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Glitch, 0th Edition
by Samantha M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2020 18:09:41

Glitch had me hooked from the moment I heard the premise. In brief, you play hyperpowerful void-gods of destruction who can blow up the moon, but can't kick their insomnia; avatars of the void who can concoct grand strategies to reshape the face of the world, but struggle to pry themselves away from the laptop and take a damn shower. It's an absolutely astounding mixture of "empowerment fantasy" and "relatable content for people with depression, chronic illness, trauma or other things like that."

In spite of the heavy subject matter, and often because of it, Glitch is capable of supporting incredible emotional range. Do you want low-key tragicomic slice-of-life shenanigans in a gonzo urban fantasy setting? Easily done. Want a brooding and cathartic meditation on the nature of suffering and the unfairness of the world? You got it. Do you just wonder how ordinary tabletop hijinx and having fun with your friends escalate when the player characters are capable of acting at a cosmic scale? The answer is "like you would not believe."

If you're new to this author's games, or you've heard things but don't know quite where to start, I'd encourage you to check this out and read the other reviews. With pages of rules and an established setting, Glitch can be intimidating at first blush, but like most games, at the end of the day you're trying to tell a story. The difference is mostly in how you go about that. You earn XP for telling the story you want, using Quests (little cue cards full of scene prompts) and Arcs (a set of five quests that form a narrative structure) to guide your efforts. When you finish them, you pick up rewards, ranging from simple mechanical enhancements to the ability to rewrite your character sheet in full. Between Arcs and Ending Books, you have a number of ways to ensure that your story ends when and how you want it to. The GM is there to play the world and declare the results of your actions, which can range from simple kibitzing and "recovering some Cost for letting somebody down because you were holed up in your sanctuary hiding from the world" to "concocting a grand plan to use your infant daughter or your Instagram account to conquer a whole country" or "destroying the color red."

(But don't destroy the color red! You may be world-killing void gods, but you're supposed to be teetotal world-killing void gods in search of better coping mechanisms!)

If you've enjoyed Dr Jenna Moran's other titles, on the other hand, then Glitch is a must-have. I've played two games so far, both in playtest, and like the author's other titles, Nobilis and Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, playing this game with my friends led to some of the best memories I've ever made at the table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Glitch, 0th Edition
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Glitch, 0th Edition
by Xavid P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2020 22:25:48

An excellent and groundbreaking game that builds on the narrative mechanics of Chuubo's very effectively to create a specific, more serious, philosopically interesting feel. Definitely a unique design, and leads to really fun and interesting play that's less about whether or not you can do something and more about how willing you are to use your power and face the consequences.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Glitch, 0th Edition
by Juniper R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2020 19:30:15

Jenna Moran has been in the space of game design working orthogonally to what a lot of creators were doing for a long time. I feel like we're finally at a point now that she's not entirely in a field of her own; however, her work still stands up as an extremely good example and a personal favourite strand of mine.

Glitch is a companion game to Nobilis, which takes some of the refined narrative mechanics from Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-granting Engine, and gives a preview of how some things might work in a future 4th edition of Nobilis. You play as Strategists, people or other beings who glitched out of the world and found a way to take control of the wrongness that was killing them.

You're a Prince of the void: of Ninuan, the place-beyond-place, the land at war with Creation and everything in it. And, supposedly, you always were - it's up to you how much you buy into that. You exist in an uneasy, tenuous balance between the world and the void; always in danger of slipping further out of life, but with access to amazing powers and a deep reserve of strength that you can draw on for conflicts or personal projects - if you don't mind it killing you slowly.

Imported from CMWGE are Quests and Arcs, structures that allow you to run a story-driven game from the perspective of a player. It's an idea that will be familiar to players of Burning Wheel or more modern narrative-based games, giving the players goals to focus on achieving during gameplay in order to advance their own story.

Updated from Nobilis are the stats: Strategists have five, with base ranks from 0 to 7 and an effect ladder that can be pushed as high as 12, or further for an edge in a conflict. These effects range from your Ability to clean your house, to summoning creatures of the Not and banishing pieces of existence; and you'll have to make some hard decisions about how to spend your precious character points at creation.

Strategists don't have access to Will or Miracle Points, pools of energy from previous games which refilled at narratively appropriate moments. Their natural abilities are the only thing carrying them through day to day. Instead, pushing your abilities beyond your normal limits is represented by taking points of the appropriate Cost. Cost can be reduced in a few specific ways, notably resting in an environment that's specifically less hostile to you; but short of that, it accumulates, building until you can't handle any more and either you or your GM decide you have to take a wound to balance it out.

You might think that's terrible. You'd be right. It is. Being a Strategist is a hard life. Many exist like candles lit at both ends. But the stories you can tell in that lifespan are amazing.

Glitch is a game for telling stories about having weird and impossible experiences. Glitch is a game in which cleaning your house or preparing for a dinner party can be an equivalent challenge to fighting a world-ending threat. Glitch is a game in which the world sucks and is out to get you and your friends in particular, and if you try to tell anyone they probably won't believe you, and if they do they might start seeing spirits everywhere. (The spirits were always there, but not seeing them allows us mortals to go about our daily lives as though they weren't.)

Glitch is a game in which your past informs your present, and you can forge a new path at any time. Glitch is a game about being capable of anything, but in which trying to do everything will burn you out fast.

What will you spend your effort on? What's important to you? Everyday things? Connecting to others? Travelling to mysterious places and experiencing incredible, impossible events?

You can always push harder, up until you can't push at all - but should you? Is it worth it?

It is. (Worth it.)

((The game.))

(((Your money.)))

Probably.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fortitude: the Glass-Maker's Dragon
by Chris L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/06/2019 17:16:50

The Glass-Maker's Dragon, along with its system, simply put, chaged my worldview on RPGs as a whole. I cannot stress enough how much I love this campaign's premise, its setting, and most of all, its characters.

Before Chuubo's, I was leery about using premades. Most pre-rolled characters I'd come across in the past had been almost entirely blank slates, or just the opposite-- coming with a whole story of their own, but not being interesting enough to hold my attention. The eight major characters and their playbooks included in The Glass-Maker's Dragon are without a doubt some of the most fun personalities I've read in all of literature, let alone in the narrow realm of pre-rolled tabletop RPGs. From Leonardo de Montreal's over-the-top histrionics to Seizhi Schwan's deeply relatable anxieties about having a purpose to fulfill (or a lack thereof), the characters are really what make this campaign what it is: a truly unforgettable experience.

tl;dr: title promises dragons, delivers an interactive heartfelt coming-of-age narrative (and dragons). Thank you for this absolute gift of a campaign, Dr. Moran. To everyone waffling on whether they want to try this premade campaign: do it! I promise you won't regret it!

Let these characters take you on a journey with them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fortitude: the Glass-Maker's Dragon
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Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine
by Edward J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2019 18:14:47

Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine is a delight. Leave behind, for a time, the traditional mission-based model of RPGs, where the story is about slaying dragons and solving mysteries. Here, the focus is on the character level of story: your avatar's feelings, thoughts, and personal growth. If along the way you slay some dragons or solve some mysteries, those things are in service to your journey as a person, not the other way around. Oh, and along the way you get to chew the scenery of a setting unlike any other, rich in whimsy and wonder!

One caveat emptor: I cannot recommend the standard color printing of the corebook. The small font size, the textured background used on most pages, and the reduced ink density/paper quality of the standard edition combine to make the bulk of the text faint and difficult to read. (I shudder to think of how someone with any degree of visual impairment would fare trying to use the book.) The supplements use a larger font size and thus don't suffer from this problem, but where it comes to the core text, you're probably better off sticking to PDF or springing for the deluxe print job.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine
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Fortitude: the Glass-Maker's Dragon
by Itai G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2019 16:28:44

A supplement for the Chuubu roleplaying game. A good value for money.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fortitude: the Glass-Maker's Dragon
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Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine
by Itai G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2019 16:12:33

It's very pretty. It's about telling stories. It's the type of game I don't really connect to very well. I like dungeon. This doesn't have dungeons.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine
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Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine (ePub Bundle)
by Itai G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2019 16:07:28

The truth is, I never played this game. I waited for it for a long time; I invested in the kickstarter because I love SRB and the Great White Book, and I guess maybe that wasn't a good enough reason to buy this game. I did not connect to the ideas behind this game and didn't feel interested by the system, the XP, the actions, etc. The setting is beautiful, but also, quite limiting. It's a beautiful book; but the game is not for me.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine (ePub Bundle)
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Fortitude: by the Docks of Big Lake
by Itai G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/12/2019 03:21:35

I wished I used it as often as paying for it means



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Fortitude: by the Docks of Big Lake
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Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine
by Rodrigo A. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2017 22:12:12

Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine is a very eccentric, wonderful game.

It is eccentric due to the author Jenna Moran's delightfully whimsical-yet-sometimes-dead-serious narrative voice; because of her nonsensical-yet-oddly-prescient style of writing that makes her occasionally seem like some sort of holy prophet.

It is a wonderful game because it treats you like an equal who can help build and change the world with the tools that it gives you. Few other games give the player the power to viscerally change the way things work within it; no other game, that I know, succeeds so well in mixing its setting elements with the mechanics - from how the world is metaphysically different in some locations, to how despair can be fought in a variety of ways.

If you are a player very familiar with traditional rpgs like D&D, you might have difficulty adapting; Jenna's style can be counterintuitive at times, and there might be a few moments where you'll think to yourself, 'how is this supposed to work?'. The system's format of roleplaying-for-XP, quest-solving-to-get-powers, and explicit character arcs might in some ways be easier to approach for newcomers to roleplaying in general, as they challenge a lot of assumptions hardened gamers may have.

In truth, I cannot say this is a game for everyone. But if it is for you, you'll surely love it. If not, then it at least is a damn good read.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine
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Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/14/2016 17:10:19

While it seems pretentious to assess the third edition of the game on it's comparative art direction, it is probably worth noting that many people bought the previous editions as art books. This edition, albeit in full colour and visually impacting to a degree not seen in most RPGs, is mainly made up with anime or straight cartoony imagery. It just doesn't feel as classy.

The writing too seems a bit more trite in places, and while the game has always been whimsical in that way, I found the actual structure of the writing to be less directly informative on some key aspects of the game. There is a lot more emphasis in the game on collaborative character design and advice towards actual gameplay. In that regards it is a better edition. But whatever happened to the detail about flowers? In all, it's very good unless you were in love with the previous editions - in which case it's OK.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
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Fortitude: the Legendary 139
by Zachary B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2016 11:50:12

Overall, I really enjoyed this inexpensive supplement. The Lifepath for making a Legendary 139 was a lot of fun. The supplement loses one star because I was getting confused throughout the Lifepath for when the supplement controlled versus when the core book controlled. I would have preferred the steps in the Lifepath reference or overwrite the same steps in the core. I felt that would have made things a lot clearer. However, I really liked the 139's special aspects, like their Keeps (special sanctuary) and their Mirrors (a copy of you in the 139, but "wrong"). I also like how there are examples throughout the Lifepath for when you need inspiration.

The other part of the book is split in to a multitude of Arcs. Here Moran really shows how elegant her Quest/Arc system can be as she takes two sets of 5 quests and turns them in to a plurality of storied arcs, each with also their own fun example which really clarified the top down approach to tuning quests to the theme of the arc. I particularly liked the Moon Rabbit arc, which reminded me a lot of the classic "The Little Prince" book.

Overall, I am really impressed with the supplement and running a whole campaign for it just based on it. Until Chuubo's first full fledged campaign is officially released this and the Halloween Special, I feel, are critical to really seeing what Chuubo's can do.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fortitude: the Legendary 139
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Fortitude: by the Docks of Big Lake
by Nicholas M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2016 05:03:02

Fortitude, by the docks of big lake – PDF version

Great value for money, great production values and a useful tool for helping the GM (sorry, ‘HG’ in this game) make the transition from the usual RPG style to something more home-spun, slower paced and wonderfully rich.

This supplement to the Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPG is a valuable addition to the game.

Around 70% of everything you need to run a game in the Fortitude setting is here; but you will still need the core rules. For those of you who already have the core rules you will be pleased to learn that the writing style and the arrangement of the book is excellent (better than the core book). There is a fair amount of repetition of core content, but that is no bad thing. The layout is superior, the writing style clearer. The whole product is far more polished. The artwork is lovely and very much in keeping with the setting. You also get a large selection of new ‘quest’ cards/ideas that presented really well.

Fortitude itself contians a selection of specific characters (the ‘Sacred Child’, brief descriptions of the 'Regional Council'). There is a vast amount of information on the local food, an almanac of the seasons and events throughout a typical year and a very detailed description of the Shrine Families of Fortitude and their relationship with the ever present ‘Dust’ that blows in from the pan-dimensional chaos of the outside.

Fortitude is a slow paced, pastoral style game (think studio Ghibli). It can feel a little intimidating to get a group to go from a more traditional combat oriented RPG, to a setting where pranking the school bully, or going fishing with friends at the weekend, is the key event of a game session. This is the first game book I have encountered that has a entrie chapter dedicated to household chores! Once you have read the book (and set aside some time for that; because this supplement is vast!), the pastoral game style works very well, far better than I anticipated.

Another key strength to the supplement is the inclusion of other settings/genres as well. If the pastoral game is not quite working for you one week, there is some additional detail on some of the other settings in Town. A trip to ‘Blue Bell Park’ is the perfect place for some Saturday morning anime style madness. Or if you want a more epic adventure feel then perhaps switch genre/location and explore ‘The Far Roofs’ or ‘The Big Lake’.

We have been playing the game for a month or two (as of the time of writing) and we are settling into the pattern of 'pastoral', every day slice of life stuff while the PCs are in school (with the obligatory weekly pranking of a school bully) and then a ‘weekend’ adventure that will either be exploring Fortitude itself, or a brief a genre slip to somewhere else before getting back to Fortitude in time for supper.

I can not wiat for the 'Glass Makers Dragon' campign to be published for this setting!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fortitude: by the Docks of Big Lake
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Magical Bears in the Context of Contemporary Political Theory
by Andre C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/04/2015 12:40:33

I got this book on a whim, because the theme was something I thought I'd enjoy, and it became one of my favourite books this year. If the author had known me since childhood, and had decided to write a book specifically catering to my interests to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of our friendship, she wouldn't be able to write something I'd enjoy so much.

The book is a collection of short stories. The theme of "Magical Bears in the Context of Contemporary Political Theory" is the alledged link, but I'd describe it as a book about really weird, funny or even stupid concepts developed very seriously until their breaking point. For instance, "What if Sailors (like from Sailor Moon) were U.S. senators?" or "What would the political systems of magical jelly bean animals be like?"

You'd think those stories would be hilarious. And they are! When Jenna Katerin Moran decides to write a funny story, it's hilarious. She's witty and silly and bizarre. She'll commit wholeheartedly to an absurd concept and explore its ramifications to five different punchlines. I laughed out loud repeatedly at stories that are pretty much just collections of puns.

But then - some of those stories are not funny. They have concepts that are just as weird and stupid, but are played completely straight. And those stories are where the book shines. Look: one of the stories is about Fisher-Price accidentally destroying the world by creating an Ultimate Evil toy. From that concept, you'd think it'd be a hilarious story. It's not. It's deep and serious and touching and I cried at the end. I cried at the end of a story about an apocalyptic evil toy! And I'm not ashamed at it, because it's a brilliant story, deep and full of pathos.

The only thing close to a 'continuity' that the book has are four or so stories taking place in a universe about one of those bizarre concepts, perhaps the most bizarre one: "Why didn't the Care Bears stop the holocaust?" It would be easy to answer this question with insensitive humour or predictable cynicism; but Moran remains far from either and weaves a deep explanation with real characters and real feelings.

Ultimately, this is an excellent book I recommend without reserve. Some of the stories are a bit ho-hum, but I've never read a single-author anthology where that wasn't the case. The worst stories are still interesting and the best stories and masterfully done. If you like weird fiction, fairy tales, or bad puns, this will be an aquistion you won't regret.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Magical Bears in the Context of Contemporary Political Theory
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Nobilis: Antithesis, Minibook 1i
by Daniel D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/18/2015 02:14:56

When I'm busy working on a campaign, I tend to buy supplements in vain hope for additional inspiration. I did not expect to actually find so much good material in a single book. The book could have been a quarter of the size and still been useful to me, but Jenna keeps layering more and more inspiration, more ideas, into this book until, by the time I was finished, I wanted to run Chibi-Ex: the game (and realized, in fact, that Chibi-Ex was about nothing but Deceivers).

I hesitated to buy this because I wasn't sure if I would want the soft-cover + PDF, or just the PDF. I chose for just the PDF. This was a mistake. If you like Nobilis, buy this book. Period.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nobilis: Antithesis, Minibook 1i
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