Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Another tiny RPG that I want to be bigger

Micro RPGs, particularly in this day and age, are odd beasts. Unlike micro games where you are dealing with physical components, there isn’t a functional reason to have it be small. An ebook on my phone takes up the same physical space for playing purposes. And, unless you’re using miniatures, most RPGs take up the same physical space to play. You know, a table.

Howl in the Half-Light is a two-page RPG from the Indie Megamix Mixtape and is a good example of how the micro RPG form doesn’t always really serve the game. 

It is about werewolves or maybe wolves who can turn into humans. Characters consist of an origin, a power and some bennies. Conflicts are resolved by rolling one die and there is a table for creating scenes, as well as a sample adventure.

Howl has some the start of some ideas but being only two pages absolutely kills them. It needs to be at least twenty times that length. I was left with a lot of mechanical questions, including if the game was supposed to have a GM or not!

More than that, while there are some lines about corrupting demons and different ways of becoming werewolves, there seems like there is a setting in mind but there’s clearly no room for it. I think it was John Wick who said that people can like mechanics but they fall in love with settings. Let’s be honest, werewolves aren’t under represented in RPGs. For Howl to work for me, it needs a setting for me to fall in love with. 

To be brutally honest, I am not being fair. Howl in the Half-Light was written as part of a charity collection with specific parameters. I just think it has some real potential and I wouldn’t mind seeing it expanded. The mythology that it hints at is interesting and I like the idea of a scene generator. If I found out there was an expanded version, I’d definitely look into it.

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