Category: ReuniCon

Mutant Year Zero – probably no happy ever after?

Every now and again, in amongst the dozens and dozens of games that I get to look at I find something that really piques my interest, something that is suitably familiar or perhaps very different.  Every now and again there is a game that I really want to play, or more likely that I really want to run.

Mutant Year Zero is definitely one of those games.

YearZero_coverIn fact, it is both familiar and yet different.  The familiarity comes from the simple nature of the mechanics.  It’s a little bit old school; simple archetypes with a point building system for character creation.  The numbers are simple to handle, skill levels, attributes and gear denote the number of d6 you roll for success.  And for that reason it’s a comfortable system to learn, it takes minutes not hours to pick up the rules and generate your first character.

But then, it’s also sufficiently different and innovative. Your character is a mutant and it is the mutant powers that will most likely keep her alive in the very hostile post-apocalyptic world of Mutant Year Zero.  But then, using those powers has a cost and one that will slowly but surely cause you to degenerate and die. Along the way you’ll become more powerful as your body continues to mutate, and this will kill you – if the environment, the deadly Rot, the others struggling to survive in this world don’t get you first.

For me another huge part of this game is its collaborative nature – your best chance of survival is with others by your side.  For that reason, character creation includes detailing relationships with the other player characters and also with significant NPC’s.  There is a strong community focus, you have grown up in an Ark – a refuge from the hazards outside.  You contribute to the development of the Ark, you have a role to play in its society and in decisions that shape how it grows.

I almost passed this game by, there are so many post-apocalyptic survival games and I was suspicious of the fact that you can buy custom d6’s with symbols instead of the 1’s and 6’s.  There is also a deck of cards which are referred to in the rules, and I’m always sceptical of games that “need” these little extra expensive goodies to work properly.  But whilst having played with them I would recommend the extras (especially the dice), you don’t need them, after all they are just d6’s and everything in the card decks can be found as tables and descriptions in the core book.  They are enhancements, not essentials.

I’ve played a few standalone games, (and I’ll be running one at this years ReuniCon RPG Day in Brighton on the 3rd September), and they work really well, but I think the real beauty of this game would be in playing an extended campaign watching the character’s stories unfold as they pursue their big dreams, as they develop their community and as they finally succumb to the inevitability of the environment.  This is a very story led game, there is an overarching metaplot detailed within the core book and it is up to the GM as to how much this plays into their specific game.

What will be important is survival, the need to eat and drink regularly, to track your bullets (not just for your weapons but as currency), to look after your health and to balance the use of your mutant powers, the need to “push” your dice rolls against the ongoing impact to and deterioration of your character.

One last thing that I think is worth a mention is the use of maps – not for the purpose of miniatures or pseudo-wargaming, but for discovering, recording and detailing the player’s environment.  You’ll start the game with a mostly empty Zone map – there are two provided with the setting, but you might find it interesting to create your own based on your home town or a favourite place.  My games have focussed on Brighton, the Palace pier partially collapsed and become the Ark for my adventurers, a defensible sprawl with a population of around 200.  The coastline, the towns, cities and the south downs have become the areas to explore and with rumours of a larger city – The Big Smoke – even further North across the Infected Rot lands.  Players will note points of interest scribble notes on the maps, share them with other explorers, discovering and creating their game world as they go.

Mutant Year Zero is a great game, it is balanced and intriguing, it makes for good story led collaborative roleplaying.  It will appeal across the age ranges and is accessible to both new and experienced players.  The core book runs to around 280 pages and the production values are also very high, the quality of the artwork, the comic book styling also makes you want to read it.

Available from the Modiphius store for £34.99 in Print/PDF or £14.99 for the PDF.

BURPS ReuniCon 2016 RPG Day

Another year flies by and once again the folks from BURPS are organising another ReuniCon RPG Games Day in Brighton on September 3rd.  This year they have a new venue for their event, being hosted by Brighton’s Friendly Local Game Store – Dice Saloon.

As always the event will feature a full day of RPG games organised and run by a group of experienced GM’s.  This year they hope to have GM’s representing both the Pathfinder Society and Chaosium’s Cult of Chaos as well as many others.

We like intimate events like this, they are a great way to meet new people and play some games that you might never have tried out before.    You can find full details of the event over at www.reunicon.uk and tickets are available directly from Dice Saloon.  After all what could be better than a day roleplaying by the seaside?

ReuniCon2016-Dice-Saloon

You can also follow ReuniCon for information on their event on Twitter and Facebook.

Where have we been?

pentagram-vector-element_MJxefoI_Ok – I know, more than six months without a single post.  The only excuse I can offer is that I’ve been busy!  But so has the increasingly exiting world of roleplay games.  Chaosium have *finally* delivered the long, long awaited seventh edition rules which I will concede are a significant enhancement.  The prolific Chris Birch at Modiphius continues to thrill us with an expanding line of high quality games, the latest and most exciting being Conan.  Sarah Newton has steered a Mindjammer kickstarter to a successful outcome, with the promise of much new and exciting material for what I still consider to be one of the most exciting games of recent times.

I’ve taken to running a “regular” game online using google hangouts/skype – bought about by moving from the east midlands of England to Scotland – and I’m amazed how well it works.  Platforms like Roll20 are becoming staples of a global network of gamers.

We are again less than 100 days away from Brighton’s annual ReuniCon RPG Day (see here if you fancy a day of games in the heart of the UK’s greatest city by the sea).  I find myself again planning and scheming about what games I want to run and hoping that once again we manage to grow the attendance at our small but well formed games day.

I do have plans for whole bunch of things that I want to  review, write and share with visitors here, so I guess I need to get back on this particular pony and start posting again.  I half expected the site to have faded over the last few months with no new articles to draw people in but visitors have remained steady – especially visitors to our download stacks.  I’ve also been blown away by the number of people who have emailed and asked if everything is ok and would we be back online soon, I love the RPG community – we’re a bit nerdy, but we are mainly good people.

Anyway, we are back and we have some great things to share with you, so lets get on with it…

Ia! F’tagn,

Derek.

Where have we been?

Its’ a good question, and it has certainly been a while since the last update or post here at miskatonic.co.uk.  What’s worse is it has been a really busy time in the games world and there are a host of things I’d like to have been writing about; my copy of “Horror on the Orient Express” finally arrived, and other Kickstarters have delivered as well, including the “Cthulhu Britannica London Box Set” which is a thing of extreme beauty. The Ennie nominations came and went, GenCon is upon us, and yet I have not managed to find time for reviews, moans, groans or eulogising about any of these things.

So why?

Well the answer is I’m helping to organise an RPG Games Day in Brighton, East Sussex, on the 5th September and I’ll be honest and say that it is pretty much all I think about when it comes to games at the minute.  This will be the eighth such games day that we have organised, badged as ReuniCon, it has until now been a great excuse to get as many previous members of Brighton University’s Roleplaying Society (BURPS) together as we can, to play games and generally catch up.  Now given that the society got going in 1987 and as the strapline says “we are still slaying dragons”, there have been a lot of changes over the years, we have had people from every incarnation of the society take part, some of us have brought friends along, some of us have taken our kids, the thing has grown, evolved, matured.  Then this year a big change – we needed a new venue – we weren’t able to use the Student Union premises that we had been fortunate enough to enjoy for the last seven years of hosting the event, and we needed to find somewhere else.

So what?

Well what this has done for us is two things; one ithas made us go and find a venue we could afford but wasn’t someones kitchen, it has made us charge admission from people who had enjoyed the day for free for many years.  Secondly it also gave us an opportunity to open our doors to the wider public, to do what we started out doing twenty eight years ago, it gave us the chance to share our hobby with complete strangers.  This in turn has meant that we need to be a little bit better organised that perhaps we might have been…  It has meant organising tickets (which you can get here), getting the venue, having a schedule, ensuring we have enough GM’s for any eventuality, competitions, t-shirts and so much more.

Its keeping me busy, but its going to be great fun. We know we will probably not get the hundreds and hundreds that will turn up at say Dragonmeet, and we don’t have a trade hall (yet!), but we do have some awesome GM’s, some fantastic games and a growing list of attendees all of whom I’m looking forward to meeting.  I also know that there is nothing else really like it on the South coast so we are here to stay and whilst we might start modestly, in this our eighth year, we already have amazing plans for next year!

Sun, Sea & Roleplaying – sounds perfect?

Sure it does  – and there are only 38 days left to get a ticket (from here), and we will start sharing details of the organised games over the next few weeks and allow people to start pre-booking places on their favourites.  We have plenty of space if you want to come and run your own game, we will even promote it if you get in touch (enquiries@reunicon.uk).

You can find all the details you need, including help on where to find us, where to stay and what to expect on our website at www.reunicon.uk as well as on twitter @ReuniCon #reunicon2015 and on facebook.

Come down to Brighton, play some fantastic games and meet some great people.  We would love to see you at our games day by the seaside.

Derek.

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ReuniCon 2015 RPG Day – Brighton

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Eventbrite - ReuniCon 2015 RPG Day
Tickets are now available for the 8th BURPS ReuniCon RPG day event.  It promises as always to be a packed day of roleplaying games. The event is put together by a team who have been playing, running, writing and designing games for several decades. There is sure to be games to suit everyones tastes.

Throughout the day a number of roleplaying games will be organised and run for groups of between four and six players.  All you need to bring is your imagination!  Whether you are a seasoned roleplay gamer, or just fancy dipping your toe into the hobby for the first time they will be happy to have you join them.

Tickets are available online via Eventbite (here) priced at £5 for a whole days gaming.  The event is being held at the Hanover Community Centre, 33 Southover Street, Righton, BN2 9UD. on Saturday, 5 September 2015 and will run from 10:00 to 22:00.

It promises to be a great day out, and an opportunity to make some new friends, maybe meet up with some old ones.  The ReuniCon RPG Day event has something for everyone, following on from previous years successful themed events, such as the “Zombiethon ReuniCon” and last years “Superhero Day” this years event has a general fantasy theme, but maybe with a few surprises and twists thrown in.

Please note that some games may contain adult humor and themes – Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Eventbrite - ReuniCon 2015 RPG Day