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Encounter Critical: A Science-Fiction Fantasy Role Play Game

Encounter Critical: A Science-Fiction Fantasy Role Play Game


A Creation Myth for RPG Awesomeness

Interstellar war destroyed the navigation beams, leaving thousands of planets isolated and billions of wayfarers stranded in their last ports of call. Out here on the Medieval Rim of the galaxy, the locals don't even know what a spaceship is. For more than eleven years, the navbeam recievers have remained silent ... just tiny blue lights, blinking in the darkness: NO SIGNAL

They call this planet Vanth, and they call the starport "God City." In the old days, space merchants played the "visitors from the godly realms" routine and the locals - accustomed to sorcery, like most medievals - ate it whole. That lie is a luxury no one can afford anymore, and God City is going native, becoming as much a fantasy metropolis as anything else.

The wizards and warriors of Vanth have accepted that the "sky gods" are here to stay. The star-soldiers and space-merchants wonder if there's anything left of the galaxy they remember. In a situation like this, there's only one reasonable course of action left: make friends, form a party, and go adventuring!

The one and only Encounter Critical is an unusual free RPG from Cumberland Games & Diversions. It's by S. John Ross (Risus and Pokéthulhu and whatnot), with added illustrations (of a sort) by Dave Insel and Cody Reichenau (friends from his gaming group). But at the same time, it isn't ... This is gaming from another past, a garage-made RPG designed circa 1979 by two mythical gamer-buddies who went to the same school and listened to the same rock bands: Hank "the wordsmith" Riley and James "idea man" Ireland. It's illustrated by friends from their gaming group, the Saturday Night Dragon Slayers.

Confused? Intrigued? Vaguely horrified? The best way to explore the world of Encounter Critical is to download the game itself. Grab it! It's free and fun and Not of This Timeline!


The downloads for this game also include Treasures of a Slaver's Kingdom, the free Encounter Critical computer game (an old-fashioned text adventure; it's a working computer game with hours of story to play through, and you can play it on your laptop, desktop, or mobile device!)

Treasures of a Slaver's Kingdom text adventure game

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April 10th, 2020
Yesterday I soloed my way through The Jade Hare for Basic D&D (9 pages, three to four hour adventure). It is designed for a Dungeon Master and several players. I used Paul's The Dungeon Oracle to solo it because I had played through it almost two [...]
July 25th, 2017
EC: (Purposely) Hillariously bad, and somehow so perfect! Whether or not you plan to play it, there are tear jerking lines in every page of this book. So read it! (And play it!) Treasures of a Slaver Kingdom: A hysterical text adventure game tha [...]
January 29th, 2017
Speaking as an unbiased observer of the role-playing game scene, Encounter Critical is objectively the best RPG. All you other game designers can go do something else. Your task is done. [...]
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Product Information
Rule System(s)
File Size:
6.85 MB
Original electronic
Scanned image
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Original electronic format
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File Last Updated:
June 05, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on January 27, 2017.