Rules & Rulings is a new column here at The Escapist where I spend some time highlighting the best of the online culture surrounding tabletop games. The roleplaying game, card game, and board game enthusiast blogs create the majority of the most fascinating house rules, adventures, tools, riffs, twists, and commentary on their games – a richness I want to curate for you alongside some of my own commentary. If you didn’t see this column the first time out, go check it out as well. The cool links didn’t get any less cool.

Big News

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Roleplaying Games

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Crowdfunding Now

  • Headspace is a cyberpunk RPG with a curious twist: The characters are all neurally linked, allowing the sharing of skills and abilities at the risk of emotional bleed. It’s like Cyberpunk 2020 meets superb Netflix show Sense8. It’s currently on Kickstarter and uses a neat, consumer friendly incentive program where backers immediately get access to a set of Quickstart rules for the game. I’m not sure I’m sold on the system, but the art and premise are both unique.
  • Spanish language RPG Aquelarre is getting a Kickstarted translation. It bills itself as “dark and mature,” so, uh, you probably know if you’re interested.

Game Design

  • This one’s mathy, but fascinating. Slot game designer Scott Caputo breaks down the value of volatility – that is, large outlier numbers and big chances to gamble on – in game design. Is “shooting the moon” good for a game? When is letting players who take huge risks get big rewards the right choice? He describes what he means and then, helpfully, shows an implementation of the principle in an easily explained Carcassonne expansion.

Have an awesome blog, podcast, or other publication I should be following? Spot an amazing post I should see? A fan creation? Email us and let me know! Or contact me on Twitter.

Jon Bolding is The Escapist’s Production & Tabletop Games Editor. You can follow him on Twitter. You can watch him stream video games Mondays at 2pm ET and play tabletop games at Twitch and The Escapist Plays YouTube on Wednesdays at 4pm ET.

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