RPG Encyclopedia: U

Ultima Eclisse
1st ed by G. Niccolai, F. Baroni, M. Corsini, A. Silvestrini (1993) Draco Flamula Games
An Italian-language fantasy genre RPG, whose title translates as "Last Eclipse". The design is strongly inspired by D&D.
Ultimate Power
1st ed by Blake Mobley (1994) The Game Lords, Ltd.
A fantasy genre RPG.
Ultima Thule: Roolipeli muinaisessa Pohjolassa
1st ed by Ilmari Piela (1999) Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden seura
A Finnish-language historical RPG set in medieval and pre-medieval Finland. Although this game touches the national epic of Kalevala, it does not focus on it. It includes magical spells and monsters, including historical resources for authentic-feeling spells. It uses a rules-lite system.
L'Ultime Épreuve
1st ed by Fabrice Cayla (1983) Jeux Actuels
2nd ed (1984)
3rd ed (1987)
A French-language fantasy genre RPG, the first French RPG. It is set in the largely open world of Linaïs, which is inhabited by six types of humans: mountain people, forest people, sea people, etc. The PCs have the defined goal to fight against the lords of destruction, become powerful enough to pass the ultimate test, cross the door, and join the lords of balance. It uses a skill-based system similar to Chaosium's Basic Role-playing, with six attributes (determined by 3d6): Intelligence, Force, Dextérité, Pouvoir, Constitution, Charisme. There are also broad skills (only 10 in the original game), calculated by the sum of two or three attributes. These are increased only be increasing the attributes themselves. Character advancement is done by buying "training courses" in schools that increase attributes. It includes a magic system based on your Magic skill rating, with choice and number of spells determined by your skill. The expanded second edition is entitled "Les Chroniques de Linaïs".
Umläut: Game Of Metal
1st (electronic) ed by Rich Stokes (2009) Lord of the Pies
1st (print) ed (2010)
A GMless storytelling game for 3-8 players, where players (individually or in pairs) take on the roles of heavy metal bands rather than an individual characters. It is designed for 3-4 hours of play with no prep, using playing cards rather than dice. The system centers on charting their bands' careers as they rehearse, play gigs, fight among themselves and pull crazy publicity stunts. Bands have four stats (Hope, Ego, Fanbase and Cash) and three performance traits (Power, Technique and Stagecraft). It uses a card draw scene resolution mechanic similar to Primetime Adventures and Contenders. Each player takes a turn with a scene, with the players on their left acting as "roadie" (opposition) for the turn. The active player and roadie are dealt a number of cards based on stats and money spent. If the player has more blacks, he succeeds in the scene. Whichever of the two has the highest card gets narration rights.
1st ed by Ray Winninger (1993) Mayfair
A dark-future superhero RPG, set in 2020 where the superpowered veterans of past wars are abandoned and oppressed by a corrupt U.S. government. The system is based on DC Heroes. Character creation is point-based, spending government money on super-soldier aspects: including genetic surgery (i.e. superpowers), recruitment (i.e. attributes/skills), cash (i.e. equipment), and reconditioning (i.e. curing power induced stress). There are random aspects to superpowers and reconditioning. The system also includes strategic-level mechanics of dealing with the community's problems such as corruption and safety -- which are numerically rated, and can be affected by PCs.
Under My Skin: Who do you love?
1st ed by Emily Care Boss (2008) Black & Green Games
A live-action RPG about romantic relationships for 4 to 8 people, though optional tabletop rules are also included. Play is aimed at taking from 4 to 6 hours. There is a GM (Director), but there are no rules for combat or conflict resolution. Characters have ratings (from 1-3) for intimacy and passion for a number of relationships, possibly including Partner, Friend, Best Friend, and New Flame. Play proceeds by going through a number of scenes according to a general structure, though all details are left up to the players.
Under the Bed
1st ed by Joshua A.C. Newman (2005) The Glyph Press
A horror RPG about childhood perils. The PCs are a child's toys who are trying to defend the child but also competing with each other for the child's affection. Each character has a set of binary traits, and a rating for Favoritism. Conflict resolution is by rolling opposed sets of d8s, adding dice for relevant traits, where the highest roll wins.
1st ed by Gareth-Michael Skarka, Laura D. Hanson, T.S. Luikart, Sean Jaffe (2000) Synister Creative
An urban fantasy RPG, along the lines of the television series Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman or the television series Beauty and the Beast by Ron Koslow. It is set in and below the New York City subway system, which were somehow manipulated to run along magical ley lines ("The Radiance"). It uses a rules-light system of coin flipping, built for play in either tabletop or live-action mode. It uses class-based character creation. Character creation involves choosing 1 of 9 Breeds, 1 of 10 Guilds, 3 Defining Traits, 3 Secondary Skills from the Guild list, and choosing starting equipment. The Breeds range from intelligent animals to magical robots to wandering immortals. Guilds are roughly professions.
Undiscovered: The Quest for Adventure
1st ed by Adam D. Theriault, Antonio Da Rosa, Phillip Theriault (2001) Eilfin Publishing
A swords-and-sorcery fantasy RPG, set on the world of "Arkas". This is inhabited by traditional races like humans, elves, and dwarves as well as new races like the Dusters (humans with faint reptilian ancestry), Seraphs (a magical race of neuter beings), Muklags (hairy Bigfoot-like humanoids), and Dracomensc (humanoid dragons). It uses a percentile skill-based system, rolling under skill or attribute on 1d100. Character creation is classless and point-based, with some random adjustments during the process. There are also 150 skills each with five levels. Advancement is level-based.
The Unexplained: Chronicles of the FPI
1st ed by Bradford Younie (2010) Carnivore Games
A modern-day supernatural RPG where the player characters are members of the Foundation for Paranormal Investigation - investigating ghosts, aliens, rare and monstrous creatures, and magicians. It uses a variant of the FUDGE system, extending on the Now Playing system, where the FPI was introduced as a sample campaign.
1st ed by Ralph Mazza, Mike Holmes (2002) Ramshead Publishing
A universal storytelling role-playing system. The system has no no game-master. Instead, each player acts as GM to some degree by use of coin-spending mechanics. Players may make Complications to the story which are targetted at other players. Rules resolve who controls using die rolls and the traits of the characters involved.
1st ed by John H. Butterfield (1981) SPI
2nd ed (1982) SPI / Bantam Books
A sci-fi game around interstellar adventure in a free-market Federation (similar to Traveller), featuring semi-realistic high tech and prevalent psionics, but with little background information. The system is a complex percentile skill system, with the bonus to the roll being the square of the skill. The character creation and combat systems are both particularly involved.
Universe, The Sci-Fi RPG
1st ed by Mark Wilkinson, Michael Wilkinson, William T. Pace (2003) Tower Ravens LLC
A science fiction role-playing game set on an independent world in the midst of several galactic empires, some of which are waring against alien incursions. Characters are skill based. System uses percentile dice and a universal lookup table.
1st ed by Pedro Alcántara (1993) Ediciones Cronópolis
A Spanish-language universal RPG. It uses a percentile system with characteristics and skills. Advancement is level-based. It includes rules about magic, psionics, robots, and time and space travel.
Silrin ed by Laurent Trémel, Nicolas Théry, Eric Bouchaud, Fred Pannetier, Franck Bouchaud (1988) Siroz
Koros ed by Laurent Trémel, Nicolas Théry, Eric Bouchaud, Fred Pannetier, Yann, José Das Neves (1988)
Berlin XVIII ed by Olivier Noël, Laurent Trémel, Fréderic Texier, Eric Bouchaud, Nicolas Théry (1989)
A French-language series of sci-fi mini-RPGs: "Silrin", "Koros", "Berlin XVIII", and a few others. Each book detailed a single star system. Berlin XVIII was later released as its own game. It uses a percentile skill-based system.
Unknown Armies
1st ed by Greg Stolze, John Tynes (1998) Atlas Games
2nd ed (2002)
A modern-day occult conspiracy RPG with an emphasis on "furious action", based around the concept that the cosmos will soon die and be reborn. The PC's are conspirators within the occult underground, trying to influence what the next world will be like. It uses a percentile skill-based system. Action resolution is by rolling under skill on d100, where "doubles" (11,22,etc.) are special results, and quality of success is measured by the roll itself. Character creation is limited point-based, with freeform skills. There is a mental health system which divides trauma into five categories in which mental stress points can accumulate.
1st ed by Greg Poehlein, Paul Arden Lidberg (2000) Nightshift Games
A dark superheroes RPG, set in an alternate 1999 where meta-humans (i.e. superheroes) have been working for the United Nations since the 1940's. Known as "Peacekeepers" (for their leader), they have come to dominate the planet. The PC's are meta-human rebels against the now-oppressive U.N. supers. The system uses d20 rolls for skills, but 2d10 rolls for combat. Character creation is point-bought, with 3 attributes (Body, Mind, and Agility) plus skills and powers.
1st ed by Kirt Dankmyer (2005) Ivanhoe Unbound
A narrative game with no defined setting, but focuses on situation where the character make tough moral and ethical choices under pressure -- such as inner city police, American soldiers in the Vietnam War, or the American Civil War. It uses a simple one-die mechanic, where a loss during a stressful situation means that the other players may decide what happens to the character.
1st ed by Keith Senkowski (2005) Bob Goat Press
A game designed mainly as an artifact, about a man in the modern world who is struggling with insanity and suicide. It has only a single player taking the part of the protagonist, lead by multiple antagonist players (like GMs). The game comes as a hand-sewn journal with hand written notes, a letter, a rapsheet, a photocopy of a hand written journal, and an audio recording.
Urban Faerie
1st ed by James Desborough (2004) Postmortem Studios
A humorous RPG about faeries as envisioned in Victorian England, now adapted to living in modern times. For example, Oberon had a midlife crisis and moved off to L.A. to start an Internet porn business. The faerie population is now divided into the "Seedy" and the "Unseedy" courts. The game uses a very simple system, where resolution works by 1d6 + attribute + possible bonus for one of two skills versus difficulty or opposed roll. Character creation is by choosing one of 25 archetypes, which defines your base attributes and a general skill ("thing they're good at"). You choose one additional skill, and may optionally raise one attribute by 1 and lower another by 1.
1st ed by Clint Krause (2007) Clint Krause Games
A short modern fantasy RPG based on the independent film of the same name by John Harlacher. It is set in an underground haven for the homeless beneath Manhattan called Scum City. The place is ruled by a figure called the Old Man, who has promised to lead the inhabitants to a paradise within the hollow earth once he finds five noble souls. It uses a simple original system intended to force players to be proactive.
Usagi Yojimbo
1st ed by Greg Stolze (1997) Gold Rush Games
An RPG set in 17th century Japan, based on the anthropomorphic animal comic books by Stan Sakai about a deadly rabbit ronin. The inhabitants are all anthropomorphic animals in an otherwise fairly historical setting. It uses the Instant Fuzion system. The system includes 4 attributes, 11 races (i.e. animal species), and 9 job packages. This is unrelated from the later RPG adaptation, Usagi Yojimbo by Jason Holmgren and Pieter van Hiel for Sanguine Productions.
The Usagi Yojimbo Role-Playing Game
1st ed by Jason Holmgren, Pieter van Hiel (2005) Sanguine Productions
An RPG set in 17th century Japan, based on the anthropomorphic animal comic books by Stan Sakai about a deadly rabbit ronin -- the second RPG adaptation, after Greg Stolze's game Usagi Yojimbo for Gold Rush Games. The inhabitants are all anthropomorphic animals in an otherwise fairly historical setting. It uses a modified version of the step-die system from the Ironclaw game.
1st ed by Bob King (1976) Blackhawk Games
A silly prehistoric RPG emphasizing cavemen vs dinosaur combat.

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Thu Apr 14 22:02:47 2016