RPG Overviews For New Players

I’m putting together a high-level overview of a few RPG systems for some players who may join my group. (Yay, new blood!) We’ll talk this over more when we get together in person, of course, but I thought this might help get them thinking about their options. (Their options, in this case, being games I think will be friendly to newcomers, that I either haven’t played recently or haven’t gotten enough of.)

Here’s the skeleton of my overview:

Game Title
When and Where Are We?
What’s the Genre?
What’s the Premise?
Who Am I? 
What Will I Do? 

And here are some examples:


When and Where Are We? An alternate Wild West
What’s the Genre? Dark historical fantasy
What’s the Premise? In 1863 history diverged from what we know, resulting in a “Weird West” featuring monsters, magic, steampunk…and horrors.
Who Am I? A gunfighter, mad scientist, shaman, sorcerer, brave, or other Western adventurer.
What Will I Do? Fight zombies and spirits. Use Ghost Rock to power weird technology. Cast hexes. Play cards.
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
When and Where Are We? All of time and space
What’s the Genre? Science fiction
What’s the Premise? A Doctor Who game spawned from the current TV series
Who Am I? The Doctor or one of his companions from the show
What Will I Do? Solve mysteries. Run from monsters. Spout scientific jargon. Explore the cosmos. Meet historical figures.
Edge of the Empire

When and Where Are We? The Star Wars galaxy, during the original trilogy.
What’s the Genre? Science fiction / space opera
What’s the Premise? A Star Wars game set during the original trilogy, but seen from the point of view of wretched hives of scum and villainy.
Who Am I? A human, alien, or droid on the fringes of galactic society, including bounty hunters, smugglers, and hired guns.
What Will I Do? Earn money on legally questionable jobs; explore the Outer Rim of the galaxy in your ship; evade crime bosses who loaned you money; get caught between the Rebels and the Empire.

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying

When and Where Are We? Modern-day Earth
What’s the Genre? Superheroes
What’s the Premise? Marvel superheroes doing their thing!
Who Am I? Your favorite Marvel hero: Daredevil! Scarlet Witch! Spider-Man! Captain America!
What Will I Do? Fight supervillains. Save the innocent. Protect your secret identity.


When and Where Are We? Far future (but medieval) Earth
What’s the Genre? Light fantasy
What’s the Premise? Long after Man has vanished from the world, intelligent animals have built a medieval civilization.
Who Am I? A good dog of any breed, specializing in fighting, using magic, or sneaking around.
What Will I Do? Protect the kingdom of Pugmire. Fight monsters and bandits and cats. Seek out relics left over from the Ages of Man.

The Strange

When and Where Are We? Modern-day Earth
What’s the Genre? Science fiction & fantasy
What’s the Premise? Some people on modern-day Earth can travel to strange alternate worlds, many of which are based on works of fiction.
Who Am I? Someone able to visit the other worlds and manifest different powers and abilities on each one.
What Will I Do? Explore alternate realities. Defend the Earth from invaders. Interact with aliens and fictional characters.

Did I leave anything out? Got any suggestions for changes? I considered a line about “What’s Unique About this Game?” but I was undecided about that.

Kickstarted: “I Am Zombie: Toxicity”

I’ve heard fellow gamers complain that, because there are so many Kickstarter projects being created, it’s hard to find the really good gaming ones. So I figured when I spot a notable one, I should blab about it.

Well, a really cool one started today. Running through May 16, I Am Zombie: Toxicity is a stand-alone RPG spawned from the fertile, infected loins of the original I Am Zombie (itself Kickstarted in 2015).

It’s hard to pick the coolest-looking thing about Toxicity, but I’m going to anyway: It’s set in the 1970s! Indeed, the creators (Make-Believe Games) are spinning this as a rare old-school RPG from the ’70s that was recently rediscovered and reprinted. The setting is described as “1970s grindhouse underworld.” Yes, please.

As in the original I Am Zombie, player characters ARE zombies. (Oh, you probably figured that out from the title.) The game uses cards instead of character sheets, promising low prep time and a simplified game experience. This time around, the action is set underground, “in a terrifying underworld hidden beneath our largest metropolises.”

The project is nearly at its funding goal as I type this, which funds three books (core rules, antagonists, and locations) plus the “ID cards” that characters are made from. Stretch goals include more cards, a narrator screen, and additional story seeds.

Go check out the I Am Zombie: Toxicity Kickstarter page–it’s a beautiful one, and filled with details.

(Source: Kickstarter | Image source: Make-Believe Games)