Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Subject Will be Revealed

Back in the 90s, when Lisa and I moved to the Bay Area so I could work at Chaosium, I got some fun postcards from a non-gamer friend in the Pacific Northwest who had gotten involved in a roleplaying experience he knew I would want to hear about. Every week for about a year, the players were creating poetry and art from the perspective of their characters. They did more worldbuilding than playing, when they played it sounded like a mix of roleplaying and live-action roleplaying. The game was full of secrets and spies and conspiracies. I asked for more info.

They were on an island. There were some really screwed up people running the island. Martial arts. Aliens, probably. Definitely magic.

Wait, wait, I said: are you playing Over the Edge? My friend wasn’t sure.

Is the island called Al Amarja? Yes!

I loved that this Over the Edge GM had made the game’s publishing history invisible to the players. They were having an experience, on an island named Al Amarja, and it was so over-the-edge that the game book stayed hidden.

I told my friend that I knew the guy who’d written the game, and that I’d introduce them someday. Years later, I did.

Vault forward another few years and Jonathan has revised Over the Edge. We playtested for a few months in my gaming garage, playing multiple mini-campaigns as Jonathan streamlined the system and shaped new storytelling tricks for the off the edge/grid campaigns of the 2020s.

The Kickstarter runs for the next three weeks. Visit soon.