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Lost in Old School D&D (and other stuff)Jens D.
Updated: 3 hours 2 min ago

ORWELL @2081 - Now as PDF, too!

Fri, 04/26/2024 - 18:58

Hello, friends and neighbors. After long and hard consideration I decided to go one step further and make a PDF of my first RPG available on OBS. Turns out, many people would rather have a PDF than a PoD. I wasn't confident that a PDF would do the game any good three years ago, especially since it was layouted with print in mind and PDF has quite the different potential. That being said, I wanted to go through it once more and hunt for mistakes, so while at happened I started thinking ... we might need a PDF after all. So we did that, and here we are. Let me remind you about Ø2\\'3||

What is ORWELL @2081?

It is a cyberpunk rpg that could be described as:

Peter Pan in a dystopian future that plays like a dark and satirical anime series of psychological horror inspired by Black Mirror and the like.Get it here!

You want some details on that? Here's the blurb:

Welcome to a very dark world ...

The setting is Europe in the year 2081, unified under one totalitarian party called The Family. The United States of Europe (USE, for short) are a playground for all the bad ideas this century has already come up with (and some of the classics from the last 100 years). Citizens are rated by an arbitrary and mean Social Status system, puberty blockers are mandatory for all but the Elites. All of this is shrouded through a huge media ruse: reality is hidden behind a fully augmented and gamified layer, maintained by an AI implanted at birth and controlled by The Family. Citizens never grow up, just grow older and if they aren't high in social status, they are bled and used for everything they have, most of the time without even realizing it. That veil is lifted for some, and with that comes resistance (or opportunity).

It’s a game that assumes players are open to exploring all kinds of ideas and willing to put some thought into the stories they tell and experienced DMs who want to explore a system that challenges them as well. It is also a satire of a dystopian future that may not yet fall upon us …

How does it play, then?

It features a tried and tested original system that is based on a 3d12 roll versus a difficulty. What of a roll is used depends on the strengths and weaknesses a character has. The basic overview reads like this:

Everything else builds on that. There is a little game in the game for the DM to play where they gather "Pennies" over time and get to spend them to make live more difficult for the players. So the power a DM has fluctuates depending on how they play it and interact with the game.

ORWELL also features extensive tools to create and maintain setting and narratives in a very open and flexible world. It's also lushly illustrated, with over 40 illustrations on roughly 200 pages A5 ... The artist found the setting so inspiring that he went above and beyond to create content for it.

I wrote a session report way back that can give you an idea what that plays like, and you can find it here.

You want to read a bit more about how dystopian this game is, you should check out this post about social engineering in ORWELL.

You'd rather see someone else's take on the game? Check out what my good friend Eric has to say about it over on Methods & Madmen!

With all that, you should have a fair impression of what you are in for, but there's also a free preview of the game, including all the cheat sheets and the character sheet that you can get here. If there are any questions beyond that, feel free to hit me up with a comment. I really like to talk about it, too :)

Support a small publisher!

If you need any more convincing about this, I'd like to add that it'd help and mean a lot. It is rare and precious to get feedback on one's work, but buying a product shws appreciation as well and I see it as an investion into the future more than support of a product (because for that it needs to be read or even played!).

What I mean by that is that seeing my offers/designs/ideas being appreciated motivates me to push harder for the things I'm still working on. Your support means a lot and moves a lot.

If ORWELL doesn't tickle you but you'd like to support us, checking out what we also have to offer goes a long way. Minimus Ludus, for instance, is a great little rpg that goes into very different directions in its design and settings.

All of it is appreciated, as are those who already bought our games.

We hope you'll check out ORWELL!

I'm proud of this little game and I hope it will bring people some of the joy we had playing and play-testing it. Don't get me wrong, I know it is not for everybody (the contents are quite mature, actually), but I really hope it finds its people.

And with that we present the PDF of the revised game, with all the bells and whistles one could imagine (bookmarks! hyperlinks!), in the hopes it expands its reach. It'll cost 10 bucks for now and if you buy the PoD (just ordered the proof, when that's fine, that'll be available again, too), the pdf comes free with that. Those who have already bought it should get a message about how they can claim their free pdf ... if not, get in contact.

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