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As a retrospective to tabletop roleplaying games this year, I want to go over all the new games I've been exposed to this year, all the games I've revisited, and all the games that are all my list for next year.
From a Dungeon World game I played with new friends
The rough order of this list is how influential a game has been to me.
This was the game changer for me this year. Apocalypse World opened up a whole new class of narrative play for me this year. More than that, Apocalypse World as created a whole new genre and renaissance of indie RPGs. This collection of games is usually referred as Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) games. If there is a kind of game/setting you'd like to play (Mechs, Magical Girls, Cyberpunk) there is surely a Powered by the Apocalypse game for it.
I played this with one of my gaming groups with what I intended to be a small 3-5 session game. It ended up being over twenty session. I have over 30 pages of notes from the game, and trust me, I'm not good at taking notes. The world we've created through Apocalypse World was just fantastic and fun to create together.
What initially brought me into the game was the "Why to Play" section of the book. Just check this out:
Reading the rulebook already feels like you're playing in the world. It's a masterclass in how to present both the setting and the rule system in a way that's drenched in tone and flavour. Even if you don't intend to play, I'd recommend reading the rulebook. If you do, trust the rules, the guiding principles, and the way moves work. Because, they really work.
The Veil is a Powered by the Apocalypse game, so it's no surprise that I list it as second. This game is Cyberpunk in setting, but not so much in theme. The game focuses on emotions, and your character's relation to the world, and poses a lot of questions of transhumanism and what it means to be human. We've only went through character creation and a first session, but even then, our character's were drenched in complicated relationships and had a number of problems that threatened the stability of their lives. I desperately look forward to playing this game again.
Dungeon World is a response to Dungeons and Dragons. It's a big attempt to reforge in the crucible of narrative gaming, and, for the most part, it succeeds.
This is the first two person (one GM, one player) RPG I've run this year.