A Thousand Years Under the Sun

This is a game – or a sandbox – about the rise and fall of tribes, civilizations, creatures and phenomena on the open steppes of an imaginary geography. It’s easily playable in an evening, possibly several times.

Expect play to start out slowly. The setting will grow before your eyes, under your hands. As time passes, interactions and connections tend to develop – organically, because they’re interesting.

Web-friendly version (150 dpi)

Print-friendly version (300 dpi)

There’s a useful thread about the game at Story Games Seattle here: http://www.meetup.com/Story-Games-Seattle/messages/boards/thread/40339592/

Love in the Time of Seið

Love in the Time of Seið is now available for purchase!

Cover

Love in the Time of Seið was designed by Jason Morningstar and Matthijs Holter, and is based on Matthijs’ excellent game Archipelago II. Like Archipelago, this is a low-prep, quick playing story game type deal. Unlike Archipelago, this game provides very strong situation and guidance. There are five tightly-interconnected characters, compelling locations and events, and everything you need to get to the good stuff immediately.

40 pages, ten bucks, five bucks for the PDF. The authors are very proud of this game and hope you enjoy it!

The Society of Dreamers

In Europe, in the early 19th century, a little-known group was formed. The members called themselves the Society of Dreamers. The Society believed that there were autonomous life forms living in people’s dreams. They called these creatures mnemosites.

In “Society of Dreamers”, by Matthijs Holter, you and your friends play the Society of Dreamers, seeking to uncover the nature of the mnemosites with tools of science and mysticism. You will witness the childhood and youth of the members; the forming of the Society; and their investigation and – possibly – understanding of the mnemosite phenomenon.

The game is written for 2-5 players and takes an evening to play. There’s no game master, and no need to prepare anything (beyond reading the rules).

Visit the web site here!

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Archipelago II

After a year or so of playtesting with friends, and having other people pick up the game and play it without my supervision, I’ve done some rewriting and redesign. Feedback on the previous version was very positive (i. e., people had a lot of fun playing it). From the new version of the game:

About the game

Archipelago is a story/role-playing game where each player controls a major character. Player take turns directing and playing out a part of their character’s story, leading them towards their selected point of destiny, while other players interact with and influence that story.

Who is this game for?

If you like the story-telling part of games, and enjoy the creative challenge and inspiration that comes from working with others, this game is for you. If you like tactical mechanics, resource management, or player-vs-player competition, there are other games that might work better for you.

The vibe I’m aiming for

I wrote this game trying to capture the feeling of Ursula K. LeGuin’s «Earthsea» books. I wanted a game of grand destinies, that at the same time had time to dwell on the details of plants, words, everyday lives. I wanted a game that was about great conflicts, but at the same time treated its characters’ stories with respect. I wanted not a steel framework, but a spider web of thin threads creating subtler stories.

This game works best if you play it slow. Sometimes, the best thing to do is wait a little and see how things unfold. Ged stayed with Ogion for years, learning about the old language, the names of flower petals and bugs. There’s time to let the characters evolve.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Take your time.

Changes from the previous version
  • The wording of the ritual phrases has been changed; some phrases have been added; and the effect of some of them is different. Yes, that means you need to re-read them all if you’ve played the game before.

  • Fate and resolution cards have been added. Fate cards make ownership more active, and get the map more into play. Resolution cards are more fun than just red vs black cards.

  • There are a lot of little clarifications and expansions – on creating characters, creating destiny points, using the map, active ownership etc.

  • I’ve included a section on group dynamics from Wikipedia, along with my comments relating to Archipelagoan design.

    Download the newest version of the rules (Archipelago III) here!

Download Archipelago II here!

Try out the new techniques!

Check out the card deck!

Play the Spanish version!

…or the French one!

Mix it up with “Once Upon a Time”!

Try the “I Wanna Be a Stormtrooper” playset!

Download the steampunk playset “Anarktica”!

Grab your miniatures and dice and download the “A Grail Epoch” hack!

Wanderer

Author

Øivind Stengrundet

Description

” I’m a Wanderer.

When the first magical storm swept across Terrustor, dividing the islands and changing them, our fellowship was formed. To preserve the knowledge of everything that was.

Each storm creates a new picture of reality. We are the memory of the world. Adventurers, sailors, warriors, wizards and librarians. We watch, travel and write down. Intervene with the history of the planet, and form it in line with our ideals;

Each conscience holds immeasurable value.
Words, thoughts and language are valuable – in themselves.
A safe future is built on an illuminated past.

A Wanderer always helps another. We know each other by the green cloaks we bear, our thoughtful eyes, our common tongue.

I’m a Wanderer, and I have no home. This is my name, my calling, my life.

And the storm is building.”

Download

Rules

The Trouble with Demons

Author

Margrete Somerville

Description

The city’s magical underground had trouble some years back with an evil cult called the Cult of Gavrian. The whole thing ended in a magical battle where many good wizards sacrificed their lives, but the cult was beaten and destroyed forever. Now the wizards are led by Quanthalas the Mighty, who in his kindness has taken it upon him to mentor Hans, the orphaned son of two of the wizard heroes. Everyone looks up to Quanthalas, and trusts his judgement in all matters.

Too bad for young Hans, then, that he’s just found out that Quanthalas the Mighty is a member of the Cult of Gavrian, and is planning to usurp world power with brutal force! To make things worse, Hans finds himself backtied in an unknown basement with only four imps to help him. And he can’t quite control his imps, either.

Download

Rules and scenario

Characters

Zombie Porn

Author

Matthijs Holter

Description

Zombie Porn is a GM-less role-playing game that asks the question: “How far are you willing to go to survive in the undead entertainment industry?”

The characters are citizens of the Valley of Death, the capital of the underworld, the biggest collection of dead meat below the surface of the earth – and the centre of the necro porn industry.

During the game they’ll record porn movies, increase their status in the industry, hunt for body parts in the cold dewy Necropolis morning, and try to protect their own body from other hunters…

…all the while looking for true love. For everyone.

Download

Rules

Archipelago

Author

Matthijs Holter

Description

Archipelago is a story/role-playing game where each player controls a major character. Player take turns telling a part of their character’s story, leading them towards their selected point of destiny, while other players interact with and influence that story.

Inspired by Ursula K. LeGuin’s storytelling techniques, this game is designed to help players create living settings and experience grand destinies.

(The designer wishes to comment that the rules for Ownership are lifted wholesale from Dirty Secrets‘ Jurisdiction rules).

Player comments

“I tried Archipelago today with a good friend. The setting was Middle Earth a century after the fall of the North to the Witch King of Angmar. We found it an incredibly satisfying experience. It was really easy to get into a narrative flow and we enjoyed the game. The destiny points are an excellent way of keeping the story focused. We certainly intend to run this again.” – Harry, RPGnet

“We had a lot of fun! The fun started pretty much right away. (…) Archipelago stands as a good example of “just enough” rules. I really like it. It won’t create party play, but rather each player has a separate storyline that creates a kind of “walkabout” journey story, much like in LeGuin’s A Wizard of Earthsea. (…) all of that time we spent involved in the game, with minimal side-comments and tangents. We pretty much told a story for four straight hours” – Willem, Story Games

“Archipelago plays like a dream. I think it’s one of my favourite “collective storytelling” type games ever.” – Ole Peder, Story Games

Download

Rules – NOTE: These are the old 1. edition rules. The newest version can be found here!

New Voices in Art

Authors

Tor Kjetil Edland, Arvid Falch and Erling Rognli

Description

New Voices in Art is a chamber game about about a group of aspiring artist the night before the opening of the exhibition ‘New Voices in Art’. The participants play a version of themselves as aspiring artists. The main themes of this game are ambition, ambivalence and aloneness. The world of modern art is used as a setting to symbolize our yearning for success and fulfillment as creative individuals. To produce this game you need a space that will function as the gallery in the game and as many pieces of art as there are participants playing artists. All information necessary for running this game can be found in the downloadable PDF file.

Download (from the Chamber Games site)

Rules