#60: Wishlists Work!

I. Dear Reader,

So at the beginning of this year, I made a wishlist of games I wanted to play and I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to tick off a surprising percentage of it.

I think from my original list at the start of the year only three games remain: ECH0. Songs for the Dusk, and Archipelago. For Songs for the Dusk, I was waiting for the new version which just came out. I’m not sure why I haven’t played ECH0 yet, it’s the easiest to set up. It’s a sad one-shot game about children finding an abandoned mech. Archipelago is a very open game and I need a solid premise that I’m excited about.

The ones I managed to play: Band of Blades (ongoing, early readers will remember my second or third issue being about playing this game!), Girl by Moonlight, Ultraviolet Grasslands, Dogs in the Vineyard, Trophy Gold, Brinkwood, CrashCart, and Primetime Adventures.

The absolutely unsurprising fact is that (with the exception of Trophy Gold) I set up and ran all of these games. I looked for players, I coordinated the scheduling dance and sent out reminder messages, I read the rules and prepped the playsheets. It wasn’t easy because almost each of the games was a different group. But it wasn’t hard either. And the fact that the games were *all* fun - no exceptions honest - makes it definitely worthwhile. I mean, some were heavier than I’d like, some looser - but those are so ephemeral that I can imagine myself feeling differently on different days. (But if I had to pick one: probably Girl by Moonlight or CrashCart.)

So given that I have discovered that wishlisting works, here is my new list (the only rule is that these are games that I already have):

One Shots:

  • Archipelago III

  • ECH0

  • Stealing the Throne (a heist game about stealing a mech, playable in 2 hours??)

  • This Is A Game About Fishing (a Belonging outside Belonging game about ecopunks)

  • MF0: Firebrands (I have never played a Firebrands game)

  • Grand Guignol (a queer gothic horror BoB game)

  • Agouro (a storygame about prophecy with a unique card mechanic)

  • Home Again (a PbtA game about aliens that is a metaphor for migration)

  • Enter the Survival Horror (exactly what you think)


  • DIE (Beta)

  • Crescent Moon (a sad and sweet game about kids delving into feelings)

  • Armor Astir: Advent (a PbtA mecha anime game)

  • Under Hollow Hills (travelling fae circus game from the Bakers)

  • Songs for the Dusk (rebuilding after the apocalypse)

  • Neon Black (cyberpunk game with a community focus)

It will probably take me another year to make a dent in this list. But at least now I know it’s theoretically possible to make a dent!

Yours list-fully,


II. Listen of the Week

If you’re interested in Cortex Prime, this is a solid introduction. I think I can see the bones of Dogs in the Vineyard there but it’s also got so much more built on top of it. It’s a really interesting narrative-focused generic system. I’ve never played it but I’m keen on trying.

Bonus: I missed this when it came out. Here’s the crime drama Forged in the Dark game, Copperhead County, on the +1 Forward podcast. I’m a fan of the genre and so I’m keen on playing this game at some point as well especially because I’m chasing a version of this game set in the 19th century among opium smugglers and their ilk.

III. Links of the Week



  • A review of Hearts of Wulin, a PbtA wuxia game, on EnWorld

  • A review of Wickedness, a “a storytelling game by M Veselak about three witches who must maintain the dangerous balance between the overworld and the underworld, to prevent the end of the world.”

  • A review of Under Hollow Hills, the new PbtA game from Vincent and Meguey bakers about a travelling fae circus. Aaron Marks, one of my favourite RPG critics, meditates on the decade of PbtA design in between Apocalypse World and this game.


  • Fari Games is a new website that collects and publishes SRDs of indie tabletop games. It’s a really pleasant reading experience on desktop and coming on the heels of me talking about RPGs as websites, I’m really happy to see this!

IV. Small Ads

All links in the newsletter are completely based on my own interest. But to help support my work, this section contains sponsored links and advertisements. If you’d like your products to appear here, read the submission form.

  • LOGAN: An Autobiographical Tabletop Game is solo journalling TTRPG that is also the autobiography of its designer; Logan Timmins. It is unique, personal and vulnerable. It's also itchfunding right now!

  • Bring your items to the table with a set of tarot sized reference cards. 65 cards, MÖRK BORG compatible! Check it out on Kickstarter now!

  • Project 8Ball is a game of false identities, shadowy conspiracies, buried angels, and quirky small towns. Players take turns running sessions and collaboratively weave a web of mystery and wonder.

  • Flabbergasted is a comedic TTRPG set in the roaring 20s! Join a social club & get up to mischief & mayhem - all before your afternoon tea! Out now on Kickstarter!

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Hello, dear readers. This newsletter is written by me, Thomas Manuel. I’m half-man, half-beast, half-journalist, half-game designer.

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