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Dragons Conquer America – Overview

As you might have been able to tell, (due to me actually writing some articles,) I’ve had a bit of time on my hands recently. It’s allowed me the time to catch up with loads of the RPG systems on my to-do list which have included Sins and FAITH. One other on my to-read list was a quick start guide of an RPG published by Burning Games, the same publisher as FAITH. Again this particular PDF was given to us by Burning Games but was available via DriveThruRPG as part of their Kickstarter. Sadly we missed their actual Kickstarter launch but we are happy to say that it was successful at being funded and you can late pledge if this is something that you’re interested in.

This overview is based on this preview version of the game and so the final version is obviously subject to change.

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Overview

Dragons Conquer America (DCA) originates from a place of history, and is set in Meso-America, around the 1500’s. Although its origins is based in history, it does include fantasy elements. The explorer Christopher Columbus died years ago, after discovering the West Indies, or what most people then called the “New World”. The first settlers came to the “New World” armed with guns, whilst dragons conquered the easternmost islands. They lived with knowledge that there was a larger continent to the West and although their coasts had been sailed no major mainland exploration has overcome the war like tribes.

Play system

It has the same system to FAITH, in that it uses a standard set of poker cards to resolve actions. However, instead of requiring all 52 you only need numbers 1 (Ace) to 6 and one Joker. You can also use dice to play. If you’re using dice it is recommended that you have a pool of 25 D6 dice, consisting of four main colours (6 in each colour to represent the suits and one for the joker) per 3 players at the table. It’s advisable that dice be the same size, weight and feel because they will be drawn blind from a bag to simulate a hand of cards.

The Spirit in the sky

The game also contains a source of magic that revolves around religion, this is called Spirit. Players use Spirit to cast spells in aid to help dispatch their foes. To gain Spirit you must perform rituals and during these rituals you may choose to try and “transcend” which can then add to or remove spirit based on the success or failure of a check. Players keep a total of what spirit points they think they have and the GM keeps a true total, being the only person who knows the outcome of the transcendence check. The Rituals are aimed to work with all types of religion depending on the character. Some of the Rituals are on the passive path of praying all day, resisting temptation for the vows you have take, and endurance where you have forgone the comfort of food, water or rest to the more violent blood letting (cutting ones self), sacrifice and of course fighting and killing heretics. This sounds all like some excellent Role Play opportunities to me.

Since Spirit is an indeterminate resource the player can overspend on it and cause themselves to suffer some “Corruption” and only the GM knows just how much corruption a player has. A player can suspect if they have corruption but will never know for sure; they can undo the corruption but as far as I could see this is not detailed in the starter book. Corruption takes the form of curses which the GM should use against the player and their team based upon the players religion.

Starter scenario

The starter scenario introduces the players to the existence of a gigantic precious stone, which is actually the egg of a dragon. However, it lies in a dangerous trap filled temple in the lands of an isolated tribe. A Spanish expedition has also heard about this treasure and on their way to recover it. The players must race against time, avoid all the traps and beat a Spanish force to get to the prize.

It’s split down into three main chapters. The first chapter has the players arriving and meeting the Atlaca tribe, the guardians of the temple. The second chapter aims to see the players enter the temple and facing an ancient spirit that protects the egg. The final chapter sees the arrival of the Spanish and finally will determine if the players will keep the egg or not.

The players play take on the roles of some mercenaries that have no allegiance to the Spanish or native tribe. This will have to be worked out during the adventure as to which side they choose to lean.

Verdict

I don’t feel that I can pass a final verdict on a beta version of an RPG. I will say that the idea behind how Spirit works and the possibility of the consequences that might happen due to the curses make the evil GM in me rub my hands with glee. The amount of good RP that could come from that opens a world of great characters to play with. I’m equally excited to see as a player what afflictions I acquire by using too much Spirit, how that affects my party and how I feel about it.

If you really need a verdict on this, my personal verdict is count me interested. I think the scenario that comes with this beta gives you a great sense of what the game has the capacity to deliver. It’s all going to depend on the GM and the party because stories are only as good as the people creating them.

What do you think of the Spirit system in Dragons Conquer America? There is load more videos on the Burning Games YouTube channel. Would you like to see what the the final product has to offer? Have a look at the Kickstarter to late pledge or keep an eye on the social media for Burning Games. Give your feedback on this article via the comments section or over on Twitter and Facebook.

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GeekOut Discord Server Changes in 2019

Discord has undergone some drastic changes this year, from being purely about a chat environment, to selling games. Meanwhile, we here at GeekOut Media haven’t really done a lot to ensure that our Discord channel evolves with us. In all honesty, it’s something I’ve been meaning to fix up for quite some time… So, in the new year, we’ll introduce a few new changes to our server. Join us as we look at what we’re going to do in 2019.

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Top 10 – Christmas Trees in Pop Culture

By now you should all be raising your evergreens, be they plastic or living… well, not living anymore. Christmas draws ever nearer, and presents have to go somewhere, classically piled into novelty oversized footwear, or placed in a space on the carpet that may be suddenly prone to getting covered in pine needles. The Christmas Tree may very well be the single most iconic symbol of the season, unique to the time of year but embraced by so many, including us nerdy types.

Gather around young ones, as we tell you the tale of the 10 greatest Christmas Trees to ever grace pop culture. (more…)


The Shropshire Dungeon Master Update VIII

When was the last time I did one of these? Ok, nothing since September, a fair amount has happened since then. Around the middle of October there was an incident that slowed progress a little, and with Christmas on the way there hasn’t been a great deal of time to advance a few projects that are in the pipeline – in some cases since July – but there has at least been notable progress. (more…)


Sins – Epic Action Horror RPG

Overview

Sins takes place in our own world, a century or more from now, which is in a post-apocalyptic state. Civilisation as we know it no longer exists, areas of the world are now hideously scorched by nuclear attacks and others have returned to their natural state.

I met co-creator and development team lead Sam Sleney at the 2017 UKGE, where after the past 6 years or so he had been developing the game and was heading to Kickstarter. I caught up with him again at UKGE 2018 where the game was nominated (and won) for the People’s Choice Best RPG award. He very kindly gave me a copy of the prequel scenario, Dead City, which is basically a quick start. Before I dive into this article, I just need to quickly apologise to Sam, because I have taken so long to get this overview out.

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Inventory Hoarding

My name is Joel Smith, I am a hoarder.

I suppose the worst of it has been my need to build new houses to store my stuff, and to have somewhere nearby where I can drop things off. In my line of work I find myself encountering a lot of valuables, and they’re just there for me to walk away with, it’s a kind of salvage operation in dangerous areas, so I’m ultimately restoring a lot of valuable items to the general public, and I will sell them on, but I guess there’s only so much people can buy from me at any given time, so I end up sitting on a small stockpile of… I dunno, ebony hammers? Spells scrolls? Piles of dragon bones? (more…)


Top 10 Geeky Christmas-Themed Stories

GeekOut Top 10s

It’s December 1st everybody, which means we’re legally obliged* to start spamming you with Christmas every second of the way. We thought we’d start the festive season off with a bang, as we’re going to celebrate all that is geeky about the holiday spirit… And what could be better than keeping warm with a nice cup of hot chocolate, a sofa and a nice Christmas-Themed Story? Welcome to our Top 10 Geeky Christmas-Themed Stories.

*We’re not really legally obliged to do this, we just felt like it.

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Video Game Review: Tabletop Simulator

Do you remember board games of old, ones which are hard to come by now? Do you have a lot of friends or family that you like to play board games with, but you’re not often in the same place at the same time? Do you really just like to flip tables and laugh at how everyone is now playing 1,000 piece pick-up? Well, all of these ‘problems’ are no more, as today we’re going to introduce you to Tabletop Simulator; a video game that lets you play board games. Seems like a strange and somewhat novel idea, but trust us, it’s excellent.

Somehow we’ve mentioned Tabletop Simulator many times in the past, but we’ve never actually reviewed the game itself…

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Dungeon Situational – Five Shields

Shields, the piece of metal or wood between you and pain, and the thing that turns your fighter from a bucket of hit points into an indomitable tank. Because it’s not dealing damage it often gets overlooked by today’s modern bloodthirsty types, and it might take more than a hefty plank with handles to convince your players to maybe drop a sword in favour of some protection.

Presented below, five examples of shields with story, magical power, secrets, or just present something more interesting than a boost to armour class. The rules referenced are for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, but can be readily modified for other editions or systems. (more…)


FAITH – The Science Fiction RPG

Background

FAITH is an RPG set in a futuristic universe based on the worship of five gods. The game consists of four main player character races which include Human, each with a deep law to read through. It was first published in the EU in 2017 by Burning Games and written by J. C. Alvarez and Carlos Gómez Quintana. Burning Games gave us a PDF copy after we spoke to them at UK Games Expo.

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