Season 2 is now airing!
The premier game of season 2 is Retrostar! A 70's sci-fi game both created and run by Barak Blackburn. This game should appeal to anyone who is a fan of science fiction at any level, whether it be space, time travel, superpowers, or cybernetics. The psychology focus for this game will be "Family Therapy".
Recommended Ages: 12+
Genre(s): 60s, 70s, Sci-Fi, TV Shows
Rules Depth/Difficulty: 3/10
Why you should play it: Warp into the past and run your own TV show during the grooviest decades. The game does a phenomenal job emulating the feel of television by breaking play into acts based on a set number of dice rolls. The structure creates forward moving and interesting narrative. There are also dials for things like cheese, special effects, or seriousness to modulate the themes and settings.
Challenges: Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects is the option to give up your control to the "Showrunner" (gamemaster) in exchange for success. Losing agency can be a struggle for some players and should be committed to in advance. Keeping a flowing show on track can be difficult for new gamemasters.
Therapy Focus: Family Therapy. Watch the way our family interacts and the dynamics in play. At the end of the final episode Nate and I will have a discussion reflecting back on the game while teaching about family therapy.
Click the header to be taken to their website! Interested about the development side of the game? We interview Barak Blackburn on the Degecast here!
RETROSTAR PREMIER EPISODE
The second game of season 2 is Realms of Pugmire!
This game utilizes Wizards of The Coast's open source license to create a high fantasy world filled with anthropomorphic animals. Taking key mechanics from Dungeons & Dragons, play is accessible running a simplified version of a proven structure. This game should appeal to animal lovers and fans of the classic high fantasy genre. The psychology focus for this game will be "Anxiety".
Recommended Ages: 10+
Genre(s): High Fantasy, Animal Themes
Rules Depth/Difficulty: 3/10
Why you should play it: Take on the roles of Labrador warriors, Boston Terrier spell casters, or Great Dane rogues far in the future after the disappearance of humanity. Dogs have been "uplifted" gaining greater intelligence alongside other animals and advanced culture to the medieval period. Roleplaying animal characters one has the ability to remove an additional layer of nerves to immerse themselves in the game. Telling human stories through the eyes of animals allows us to remove preconceived notions and biases while maintaining compelling essence.
Challenges: For some people the animal aspect will impede their play. It can be easy to focus on how dogs should behave and therefor disconnect too much from your character. Similarly the idea of animal violence can prevent enjoyment.
Therapy Focus: Anxiety. Watch how each character struggles with ideals, bonds, and flaws integrated into their backgrounds. Roleplaying dog characters affords players enough distance from reality to tackle challenges safely. At the end of the final episode Nate and I will have a discussion reflecting back on the game while teaching about anxiety.
Click the header to be taken to their website! Interested about the development side of the game? Hear our interview with game creator Eddy Webb on the Degecast!
The third game of season 2 is M A S H E D!
According to creator, Mark Plemmons, the game is inspired by Night Valkyries and the MASH TV show. The core book reads like a fun history text allowing for seemless entry into the Korean war setting. The dice rolling uses the Powered By The Apocalypse foundation, but adds a plethora of individual moves to make each job feel unique and help define your role in camp. Combat is basically nonexistent. Instead it focuses on the daily life of military stationed in a foreign country and the intensity of medical situations. This game should appeal to lovers of medical drama, history buffs, and veterans in a fun, educational, and therapeutic capacity. The psychology focus for this game will be trauma in the military and medical field.
Recommended Ages: 16+
Genre(s): Military, Medical, History
Rules Depth/Difficulty: 4/10
Why you should play it: Take on the roles of military personnel in the forms of warrant officers, chaplains, surgeons, and physicians. Experience some of the grittiest noncombat drama possible in a roleplaying game. Tackling the struggles of military in a foreign land during war can be an eye opening event or a healthy medium for veterans to discuss their own experiences. The game serves as an educational platform allowing people to make quick dramatic choices that may or may not save a fellow soldier's life.
Challenges: For some people the brutality of war will be too heavy. Playing with ultra realism, the nature of injuries will be graphic as they would be in an operating room. All the information you could possibly need about the war is within the text, but it may be a lot for first time players.
Therapy Focus: Trauma. Watch how each character struggles to remain calm and happy while their fellow members suffer grievous injuries. Every decision counts and impacts if a soldier lives or dies in the operating room. Every job matters in maintaining the sanity of the company, allowing them to perform their best. We learn that even the small things matter in daily life there like mail delivery, paperwork, or cleanliness. Everybody is simply trying to survive physically and mentally in a tough scenario. Beginning with this game series, we will have the gameplay separate from rules and wrap up discussions.
Click the header to be taken to their website! Interested about the development side of the game? Stay tuned in the future for an interview with game creator Mark Plemmons on the Degecast!