MBAW – the 20th Anniversary Edition
The Mutant Bikers make a spectacular return in this full colour, special 20th Anniversary Edition! Yes, the game really is that old. The rules remain unchanged in this new edition but improvements have been made to the art and layout as fitting for the occasion. Same game, same attitude, same free price!
It’s an anniversary that matters only to me, but today marks two years since I released Bounty Hunters of the Atomic Wastelands.
I’ve not done much with BHAW in this past year as I’ve been occupied with Cyberblues City, however I can share an interesting statistic: the number of downloads of the game in its second year match almost exactly those for the first year. Roughly speaking as BHAW is approaching the 1000 download mark and I can see there about 500 last year and 500 this year; one or two each day, every day over two years.
If BHAW weren’t entirely free, I’d be feeling rather smug.
This consistency does surprise me. I would have expected the game’s downloads would have run out of steam by now, especially as I’m not really out there actively promoting it.
There are two things I can point as having boosted interest in the BHAW. The first, earlier this year, was the Mad Max movie. I posted about that before. I found it quite amusing that the spike in download matched the film release so closely.
The other was getting my games listed on E. Chris Garrison’s The Compendium of Free Role Playing Games (http://sillyhatbooks.com/about/games/). This site has been going since 1994 and has clearly quite a following. So much so that it has quickly supplanted RPGNet as the main source of referrals for BHAW.
I suspect it doesn’t hurt that BHAW as awarded the “Cool Game” icon on The Compendium of Free Role Playing Games, which puts the Bounty Hunters on the same category as Ars Magica, GURPS Lite and the current (basic) edition of D&D!
A Very Cyber Christmas
is a free, Christmas-themed adventure for Cyberblues City
. A new children’s TV show called “Santa’s Little Helpers” conceals a secret government programme designed to get young children to spy on their parents under the guise of helping Santa build up his naughty and nice list.
You may also be interested in Going the Distance, another free adventure for Cyberblues City or Night of the Atomic Snowmen, a free Christmas themed adventure for Bounty Hunters of the Atomic Wastelands, always from Polar Blues Press.
Going the Distance
is a short, non-linear adventure for Cyberblues City
involving crime bosses, boxers and cyborg bears.
And here’s the cyborg bear I mentioned.
“Cyberblues is a bit like Cyberpunk,
only more mellow.”
Cyberblues City is a near-future, action-adventure roleplaying game. Fast-playing and often funny, it offers a lighter take on the cyberpunk genre, both in terms of system and tone. Cyberblues City uses a much modified version of the Fudge roleplaying system designed to make it easy on GMs. And best of all, it is absolutely free.
For no particular reason other than perhaps it’s Friday I decided to show off the cover for Cyberblues City.
“Show off” might be a strong term. A better way perhaps to put it would be to say that I am satisfied this cover is just about the best I can do. Some days that’s enough.
Especially on a Friday.
Cyberblues City should be out soon!
Cyberblues City is just about finished. All I am doing now is just tweaking a bit the wording here and there, focusing on the tone. The artwork and playtesting is all behind me now and I am really quite excited and proud.
I had a vision of what Cyberblues City should be like long before it even had a title. I’m happy to say 8 months later I have stuck with that vision.
I wanted the game to harness all the best features of Bounty Hunters of the Atomic Wasteland but be simpler, leaving out those things that were still a little bit confusing or seldom used in practice. I was initially aiming for about 12 pages. It turned out to be more like 36. That is still just ⅓ of BHAW’s page count. More to the point all of what is contained in those 36 pages does get used in play.
I was aiming for a very specific tone in the writing, laconic but with humour. The writing assumes this is not the reader’s first rodeo which helps maintain a brisk writing style and makes it a better reference book. That’s the bit I still working on, but that tone is there.
I wanted to write a cyperpunk game that didn’t take itself too seriously and wasn’t too wrapped up in 80s aesthetics. Hence cyberpunk became cyberblues. The increase in inequality and roll back on civil liberties we’ve witnessed in the last decade were clearly an inspiration but I didn’t want to get all preachy about it.
And finally I wanted to do something different with the artwork. I’m no artists. The cartoon characters of Bounty Hunters of the Atomic Wastelands are pretty much all I know how to do. So doing “different” was always going to be a challenge. But I quite pleased with the results. I think they fit the text very well. There are some examples on this page.
So all in all, I’ve met my initial goals, it plays really well and some of the jokes are very funny. All things being equal I think the pdf should be ready for release in the next few weeks. Afterwards I’ll probably and get a few copies printed for private use and to give to my play testers. As with BHAW it will be a free download. As far as I am concerned work is work, hobbies are hobbies and mixing the two would just mess with my head.