Thursday, April 8, 2021

why you should get into #rpglatam!

the RPGLATAM community is literally my favorite group of hobbyists and players and designers, whichever word works best, on twitter. they are all so creative and thoughtful and sincere, just wonderful. recently m.a. guax (@maguaxRPG) ran a jam called RPG LATAM JAM (check #RPGLATAMJAM on Twitter) to create supplements for RPGLATAM games, and it's about to close on april 11th. unfortunately this month has been super busy and i could not contribute anything, so i wanted to write a blog post talking about three of my favorite works produced by the community.

even more pressing: tiago rolim (@arcileuto) has been hospitalized with covid-19, and members of the RPGLATAM community have come together for a bundle on itch.io to help cover the costs of his hospital stay. please please please support this effort.

i've limited myself to three works because there is such a wide variety of cool things this community has made, and i'd rather limit myself to a few than leave some out of a long list. still here is a list of as many RPGLATAM folks i could find from who i follow on twitter (i am really sorry if i forgot anyone, please let me know!):

  • @arcileuto
  • @caberlitz
  • @darkade
  • @davenadave
  • @diogo_oldskull
  • @emanoelmelo
  • @fersalvaterra
  • @gabokerr
  • @gnarledmonster
  • @guilhermedenovo
  • @knightramen
  • @lapislunaris
  • @maguaxRPG
  • @nynphaiel
  • @ollojoaquin
  • @raulranma
  • @rods_95
  • @rolimllucas
  • @verdeamorim
  • @walterlicinio
  • @wilkawill

without further ado, all these works below and MUCH more can be found on the itch bundle i linked above. please help support tiago and all of these wonderful artists!

Backback & Dream (Link)

this threefold pamphlet game by m.a. guax (@maguaxRPG) is an "engine for exploration with an old school playstyle." what i love about B&D is how it takes the old-school approach to resource management and makes it an intrinsic part of managing your character.

your stats don't give bonuses or act like mere measures of your character's abilities. instead, they're resources you have to watch out for. when you attempt risky actions, instead of rolling dice, you bet your character's resource stats to get the best outcome. other tasks simply reduce your resources, like taking an arduous trip across a desert. i love this approach so much because of how it boils down old-school gameplay to its essentials in yet a totally creative, unseen way. this is not another retroclone. i really hope i have the chance to play this!

m.a. guax has some other games and adventures you should check out! his layout work is always just top-notch.

  • Devil Grinder (Link): a cyberpunk hack of B&D inspired by the Megami Tensei series, where you summon demons to use their powers. it's really cool, and shows how flexible B&D can be!
  • Ziggurat of the Four Gods (Link): an adventure module for Into the Bronze (link) by Guilherme Gontijo (@guilhermedenovo), which is a Mesopotamian sword-and-sorcery hack of Into the Odd. you roll a d4 and interpret the roll and its direction to create a ziggurat dungeon. how cool! the module itself was written by lucas rolim (@rolimllucas).

Beyond the Borderlands #1 (Link)

this zine is part 1 of a reimagining of the classic D&D adventure The Keep on the Borderlands by alex damaceno (@gnarledmonster). for starters, alex redrew the whole region as a much more easily accessible (and cute!) hexmap. let's compare! the original:

and Beyond the Borderlands:

isn't that so cool!? each six-hex region gets its own spread in the zine, with d6 rumors and 2d6 encounters and more. there was so much work put into this, and it's all so put-together and nice. it also features a village of frogpeople and i cannot get enough of them, they are so cute (especially the drawings of them!).

alex has some other adventures and games and fun bits, and he also makes really nice resources to help run old-school style games!

  • GM Isometric Sketchbook (Link): this is a printable sketchbook full of pages with isometric grids! it's designed for you to be able to scan your completed drawings, which is really nice.
  • Pocket Worlds Sketchbook (Link): this is a template to make a giant d12 origami to represent your fictional planet! it comes with a printable zine to turn each side into a little hexcrawl, in the same shape as alex's Borderlands map.

Carapace (Link)

this is a really crazy and cool game by torthevic (@verdeamorim) where you and your friends are bugs oppressed by giant marble statues called titans, and you are all trying to pay off your debt to a blacksmith for a cannon to fight back against the titans. isn't that cool!?

Carapace takes cues from Electric Bastionland (itself a spiritual successor to Into the Odd) with its simple character creation and dice mechanics. the nice thing about simple mechanics is how it lets you plug in even more cool things! for example, Carapace has a really quick and easy magic system where you cast spells using chipped marble pieces from titans' heads (isn't that cool!?). what i also adore is the drop die table to determine, once you have a cannon, where you're able to hit the titan. it is so so so cool!!!

torthevic has other games and since he's an artist, they're all very nice-looking and cool!

  • Friends in Striped Clothes and Shiny Armours (Link): a collection of six illustrated, wacky, and fun backgrounds for Troika! The art and layout is really like cute and nice (they're colorful! i love colors).
  • Vampires & Claymores (Link): a game where you and your friends play recently-turned vampires. the atmosphere is very moody and cool and vampiric, and the mechanics it offers to simulate vampire magic and bloodthirst are also all really interesting!
what are your favorite works by RPGLATAM artists and writers?

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