RPG Encyclopedia: B
Babylon 5: Roleplaying Game and Fact Book
- 1st ed by Matthew Sprange (2003) Mongoose Publishing
- 2nd ed (2006)
A sci-fi game based on the TV series "Babylon 5". It uses a variant
of the rules from third edition
Dungeons & Dragons
(aka d20). The book is not a complete game, and requires the D&D
Players Handbook for character generation, skills, and experience.
It includes descriptions for six races and eight classes, plus
modified combat rules and rules for telepathy and spacecraft battles.
The Babylon Project
- 1st ed by Joseph Cochran (1997) Chameleon Eclectic
A sci-fi game based on the TV series "Babylon 5". The rules are
reasonably laid out, with a straightforward skill-based system.
The combat system is fairly complex, with a hex-pattern hit
location chart and a table relating damage amount and type.
- 1st ed by Paul Czege (2005) Half-Meme Press
A mini-RPG about a night of madness in 61 A.D., in the Italian harbour town of Puteoli. The god Bacchus and his satyrs have descended from the hills to induce an irresistable madness of drunkenness, violent crime, and lust. Three other gods are also present: Venus, goddess of love and lust; Pluto, who has come to see the most base crimes of men; and Minerva, enraged by the mindless brutality and of a mind to put a stop to it. The PCs have each been accused of a crime against the empire, and they need to find their lost companion and flee Puteoli before they are caught and killed by the soldiers that are looking for them. The game consists of rolling a handful of dice, with different dice representing the gods, the soldiers, the companion, and wine. Depending on which die is highest, the player is given directions to narrate the scene.
BARBAREN! The Ultimate Macho Role Playing Game
- 1st (German) ed by Frank Tarcikowski (2009) Vagrant Workshop
- 1st (English) ed by Frank Tarcikowski (2011) Vagrant Workshop
A satirical fantasy RPG that describes itself as going "far beyond the
limits of good taste" - where the PCs are giant barbarian men filled
with raging testosterone, and the rules focus on both fighting and
seduction. Character creation is a mix of point-based and
random-roll, and there is only one core attribute - Virility.
All PCs have a Virility of 3. The players then split 25 points
between the secondary stats Dangerous and Attractive, which are
spent to take actions in fighting or seduction (respectively), and
are lost by being being wounded or refused. Players roll 1d6 each for
their initial pools of Aggro and Horny points that can be spent for
bonus dice. They select 7 tricks - one-shot abilities such as
"double strike" or "electrifying touch". Players also define 3
free-form Strengths (or 4 Strengths and 1 Weakness) along with
2 Character Traits, a Goal in Life, and 2-3 Bonds to NPCs (including
desire, rivalry, and/or oath). Resolution is by rolling d6s equal
to Virility, plus 1 die for describing the scene well, plus 1 die
for using a tactical advantage, plus dice supplied by character
aiding you, and modifying dice for Strengths, Weaknesses, or Bonds.
Aggro points can be spent for bonus dice in fighting, and are gained
through sex. Horny points can be spent for bonus dice in seduction,
and are gained by fighting.
Barbarians of Lemuria
- 1st ed by Simon Washbourne (2008) Beyond Belief Games
- Legendary ed (2009)
A swords & sorcery fantasy RPG, inspired by primarily by
Lin Carter's Thongor of Lemuria series along with Conan, Elric, and
Fafhrd & The Grey Mouser. It is set in an archetypal
world (Lemuria) that is just recovering from a final war against
the sorcerer-kings who had ruled for centuries. Along with humans,
there are nomadic blue-skinned giants (Ceruleans), savage jungle-dwelling
apemen (Grooth), and secretive birdmen (Haklaton). It uses its own
system. Resolution calls for combining 2d6 + attribute - difficulty,
where 9 and above is a success. Hero Points can be spent to re-roll
dice, raise level of success, cheat death, and even change game-world
facts (with GM permission). Character creation is limited point-based.
The player distributes 4 points among the four main attributes
(Strength, Agility, Mind and Appeal) and 4 points among the combat
abilities (Brawl, Melee, Ranged and Defence); selects 4 careers from
a provided list; then selects a place of origin and either one
trait/advantage or two traits/advantages and a flaw. It includes
a freeform magic system for sorcery, gods, and alchemy.
- 1st ed by Nathan J. Hill (2005) Key 20 Publishing
Mystic Ages Online
A mini-roleplaying game about medieval fantasy barbarians fighting reptilian invaders from beyond the stars.
Barony Fantasy Role-Play
- 1st ed by Joseph Hillmer, George Rahm (1993) Better Games
An oriental fantasy RPG, published in magazine format in three
books. One book handles character creation and basic mechanics,
one book walks GMs through developing scenarios, and the last one
is on dragon battles. It uses the "Free-Style Roleplay" system
from Crimson Cutlass.
Reviewed in White Wolf #26.
- 1st ed by Sergi Latorre (2000) La Factoría de Ideas
- 2nd ed (2001)
A humorous Spanish-language modern-day RPG. The setting can be your
own city and district. PCs are the everydays people who you can see at
the streets, frequently dealing with the illegality. Pickpockets, cops,
pimps, whores, students, etc.
BASH! Basic Action Super Heroes
- 1st ed by Chris Rutkowsky (2005) Basic Action Games
- Ultimate ed (2009)
A superhero RPG with a simple system. Action resolution is by
rolling 2d6 (with doubles open-ending), multiplying by attribute (1-5),
adding modifiers, and comparing with difficulty. Skills are binary --
lacking a skill means -4 on the die roll before multiplying.
In combat, if a hit is scored, the damage is the difference between
a damage roll (usually Brawn + attack bonuses) and a soak roll
(usually Brawn + Armor). Character creation is limited point-based.
First, spread 7 points among the three attributes (Brawn, Agility,
and Mind). Second, spread 9 points on powers. Third, pick a number
of Agility skills equal to Agility, and Mind skills equal to Mind.
- 1st ed by Chris Rutkowsky (2005) Basic Action Games
A fantasy RPG using a variant of the system in
- 1st ed by Greg Stafford, Lynn Willis (1980) Chaosium
- 1st ed by Jason Durall, Sam Johnson, Steve Perrin, Steve Hedrickson, Ray Turney (2008) Chaosium
This is a short universal RPG system, although as originally
published it only supported fantasy or early history. The
original booklet was intended as an introduction for beginners
to Chaosium's RuneQuest,
Call of Cthulhu,
and Stormbringer games.
These used roughly the same system which BRP explained. BRP is a
percentile skill system: roll under skill(0-100) on percentile
dice, or roll on the "resistance table" for attribute (3-18) vs
difficulty. Character creation is random-roll attributes. In
the introductory booklet, skills are fixed but can be improved
with experience. In 1982, the booklet was packaged with 3 genre
books in Worlds of Wonder.
- 1st ed by Jack A. Barker, Greg Gorden, Ray Winninger (1988) Mayfair Games
- 2nd ed by Ray Winninger (1989)
A superhero RPG based on playing characters from the "Batman"
comic series from DC Comics. It used a "lite" version of the
DC Heroes system (aka MEGS).
- 1st ed by Donald E. Olson, K. Douglas Woolsey (2004) Sixteen Coal Black Horses
- Reforged ed (2006)
A fantasy RPG set on the war-ravaged world of Mordredica, an ancient
battlefield of the Gods and prison of the Forty Sorcerers. It is
inhabited by races including human, elf, dwarf, orc, and wulfir
(wolf-men). Character creation is a mix of random-roll and limited
point-based. The six attributes (Vigor, Action, Conviction, Savvy,
Imagination, and Fortitude) are each determined by (racial base) + 2d6,
after which from 4 to 10 points can be moved between attributes.
A profession can be determined by a die roll or choice, and a choice
of Mastery (Warrior, Ranger, or Mage). Resolution is by rolling under
a target number based on attribute using 1d20, with roll - target number
for the level of success ("span").
- 1st ed by Joseph Hillmer, George Rahm (1992) Better Games
A sci-fi mini-RPG published in Space Gamer magazine,
issue #1. It is based on a portion of the space marine
RPG Era Ten.
Battlelords of the 23rd Century
- 1st ed by Lawrence R. Sims (1990) Optimus
- 2nd ed (1991)
- 3rd ed (1992)
- 4th ed (1993)
- 5th ed (1999)
A "deep space" sci-fi RPG that focuses on an Alliance of 27
alien races who desperately seek to ward off the threat of
internal destruction while simultaneously exploring the vast
uncharted regions of space. It uses a d100, skill-based
system. Reviewed in White Wolf #35.
- 1st ed by Chris Norman, Jody Ellis (1988) Archive Gaming Pty Ltd
A generic fantasy RPG produced in Australia. It has no specific
setting, though it does have a bestiary and references to various
worlds of experience including natural, ethereal, hades, limbo,
and cosmos. The system uses classes, levels, and experience points.
Skills include general and class-specific, and are resolved by
rolling under skill on percentile dice. Combat is resolved by
skill rolls, with armor reducing the damage of hits. It includes
a magic system where spells require power points, mana, or both -
and may be subject to Karmic Influence, a luck attribute.
The basic game has a bestiary with monsters including a giant
Battlestar Galactica Role Playing Game
- 1st ed by Jamie Chambers, James Davenport, Sean Everette, Patrick Kapera, Nathan Rockwood, Floyd C. Wesel (2007) Margaret Weis Productions
A space opera RPG based on the modern television series created by
Ronald D. Moore that started in 2004. It uses the "Cortex" system
adapted from the Sovereign Stone
fantasy system and
Attributes and skills are rated in a a step die
system with twelve ranks: d2, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d12+d2, d12+d4,
d12+d6, d12+d8, d12+d10, d12+d12. Action resolution is by rolling
attribute die plus skill die. Characters have six attributes (Agility,
Strength, Vitality, Alertness, Intelligence, Willpower), along with
skills and advantages. It also includes a plot point mechanic.
Plot Points can be spent before a roll for an extra die (costing 1
per rank), after the roll to raise the total (costing 1 per +1),
or to manipulate the story (scaled from 1-3 for convenient coincidence
to 11+ for "saving your bacon").
- 1st ed by Jeff Siadek, Jason Siadek (2004) Gorilla Games
A mixed boardgame and role-playing game which integrates character
actions with spaceship actions. Players track their characters'
positions on the spaceship layouts (also used for boarding actions)
and the ships' positions on the hex map. If you want the ship to
turn or speed up, a character has to take an action to make it so.
If you want the ship's guns to fire at an enemy ship, a character
has to take an action to fire the guns. Character creation uses
six species and four professions (Pilot, Marine, Scientist, and
Battletech: A Time of War
- 1st ed by Herbert A. Beas II (2010) Catalyst Game Labs
A sci-fi RPG in the world of the Battletech
boardgame, set in a 31st century where constant wars are fought
by giant robots - a successor to the earlier
Resolution uses 2d6 + skill + modifiers vs. difficulty, possibly
modified by burning Edge points before or after the roll.
Character creation is limited point-based.
Beach Bunny Bimbos with Blasters
- 1st ed by Richard Tucholka (1991) Tri-Tac Games
A humorous sci-fi RPG of alien invasion (a take-off of BTRC's
Macho Women with Guns).
Martians are taking over, reviving the horrors of plastic
flamingos and Disco, and only California beach bunnies can spot
them (due to their uncluttered brains). It uses a percentile
skill system (roll under skill on d100), with mixed random-roll
and point-bought character creation.
- 1st ed by Christian Griffen, Lisa Griffen (2007) Berengad Games
A game for two players set in an original fantasy setting where
tribal hunters stalk mythical beasts through jungles -- combined
with mystic rituals and spirits.
Beasts, Men, & Gods
- 1st ed by Bill Underwood (1980) Imagination Unlimited
Imagination Unlimited The Game Masters
- 2nd ed by Bill Underwood (2011) Wunderwood LLC
A fantasy RPG. Character creation has combined classes and races
D&D). Advancement is level-based.
It was a small-press offering published locally in Kansas.
Beat to Quarters
- 1st ed by Neil Gow (2009) Omnihedron Games
A role-playing game of naval action in the Napaleonic era. The resolution
system is based on playing cards, where each player has their own deck of
cards. The players draws a pool of cards based on stat to resolve an
entire combat or other conflict, where each card that beats a
randomly-drawn "Card of Fate" is one success. Play is structured
around mechanically-defined missions. The system also includes
mechanics for social advancement, ship-to-ship combat, weather, and grog.
Character creation uses a lifepath system.
- 1st ed by W. Austin Bookheimer, John LeBoeuf-Little, Kit La Touche (2011) Transneptune Games
A role-playing game designed for the genre of epic fantasy, with
story-oriented mechanics. It uses freeform traits, which add to
make a d6 dice pool used to resolve conflicts. In addition to determining
success, players may still gain things if they lose a conflict and/or
may get new traits to use later. Players also have beads for "destiny"
and "doom". These are used to fuel threads (meta-story effects) or
to modify conflicts. The character has an "arc" like Lost King for
Aragorn or Dutybound for Frodo. If a player follows their arc, they gain
benefits including new threads or more beads. Character creation is
by picking 8 primary traits (descriptors of the character), 3 ties
(relationships to other people), 3 circumstances (starting situations
the character is in), 1 virtue (determining when to get beads of
destiny/doom), 1 arc and 4 threads.
Behind Enemy Lines
- 1st ed by William H. Keith, Jr., Jordan Weisman, Ross Babcock, Eric Turn, Steve Turn (1982) FASA
- 2nd ed (1985) The Companions
A military RPG set in WWII on the Western front. The
system is similar to the original
- 1st ed by Laurent Tremel (1989) Siroz / Ideojeux
- 2nd ed (1995)
A French-language dark-future RPG, where the PC's are police
in a nightmarish city's worst bourough (Sector 18). This had
several releases, the first ones being part of the
Best Friends: A Role-Playing Game About Girlfriends And All Their Petty Hatreds
- 1st ed by Gregor Hutton (2006) BoxNinja
A game where the PCs are "best friends". There are five stats: Pretty,
Cool, Smart, Tough, and Rich. Each PC's stats are set by how all the
other players rate your character. Each player answers five questions
for her PC, of the form "I hate _____ because she is
(Prettier/Cooler/etc.) than me". Then the number of PCs who hate
your character for how Cool she is becomes that PC's Cool stat.
Beyond Mortal Men
- 1st ed by Christopher Helton (2005) Battlefield Press
A superhero RPG rules system. This is strictly speaking a supplement
for use with the Action! System
from Gold Rush Games.
Beyond the Supernatural
- 1st ed by Randy McCall, Kevin Siembieda, Erick Wujcik (1988) Palladium Books
- 2nd ed (2005) Palladium Books
A contemporary horror RPG, using a variant of the
It includes supernatural and psychic powers, plus a magic system
(including ley lines).
- Volume 1: Faerie ed (1977) L.W.Felstead Ltd
- Volume 2: Combat ed (1978) Skytrex Ltd.
- Volume 3: Magic ed (1978) Skytrex Ltd.
- Volume 4 ed by A.R. Chandler, B.D. Cooper, G.D. Evans, J. le Grabbe-Phipps, D.R. Henderson, G.J. Philp, A.R. Williamson (1979) Skytrex Ltd.
- Bifrost ed by K. White, K. Minear, S. Johnson, G. Highley (1982) Skytrex Ltd.
A medieval fantasy miniatures combat system and RPG, using a
fairly complex system. Originally published as a series of four
separate rulebook volumes. These were eventually expanded and
combined into a single volume, published in 1982. In addition to
combat and characters, the system covers planar travel and divine
intervention. Volume 1 ("Faerie") is 74 pages staple-bound with a
dark blue cover with white illustration of a dragon. Volume 2 ("Combat")
is 36 pages staple-bound with a light blue cover with white
illustration of castle. Volume 3 ("Magic") is 84 loose pages
with a purple cover with illustration of wizard. Volume 4 is
90 pages glue-bound, with a yellow cover with a black illustration
of a goblin-like creature. Volume 4 contains rules on unarmed,
mounted, and aerial combat, horses, fatigue, firearms and literacy,
plus creature descriptions.
Big Bang Comics Role-Playing Game
- 1st ed by Chris Carter (2006) Pisces All Media
A superhero RPG based on the series of comic books of the same name,
a retro take-off series of many classic comics of the Golden Age and
Silver Age, founded by Gary Carlson. It is a standalone game using
a variant of the D20 System used by 3rd edition
called the Golden System. It uses the standard ability scores, levels,
attacks and skills, and class mechanics -- while adding disadvantages
("Negative Feats") that allow a bonus feat, as well as a large selection
of 200+ new feats including various superheroic abilities. The core book
includes statistics for many of the Big Bang characters -- the Blitz,
Ultiman, Knight Watchman, Thunder Girl, and others -- as well as
background on the universe, gadget rules, mass combat and vehicle
combat rules, and alternate dimensions.
Big Eyes, Small Mouth
- 1st ed by Mark MacKinnon (1997) Guardians of Order
- 2nd ed by David L. Pulver, Mark MacKinnon (2000)
A universal Japanese anime role-playing game, intended to cover
subgenres from giant mecha to romantic comedy. It has a very
simple system (the "Tri-Stat" system) with three attributes and
ads/disads -- the base game has no skills. Action resolution is
by 2d6 against modified attribute. The 2nd edition incorporated
skill rules, lots of advantages/disadvantages, and mecha rules
into the core rulebook.
- 1st ed by Bertrand Triplet (1988) self-published
- 2nd ed (1990) Les Silmarils
A French-language universal mini-RPG with minimalist rules that
fit on a single page. Character creation is either point-based or
random-roll attributes. It included an advertisement for a
Hollow Earth setting.
- 1st ed by Croc (1985) self-published
- 2nd ed (1986)
- 3rd ed (1989) Siroz / Ideojeux
- Mk5 ed (1992)
A French-language post-apocalyptic RPG in the genre of Mad
Max. The first game of Croc, one of France's famous game
The Bizenghast Adventure Game
- 1st ed by Clint Krause (2008) KNRPG Productions
A urban fantasy/horror RPG based on the manga series created by
M. Alice LeGrow and published by Tokyopop. The player characters
are agents of the afterlife - including humans, inhumans, and spirits -
charged with hunting ghosts, resolving their problems, and sending
them on to the next world. It uses the "Epiphany Engine" game system.
Resolution uses rolling under attribute on 1d20, and if the roll exactly
matches the rating is raised by one (called an epiphany).
- 1st ed by Stew Wilson (2012) Zero Point Information
A roleplaying game in the genre of stealth action technothriller games
like Deus Ex, Alpha Protocol, and Splinter Cell. The player characters
work for an independent espionage organisation, Black Seven, set ten
minutes in the future. Action resolution is by rolling 2d6 and adding
an action number. A total of 11 or above is success, while 10 or lower
is failure. It has an abstract system for breaking into Facilities
without using maps. The Facility has a Threat Level ranging from 3 to 5,
and failed rolls can affect the level via the temporary status traits
Noticed and Exposed.
The Black Spot
- 1st ed by Mark Silcox (2009) Grasshopper Games
A horror genre storytelling game for 3 to 8 players inspired by the films
of Sam Raimi, George Romero, and Wes Craven. It uses a special deck of
80 Plot Cards along with 8 Backstory Cards and 8 Escape! Cards.
It also uses 1d20 but only for choosing a random name, trait, and
occupation for each character. A single deck is assembled - taking
Backstory and Escape! cards equal to the number of players, and Plot
cards based on number of players and desired number of rounds.
Each turn, every player is dealt a card and then each player in turn
narrates for a short time following instructions for that card type.
The basic game includes nine scenarios.
Blackwatch Technical Reference Manual
- 1st ed by Ted Greer, Peter Christian (1989) Different Worlds Publications
A spacefaring sci-fi RPG, about members of a freelance
trouble-shooting organizations ("Blackwatch"). Besides humans,
there are 4 alien races described. It uses a skill-based system,
including rules for starship combat and robots.
Blade & Crown
- 1st ed by Rachel Kronick (2012) self-published
A fantasy roleplaying game using a detailed skill-based system.
Action resolution is by rolling a pool of d10s based on skill, along
with a single d12 that provides flavor for the result. Character
creation includes 12 basic attributes along with freeform traits and
Blade of Arcana
- 1st ed by Taro Suzubuki (1999) F.E.A.R.
- 2nd ed (2001)
A Japanese-language mythic fantasy RPG. It includes a special
tarot deck with the basic rules.
Blazing Rose: A Story Game of Romantic Rivalry
- Ashcan ed by Edward "Sabe" Jones (2009) self-published
A collaborative storytelling game for three to six players, about a
group of friends vying for the affection of a common Beloved.
It usese playing card mechanics, where conflicts are resolved using
special trick-taking rules. Each player plays a card face-down and
states a Hope, then reveal their cards. The player with the highest
card not greater than their attribute takes the trick, then distributes
the cards to the other players to change their Affection stat.
- Ignition ed by Ben Lehman (2007) Tao Games
- Interim ed (2009)
A post-apocalyptic sci-fi role-playing game for 2-7 players. The Earth
has been occupied by alien invaders and all adults have been put into
comas by psychic alien technology. The player characters are teenage
resistance fighters (age 13 to 17) battling an alien occupation on a
psychic plane using giant robots (ANIMa). A core part of the mechanics is
that the robot's power comes from the pilot's relationships - especially
sexual ones. Each relationship is measured by two ratings: Intimacy
and Trust. It uses a d6 (or Fudge dice) dice pool system, broken into
mechanics for missions and interludes. During a mission, the mecha
pilot rolls dice equal to total Intimacy of relationships allocates
them to categories. Damage may occur by inflicting Stress on relationships
or Trauma. In interludes, relationships can be modified as well as
Stress or Trauma relieved.
Blood: The Roleplaying Game of Modern Horror
- 1st ed by Norley Tucker, Stephen Osborn (1990) Underground Games
- 1st ed by James Desborough (2006) Postmortem Studios
A modern-day horror RPG where PC's face various film-based
creatures including zombies, Angels of Pain (from Hellraiser),
Candarion Demons (from Evil Dead), The Blob (from the film of the
same name). It uses a percentile system. Character creation is
d100 for each attribute, and skills chosen by a career package
plus points based on attributes. The combat system is quite
gory, with 400+ weapons and 25 critical hit tables. It is a 112
page book, with 2 scenarios to help you get started.
Blood & Honor: Samurai Tragedy in Old Japan
- 1st ed by John Wick (2010) Wicked Dead Brewing Company
A semi-historical game set in an unspecified period of medieval Japan.
The player characters are generally samurai. It uses a dice pool system
that adapts Aspects from the FATE system in
Spirit of the Century.
The player rolls a number of d6s equal to attribute plus 3 dice for
each aspect invoked. If the total is over 10 or the opponent's roll,
the character succeeds and the player can narrate what happens. There
is also a wager system that lets the player remove a die for a chance
at more narrative power.
- 1st ed by Rick Slawson, Troy Christensen (1989) TC International
A fantasy mini-RPG set on the barbaric world of Helboria. The
PC's are warriors who explore this world, while killing stuff
along the way. The combat system is based on a hex-map, and
includes graphic descriptions with various critical hits.
It uses "Bodily Mutilation Capacity" in place of hit points.
Published in a set of 24-page rulebook (complete with a sample
dungeon adventure), a world map, hex grid map, and counters.
A companion game, Bloodchant, added spellcasting rules to the
- 1st ed by Lawrence R. Sims (1996) Optimus
A post-nuclear-apocalypse science fantasy RPG set 60 years after
the devastation, in a world of "magic, mutations, and machines".
The PC's are prophets seeking to restore civilization from the
reigning barbarism. It uses a basic roll-under-stat with
modifiers. Character creation is limited point-bought.
- 1st ed by Todd Downing (1999) Deep7
- XPG ed by Todd Downing, John Sullivan, Mark Bruno (2002)
- Diceless ed (2004)
A mini-game of swashbuckling pirate action, set in a historical pastiche
of varied periods from the Age of Exploration and the golden age of
piracy. The original game used the 1PG rules from Deep7, where
resolution is rolling 1d6 and getting under attribute or skill, where
1 is always success and 6 is always failure. Later editions used the
"XPG" system and then later the
Active Exploits Diceless Roleplaying rules. The last
includes new rules for Mojo and Naval Combat.
Blood Games: Occult Horror Role-playing
- 1st ed by clash bowley, Jason Ludwig, Wesley Fornero (2004) Flying Mice LLC
A modern-day horror RPG, set in an alternate reality where a evil
demons are rampaging. In the past, a god-like figure ("Norandon")
saved mankind from the demons, giving humans magic. However, Science
has eroded the belief which is necessary for magic, via a process
called "Nullity". There is no great conspiracy, but scattered hunters
work for the Force of Light to fight vampires and demons. The rules
use a percentile skill-based system. Character creation has
random-roll attributes and a lifepath mechanic for each year over 10,
which generates skills, metaskills, and attribute improvements.
Characters may have a "path" -- which are supernatural powers of a
variety of sorts. The second edition ("Blood Games II") uses a
version of the "StarPool" system, where resolution is by rolling
d20s equal to skill, where every result under attribute is a success.
- 1st ed by Croc (1991) Siroz/Ideojeux
A French-language heroic fantasy game, set on the fantasy
continent of Tanaephis -- a violent and wild land.
Blood of Heroes
- 1st ed by Tony Oliveira, Ray Hedman, Joshua Marquart, Christopher Tatro (1998) Pulsar
A superhero/supervillian RPG. It uses the "MEGS" system from
DC Heroes, where everything
is rated in exponential "AP" values. Actions are resolved by
rolling 2d10 on a universal table of offensive AP vs defensive AP.
- 1st ed by Elizabeth Shoemaker (2010) Two Scooters Press
A modern-day thriller RPG inspired by the television series "Burn Notice"
as well as the Bourne trilogy movies. Each player creates one Professional -
a spy/operative who have been blacklisted - and one Civilian connected to
another player's Professional. Character creation is choosing a type
of Professional (general "Lifer" or specialized "Artist") and distributing
four values among the four attributes: Commando, Diversion, Pavement,
Provocateur. Players also distribute a set of values among rated
Relationships, as well as picking background details. The players
collectively determine the job they did together that went wrong to
get all the Professionals blacklisted. Play is divided into two large
phases: Analysis and Operation. Resolution involves either taking a
fixed number of successes equal to half of stat, or rolling d6s equal
to stat where 4-6 is a success. All successes during the Analysis phase
are kept as dice to be used in Operation phase. In addition, the
number of success dice minus failed dice is a modifier to the next roll
on that stat, called Momentum.
- 1st ed by Jeff Barber, Greg Benage, John Snead, Jason Werner (1997) Biohazard Games
- 2nd ed (2000) Fantasy Flight Games
- Revised ed by Jeffrey Barber, Greg Benage, Allan T. Grohe Jr., Greg Porter, Brian Schoner, John Snead, Mark Stout, James Sutton, Jason Werner, Andrew Whincup (2012) RedBrick LLC
A post-ecological-apocalypse game set on a lush alien world nearly
entirely ocean-covered. The majority of the very thick book is a
very detailed description of the world, history, and culture.
It is set in a future where Earth discovers a wormhole just outside
the solar system which leads to a waterworld dubbed "Poseidon".
Colonization had just begun, spurred by the discovery of a
longevity ore called "Long John". Contact is interrupted by a
catastrophic grain blight on Earth, leading to 75 years of rough
independent life for the colonists. The 1st edition rule system
is a semi-complex percentile skill-based system. The 2nd edition
has a completely new system which uses dice pools: roll d10's equal
to your aptitude (1 to 3), take the lowest roll, and try to get less
than your attribute+skill+modifiers. In both, character creation is
semi-random attributes and point-bought skills.
Blue Rose: The Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy
- 1st ed by Jeremy Crawford, Dawn Elliott, Steve Kenson, John Snead (2005) Green Ronin Publishing
A fantasy genre game set on an original world, Aldea. It is
populated by various races including the ancient and mystical Vata,
the Sea-folk; the Night People; and the Rhydan (psychic intelligent
animals). The rules are a standalone system (the "True20" system)
loosely based on the D20 System used by 3rd edition
adding in rules variations from
Masterminds. There are only three core classes: adept,
expert, and warrior -- and variety instead comes from more and
more variety of feats. It also includes a wound track damage system
based on a 1d20 roll to resist damage, and a new magic system based
on feats, where spells cost fatigue. The combat system is modified
to remove full-round attacks and attacks of opportunity, and adding
some non-attack options.
Bob, Lord of Evil
- 1st ed by Kevin Davies (1993) Peregrine
A humorous RPG set in the "Dark Lands" with a techno- fantasy
horror theme. The game is intended particularly for characters
from other game universes to drop in for light-hearted
- 1st ed by Ashok Desai (2010) Sane Studios
A role-playing game of personal horror, set in the modern world including
psychic phenomena such as ghosts, spirits, and psychics. The Bogeyman
is contained within the minds of the player characters, controlled by
the GM and released by three moments - sin, madness, or tragedy.
The rules use playing cards, with each player needing their own deck
and the game master needing two. Players each get a hand of five cards,
and must play all five in separate tests before refreshing, unless they
play a joker. Resolution is by card number plus stat versus a difficulty
number. The rules include both physical and social combat and damage.
Bones the Role Playing Game
- 1st ed by Andrew J. Martone (2004) Peregrine
A fantasy role playing game in which characters, monsters,
equipment, and obstacles are all represented by customized
six-sided dice. These can be made by gluing printed icon sheets
onto dice, marking on blank dice, or simulated with a computerized
dice roller utility. Each die has icons such as "Universal Success",
"Physical Success", "Mental Success", "Universal Hindrance",
"Damage", and many icons for skills, magic, and special
circumstances. Action resolution is by rolling your set of
dice and counting applicable success icons, compared to the
result of Challenge dice (if unopposed) or the opposed entity's
dice (if opposed). Challenge dice have 2 out of 6 faces as "Null"
which cancels one success. Character creation is open point-based
of a sort: the player chooses icons for his four starting dice.
One face is always "Universal Success", and one face is either
"Physical Success" or "Mental Success", while the other four are
freely chosen from the other choices.
The Book of Jalan
- 1st ed by Albert Bailey, clash bowley, Klaxon Bowley (2004) Flying Mice LLC
A fantasy game set on a Renaissance-to-Restoration era alien world
where humanity has magic-like psionic powers. This is a standalone
fantasy variant of the science fiction RPG
There are four races: human, Alari (humanoids with supernaturally
deep but engrossing memories), Khali (orc-like barbarians), and
Bani (short, agile miners). It uses a percentile skill-based system.
Character creation has either random-roll or point-based attributes;
and a lifepath mechanic for each year over 10, which generates skills,
metaskills, and attribute improvements.
The Book of LARP
- 1st ed by Mike Young, Gordon Olmstead-Dean, Miki Tracey, Mike Pohjola, Jeff Diewald, Ryan Markle, Sandy Antunes, Mike Beddes, John Kammer, John Kilgallon (2003) Interactivities, Inc.
A guide to writing and running live-action role-playing games (LARPs).
It includes six sample games: "Trapped", "All the President's Zombies",
"I Shall Not Want", "Michael Clambino's Fundraiser", "Humans vs
Monsters: Diplomacy", and "Lost in the Stacks".
The Boomtown Planet
- 1st ed by Richard Parkinson (2005) Better Mousetrap Games
- "Saturday" ed (2007)
A pulp style RPG set in the fictional city of Boomtown during the
"Dirty 30s" of the U.S. -- with a focus on investigative reporting
for its daily newspaper, the Planet. It is an over-the-top setting
with ghosts and other supernatural influences, where there are only
two countries: the corrupt Capital State and warmongering
Klankeruberalles. It uses a dice pool system where you roll
either your attributes in d6s (if you have the appropriate skill)
or 1d6 (if you don't); and also declare odds or evens. The
number of successes is the number of dice over the difficulty
and matching your odd/even call. The six attributes are Strength,
Endurance, Fortitude, Perception, Essence, and Agility. There is
no character generation system -- only sixteen pre-generated members
of the Boomtown Planet's staff.
- 1st ed by Gary Gygax, Brian Blume (1975) TSR
- 2nd ed (1979)
- 3rd ed by Steve Winter (1990)
An early western RPG. It uses a mostly percentile resolution system.
Character creation uses random-roll attributes (Strength, Coordination,
Observation, Stature, and Luck) in the 1-20 range. Skills are
point-bought with points based on your attributes. The third edition
majorly changed the system, revising resolution to use only d6's and
d20's instead of percentile rolls. There was a GM's screen and five
32-page adventure modules published for it from 1981 to 1984:
"Mad Mesa", "Ballots & Bullets", "Lost Conquistador Mine",
"Burned Bush Wells", and "Range War".
- 1st ed by Bruno Merandon (1992) Le Korrigan
A French-language pirate RPG.
Bounty Head Bebop
- 1st ed by JP deHénaut (2008) Heroic Journey Publishing
A sci-fi RPG set in a gritty near future where the solar system has
been colonized, but lawlessness is rampant in the Solar Frontier.
It is loosely based on the anime series Cowboy Bebop. It uses the
"Inverted 20" system that partly derives from D20, but resolves by
rolling 1d20 under a target number modified by ability, skill, and/or
difficulty. Attributes are rated from 1 to 5, and derive Initiative,
Movement, Saves, Wounds, and Vitality points. There are also skills -
divided into General, Combat, and Specialty - as well as binary Edges
and Flaws. Characters start with 3 Edges and may take 3 more by
taking corresponding Flaws. The system also includes psychic/feng
shui powers. Combat is simple, and you can optionally use the same
roll for hit and damage.
Bram Stoker's Dracula
- 1st ed by Barry Nakazano, David McKenzie (1993) Leading Edge
A cinematic vampire-hunting game covering periods from medieval
to the present, based on the 1992 film. It's mechanics include
the accumulation of "Clue Points" which allow the PC's to
progress to the "Search Stage" and "Confrontation Stage" with
various random encounters along the way. The system has an
extremely simplified version of the combat rules in
which is still quite complex.
Brave New World
- 1st ed by Matt Forbeck (1999) Pinnacle
- 2nd ed (2000) Alderac Entertainment Group
A superhero game in an alternate timeline, where the heroes are
"deltas" that are fighting against a repressive U.S. government.
Powers are handled by pre-building power packages (10 given in
the basic game). The system is a fairly simple open-ended
attribute+skill dice pool (d6) vs difficulty, similar to the D6
or Icon Systems.
Breaking the Ice: A Game about Love, for Two
- 1st ed by Emily Care Boss (2005) Black & Green Games
A game of romance designed for two players. Each of the two players creates a character which is in some ways a reversal of themselves -- such as another gender, culture, or orientation. After playing out three dates, the players add up their characters' Compatibilities and Attraction Levels. In general, five or more of both is Love Triumphant, but players are encouraged to discuss things. Players take turns gamemastering the date for each other, awarding dice to roll for those Levels based on story events, cleverness, and agreeing to the GM's ideas. The game awards dice for letting complications mess up your character's date, or otherwise adding in twists.
- 1st ed by Jeff Mejia, James Stubbs, Todd Downing (2007) Deep7
A 16-page self-styled "beer & pretzels" RPG emulating fantasy
barbarian movies of the 1970s and 1980s, such as "Conan" and
"Hawk the Slayer". It uses the 1PG mechanics from other Deep7 games.
Action resolution is rolling 1d6 and getting under attribute or skill,
where 1 is always success and 6 is always failure. This game adds brief
systems for "advantages" and "magic", and also includes nine 1-page
- 1st ed by Benjamin Wright, David Ackerman-Gray (1997) R Talsorian
A cyberpunk RPG based on the Japanese anime series, including a
lot of background information on the show. It uses the
- 1st ed by Carl Smith (1979) Adversary Games
A pirate mini-RPG (16 pages), covering 17th and 18th centuries.
The terse rules cover character creation, man-to-man and
ship-to-ship combat, and treasure-hoarding.
Buck Rogers: XXVc
- 1st ed by Mike Cook, Michael Dobson, Jeff Grubb, Jim Ward, Warren Spector, Jeff Butler (1990) TSR
A sci-fi RPG loosely based on the comic and TV series, rewriting
significant background. The setting is post-apocalyptic, with many
dark elements. In 2456, Earth is devastated by war and recently
freed from the tyrrany of Russo-American Mercantile (RAM) by the
New Earth Order (NEO) and, of course, Buck Rogers. It uses a
variant of the AD&D system with a more advanced skill system.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- 1st ed by C.J. Carella (2002) Eden Studios
A modern-day monster-fighting RPG based on the U.S. television series.
It uses the skill-based "Unisystem" from
open point-based character creation and resolution by stat+d10
vs difficulty. There are two basic character types: heroes (like
Buffy) and "white hats" (like Willow and Xander).
- 1st ed by Brennan Taylor, C. Austin Hogan, David Sklar, A.J. Hernandez, Jeremy Simmons (2004) Galileo Games
- 2nd ed (2011) Galileo Games
A science fiction / space opera game. The first edition was published
as a supplement for third edition
Dungeons & Dragons
(aka d20). It is set in a distant small galaxy. It includes ten races,
including a colorful near-human race, the Arsurbans. There are six
new primary classes, including Bounty Hunter, Space Pilot, Engineer,
and Space Pirate. It also includes starship combat rules.
Bunnies and Burrows
- 1st ed by Scott Robinson, B. Dennis Sustare (1976) FGU
- 2nd ed (1982)
A rabbit-adventure RPG in the genre of the Richard Adam's novel
Watership Down. It uses class-based character
creation, including herbalists (capable of concoctions like
"Snuffball" sleep grenades), seers, and empathic healers.
It has a rudimentary skill system and even martial arts rules
(the humorous "Bunfoo").
Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic
- 1st ed by Richard Tucholka, Chris Belting (1983) Tri-Tac Games
- 2nd ed (1984)
- 3rd ed (1990)
A light-hearted supernatural conspiracy game about agents of a
super-secret U.S. government agency dedicated to hunting down
evil supernatural creatures while also protecting innocent
supernaturals by keeping them secret. The system is fairly
complex, including extensive damage rules.
- 1st ed by Luke Crane (2006) self-published
A science fiction system based on the graphic novel series Iron Empires
by Chris Moeller. It is set in a far future where human civilization of
eight vast interstellar empires is on the verge of collapse in the face
of an alien invasion. It uses a variant of the dice pool system in
Burning Wheel. The system
is greatly expanded in the World Burning process to jointly create the
setting, and a staged system that creates different types of scenes
(Color, Interstitial, Building, and Conflict) in response to
strategic maneuvers in resisting the alien invasion.
The Burning Wheel
- 1st ed by Luke Crane (2002) self-published
- Revised ed (2005)
A generic fantasy system, with an unspecified default setting --
feudal medieval with the usual dwarves, elves, and orcs. It uses
a dice pool system, based on rolling d6's equal to stat against a
target number of 2, 3, or 4 (depending on the "Shade" of the stat
tested). The number of successes then must be greater than the task
difficulty. Character creation is based on generating a year-by-year
lifepath according to profession. Attributes are bought from a pool
of Mental Attribute points and Physical Attribute points based on age.
Skills are bought with skill points accumulated via the lifepath.
There are two mental attributes -- Perception and Will -- and four
physical attributes -- Power (i.e. strength), Agility, Speed, and
Forte (i.e. endurance).
Burros and Banditos
- 1st ed (unknown) Sierra Madre Games
A semi-roleplaying game set on the Mexican border.
- 1st ed by Paul Hume, Bob Charrette (1980) Tyr / Phoenix Games
- 2nd ed (1981) FGU
A fantasy RPG set in mythic Japan ("Nippon"), using a combined
class and skill-based system.
John H. Kim
Last modified: Mon Jul 2 09:15:53 2018