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  • Urban Shadows

    Since it scratches a very similar itch to World/Chronicles of Darkness, I figured I'd ask here: how do folks like Urban Shadows? For the unfamiliar, it's a Powered by the Apocalypse game about monsters and in-the-know mortals making shady deals and terrible mistakes in the back alleys of a world very much like our own.

    I've never played a PbtA game before and would like Urban Shadows to be my first, but I'm deterred from it by the promise of later content that was funded by the Kickstarter (two years ago!) that still isn't out yet; the weird completionist in me doesn't want to get into it before all the options are out. Supposedly the setting book is going to be out in the next month or so, but I have my doubts.


    Just call me Lex.

    Female pronouns for me, please.

  • #2
    Hey atamajakki,

    I actually got Urban Shadows as a present from a friend of mine who attended a Con. I've been slowly making my way trough the book and I've been really liking it so far.

    The system is very simplified in all the right ways, and it's primary engagement comes from trying to figure out the most creative way to use Moves to tell the story you want for your character. Corruption Moves are a cool idea although some of them seem a bit strange in how they trigger (like the Aware Archtype makes perfect sense from an engaging narrative perspective but the Veteran Archetype's "don't head straight into danger" trigger seems like it would make the character less engaging rather than more.)

    Again, still going through the book so I can't give you a full picture of it yet. But, just to some up one of my favorite parts: Urban Shadows simplifies and condenses Kindred Politics and Economics into a single unique feature all Vampires get called The Web, without sacrificing all the creativity and depravity that comes from the original source material. It's really a thing of beauty and really showed to me that this was definitly a product to look more into.

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    • #3
      It looks like a really lovely game, but it drives me up the wall when games have more content coming that I want. Their Kickstarter funded in June 2014, and we're now nearly into March 2017 without their one supplement still coming out - and that supplement still isn't going to have all the stretch goal Archetypes! I understand that books take time, but those playbooks are literally three pages long, and the hold up worries me.


      Just call me Lex.

      Female pronouns for me, please.

      Comment


      • #4
        Really?

        I wasn't really aware of the information about it's Kickstarter history, so I wasn't even sure what extra content was coming. My only experience with it has been as a present from a friend, so I completely understand your reservations about picking it up. I'd most likely have them too were I in your shoes.

        Just curious too now, what stuff is in the content they're supposed to release?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dusksage View Post
          Really?

          I wasn't really aware of the information about it's Kickstarter history, so I wasn't even sure what extra content was coming. My only experience with it has been as a present from a friend, so I completely understand your reservations about picking it up. I'd most likely have them too were I in your shoes.

          Just curious too now, what stuff is in the content they're supposed to release?
          A supplement called Dark Streets, with some prebuilt settings and playbooks, and then three or four other playbooks past that.


          Just call me Lex.

          Female pronouns for me, please.

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh, nice. Gonna check this one out. Thanks for the tip.

            Edit: Shit. Have you ever been in that situation when you were going to buy an RPG and bought four?

            *sigh* I have a problem.
            Last edited by Weimann; 02-25-2017, 04:18 PM.


            Dex Davican wrote: I can say without exaggeration or dishonesty that I am the most creative man ever to have lived

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            • #7
              Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

              A supplement called Dark Streets, with some prebuilt settings and playbooks, and then three or four other playbooks past that.

              Damn, I though it was maybe just one or two...and they're all still not coming out yet and have no specified release date?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dusksage View Post


                Damn, I though it was maybe just one or two...and they're all still not coming out yet and have no specified release date?
                They said "end of this month!" last month for Dark Streets, and nebulously further out than that for the other playbooks.

                It wouldn't bug me so much if those playbooks - The Angel, The Immortal, The Dragon - didn't all sound like characters I'd kill to play as, or if that city book didn't have my RPG author crush Ken Hite describing his beloved home of Chicago in it.


                Just call me Lex.

                Female pronouns for me, please.

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                • #9
                  Geeeeh! I want all of those things!

                  Damnit Urban Shadows!

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                  • #10
                    I've played it and I'm a big fan. Our campaign involved a ghost (my character), a werewolf, and immortal, a chaos mage, and a chosen one (I think that's what they're called). A narrative heavy, systems light game. Very enjoyable.


                    Matthew Dawkins
                    Freelance Writer and Developer for Onyx Path Publishing


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                    • #11
                      That's fantastic, i'm glad you got to play a game of Urban Shadows. I've been wanting to for some time but haven't got a chance due to my usual group having a more difficult time meeting up thanks to distance and work.

                      How was using the Moves in actual play? Was is very fluid and not noticeable or does it have a bit of a different feel from how other horror or dark fantasy games usually run?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post
                        I've played it and I'm a big fan. Our campaign involved a ghost (my character), a werewolf, and immortal, a chaos mage, and a chosen one (I think that's what they're called). A narrative heavy, systems light game. Very enjoyable.
                        That got me thinking: are there any contemporary non-storygame-type (I mean in a sense of not having direct narrative-influencing mechanics), medium-crunch/simulationist alternatives to WoD/CofD 1e for urban fantasy/horror games? Excluding CoC.


                        If nothing worked, then let's think!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PMárk View Post

                          That got me thinking: are there any contemporary non-storygame-type (I mean in a sense of not having direct narrative-influencing mechanics), medium-crunch/simulationist alternatives to WoD/CofD 1e for urban fantasy/horror games? Excluding CoC.
                          I suppose my answer depends on whether or not you think GUMSHOE counts as a storygame, but then again storygame isn't a dirty word for me.


                          Just call me Lex.

                          Female pronouns for me, please.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                            I suppose my answer depends on whether or not you think GUMSHOE counts as a storygame, but then again storygame isn't a dirty word for me.
                            I don't think it's a dirty word either. It's just not my cup of tea, for various reasons.

                            It seems like that most new games nowadays either belong to the D&D/OSR family, or are indie/storygames and the urban fantasy/horror games I know about are from to the latter group which I'm not really interested in (although some of the settings are really interesting, it's just the mechanical approach I don't like).

                            It would be great to have alternatives with the classical style of WoD/NWoD 1e as approach to system goes and I thought someone might know a game I'm not aware of.


                            If nothing worked, then let's think!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PMárk View Post

                              I don't think it's a dirty word either. It's just not my cup of tea, for various reasons.

                              It seems like that most new games nowadays either belong to the D&D/OSR family, or are indie/storygames and the urban fantasy/horror games I know about are from to the latter group which I'm not really interested in (although some of the settings are really interesting, it's just the mechanical approach I don't like).

                              It would be great to have alternatives with the classical style of WoD/NWoD 1e as approach to system goes and I thought someone might know a game I'm not aware of.
                              If you want an alternative to CoC and nWoD mortals, definitely give Fear Itself/The Esoterrorists a look. I'm not sure if you'll dislike it or not (some folks have a vehement hatred of GUMSHOE, viewing it as fixing a problem that doesn't exist) but it's my favorite horror investigative game on the market.


                              Just call me Lex.

                              Female pronouns for me, please.

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