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Tabletop Gaming Live event – London

Before we get into the article, I just want to say a huge thanks to Tabletop Gaming Magazine for issuing us Press passes for the event.

Despite the drizzly London weather, I turned up to what I believe was the second year that Tabletop Live took place. The location was the beautiful Alexandra Palace in North London. I thought it might be a smaller and more intimate version of UK Games Expo, and I was not wrong.

A single-day ticket cost £16 for an adult, £11 for a young adult and a family ticket was priced at £41 (2 Adults and 2 Young adults). Two-day tickets were a pretty good deal if you wanted to attend both days at £26 for an adult, £11 for a young adult and £66 for a two-day family ticket. During the expo, there was plenty of opportunities to grab a bargain, and there were some interesting workshops and talks, including one by Ian Livingstone CBE.

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UKGE Kickstarter Roundup – Part 2

Here we are again, several weeks after UK Games Expo and I finially got round to fulfilling that promise of a second roundup of Kickstarter projects from UKGE 2019. All of these projects are in various states but as far as we know the Kickstarter has not been launched as yet but they certainly interested us.

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Ultimate Games Master – Preview

You probably already know that I build web-based applications for people to fund my nerdy habits. With the launch of the now popular DnD Beyond, I began to wonder just how long it might take someone to come along and challenge it. If there was any way you could beat the behemoth that is Wizards Of The Coast, it would be to design an app that did more than just Dungeons & Dragons, which is precisely what Ultimate Games Master (UGM) does.

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UKGE 2019 Kickstarter Roundup – Part 1

It’s that time of year again. We headed out to Birmingham to cover as much as we possibly can in the 2019 UK Games Expo. Sadly this year we were one reporter short, so we have probably not been able to cover as much as we normally would, although I did manage to bump into Joel! UKGE is a great time to launch and/or have your Kickstarter running. As I went round the show I picked up and spoke to as many creators as possible, so today I wanted to start with the projects that are currently live.

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BARPIG – The Adventure Party Game

We are preparing ourselves to attend UKGE again this year and believe it or not, I still have not had the time to review one of the games we were given last year. BARPIG is a competitive card-based party game with social group activities, and some elements where you can mess with other players.

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The Old Hellfire Club – Kickstarter

It’s been nearly a year since I first heard of and played The Old Hellfire Club. I am very pleased to announce that they are now live on Kickstarter. Here is why you should now go and check it out and back their campaign.

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Geek Travels: Glasgow

Source: Pexels

I’ve only ever been to Glasgow for work and even then I only stayed one night, where I spent that night in a pub with my work colleagues and we got very, very drunk. But what I do remember about Glasgow is that it’s a city with an interesting history, with lots of character. I recently revisited the city and to say that the it has changed is a bit of an understatement. Whilst wandering the streets, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Glasgow has a booming geek culture and wanted to share it with you.

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Lasers and Liches – Kickstarter

This article has a weird back story so bear with me! I was just relaxing one evening and looking through my notifications and noticed I had a new follower on Twitter. Now I usually am quite curious about people who follow me on Twitter. I wonder if they don’t know me personally then I wonder which bit of random content bought them to me. So I begin to head down the so-called rabbit hole which led me to somewhere rather interesting.

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The Bloody Inn

“Good evening sir and welcome to the Inn. What’s that stain on the wall you ask? Oh nothing to worry about, it’s just an old building. Enjoy your stay, sleep well and we may see you in the morning.”

Assign the stranger a room and plot who would be best to kill this evening to aid your profit, in a bid to defeat the other owners.

The Bloody Inn is a push-your-luck style game where you and your fellow players have joint control of an Inn. Think of it as AirBnB but with more death. Your goal is to gain money by killing off the guests that stay in the rooms without being caught by the constabulary.

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Dragons Conquer America – Overview

As you might have been able to tell, (due to me actually writing some articles,) I’ve had a bit of time on my hands recently. It’s allowed me the time to catch up with loads of the RPG systems on my to-do list which have included Sins and FAITH. One other on my to-read list was a quick start guide of an RPG published by Burning Games, the same publisher as FAITH. Again this particular PDF was given to us by Burning Games but was available via DriveThruRPG as part of their Kickstarter. Sadly we missed their actual Kickstarter launch but we are happy to say that it was successful at being funded and you can late pledge if this is something that you’re interested in.

This overview is based on this preview version of the game and so the final version is obviously subject to change.

Statistics

Overview

Dragons Conquer America (DCA) originates from a place of history, and is set in Meso-America, around the 1500’s. Although its origins is based in history, it does include fantasy elements. The explorer Christopher Columbus died years ago, after discovering the West Indies, or what most people then called the “New World”. The first settlers came to the “New World” armed with guns, whilst dragons conquered the easternmost islands. They lived with knowledge that there was a larger continent to the West and although their coasts had been sailed no major mainland exploration has overcome the war like tribes.

Play system

It has the same system to FAITH, in that it uses a standard set of poker cards to resolve actions. However, instead of requiring all 52 you only need numbers 1 (Ace) to 6 and one Joker. You can also use dice to play. If you’re using dice it is recommended that you have a pool of 25 D6 dice, consisting of four main colours (6 in each colour to represent the suits and one for the joker) per 3 players at the table. It’s advisable that dice be the same size, weight and feel because they will be drawn blind from a bag to simulate a hand of cards.

The Spirit in the sky

The game also contains a source of magic that revolves around religion, this is called Spirit. Players use Spirit to cast spells in aid to help dispatch their foes. To gain Spirit you must perform rituals and during these rituals you may choose to try and “transcend” which can then add to or remove spirit based on the success or failure of a check. Players keep a total of what spirit points they think they have and the GM keeps a true total, being the only person who knows the outcome of the transcendence check. The Rituals are aimed to work with all types of religion depending on the character. Some of the Rituals are on the passive path of praying all day, resisting temptation for the vows you have take, and endurance where you have forgone the comfort of food, water or rest to the more violent blood letting (cutting ones self), sacrifice and of course fighting and killing heretics. This sounds all like some excellent Role Play opportunities to me.

Since Spirit is an indeterminate resource the player can overspend on it and cause themselves to suffer some “Corruption” and only the GM knows just how much corruption a player has. A player can suspect if they have corruption but will never know for sure; they can undo the corruption but as far as I could see this is not detailed in the starter book. Corruption takes the form of curses which the GM should use against the player and their team based upon the players religion.

Starter scenario

The starter scenario introduces the players to the existence of a gigantic precious stone, which is actually the egg of a dragon. However, it lies in a dangerous trap filled temple in the lands of an isolated tribe. A Spanish expedition has also heard about this treasure and on their way to recover it. The players must race against time, avoid all the traps and beat a Spanish force to get to the prize.

It’s split down into three main chapters. The first chapter has the players arriving and meeting the Atlaca tribe, the guardians of the temple. The second chapter aims to see the players enter the temple and facing an ancient spirit that protects the egg. The final chapter sees the arrival of the Spanish and finally will determine if the players will keep the egg or not.

The players play take on the roles of some mercenaries that have no allegiance to the Spanish or native tribe. This will have to be worked out during the adventure as to which side they choose to lean.

Verdict

I don’t feel that I can pass a final verdict on a beta version of an RPG. I will say that the idea behind how Spirit works and the possibility of the consequences that might happen due to the curses make the evil GM in me rub my hands with glee. The amount of good RP that could come from that opens a world of great characters to play with. I’m equally excited to see as a player what afflictions I acquire by using too much Spirit, how that affects my party and how I feel about it.

If you really need a verdict on this, my personal verdict is count me interested. I think the scenario that comes with this beta gives you a great sense of what the game has the capacity to deliver. It’s all going to depend on the GM and the party because stories are only as good as the people creating them.

What do you think of the Spirit system in Dragons Conquer America? There is load more videos on the Burning Games YouTube channel. Would you like to see what the the final product has to offer? Have a look at the Kickstarter to late pledge or keep an eye on the social media for Burning Games. Give your feedback on this article via the comments section or over on Twitter and Facebook.