Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Over the Edge on Bundle of Holding

Given my love for Unknown Armies, I'd be remiss if I did not give a shout out to the current Bundle of Holding.  For roughly the next week (they occasionally extend popular bundles, so it's possible it will go for a while), Bundle of Holding is doing an Over the Edge bundle.

What is Over the Edge, you ask?  Over the Edge is a proto-Unknown Armies, conceived at least six years before UA.  The setting dispenses with the grittiness and gutter magic of UA, but maintains some high weirdness — David Lynch meets Erich von Däniken meets The Mikado.

Also notably: the game system uses the dice pool mechanic common to pretty much everything White Wolf does.  Jonathan Tweet and Mark Rein·Hagen worked together on a project, having previously developed Ars Magica together, and then went off to develop Over the Edge and Vampire: the Masquerade.  The dice pool concept remained common to both games.

At any rate, Over the Edge takes place in the small, Mediterranean island nation of Al Amarja.  Conspiracies abound on the island — all conspiracies are true, and pretty much all conspiracies have a presence on Al Amarja.  Skulduggery is so thick that it is common to serve guests snacks and beverages in their original containers (so as to assure them that they are not poisoned — it is also common to hold bottled drinks with one's thumb sealing the neck of the bottle for the same reason).  Scheming, sorcery, and super-science converge to craft a frenetic setting — Sigil meets Night Vale is likely another apt description.

(Character creation supports this strangeness, not only being incredibly fast and freeform, but lending itself to character backgrounds such as "cult sorcerer" or "monster from another dimension.")

If any of this sounds interesting, check out the glut of stuff on Bundle of Holding before January 15, 2014.

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