5 Best Summer Role Playing Games

Saturday marked the official start of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere (sorry, Australian listeners). And Fandible spent it

Nature's Dice by The7thLoonatic/Deviant Art

Nature’s Dice by The7thLoonatic/Deviant Art

just as we do every Saturday: role playing. Because we are nerds who shun the day star and prefer to develop a pasty palor rather than worshipping the sun. (In our defense, at least two of us claim Irish heritage and the sun really is our nemesis.) But just because we aren’t taking beach days doesn’t mean that we don’t acknowledge that summer brings with it a decided change in lifestyle. And not just increased electricity costs from the AC. Some games just beg to be played in the summer, whether it’s their genre, style, or physical form. Here is a (totally unscientific) list of the five best role playing games to play in the summer.

Game: Hollow Earth Expedition, Exile Games Studio

Why?: Because I am contractually obligated to mention this game in every Fandiblog post.


Sea Witch may or may not be included.






But aside from that, there are few games that do a better job of imitating the summer action blockbuster genre than Hollow Earth. Explosions, dinosaurs, mad science, dinosaurs, nazis, explosions, and did I mention dinosaurs? Just ignore that pesky social commentary the GM keeps trying to insert.

Game: Final Girl, Gas Mask Games

Why?: Rules light slasher horror game.








While October is when horror movies kick into gear, at Fandible we love Final Girl at any time of the year when we want a game we can pick up fast and run. With all of the rules and potential plot hooks contained in a 28 page booklet, and only a deck of playing cards and some index cards for materials, it doesn’t get much easier than this. Shorter prep = more time to enjoy the sun (if that’s your kind of thing).

Game: Fiasco, Bully Pulpit Games

Why?: Go as crazy silly as you want in another rules-light game.

Yeah. Fiasco is kind of like that.

Yeah. Fiasco is kind of like that.







You can play pretty much anything using various freely-available Fiasco playsets. Superhero blockbuster? Check. Historical drama? Check. Backstage farce? Check. It’s quick to pick up, and plays without a GM so the story can go in all kinds of crazy directions. And then the “tilt” happens and everything is guaranteed to go to hell in a handbasket.

Game: Monsterhearts, Buried Without Ceremony

Why?: Because all of your supernatural teen angst drama shows are on summer break. And you’ve finished your annual re-watch of Buffy already.

Good. You won’t mind looking at my Castiel/EVERYONE tumblr then

Good. You won’t mind looking at my Castiel/EVERYONE tumblr then

Summer is steamy. Monsterhearts with its infamous sex move is also steamy. Match made in heaven! One of the early riders on the Apocalypse World bandwagon, Monsterhearts has most of the rules the players need contained on one 8.5×11 sheet of paper. Character customization takes just a few minutes, and then you’re off. This can get as dark and angsty or light and campy as you want, just make sure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to the deployment of those sex moves.

Game: Warhammer 40K, Fantasy Flight Games

Why?: Because you’re not in school but miss lugging around a text book.

A question asked weekly by Fandible listeners

A question asked weekly by Fandible listeners

In many ways, Warhammer 40K is the opposite of everything else in this list. It is dark (corpse crackers, anyone?), it is rules-intense (I wasn’t kidding with the text book reference), it’s freaking insane. And yet, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t have a lot else going on during the summer, it might be the perfect time to delve into Warhammer 40K. No tests to study for, no extracurricular schedules to plan, just days filled with nothing but death and destruction.

But enough from me! What are you playing this summer?

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About the Author
A city girl with midwestern roots, Angela has been on the internet for far too long. A geek of many stripes, when Angela isn't pretending to be a different person every weekend she can be found reading, writing (that novel will come out some day!), or preparing for her eventual life as a crazy cat woman. Angela also blogs about gaming at the blog Gaming as Women http:///www.gamingaswomen.com

8 comments on “5 Best Summer Role Playing Games

  1. Warren says:

    I think Eclipse Phase is just the thing to make you appreciate things like that summer sun and copious amounts of oxygen.

    Also, what better way to cool down than a little spacewalk in the near absolute zero temperatures of vacuum.

  2. Quorganism says:

    Well, my group and I are some of those Australian listeners you mention, huddled against the freezing winds we have indeed broken out the Rogue Trader; having to contend with our captain’s “missing” father, the Kroot bodyguard’s energetic twin children and highly accomplished ex-wife, the Arch Militant manifesting psyker powers, the former Navy Astropath being stuck in a room full of heretics… alongside the usual madmen and apocalyptic plots. Our 40k has become an alarming kind of soap opera…

    Otherwise, our twisted adventures with Changeling the Lost continue, with our intrepid heroes currently locked in a dreamscape, being forced to act out a murder mystery that looks a lot like Murder on the Orient Express… so our rpg group are playing characters who are roleplaying… but given last summer they crashed a hovercraft into a castle full of magic bikers it’s probably not the strangest thing they’ve been up to…

  3. Thanak Drahz says:

    Also from Australia (What are the odds? Maybe now we can catch some of that delicious geographical Billy Bile during a recording) and struggling to figure out what to do now the sun is not actively trying to scorch us off the face of the earth.
    My group’s Rogue Trader and Black Crusade games seem to have died on the vine due to time constraints and mysterious player disappearances. So I am now trying to entice the remaining players into trying out Numenera, I even have an adventure designed for a convention with pregenned characters on hand in the hopes of hooking people in during one of the brief periods we can get together.
    I did consider floating Monsterhearts for the same reasons (also outlined by Angela above) but after seeing what the group can do with Warhammer 40K canon I am not letting them anywhere near this thing!

  4. Jake says:

    I would recommend Deadlands Reloaded, since those hot summer days can set the mood perfectly for the sun-scorched landscapes of the Old West. It has a delightful and rich campaign setting and backstory, so you can play it from the perspective of a doomed descent into a literal Hell on Earth, or a lighthearted romp where you steal the zombie general Santanna’s magical leg and have to make a daring zeppelin escape from Mexico.

  5. malkavianmadman says:

    Kiwi listener here. My group is running the Worlds largest dungeon for D and D 3.5 as well as Nocturnum for Call of Cthulhu. We might even be trying out a D20 future tech campaign as well.

  6. CallmeIshma3l says:

    So the real question is: will there a be a Summer Fest run of the Fandible Crew playing these great games?

  7. Angela says:

    I love all of these additional suggestions. And I had NO IDEA we had so many Aussie/Kiwi listeners. Uh, g’day?

    Ishma3l – no formal Summer Fest, at least not this year. But I can guarantee two of these games will show up this summer, with two others as strong possible contenders. Anyone care to guess what games fall where?

  8. J says:

    Request – Dark Heresy 2nd edition.

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