Casus Belli 35

Casus Belli 35

There is a black swan on the cover, let's hope our RPG practice is antifragile, our crashes making it sturdier.

But what is "Casus Belli"? It's the "leading" TTRPG zine in French. Why "Casus Belli"? Because it started, in 1980, as a magazine about "Wargames, Role-Playing Games, and Diplomacy". One of the founders is François Marcela-Froideval, who also fathered the Tarrasque as he was working at TSR with Gary Gygax.

This is the number 35, it's the Christmas 2020 one, but they don't sell the PDF before it reaches most of their paper suscribers, so I only could get it two weeks ago.

What did remain after a diagonal read of it? The consent checklist. A whole article about consent in TTRPGs and a checklist, in French. I don't think I need it for my table, but I'll anyway raise the subject with my players. Diplomacy.

Having a set of checklists can streamline the preparation and the running of sessions for referees, The Checklist Manifesto is worth a read.

The Casus team went to all the french RPG publishers and asked them what impact 2020 had on them. That forms a very interesting enumeration of the french publishers, with answers circle around PDFs and VTTs. Shops with no digital frontend suffered. They need to do that again by the end of this year.

The big reviews included Würm 2nd edition, L'Empire des Cerisiers, Torg Eternity, Lore & Legacy (same author as La Grande Aventure du Jeu de Rôle), and many more.

The french editor Les XII Singes, also behind Les Oubliés, is coming up with a translation of Questing Beast's Maze Rats. Well, it's more than a translation, they seem to have added plenty of things and the reviews are very favourable so far.

Those twelve monkeys are also preparing a translation of Runehammer's Index Card RPG. Looking forward to see how it turns out.

There are many more smaller reviews in this #35. I remember that around 1990, there weren't as many games. Abundance.

One of my favourite sections is the "Nouvelles d'Ailleurs" (News from Elsewhere), where they review news from editors all over the world, from Arc Dream Publishing to Wyvern Gaming, with looks at Pelgrane Press, RiotMind, Ulisses Spiel and others. They point to Valraven, Spaghetti Warhammer?

It's a RPG magazine, it thus contains scenarii. They are for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, Star Wars, Savage Worlds, Achtung! Cthulhu, Trudvang Chronicles (out of an actual play), and Chroniques Oubliés.

Speaking of actual plays, they feature an interview of Lucien Maine, the GM of La Bonne Auberge which I recommend.

Looking forward to the upcoming #36.