June Indie RPG Roundup

This season has seen a new batch of independent RPGs hit our shelves, so I wanted to take the time to highlight a few that have charm, wit, and theme just oozing out of their bindings.


The year is 1996. You’re in the food court at the mall, hoping that Trevor who works at the CD shop likes you back, when out of the blue, in come… the goths?!? But not the choker-wearing crowd that you’re in with, the goths, who infamously sacked Rome in 410 AD. (But still, how does Trevor make parachute pants work so well?)

Despite being published by Hit Point Press, you don’t need to worry about your HP, the only thing that gets hurt here in the Mall is your feelings. Visigoths vs Mall Goths evokes a vibe that’s impossible to place chronologically, and it wouldn’t have it any other way. Being set in the 90’s gives it a certain air of jazz-cup aesthetic, but it kicks its hacky sack around cultural references from the dark ages to the present day.

The game is, in its own words, “extremely bisexual.” Sure, first and foremost it’s a roleplaying game, but right behind that, Visigoths vs Mall Goths is a dating simulator. It’s got a mall chock full of whimsical stores and (literally) lovable characters to serve as a backdrop for squabbles and drama between the past and the future.

If you’ve got players at your table who shopped at Hot Topic (or still do, there’s no shame in it!), give this one a spin, it’s positively too quirky to pass on.



June Indie RPG Roundup

The R in RPGs doesn’t always stand for ‘role-playing,’ in this case it stands for ‘ritual!’ You are a necromancer, someone beginning to dabble in the art of conjuring the spirits of the deceased, and you’re looking to talk to someone you knew who’s waltzed the rainbow bridge.

A highlight of this game, beyond the idea of talking to dead people, is how little this ritual requires in the way of preparation. The game is about developing and discovering a character over the course of play, you feel as though you’ve gone on a journey simply finding who this dead person was…. and perhaps what their living friend was like by comparison. And fair warning, one or both of you may not be great people, necromancers often aren’t!

Not only that, but this game fills the often-ignored niche of two player RPGs. It’s something that gets asked a lot about here at the store, but it’s often tough to find, since many RPG designers either aim to please playgroups or individual players, not specifically a duo. So if you’ve got a partner or friend with an interest in storytelling games or perhaps with a flair for the occult, turn them into your Dead Friend. (Please don’t actually make them your dead friend.)



June Indie RPG Roundup

This game, no, this story is fascinating. Out of the roleplaying games on the list, this one skews most in the direction of storytelling in a box, as opposed to dice-and-stats-cruncher. You’re a part of a family where the women of your bloodline are werewolves. Simple concept, it may seem, except for the part where you’ve never really felt a strong connection to woman or man-hood. This is a game about exploring personal relations to gender, structure, and tradition, and which part of those concepts to preserve and which to change in order to find your lot in life.

While Women are Werewolves is mostly setting-agnostic, it does draw on a few fantasy tropes. Where many roleplaying games pride themselves on a rich setting, this one dives into the tight-knit bonds between family members, and how they can change gradually like the phases of the moon.

If your RPG playgroup finds themselves interested in exploring (sometimes strained) interpersonal relationships, expression of identity, or finding that identity in the first place, bring this one to game night sometime. It’s a serious mold breaker.

It’s been a great year for RPGs so far, and we’re stoked to see what else comes our way! Stop in at any time, since there’s always some new story to thumb through!


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