Apr 232012
 

A while back on the /r/rpg portion of Reddit, an RPG was born. Some discussion was had, people were contacted and then it got quiet for a while. Suddenly, just as the memories of those discussions were fading, out bursts Enter the Shadowside – a fully formed RPG!

The folks at FableForge have just released their flagship RPG, which is available at DriveThruRPG right now, for just five bucks. I’ve got my copy and it’s looking like a lot of fun. Here’s FableForge’s press release.  If you check out their website, you can download a PDF featuring a few pages from their exclusive comic and from the RPG itself.

New York, April 20 – FableForge, an indie organization, released its first sourcebook Enter The Shadowside, a paranormal-themed RPG set in modern times and based on the Jacob’s Ladder system, an innovative visual device which resolves conflict through the properties of geometry.

The premise of the Shadowside realm offers a single theory to explain all paranormal phenomena and most religions under one umbrella. Player characters join one of nine possible organizations -ranging from elite catholic agents a la DaVinci Code, to occultist power brokers following in the steps of Aleister Crowley, to web savvy anarchs and rebels reminiscent of Fight Club. Each campaign has different organizations taking different sides in a global spiritual war -the proverbial End of Days foretold by most religions. Player characters join in Hierogamy with spiritual entities played by the StoryHost, receiving paranormal abilities in exchange for hosting a second soul in their flesh bodies.

Enter The Shadowside’s game mechanics are firmly connected to it’s premise of supernatural agency through the use of Belief Points, a character resource which serves dual purposes both powering paranormal abilities as well as modifying the outcome of dice rolls. Through it’s unique World Turtle design, characters enjoy a range of 14 different Traits while only having to maintain 7 (ie. Strength and Dexterity combine to form Agility).

Although designed with mechanical efficiency in mind, the focus of the game is placed firmly on story-telling through a philosophy referred to as “Seeing” -the act of removing oneself as an active creator of fiction, and instead assuming an observer role to intense events which are nevertheless out of one’s direct control. In other words, Enter The Shadowside encourages reaching that famed state where “the characters are practically playing themselves already”, as more than one veteran player has reported experiencing at some point.

FableForge has embraced an “Open Canon” concept, where any person who truly cares may attempt to write (and even sell) official Shadowside materials without owing any royalty whatsoever. Creative collaboration takes place in their online boards, at reddit.com/r/shadowside.

Enter The Shadowside includes a 16-page full-color comic book by Adam Isailovic and sells for $4.99 at DriveThruRPG.

Life is a resistance to what came before it, and what comes after. The universe of things is the illusion, as is the sense of birth as our beginning and death as our end.

At a primal level you know this to be true: the squareness of this world has made your mind wander, and in dreams you’ve been given glimpses of elsewhere. You remember what this elsewhere felt like, because you’ve been there. Think back of when you were a child: late at night you wake up for nor reason, your eyes go to the closet, it’s dark. Remember what that felt like. The details don’t matter -the details are gone. It’s the scent what stayed with you. Others disregard it. Maybe you tried to, and can’t. You suspect right.

The hidden wars do rage all around you; and you suspect right every time you feel their echoes whispering down the back of your neck. Take the next step. Let Belief be your key, your door and your doorknob. Let it guide you to a place where you can will anything into existence by simply hoping (or fearing) it’s already there. Because it most certainly is. Dreams and nightmares, Cogito Ergo Mundus – the Shadowside.

About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

  3 Responses to “Looking for a paranormal themed RPG set in modern times? Check out Enter the Shadowside!”

  1. […] Ben @ Troll in the Corner posted a release for FableForge’s flagship RPG this week – Ent… Paranormal investigation in an almost Millennium-sounding (TV, FOX many moons ago) way with a “single theory to explain all paranormal phenomena and most religions under one umbrella.” Intrigued? Me too! Get more details at the FableForge website… And the book includes a cool 16-page full-color comic too! […]

  2. This game sounds really cool! I haven’t heard of an RPG set in modern times. I may have to try this one out. You said you’ve received your copy, but have you played it yet? How was it?

  3. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and play it yet. Sadly, I probably won’t for quite some time!

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