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Intriguing: Old-School RPG's Sci-Fi Fantasy World

Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall’s old-school RPG, Old-School RPG, has been the talk of the town lately, but – in all honesty – the town hasn’t had all that much to actually, well, talk about. The big Kickstarter reveal was fairly light on down-and-dirty details, so instead, most resorted to speculation. Others to flat-out making things up. And still others to crime. Now, though, Loot Drop’s dropped something worth holding onto – namely, a fairly sizable helping of plot/world details.

In short, it’s a potentially fascinating blend of sci-fi and fantasy. These bits, especially, have me excitedly pondering the possibilities:

“James Connelly works for Shaker, a Bridge corporation between time and worlds. Depending on the job he – or any of Shaker’s 400 employees – can be anyone you want them to be.  Human warrior? Done. Cyborg Psionic, also done.”

“Officially, Connelly was a resident of the Bridge, but he spent so much time away from it that the concept of residence and permanence had lost its meaning over time. He lived out of a locker at Shaker, storing only his most important mementos there — family heirlooms, a couple of gifts from post-jobs. He slept in rooms usually assigned to other Shaker employees destined for imminent departure. His family, a wife and two kids, residents of Barrow, would visit him when they could.”

Interesting class system and crazy speculative fiction psychological issues? If you look up my alley on a map, you’ll actually find it right at the intersection between Interesting Class System St and Crazy Speculative Fiction Psychological Issues Avenue. So those elements of Old-School RPG seem right up it.

Ultimately, the plot will end up focusing on Connelly’s trials and tribulations when he gets stranded on Antera, a “medieval, barely developed planet.” Or at least, that’ll be the case until the (at this point in the Kickstarter process, still theoretical) second, interlinked game comes out. That one will hand the spotlight over to Darien Cole, delving into the talented young operative’s mission-gone-gruesomely-wrong on a world called Tenerus.

There’s a short story on the Kickstarter page that introduces Cole’s tale if you’re interested in giving it a read. It’s a bit jargony, but promising nonetheless. Granted, none of this will matter a lick if the game ends up worlds away from being fun, so hopefully we’ll find out more about how it’ll actually work soon. Until then, I really hope it’s official in-game canon that – at one point – Shaker had a corporate rival called Mover, which it ultimately bought out. I mean, it only seems natural, you know?

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Nathan Grayson

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