Playing Games Online

COVID-19 has meant that a reasonably large number of people aren't allowed to interact in person without following strict health protocols.  That means for many of us, tabletop RPG's are not happening in-person for a while. Online video calls are a possible solution.

Gaming over video calls can be challenging because the audio connection cuts out when people speak over each other, which is fairly common in most tabletop games. It can also be hard to transition from an in-person campaign where you are used to having side-conversations or interacting with NPC's as a group, to an online-campaign which requires one person to speak (and act) at a time. 


I'd like to draw your attention to some one-shot Imaginary Empire games that can work fairly well over an online video chat and that might provide some light relief until we can meet in-person again:
  • In Soaring Lions only one player acts at a time, describing their actions inside and outside a professional wrestling arena. Randomised tables for speedy character creation can be entertaining and you'll be amazed just how much drama comes with the dice rolls made to execute wrestling moves. To play online ideally each player can see a copy of the Character Sheet, which has all the key rules for the game and one player keeps a track of the Lineup (order of character actions) and possible Special Matches using a Big Show summary sheet.  I suggest using a shared online dice generator like the excellent like Rolz so everyone can see the 'dice' as they roll. Character & Big Show Sheets can be downloaded here for free.
  • Death of Legends (and the sequel First Kingdoms) also use a turn-based sequence for characters to act, reducing audio overlap.  As with Soaring Lions the Character Sheets summarise the key game rules and an online dice generator keeps everyone involved in the action. The game would work best if one player is willing to act as facilitator, tracking the Enemy Returns reference sheet, assigning the Final Act cards during the game interlude (via email) and keeping track of the map crossing out territories (an online whiteboard function or screen-share works well for this).  The Game Materials can be downloaded here for free.

Diceratops Interview

I recently had the privilege to be interviewed about roleplaying games as part of the Diceratalks podcast series (presented by Diceratops, a local live-event fusion between roleplaying, comedy and theatre).  

In this podcast the talented Morgan Davie and I talked about newly released professional wrestling game Soaring Lions and many of the other games produced by Imaginary Empire, as well as the nuances of running games at roleplaying conventions. 

Check it out via https://diceratops-presents.pinecast.co

Soaring Lions Released

Since pulling together the first draft of Soaring Lions for the Pro Wrestling Game Slam, the game has been playtested, refined and expanded.  The full version of the game has now been published, along with Soaring Lions: Throwdown, a free sample version.

Soaring Lions brings the drama, theatre and pageantry of professional wrestling to tabletop roleplaying. Players take the role of amazing heroes and despicable villains in a fast-paced, winner-takes-all, competition.

This game is about getting to the action quickly and building your wrestler’s story through a mix of matches and backstage drama. Character creation is simple; wrestlers are built from basic elements which you can create yourself, or roll randomly using the Legend Machine.

In a single session (or Big Show), you’ll build your character’s acclaim as you compete in matches, form alliances with other wrestlers and grab the mic to call others out. You can cash in your acclaim to generate extra effort in a match, book special matches and claim titles to seize glory.

Do you crave more action, more glory and an even bigger stage? If so, playing a Big Series allows you to build a character’s storyline over a longer period, linking several Big Shows. Between shows you spend glory points to upgrade your character to do things like developing a devastating special move, attaining celebrity status or adding devoted followers to your retinue.

The Big Series concludes with a winner-takes-all Battle Royale match that features all of the characters competing for the ultimate prize.

This is a complete game for 2 or more players - there’s no need for anyone to take the role of facilitator or Game Master (GM), but if you’d rather have an offstage role, off-stage options are included to amplify the drama and help bring the characters to life.

Ten percent of the proceeds from the sale of this product are being donated to financially assist those in the wrestling industry that have fallen on hard times via the Cauliflower Alley Club.

Support for Black Lives Matter

The folks at OneBookShelf have set up three new bundles of PDF products raising funds for Black Lives Matter, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Police Accountability Project and have created a spotlight on titles by Black creatives.

EPOCH: Shadows of Yesterday is included in a bundle supporting Black Lives Matter.

"#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes."

Please consider picking up one of these bundles today.



More support to fight COVID-19

The folks at OneBookShelf have set up three new bundles of PDF products to support different charities working to fight COVID-19.  All the proceeds from these bundles go to the specified charities.


EPOCH: The Experiment Continues is included in the bundle supporting Doctors Without Borders.  This bundle has a usual sale price of $653 but it's yours for a $20 donation.  

"Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971.


Today, MSF provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need in more than 60 countries."


Please consider picking up one of these bundles today.

Coronavirus Appeal

The Coronavirus presents a significant public health challenge, and thanks to your support we've been able to make a donation to UNICEF to help them in their good work. 

Imaginary Empire published three products to support children in need.  White Wedding, by Andrew Millar, Silent Night by Morgan Davie and Polaris Six by Dale Elvy have all racked up a modest sum of pay-what-you-want-donations over the years.

I'm pleased to say that today US$90 was donated from the royalties of these products to support the UNICEF Coronavirus Children's Appeal.  According to UNICEF:

"Over 80 per cent of the world's children are out of school due to enforced closures and are missing out on an education. It is critical that access to learning, health, nutrition and protection services for children is not affected.

UNICEF is working to protect some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. In the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, we are ensuring children have access to safe water and sanitation to prevent a catastrophic outbreak. And, we're supporting healthcare systems already on the brink of devastation in Syria and Yemen to prepare for this public health emergency."

Thank you for your generosity.

Pro Wrestling Game Slam

Imaginary Empire is new to itch, but managed to pull together Soaring Lions for the Pro Wrestling Game Slam 2K20 with just an hour to spare. If you like your wrestling game mechanics fast and simple, and your character stories dramatic and over-the-top, give this a look.