls. A river runs down the bottom of the canyon in the center of the image, and three tiny humans stand in the foreground, gazing up at the monster in awe. We only see their backs, but they look to be wearing fantasy-style clothing.

In Monster Care Squad by Sandy Pug Games, “The peaceful state of the world is threatened when a mysterious poison… finds its way into the veins of the world’s Monsters, causing terrible, maddening Wounds, which drive these incredible beings into uncontrollable rages. The once unbreakable bond of harmony and respect between Humans and Monsters is on the brink of collapse, and it’s up to you and your allies to set things right.”

This fantastic new system focuses on a three-part structure in which you diagnose the Monster’s Wounds, figure out local and traditional methods to treat them, and then use those to heal the Monster. There is no combat in this game; only healing. We use our original setting in place of the beautiful world of Ald-Amura. 

You can hear the three phases of the game here: Diagnosis, Synthesis, and Symbiosis.

Previous System: City of Mist

The top left says City of Mist in big white text. The text fades off into misty tendrils on the S and T of Mist. There is a city in the background. On the bottom right of this rectangle, in a triangular distribution, is a larger group of diverse people in mostly modern clothing. One of them has a glowing green eye.

In City of Mist by Amit Moshe, “you play modern-day versions of your favorite myths, legends, and fairy tales.

​Investigate crimes committed by the Snow Queen, the Minotaur, or Alice in Wonderland as you explore a gritty City teeming with legendary powers.”

We used this system during Inchoate, near the end of Season 1. Hear the session zero here, and the first episode of play here

Previous System: Monster of the Week

The cover says Monster of the Week across the top in white text that looks like it's degrading. There is a bipedal green monster with huge jaws and four tentacles instead of arms in the middle. It is fighting off four humans. On the left is a girl in a dress floating in the sky and firing a beam from her mouth. Below her is a woman in jeans and a t-shirt who is slashing one of the tentacles with a sword. To her right, in the bottom corner, is a man who has fallen to the ground. He is firing a pistol at the monster. In the top right is another man who is wrapped in a tentacle. He's wearing tactical gear and his gun is falling out of his hands.

In the Powered by the Apocalypse system Monster of the Week by Michael Sands & Steve Hickey, you “Hunt high school beasties a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer, travel the country to bring down unnatural creatures like the Winchester brothers of Supernatural, or head up the government investigation like Mulder and Scully.”

We used this system during The Splinter Beast of Sector 5 in season 1. You can hear the first part here

Previous System: Dungeon World

We no longer endorse this system due to the actions of one of its creators, Adam Koebel. This was the system used during In Gov’s Service and In Gov’s Service Again. We will not be using it again. I created custom playbooks to suit the setting of Gov’s Domain. 

Previous System: FATE Core

The cover of the Fate Core System is blue. Horizontal bands of darker blue stretch across the top and bottom. The top band features the word Fate in large white text, then Core System below that in smaller white text. There is a man in business attire minus the jacket on the left. He has a red tie, sunglasses, a shoulder holster, and a pistol in one hand. His other hand glows purple with some kind of energy. In the middle is a young woman with medium-length dark hair in a mix of medieval and modern garb, holding a curved one-handed sword. On the right is a gorilla in a pink karate gi, doing a kata.

Fate Core by Leonard Balsera, Brian Engard, Jeremy Keller, Ryan Macklin, and Mike Olson is “a tabletop roleplaying game about proactive, capable people who lead dramatic lives. The type of drama they experience is up to you. But wherever they go, you can expect a fun storytelling experience full of twists…of fate.”

We used this system for the main campaign starting in Chapter 5, which you can listen to starting here

Previous System: Fate Accelerated Edition

The cover of the first of the systems we play, Fate Accelerated, is blue. Horizontal bands of darker blue stretch across the top and bottom. The top band features the word Fate in large white text, then Accelerated below that in smaller white text. There is a lady pirate in red on the left, a martial artist preparing some kind of energy ball in purple in the middle, and a goth or scene kid with a pink streak in their hair on the right, holding a magic wand and a floating spellbook.

FAE by Clark Valentine, Leonard Balsera, Fred Hicks, Mike Olson, and Amanda Valentine is “a condensed version of the popular Fate Core system that brings all the flexibility and power of Fate in an easily digestible—and quickly read—package. With FAE, you and your friends can step into the world of your favorite books, movies, and TV or you can create a world of your own. And set up is simple—you can be playing in minutes. Whether you’re new to RPGs or an expert gamer, FAE brings something special to the table.

Fate Accelerated Edition. Your story—full speed ahead.”

This was the first system we used on the podcast! It’s a great way to introduce new players to tabletop role playing games.

We hope you’ll try out some of the systems we play too! Enjoy your gaming, and find the right game for your story.