2019 Techraptor Awards – Tabletop RPG of the 12 months

2019 marks the primary yr I joined the TechRaptor tabletop crew, and general it has been a reasonably unbelievable yr for roleplaying video games. From beginner-friendly releases by a few of the greatest names within the enterprise to shock hits from Sweden, there’s been quite a bit to stay up for and convey to the desk. With so many enjoyable and fascinating new sport methods popping out, it was an actual problem to slim the sphere right down to the highest six with the remainder of the tabletop writers and editors. However regardless of the bells and whistles, heavy guidelines or story-based gameplay, in its essence a tabletop roleplaying sport is all about sitting down at a desk (picket or digital) and sharing an unbelievable story with buddies. To that finish, these six 2019 RPG releases shone brightest.

Right here’s the checklist of nominees (and here’s the list of nominees for all categories):

Reader’s Selection – Pathfinder 2nd Version

Travis: It is no shock that our readers selected Pathfinder Second Version as their Tabletop Roleplaying Sport of the 12 months for 2019. Pathfinder has been extraordinarily in style, to not point out extraordinarily nicely supported, for years. The brand new version makes the sport one thing it is by no means been earlier than: simple to get in to as a brand new participant. Second Version retains all of the appear and feel of Pathfinder, but it surely streamlines play in a method that makes the sport each approachable and thrilling. Paizo Inc. has been identified for his or her ongoing help of their sport methods, so gamers can stay up for years and years of content material to return, to not point out years of 1st version content material that’s simple to transition ahead to mesh with this new model. In case you are a brand new participant, there has by no means been a greater time to get into Pathfinder than with Second Version, and if you’re a long-time participant there may be loads to be enthusiastic about going ahead. 

Symbaroum: Karvosti – The Witch Hammer

From the Evaluate of the core RPG:

“Symbaroum is a roleplaying sport that really rewards gamers investing in, and being interested in, the world their sport takes place in. It wouldn’t do in any respect to point out as much as a brand new sport of Symbaroum and say “I’m a Goblin Murderer, why am I on this tavern and the way do I do know the remainder of you?” This sport guide begs to be learn. It’s the form of guide you don’t cease desirous about.”

GiacoSymbaroum‘s latest journey, Karvosti – The Witch Hammer, hit cabinets this previous Spring, and it opened up the world of Davokar (the place the sport takes locations) by describing, intimately, the tough and thrilling cliffs of Karvosti. Included with the discharge was The Witch Hammer, some of the thrilling journey campaigns I’ve ever learn, which sees gamers participating in an epic treasure hunt. This 80-page journey is stuffed with political intrigue, exploration, and thrilling fight, and it rewards gamers who do their analysis and put money into (and examine) the world they’re getting into. Like I discussed within the blurb above for the core RPG, this journey wouldn’t go nicely for gamers who plopped themselves within the story with out doing any homework, and that simply doubles again on the allure of this sport. If you have not but checked out this brooding Swedish RPG, now’s the time. As for the core sport itself, Symbaroum actually was the large shock of the yr for me. I could not assist however be fully absorbed by its wealthy backstory, compelling illustrations, and moody tone.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Starter Set​

From the preview:

“The extent of element within the Starter Set is superb. However it may be overwhelming so lots of preparation is required to work out the place you need the journey to go as a GM. The character sheets are implausible and provides the gamers an enormous quantity of scope for roleplaying. Enjoying this over a number of classes could be unbelievable.”

Adam: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has been my favourite RPG system because it’s 4th version launch by Cubicle 7. It captured every little thing I really like concerning the Warhammer setting and completely matched ranges of guidelines/mechanics with element and delight.

The Starter Set field is an superior introduction to WFRP 4th, however not essentially roleplaying typically. If an skilled video games grasp picks up the set, he might run a marketing campaign lasting a number of classes simply, simply with the data within the field. For much less skilled GM’s the sheer quantity of knowledge will be overwhelming. That doesn’t cease it from being a stellar product and the manufacturing high quality alone is sufficient to justify the acquisition. When you’re in search of a fantasy RPG then you need to try WFRP and the Starter Set is the right place to start out.

Alien: The Roleplaying Sport

From the First Look:

“…within the timeline of the sport, nearly no character’s seen a Xenomorph, and most don’t even know they exist. Because the GM, I teased out that gulf between participant and character information, watching my gamers squirm of their seats after they discovered recent acid burns on the ship as, concurrently, their characters puzzled at its origin. They have been terrified, and performed at occasions with fingers over faces, and… ultimately… isn’t that what a correct horror RPG is all about?”

Giaco: After I wrote this first take a look at the starter set of Alien: The Roleplaying Sport, the total guidelines of the sport hadn’t but been launched. All that was included within the Cinematic Starter Package have been the core guidelines of the sport, and guidelines for the “Cinematic” mode of the sport, which is meant to be performed as a brief single- or two-session sport meant to play out like and evoke the fear of the movies. You give your gamers pre-generated characters, you inform them who they belief and who they hate on the ship, and also you set in movement the plans for his or her horrible demise. In methods harking back to Name of Cthulhu, it wasn’t a query of if your character would meet a horrifying finish, it was a query of when (and… with grisly relish… how).

Since then, Free League Publish has despatched over the total sport for overview, together with guidelines for “Marketing campaign” play, the place gamers construct a personality from scratch and try to degree up and survive out within the wilds. This ruleset fully transforms the expertise of taking part in Alien, and because the GM (or “Mom”) I am unable to wait to take my gamers out into the unknown. We’ll speak extra about it within the close to future, however character creation is extraordinarily easy, the leveling system is totally progressive (XP relies on group consensus), and I discover myself wanting extra to Prometheus and Alien: Covenant than the remainder of the franchise for inspiration. The sense of surprise, of discovery, of charting out into the unknown is intoxicating, and it’ll depart you eager to discover extra… no matter the truth that area is a chilly, merciless place filled with terror. 

Third Place – Starfinder Newbie Field

From the preview:

“I’ve reviewed and examined a number of roleplaying starter packs/newbie units not too long ago and the standard of the merchandise, together with how entry-level pleasant they’re may be very pleasing to see. The Starfinder Newbie Field isn’t any exception. It’s a implausible product by way of getting folks into the sport. It is extremely targeted on using the map and miniatures/standups for the novices’ state of affairs. All the elements are nice high quality, and there may be greater than sufficient to go nicely past the starter state of affairs, together with character creation, which is implausible in a newbie field.”

Adam: What I appreciated a lot concerning the Starfinder Newbie Field was how a lot selection there was in it by way of participant expertise. The preliminary state of affairs was aimed very a lot at newbie roleplayers or these new to Starfinder, however the choices after that take give quite a bit for knowledgeable gamers to work with.

It’s a implausible introduction to Starfinder, but additionally to roleplaying typically, for each gamers and Video games Masters. Starfinder itself is a really polished system and when you’re selecting it up, that is the place to start out, following up with the Core Guide afterward.

Second Place – Pathfinder 2nd Version

From the preview:

“At this level I am fairly impressed with Pathfinder 2e, and I am unable to wait to get it to the desk in order that I can see if the streamlining works as nicely in apply because it appears to work on paper and in my head. I have already got a gaggle of three (comparatively new) gamers lined up and prepared, so I am going to be sure you observe up with my ideas after taking part in just a few classes. The oldsters at Paizo, Inc have actually trimmed the complexity fairly a bit, however it would take a while behind the display chucking cube to see if it has effected the depth of the sport in any respect. I actually appreciated the route they took with Starfinder and, despite the fact that they clearly share a few of the identical genetics, I am excited that this method is totally different sufficient, and seems to be intuitive sufficient that I am going to be capable to run each video games with out getting slowed down in a quagmire of overly complicated, unsatisfying guidelines. Quite a few different adjustments that I have not even touched on, corresponding to a very re-balanced financial system, assist give Pathfinder 2e it is personal persona, and I am excited to develop into extra accustomed to the ins and outs of this method.”

TravisPathfinder Second Version is much more enjoyable, and simpler to play than first impressions trace at. This sport goes to be a staple at our gaming desk for years to return. The circulation of the sport, ease of play and downright enjoyable you have got whereas taking part in put it proper on the high of my favourite RPG’s of all time, and it is a critical contender to take the highest spot in time, as soon as the sport grows and will get all the splat books, adventures and numerous different goodies that Paizo is understood for.

First Place – D&D Necessities Package

From the preview:

“To say I used to be blown away by the construction, composition, and presentation of the Necessities Package is an understatement. This is maybe the corporate’s clearest and most concise introduction to the sport they’ve ever produced. It is so accessible, attentive to new gamers, ingenious, and thrilling that it even has me, a long-time veteran of the sport, raring to dive into the field with a model new group of gamers.”

Giaco: I have been Dungeon Grasp-ing video games of Dungeons & Dragons fifth Version because it was in open beta testing over 5 years in the past, and this new Necessities Package, which teaches the fundamentals of the sport and will get gamers rolling right into a pre-made journey, has been the largest shock for me because the Participant’s Handbook. I spent years operating introductory video games of D&D for brand new gamers at my native store in Brooklyn, NY, and educating folks to play the sport has develop into each a ardour and an experience of mine. What the Necessities Package will get so proper is the sense of surprise in taking part in a sport of D&D. It is a massive world, filled with an amazing quantity of choices, and by focusing the ruleset and selections to a extremely curated sampling, it solely ignites extra curiosity in new gamers. After taking part in by way of the Package, they need to know what other forms of characters they may very well be, they need to know what other forms of adventures are on the market. Put merely: the D&D Necessities Package makes new gamers need to play extra D&D, and what may very well be higher than that?


From all of us on the Techraptor Tabletop Group, thanks a lot for studying alongside this yr. We hope you performed some unbelievable video games, learn some stunning new rulesets, and proceed gaming nicely into the brand new yr and past. Here is to 2020, we hope you will be part of us for brand new adventures.

Did you play a tabletop RPG you suppose deserved a spot on this checklist? Do you agree with our high picks for the yr? Tell us within the feedback under.

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