Sure, the ENnies are all well and good, but what if you’re not stuck in the D&D Ghetto and want to take a walk on the wild side? Well, there’s a thousand games out there and many of them are small, daring enterprises known as “indie” RPGs.
The Indie RPG Awards are taking a look at the best games of 2009. Some of them you saw in the ENnies list, like diaspora, Escape from Tentacle City, Atomic Highway, and Lady Blackbird. Others you may not have heard of. Many of them are interesting departures from the traditional RPG format, and some sport features like no GM, no prep, collaborative storytelling, weird resolution mechanics… Settings from the prosaic to the esoteric. here’s some little sniblets to tempt your interest.
“Montsegur 1244 – A story game about burning for your belief.”
“In Ribbon Drive, we collectively create a story about a road trip.”
“Misery Bubblegum… helps you tell the stories of strong, sympathetic young teens dealing with the incredible difficulties of relationships and identity.
“DAWG is the role-playing game that lets you unleash the full canine experience. Here you can learn what it truly is to be the pinnacle of evolution that is dog.”
Yes, everything from zombie survival horror in Shotgun Diaries to the refugee experience in Last Train Out Of Warsaw to being a bad, bad schoolgirl in Hellcats and Hockeysticks. Some of them are even free, like Ocean, 44, and Lady Blackbird, so check them out.
Playing some very different games, even if you return in the end to good old D&D, really helps your game. You get to see all the different ways you can do things, and realize that some things you always thought “must be” that way aren’t.