Crisis Council – A Semi-Cooperative Social Board Game for 3-4 Players (FREE)

How’s Everybody Doing?

I hope you are all doing well in spite of everything that’s been going on lately. This is just a quick article letting you know that my creative juices have been on overdrive. As a result, I created Crisis Council, another game that you can go download and play, absolutely free, right now! This was created under the social distancing period (now lockdown) as a way to stay active, but also to have something fun to do with friends and family (and of course, to share with all of you stuck at home).

This is my third-ever full game release following my previous title Tempting Fate and Into the Woods.., which has been highly rated and enjoyed by several hundreds of people now (thank you so much for that). With that, let’s dive right into what this game’s about!

Overview

In Crisis Council 3-4 players must work together to repeal a major threat (be it a kingdom fighting off an invasion, a city dealing with a viral outbreak, etc…). However, each player wants to profit when the dust settles. Do you have what it takes to stop the crisis and come out ahead?

-The Game’s Page

Currently this is just the BASIC rules for Crisis Council, I plan to create a much deeper version of the game in the future which is planned for both a digital and physical release. The full version will have a cost as well. Here’s what’s planned for that:

  • Hidden Roles/Objectives
  • Different Arbiter Setups (Tax Rates & Dice Pools)
  • Emergency Declarations (Modifiers for Rounds 2 & 3, Chosen by Arbiter From a Card Pool)

What’s in the Box?

Currently you have access to a 4 page PDF that contains all the rules you need to play Crisis Council. There is no set theme currently, you may decide on that for yourself. The game is relatively straightforward in the BASIC state and shouldn’t be much work to figure out. Just in case, an optional player aid is provided as a separate document.

What You’ll Need

For the BASIC version, you will need 35 six-sided dice and some friends. Do not worry if all the dice are the same size or color, this will not impact gameplay (though it is suggested you play with 35 identical dice when able).

Download Now!

For more information, you can see the game’s page here. Feel free to ask any questions here if you’d like as well. If you have a good time, I do suggest a donation because I put a lot of effort into this, but it isn’t required. You can do that on the game’s page or use my Ko-fi button below. Either is fine. I do ask, that you do rate and share the game if you can even if you don’t want to donate as that helps me out a lot!


Normally I’d write up some questions and such for you here. Just providing my Ko-fi link and wishing you an excellent day! 🙂

Tempting Fate – My Latest Role-Playing Game That You Can Play FREE Right Now!

How’s Everybody Doing?

I hope you are all doing well in spite of everything that’s been going on lately. This is just a quick article letting you know I created another tabletop role-playing game. You can download Tempting Fate and play, absolutely free, right now! This was created in under 24 hours under the social distancing period as a way to stay active, but also to have something fun to do with friends and family (and of course, to share with all of you stuck at home).

This is my second-ever full game release following my previous title Into the Woods.., which has been highly rated and enjoyed by several hundreds of people now (thank you so much for that). With that, let’s dive right into what this game’s about!

Overview

Whether a group of teenagers trying to escape a crazed killer, a gang of bank robbers trying to score big, or some kids trying to cheat a math test, all of them are tempting fate.

-The Game’s Page

Tempting Fate is a rules-lite tabletop role-playing game that can be enjoyed by
1-4 players and 1 narrator. The game may be enjoyed without a narrator or even solo should that be desired as well. While Tempting Fate is best suited for horror narratives, it supports any story that has high stakes where the players face major consequences if anything goes wrong (expulsion, arrest, insanity, or even death).

What’s in the Box?

Included is a short 17 page rulebook which houses the rules and 9 playbooks for players. There are no scenarios or settings included in this rulebook, but some ideas are offered to get you started. The rules are simple and easy to understand, fitting on about 7 pages.  The rest of the document being devoted to the playbooks which act as rules references and character sheets for the players.

What You’ll Need

In order to play Tempting Fate you will need a standard deck of 52 playing cards with both jokers, some tokens (several six-sided dice will work just as well), and this rulebook. Of course, you may want to invite a friend or two to play with you as well 😉

Download Now!

For more information, you can see the game’s page here. Feel free to ask any questions here if you’d like as well. If you have a good time, I do suggest a donation because I put a lot of effort into this, but it isn’t required. You can do that on the game’s page or use my Ko-fi button below. Either is fine. I do ask, that you do rate and share the game if you can even if you don’t want to donate as that helps me out a lot!

Hope you have fun with the game and I eagerly await your feedback! Best of luck to you as you try your hand at, Tempting Fate!


Normally I’d write up some questions and such for you here. Just providing my Ko-fi link and wishing you an excellent day! 🙂

Weave – The Worst Game I Never Played (but Still Want to)

A Digitally Assisted Role-playing Game

Today I’m going to be talking about Weave, a game I don’t recommend at all but one that still fascinates me for multiple reasons. It’s easily the worst game I’ve never played, however, in spite of that, I have a strange desire to give it a shot. Before we can dive into the game itself though, first, a little story about how the game came to my attention, and eventually, into my possession. Continue reading “Weave – The Worst Game I Never Played (but Still Want to)”

Hero Kids – Mini Review

Getting Kids into Role-playing

Image result for hero kidsDo you have kids or spend time with any ever? Want to share the joys of role-playing with them but just don’t know how? Look no further than Hero Kids! For kids as young as 4 all the way up to around 10, Hero Kids will offer you a simple and fun game that kids will beg you to play. Not only that, but it is perfect for busy parents as well with easy setup and not a long playtime.

The first thing that makes Hero Kids something I’d recommend over other child-friendly games is the fact that it transitions well into bigger games when the time comes. You love D&D? Great! It’ll get your kido ready by building concepts slowly here.

Image result for hero kids
An example of how you can expand the game

Another reason is that the game is flexible. You can make things more, or less, complex depending on the needs of your child as they develop. I’ve already mentioned that things are easy to manage parent-side, so this isn’t really any extra work either! Personally, I spend about 10-20 minutes getting a game ready and play only takes an hour at the absolute most.

Need more info still? I encourage you to check out my monthly posts over on Reddit (I use the same Jon Spencer Reviews handle there). I explain in great detail how I took a group of kids of widely varying ages, and zero play experience, and got them hooked on Hero Kids. I also give tips and advice alongside this, which can help with children’s activities, even outside of tabletop gaming.

Hero Kids is very affordable at $5.99 for the base book, but I would go all out and get the everything bundle if this interests you. It is great value, and better yet, if you decide to upgrade beyond PDF, you’ll get a 50% off coupon. Additionally, future content is free for you as well!

This is a great game and I really love it. The benefits of role-playing are really great so I encourage you to give them the gift of Hero Kids. Not only will they love you for it, but you will have fun too! That’s a win-win in my book.


Have you heard of Hero Kids? What role-playing games do you play with the kids in your life? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments! If you want to support my work, consider a donation with my Ko-fi button below. Thanks for reading!

Into the Woods… – A Solo Role-playing Game I Made!

Play it for Free!

Edited 3/20/20 to reflect the update to the final version 2.2!

I’ve already announced this on Twitter, but I figured I should make a formal announcement here. Into the Woods… is a solo role-playing game I created in a one month time period for the Never Alone Jam on itchi.io. This was something I did mostly for fun, but I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could create a fun and engaging role-playing experience for one. So, what exactly is this game?

Overview

You’ve lived in these woods for many years. It’s treated you well all this time. The passing of each season has brought with it great beauty, but it has also presented unique hardships. Still, you managed to always make do and survive. Lately, you’ve noticed the forest has begun to change as less people dare to venture into this serene, magical place. Now only the Hunters rarely cross your path. This doesn’t bother you though, you’ll always do as you have and survive.

-The Game’s Page

Into the Woods… is a solo tabletop role-playing experience that tasks you with surviving a full year in an ever-evolving forest. There will be magic, whimsy… and of course, danger! As the year progresses, the challenges you face will grow but you’ll have to overcome that adversity in order to survive.

What’s in the Box?

Included is a 39 58 page rulebook that’s been totally revamped since the original publication of this article. Featuring several tables for everything from encounters to bonuses, a bestiary, and convenience features to make playing a smooth process. Despite the game being simple and the rules fitting on about 10 pages, there is a lot of content packed into this with room to grow. You’ll find that there is a decent amount of variety here that should allow you at least a few hours of fun.

What You’ll Need

To play Into the Woods… you’ll need a standard deck of 52 playing cards, a pencil and some paper, a journal or recording medium of preference, at least one six-sided die (two would probably be better, ideally in different colors if possible), and these rules.

Download it here!

Everything above this can be found on the game’s page where you can also download the game absolutely free! If you have a good time, I do suggest a donation because I put a lot of effort into this, but it isn’t required. You can do that on the game’s page or use my Ko-fi button below. Either is fine. I do ask, that you do rate and share the game if you can even if you don’t want to donate as that helps me out a lot!

Hope you have fun with the game and I eagerly await your feedback! Best of luck to you as you travel, Into the Woods…


Normally I’d write up some questions and such for you here. Just providing my Ko-fi link and wishing you an excellent day! 🙂

Golden Sky Stories – Helping Out in a Rural Village

Heart-Warming Fun

This is a slightly expanded review which I featured on Reddit, which you can view here. It won the monthly review contest there for April 2019. I’m trying out a slightly new format for this sort of content, so feedback is appreciated.

What is Golden Sky Stories?

“Golden Sky Stories is a heartwarming, non-violent role-playing game from Japan, by Ryo Kamiya. In this game, players take on the role of henge, animals that have just a little bit of magical power, including the ability to temporarily take on human form. You can be a fox, raccoon dog, cat, dog, rabbit, or bird, and each kind has their own special magical powers. Players will then attempt to solve problems around a small enchanted town with ingenuity, co-operation and friendship.

Golden Sky Stories requires one Narrator, 2-4 players, pencils and paper, and tokens to keep track of Dreams.”

-The game’s page

Continue reading “Golden Sky Stories – Helping Out in a Rural Village”

The Plant – My Kinetic-Novel Release

I Released Another Thing!

If you follow me over on Twitter (@JS_Reviews) you’ve probably seen me talk about my latest project release, The Plant, a kinetic-novel inspired by a post I did back in December 2018. You can view that post here. I’m writing this post to help spread the word, but also as a postmortem of sorts, where I talk about things that went well (and poorly) with the project. Before I get any further, be sure to check out The Plant on Itchi.io for FREE. It’s on PC, Mac, and Linux at the moment. Let’s get to it! Continue reading “The Plant – My Kinetic-Novel Release”

New Year, New Game – Try an RPG this Year!

BONUS POST!

The other day I made a series of tweets about DrivethruRPG’s New Year, New Game sale and put together a curated list of RPG’s in the sale that you should check out. Of course you can view that thread here, but I thought folks might appreciate the easier to read/navigate layout. I also cut it down to just 10 entries. Consider trying a tabletop role-playing (TRPG) game this year, I have something for everybody here:  kids, adults, big groups or small, and even ones you can play by yourself! Continue reading “New Year, New Game – Try an RPG this Year!”

Haiku Warrior – Fighting Warrior, Fend off Discord in the Land, Wear Neat Hats & Boots

A Role Playing Game Told Entirely Through Haiku?

Image result for haiku warriorFor Christmas this year I received a few games, as did some of my friends. Naturally, we deiced to give one of them a spin during one of our (mostly) weekly get-togethers. This time we chose to play Haiku Warrior, a game created by Jason Anarchy, who has also created other party-style games, most notably Drinking Quest. Claiming to be a role playing game told entirely through haiku, does Haiku Warrior deliver, and most importantly, is it fun? Continue reading “Haiku Warrior – Fighting Warrior, Fend off Discord in the Land, Wear Neat Hats & Boots”

The Plant – A Solo Role-Playing Experience

The Plant

Intro:  The Plant is a solo role-playing experience that I have adapted into a short story for your enjoyment. I did this run completely blind with no knowledge of what could occur or any of the game’s contents, so be sure to keep that in mind while reading. Also, no edits (outside of minor spelling, grammar, and tense changes) were made to what I wrote down. This will also act as a review/endorsement of the system, as well as other Bully Pulpit Games. Personally, I highly recommend Fiasco if you have a few friends around, it is a great game! That cost some money, but they have several free games, including this one (an award winner, by the way), on their website. As for what The Plant is, the story setup is this:

Your daughter is in the plant. You are going to find her. Continue reading “The Plant – A Solo Role-Playing Experience”