Games in the FKR tag
So we’re well into 2021 and I decided it could be interesting to look a bit at the developments in the FKR. There’s been some coverage on Questing Beast’s Glatisant, but the mentions are brief and few. I decided I wanted to highlight a bit what’s going on, starting out with the Itch.io FKR tag.
I’ll go through each product and briefly describe them. In this post, I’ll go over 25 of them. The order is basically “as is” on the page, so “Popular”. Note that the order will likely change over time, so I just took it “as it was” when I wrote it.
Gnarled Monster’s Cosmogony is a Free Kriegsspiel wargame that deals with the creation of a world. Become gods, build civilizations and bring it all crashing down afterwards. It’s a nice pamphlet game and if you’re into games like Microscope, then this might be something for you.
Jason Tocci made a “killer app” when it comes to rules ultralight roleplaying games. His 2400 microgames are excellent and easy to get into. 24XX is the SRD variant, featuring layout files in various formats. He recently hosted a jam that had a lot of submissions to it.
The system itself is pretty simple, using a dice boosting skill system and roll system with three outcomes (disaster, setback and success). If you’re looking for something like Into the Odd or Savage Worlds, but even lighter, this might be something for you!
Oz Browning of Rook’s Press made Messerspiel, drawing inspiration from Blades in the Dark. He recently updated it with some wonderful art. This game is effortless to start playing with and has really intuitive mechanics with immense depth.
grimDARK: A Fistful of Ashcan Edition
Sasha De’ath’s grimDARK is a rules ultra-light tabletop RPG based on Graham Walmsley's award-winning Cthulhu Dark. This game spans upwards of 60 pages filled with art, lots of advice, and inspiration to play out really cool dark fantasy games. Even if you don’t particularly want a new game, this one contains a lot of useful material to season your own game with.
D3B4G’s Dark Empires is a Napoleonic era intrigue game with fantastical elements. It’s part of the “Play Worlds, Not Rules: Design Challenge”. It’s a neat game spanning less than 6 pages encouraging you to engage with the world.
2400BC is another game by Oz Browning, this time in the ancient apocalypse. On the tin: “inspired by Mesopotamian myth, particularly the Epic of Gilgamesh.” This was also a submission for the 24XX game jam. This game emphasizes survival, community, and a recently lost past.
In Play Issue #2 - NECROMANCY
Brought to you by the FKR Collective, a leftist community focused on the FKR. NECROMANCY is full of diverse art, ideas and inspiration. It’s free (pay what you want) and contains a long list of contributors (including me). If you need ideas for a potential necromancer or some undead in your campaign, you might just find what you need in here.
P0rthos47’s Space Aces is a rules-lite sci-fi game chock-full of useful tables and neat bits of vector art. This is one of those games that can have a lot of fun very quickly, and if sci-fi isn’t your jam, it can still be worth using the many generators featured in this game.
Phineas of Cosmic Orrery Games wrote the one-pager Egress. This game experiments with “clocks”, which players mark down each time their character does something potentially risky. Notably, this game forgoes dice. Eventually, the characters will have to leave the stage, hence the title. Try this out if you want to play something different!
The Dark Chasm
Horos of Horoscope Zine is an absolute content machine, producing excellent adventures and fantastic art to go with it. The Dark Chasm is no exception, with its “old school” handcraft style. This is something I absolutely want to see more of. Pick this up if you happen to need a dark chasm in your game.
The Lost Spaceship
Another entry by Horos, The Lost Spaceship is a one-page derelict entry in the One Page Derelict Jam Winter 2021. It features a space sandbox, encounters with the Intergalactic Army, the Space Pirates and a mysterious alien spaceship. Check this out if you need some content to smack into your sci-fi game.
GIST! FKR Edition
zeruhur’s GIST! FKR edition is a bold, well-laid-out game with a striking yellow color against black backgrounds. GIST stands for “Generic Immediate System for Tabletop” and as a result is usable for many worlds. GIST! uses several stats, 2d6 + modifiers, and a general 8+ target number.
Sami Mobarak-Sadokierski’s Forgotten Explorers is basically FKR + Star Trek. It features a great layout, an extensive list of items, and handy tables to generate adventures. It is based on 24XX and Lost Archive. If you’re into Star Trek, this one is absolutely worth checking out. If you’re not into Star Trek, this is still worth checking out. It has entries such as the “Feline Core Confederacy”...
In Play Issue #1 - CYBERPUNK
The FKR Collective’s first zine issue. This one tackles CYBERPUNK including adventures, locations, tables, and cool essays to spice up your cyberpunk-style games.
Caverns of Heresy’s Spoor is one of those games that have more text on its store description than in the actual game. The game literally fits on a business card and uses 3d6. This is one of those games that really demonstrates how little you actually need to get a satisfying game going.
Oz Browning’s ULTIMATE is one of those games that have more text in the game than in its store description. It only features one rule, which is “Agree what happens.” It all fits on a business card and requires absolutely nothing to get going. Play this wherever!
Revenant’s Hack is one of my games. I’ve used this game to play pulp adventures on Mars, Traveller-style games in the Revenant Sector, and a few different one-shots.
Lost Archive is also one of my games, heavily inspired by Star Wars, and was a submission to the 24XX Jam. I’ve been using this for roughly 8 sessions by now, where the players are searching for a lost spaceship carrying a copy of the Jedi Archives.
Quarrel and Fable
Sean Smith’s Quarrel and Fable clocks in at 12 pages and brings a very interesting take on OSR style games. If you like games on the lighter side, such as Maze Rats or the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, this might be something for you. Interestingly, Quarrel and Fable has a very cool magic system, which I’m not going to spoil.
eskur’s The Oracle is a minimalist game taking the “oracular table” approach to play. This is something you can pick up and run anything with, even solo gaming should be possible with this.
Wizard Lizard’s Fast-Forward is a cyberpunk action game. It features loads of tables and two adventures that you can put into action really quick. A solid choice if you’re looking for cyberpunk.
Rafael Massuia’s (Not)Rules is a densely packed one-pager that’s available in both English and Portuguese. This game provides some mechanics but is mostly about advising how to play rather than concrete rules (maybe not surprising given the name). Despite taking up one page, this game is actually one of the heavier types of games around these days.
What's So Cool About Magical Girls?
Axes&Orcs’ What's So Cool About Magical Girls? is a simple game that hopes to answer its titular question… ? So in this game, you play as girls that are also magical, and you resolve most stuff by rolling 2d6 and beating 8+ to do the thing. This game has 28 pages, but with a very spacious layout. It features several sections of spark tables that you can use in play, which is really nice.
Ouroboros OSR is another game by Sean Smith full of beautiful art and simple rules. The game falls on the rules-light spectrum in the OSR sphere, and in turn is excellent for FKR style gaming. It features a d10 mechanic, three stats, and a brief selection of spells, bestiary, and equipment pages. A solid 24-page game!
Our Odyssey by Oz Browning is more of an adventure or setting starter. Similar to journalling games, this game prompts you with small bits and asks you a question. Combine it with one of the ultralight games to get an island-hopping campaign going!