Until We Sink


Magnus Jakobsson


This game draws a strong inspiration from the comic books L’île noyée by Benoit Sokal and Trazo de Tiza (Streak of Chalk) by Miguelanxo Prado.

All the characters are either natives or holiday guests on a tiny resort island far into the Paciic Ocean. One or two natives and two to four guests – and a fishing enthusiast, who is found dead just before the game starts – are the only people on the island. The climate is warm and pleasant, but a little humid. People keep talking of a coming storm. And the island is slowly but surely sinking into the ocean.



21 thoughts on “Until We Sink

  1. Ah! Good! This game is a modern classic! A sophisticated design to promote tight stories, with great entertainment- and replay-value! It is THE roleplaying game that has had most influence on my own game design. Nice to see it translated. Any foreign gamesmith or gamer or intelligent being out there may find beauty in this game!

  2. Ah, Until We Sink. I bet It’s the most played R.I.S.K. game ever. So easy to pick up even my parents would understand it’s playability. I’ve played it about 5 times or so, and It’s been a different game all the times.

    Tomas’s spin-off game: “Livets Hoest” shows how Until We Sink’s system works great with other moods and themes. I’d love to see you translate it and post it here! *Hint hint!*

  3. Sorry, Michael, but “Livets Høst” (Autumn of Life) is part of a modern RPG-project I’m in the process of writing. I’d like to get a publisher for that project, and will keep “Livets Høst” under a lid until that happens.

    The method of “Until We Sink” is indeed appliable in other games too, with totally different moods. I tested “Until We Sink” at Holmcon and immediately wrote a game on the same method: “No danger, the flight is crashing”. It worked very well, being a burlesque political farce. “Livets Høst” is a serious human drama on death and friendship, using the same method to great effect. These two games, and “Until We Sink” itself, has shown with great clarity that the method is very robust and versatile.

  4. Hi! I’m the guy which posted an article in Italian about Norwegian Style Roleplaying. A week ago I got to play “Until We Sink” at a local con. I liked this game a lot, and surely I’m going to play at a dinner with non-roleplaying friends. I loved its semplicity and its depth. Bravo!

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  8. I got Norwegian Style anthology while Holter was visiting Finland last summer. I read the book and liked it a lot: loads of interesting ideas and cool games (although you guys seem to be fascinated by story games using pre-made story elements).

    Anyway, we played In the Belly of the Whale (a variant of Until We Sink, it seems) tonight. The system worked fine, although inserting “Twins” and “Love Letter” into the story were a bit difficult. One of the players suggested that it would be easier, if you shared the four Action Cards to each player first and then you could choose which one to use on your turn. I didn’t have any problems with the game, but this is probably due to me being more experienced with role-playing in general. I myself enjoyed the impro-storytelling, which the game supported really, really well.

    The coolest part? We realized that when I narrated “ruined face” as Esmeralda clawing Fernando’s face as self-defence, I actually explained why Fernando is one-eyed these days!

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