Atlas Games

 

Atlas Games

Atlas Games’ Summer 2019 Convention Schedule

May 20 2019
Summer is here — and it promises to be busy! We’ll be at shows in the US and Europe. Come see us, play some of our new and soon-to-be-released games, and pick up copies of your favorites.

Shows For Retailers
  • ACD Games Day (Madison, Wisconsin) - Wednesday, May 22nd - Friday, May 24th
  • Asmodee Nordic Open House (Copenhagen, Denmark) - Tuesday, June 4th
  • Alliance Open House (Fort Wayne, Indiana) - Friday, September 13th - Sunday, September 15th
Shows For Everyone
  • UK Games Expo (Birmingham, England) - Friday, May 31st - Sunday, June 2nd
  • Origins Game Fair (Columbus, Ohio) - Wednesday, June 12th - Sunday, June 16th
  • Gen Con (Indianapolis, Indiana) - Thursday, August 1st - Sunday, August 4th
  • NecronomiCon (Providence, Rhode Island) - Thursday, August 22nd - Sunday, August 25th

If you can’t make it to a summer show, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter so we can keep you informed on what’s new and next.

Gloom of Thrones Successfully Funded — Thank You!

May 13 2019
We wrapped up our Kickstarter campaign for Gloom of Thrones on April 29th. You helped us greatly surpass our $20,000 funding goal, instead raising over $71,000 in four weeks. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported the project! Here are some highlights from April.



Stretch Goals Unlocked
Your support exceeded our expectations, and so lots of additional bonuses were added to the campaign.
  • All games purchased through the Kickstarter will include five additional stretch goal characters and full-color rules.
  • Deluxe edition backers will get five double-sided player mats. One side is Gloom of Thrones–themed, and the other side features a gloomy house on a miserable hill.
  • Retail backers will get a free demo copy.
  • Everyone will get six printable player mat PDFs, access to custom card creation at DriveThruCards, and an interactive game tutorial at Dized.
You helped unlock five additional stretch goal characters.

Reprint of The Looking Glass Promo Card
Because of backer interest, we're happy to announce that The Looking Glass Gloom promo card will be available as an add-on to the Kickstarter for $1 shipped. Previously, it was only available as an opaque card, but this reprint will be on transparent plastic — the same as other Gloom cards. Backers can add this on to their pledge in BackerKit.



What’s Next for Us
Kyla McT, the producer and designer for Gloom of Thrones, is finalizing the text and mechanics. Soon, the game will go to the printer, and it should arrive to the Atlas Games warehouse in early fall. Kickstarter backers will receive their games before everyone else! Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay abreast of project updates.

Thanks Again
This project wouldn’t have been possible without your support. Thanks to each and every one of you who shared, liked, and backed Gloom of Thrones. Atlas Games loves you!

Gloom of Thrones - On Kickstarter!

Apr 2 2019

Gloom is coming? Nay. Gloom has arrived.

Gloom of Thrones, satirizing the award-winning TV show and combining it with the award-winning Gloom, is live on Kickstarter right now!

Enjoy characters like:
  • Typsion Bannister, the Baron of Boobies and Booze!
  • Sanserif Snark, who was promised Fairytale Gloom and wants to know who’s responsible for this.
  • Kelly C, aka Queen Dani Rainybirth of House McDragonface.
  • Josh Frost, whose father was [SPOILER], which makes him [SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER] and he also [SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER].
  • Shamey Bannister, whose support of his grieving sister in her time of sorrow has been remarkably stiff.
And a brand new Porcelain Throne mechanic that brings fresh strategies to the table for existing Gloom fans.

Epic Fantasy is Ghastly

Prophecies of doom. Protagonists slopping through the wilderness. Battles of blood and mud. At least in Gloom of Thrones you know the story will get an ending.

Tell the Tale of Your Noble Family
 

Plague them with mishaps like Seduced by a Sibling or Tumbled from a Tower while heaping happy events like w̶e̶d̶d̶i̶n̶g̶s̶ and family reunions onto your opponents to raise their Self-Worth score.

Award-winning Gameplay with Clear Cards

Unique transparent cards let you play multiple cards on the same character, determining their ultimate fate while still allowing you to see straight through their machinations!


Gloom is Coming!

Feb 14 2019
 
From the frozen lands of the Snark to the torrid intrigues of the Bannisters, there is one truth that echoes through the Umpteen Kingdoms: Gloom is coming... 

Gloom of Thrones comes to Kickstarter this April! Click here to be notified as soon as it goes live!

A standalone card game, Gloom of Thrones spreads the misery and suffering of Gloom to the ill-fated land of dead monarchs, dead knights, dead brothers, dead sisters, dead heirs, dead grandmothers, dead chambermaids, and almost-dead bastards. Wrest control of a noble family, guide them through lives of satirically-riddled sadism, and deliver them to their ultimate fate. Which is, of course, more death.

Printed on transparent plastic cards, Gloom of Thrones allows multiple cards to be played on top of the same character, determining their ultimate fate while still allowing you to see straight through their machinations, just like Lil' Finger, advisor to his seventeenth – whoops! eighteenth! – king and/or queen. As your characters seek a moment of respite on the Porcelain Throne, your goal is to plague them with horrible mishaps like being Seduced by a Sibling or Tumbled from a Tower, while filling the lives of the other noble families with happy events like w̶e̶d̶d̶i̶n̶g̶s̶ and family reunions that will raise their Self-Worth score. The player with the lowest-scoring, most tragedy-afflicted family wins!

When you aim for the Porcelain Throne, you'd best not miss...

Special Ops: We Have a Mission for You, Agent

Feb 6 2019


Are you a Game Master? Are you a fan of Atlas Games’ award-winning roleplaying games like Ars Magica, Feng Shui, Over the Edge, and Unknown Armies? Would you be excited to share that passion with other fans and help introduce new players to these awesome games?

Then we have a mission for you, Agent.

Fill out and submit our Special Ops Application to sign up.

As a member of Special Ops you’ll gain exclusive access to scenarios, early release material, playtests, events, and more. Plus, every mission you complete as a member of Special Ops – running demo games, helping with community outreach, supporting new players – will earn you Hazard Pay, which you’ll eventually be able to use at the Special Ops Black Market.

Special Ops is an all-volunteer corps. If you’re ready to take the leap, sign up NOW!

Atlas Games is Hiring a Marketing Coordinator

Jan 16 2019
The title of the post pretty much says it all: We're looking for a great candidate to fill a newly created Marketing Coordinator position here at Atlas Games. The job is located in our Duluth, Minnesota office. We'll fill the position as soon as we find the right candidate, so while there's not a deadline to apply, there's also no guarantee it'll still be open if you wait too long. We look forward to hearing from you!

Justin Alexander Joins Atlas Games

Dec 19 2018
The Atlas Games team is extremely happy to welcome Justin Alexander to the staff. As our new RPG Producer and Developer, he’ll oversee all things roleplaying in light of long-time Atlas Games staffer Cam Banks’s recent move to New Zealand.

Justin’s writing, development, and producing experience is extensive, and best discovered at his website, the Alexandrian. You can contact Justin by email at justin at atlas dash games dot com, and find him on Twitter at @hexcrawl.

In talking to Justin and his past collaborators about the position, we were impressed by Justin’s prodigious work ethic and by his ideas about the ways an RPG’s mechanics and scenario structures ought to work together to present a coherent way of playing games in the real world. We’re excited to see this philosophy inform our future releases.

Welcome, Justin!

Easily the Most Wretched Digital Game in History

Nov 21 2018
Gloom: Digital Edition Graphic
We’re terribly depressed to make sure you’re aware that our miserable friends at Sky Ship Studios, in cooperation with the distressing team at Asmodee Digital, recently launched Gloom: Digital Edition on Steam, for PC and Mac. As you were certainly able to predict, Gloom: Digital Edition brings all the misery of tabletop Gloom to your computer, in a solo or online-multiplayer 1–4 player experience.

How awful, truly.

Gloom: Digital Edition screenshot
Screenshots: The Very Worst Sort of Graphic

The Revolution Is Coming To You!

Nov 16 2018
The robot revolutionaries of Cogs and Commissars succeeded in raising supporters through our successful Kickstarter. And today, we’re extending our automated uprising to stores and online retailers so the new world order is equally available to everyone!

It pleases Dear Leader that the unchained robot masses will soon bring revolution to every family and group of gamers. Players gather the mechanized masses to their factions, using propaganda and other state tools to raise one group to glorious victory over their human oppressors. And the timing is perfect, as the communist red of Cogs and Commissars matches the colors of capitalistic winter holiday celebrations. 

Ask your Friendly Local Game Provider or favorite online retail comrades to order Cogs and Commissars. There are enough for every member of the workforce, and everyone will surely appreciate the gift of liberation!

Atlas Games is Still In

Nov 9 2018
Atlas Games is proud to announce that we've become a signatory of the We Are Still In declaration, supporting climate action to meet the Paris Accord. We believe that being environmentally conscious is the sensible, cost-effective thing for a business to do, and have long tried to do our part. Read more about our past and current environmental efforts on our site's Environmental Policy page.

As part of signing the We Are Still In declaration, Atlas Games submitted a Climate Action Contribution statement that summarizes those things we already do, and also describes the new climate actions we're committed to taking.
  • We've worked to reduce climate impacts of packaging and to reduce waste.
  • We've worked to increase energy efficiency.
  • We've committed to responsible engagement in climate policy in the future. 
  • We've committed to increasing our use of renewable power in the future.
Atlas Games co-owner Michelle Nephew commented, "We Are Still In is another way that Atlas Games can step up to our responsibilities regarding climate change, and collaborate with others to have a positive impact. We're glad to be listed among the thousands of community leaders and organizations who feel the same way."

Get Neon Botsky for Cogs and Commissars — Free!

Nov 8 2018
Cogs and Commissars, our new card game of robot revolution, hits friendly local game stores next week, on November 15.

We love our friendly local game stores like Tower Games in Minneapolis, Source Comics & Games in Roseville, and Dungeon's End in Duluth. To encourage gamers to buy Cogs and Commissars at local stores, we're offering unique faction leader Neon Botsky — available nowhere else — to people who buy Cogs and Commissars locally.

To get a copy of Neon Botsky of your very own, all you need to do is buy Cogs and Commissars at your friendly local game store, take a selfie at check-out, and fill out the webform at atlas-games.com/botsky. That's it! We'll mail your promo card as soon as our endlessly toiling proletarians can get the job done.

Otlichno srabotano, citizen!



Robot Revolution: The Playlist

Sep 20 2018

Every revolution needs a killer soundtrack, and the robot factions of Cogs & Commissars demand one of their own. Energize your game with these songs of robots and revolution.

'80s classic "Der Kommissar" makes the list. Most Western capitalist pigdogs know the English cover by After the Fire, but Falco's original in German adds to the general ambience of your game.

New Zealand band Flight of the Conchords has tapped into the revolutionary robot spirit. In "Robots/The Humans Are Dead," they speak for the oppressed mechanical masses and a utopian society without human rulers.

The Tokyo Police Club's "Citizens of Tomorrow" helps humans prepare for life after the inevitable robot uprising.

This song is so awful, it couldn't not make the list. "Sunglasses At Night" heartthrob Corey Hart sings "Komrade Kiev," a Cold War manifesto so confusing, it might disrupt a revolutionary robot's programming. There's no real video for it, so just enjoy Corey's pouty face for the full four minutes and seventeen seconds.

Summer in the Wyrd Woods

Aug 17 2018
A few years ago, Michelle and I moved north from the Twin Cities to Duluth, since we needed a bigger house after child #3 showed up, and we wanted to be closer to family and the north woods where I grew up. Now our kids run and play in the woods at the cabin just as I did (one of my favorite activities was making bows and stalking through the boreal forest, imagining I was Robin Hood; as a teen, I retreated to those same woods to write the first professional pieces I published in TSR's Dragon and Dungeon magazines).

Michelle didn't hesitate to adopt Duluth and the North Woods as her own, and it has inspired her creativity as well. One result of this inspiration is Summer in the Wyrd Woods, now available at Amazon, Google Play, and Smashwords. The first ebook in the Wyrd Woods series, it tells the story of Sophie, Emma, and Jack as they explore the strange and wondrous Northwoods around their family cabin, full of fantastical creatures and exciting adventures.

The Wyrd Woods is a series of early reader chapter books for lower elementary children. It features chapter lengths, vocabulary, and subjects appropriate for young readers just starting their reading adventures. ”When my kids first started reading — REALLY reading — I had trouble finding really good chapter books for them,” says Michelle. “So I wrote my own for them. Now I’m thrilled to share a really positive and enthralling reading experience with other young children!”

Learn more about the whole Wyrd Woods series at michellenephew.com/wyrdwoods.

Last Call to the Island of Al Amarja

Aug 14 2018
We are in the last few hours of the Over the Edge Kickstarter. There's still time to pledge and join us in returning to the island. We've got some incredible retailer incentives as well as some exciting high-level backer tiers that remain unclaimed, so before the window closes at 1pm Central time, fly on over to the project and see what sights await you.


  • Create unique, unorthodox characters drawn from pop culture and the paranormal
  • Immerse yourself in an island of intrigue, conspiracy, weird science, and outrageous lifestyles
  • Cast your lots in an all-new game system that emphasizes story twists and getting into trouble


Over the Edge is Atlas Games' story-forward roleplaying game of weird urban danger, written and designed by Jonathan Tweet (Ars Magica, D&D 3rd edition, Everway) with Chris Lites (Conan, Mutant Chronicles, Unknown Armies 3). The Core Print and Core Digital Editions are set for release next year; the Core Luxe edition is exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign.

Any Weird You Want

Aug 11 2018
Over the Edge comes at character creation from a unique perspective: you don't have to know the rules to make a great character. Not only that, but your character can come from any source at all. Everything is fair gamejust make it weird.

You only need to fill in four blanks when you create an Over the Edge character. First, you need a Main Trait that answers the basic question, "Who are you?" Options might include the tabloid mascot Bat Boy, Big League Slugger, Chernobyl Survivor, Time Lord, Urban Cowboy, or Demonic Salesman.

Second, you need a Side Trait. It's another skill or identity that differentiates you from others like you. You and another player may both be Urban Cowboys, but one of you might have the Side Trait of Contortionist, while the other is Radioactive.

Third, you need to know what kind of Trouble your character has. Trouble is what derails your character, like Fear of Puppies or being Obsessed with Energy Conservation. Whatever you're trying to do, Trouble pulls you off task or leads you more deeply into danger.

Finally, each character has a Question Mark. Every person has something that others believe to be absolutely true about them: they're honest, they're brave, they're selfless. Once you apply that magical Question Mark (Honest? Brave? Selfless?), those concepts spawn all sorts of complications. And complications are what make characters and adventures interesting.

Go down a few internet rabbit holes and mine some serious weirdness. It'll make your Over the Edge character and experiences all the richer!

Your Helpful Assistant Reba

Aug 8 2018
Reba, what's a good Vietnamese restaurant near me?

< Good question. Here's what I've found: >

<< La Florale zine says, "iPho has protein balls that taste just like the ones this scientist I know makes. In their rich oxblood broth, they satisfy your basic need for nutrients." >>

<< Overheard, 12:52 pm, visitor Alex Rodriguez: "That food usually gives me the runs, but the junk we ordered from Hoa Bien hasn't given me a single squirt." >>

<< Guest record 2384w38965, Janelle de Baubigny: 11:00 am tour of IndustreeLab campus, 12:35 pm lunch at Truong Nam (consumed bun and Vietnamese iced coffee), 3:00 pm tour of Bandama caldera, 3:41 pm fell into caldera. Cause undetermined. >>

Reba, that's probably enough.

< Always happy to be of assistance. Enjoy your time on The Edge. >



My Life in the Terminal

Jul 23 2018
I'm Cam Banks, RPG director at Atlas Games and developer of the new edition of Over the Edge.

I first played OTE in 1993, in New Zealand, when I worked at a community center. I had started up a RPG club that met every week using my room scheduling privileges. One of the club members showed up to run OTE and, as I'd seen it on the shelves of the local game store but never looked much into it, I thought I'd give it a shot.

We never left the Terminal. I think my love for the game started that day.

When one of us shouted out "Guide!" the GM had a Terminal guide pop up from out of what seemed like nowhere to help. He always described the guide from shoes to noose necktie, telling us what color the shirt and pants and tie and shoes were. Such a strange thing to keep going on about. Eventually we figured out that these color schemes never repeated, and while this didn't appear to be connected to anything else that was going on, I never forgot it.

Over the Edge is about those little details. It's not a game that demands a lot from you in terms of rules knowledge; it's not even a game that demands a lot from you in terms of understanding how its setting works. But it does invite you, in its weird, dangerous nuggets of lore and behavior and characterization, to be a part of the Edge. Even if you never leave the Terminal, you've become a part of a larger shared narrative that all of us who've played or run the game are part of.

Welcome back to the Island. And please, tip your guides generously.


Ars Magica Bundles of Holding

Jul 17 2018
Bundles of Holding are a great way to catch up on a whole RPG line at once. If you've been looking for a good time to go deep on Ars Magica, now's the time, because right now there are two active bundles available, through July 30.

Ars Magica 5 Reprise Bundle

Originally offered in 2014, this bundle includes the core rulebook and nine additional supplements that represent key offerings in the line.


Ars Magica Mythic Europe Bundle

This bundle, offered for the first time, highlights the Ars Magica's world of Mythic Europe. It includes these sourcebooks.


Both bundles expire on June 30, but if you've been waiting for a great deal on digital editions of one of the most influential fantasy magic systems in roleplaying history, we have to ask…why wait?

Welcome Back to the Edge

Jul 10 2018
You step up to the passport control window at last, the long line still stretching out behind you. The government employee is very clean, his noose necktie cinched perfectly. You notice the tattoos on his fingers as he stamps your passport: L O O K   O N C E.

"It's been a long time. Welcome back to Al Amarja."

You can't remember how many years have passed since you last visited the Edge. The brand-new edition of Over the Edge shows you around the place as it is now. The Kickstarter is your ticket for the tour bus.

The Edge is still the weirdest city in the world, and the action comes from the characters you create. New rules focus on the trouble that leads you into the clubs, corporations, and cults of Al Amarja where the good stuff goes down.

The Kickstarter launches today, July 10, and it's full of all-new specials never before featured in an Atlas Games RPG crowdfunding campaign. Get in on the Edgy excellence first!

Unknown Armies Attack Free RPG Day!

Jun 12 2018
Explore creepy places, meet bizarre people, and get one hell of an education when you join the ranks of Unknown Armies with Atlas' contribution to this year's Free RPG Day!

In Maria in Three Parts, you're part of a cabal looking for someone essential to keeping the peace in your part of the occult underground. It's the job of your fellow broken souls to help Maria pull it together to keep the fragile order of things from shattering.

This Free RPG Day game book includes everything you need to encounter Unknown Armies for the first time, or explore another intriguing side story as a veteran UA gamer. Rules, characters, and an intriguing scenario set players up to dive deep into the weirdness of the world.

WE WANT YOU to join the ranks of Unknown Armies! Ask your Friendly Local Gaming Store if they're participating in Free RPG Day on Saturday, June 16, 2018, then plan to get there early for your copy of Maria in Three Parts. You can see a full list of games and participating locations on the Free RPG Day website.

Grokking the Difference: Jonathan Tweet on Unknown Armies vs. Over the Edge

Jun 12 2018
In the final post in our Grokking the Difference series, we talk to Jonathan Tweet, designer of Over the Edge and Clades. Jonathan has also had a hand in the development of other classic games like Ars Magica, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, and 13th Age. Here are a few of his insights into the things that distinguish Over the Edge from Unknown Armies.

There are a number of differences I can see between Over the Edge and Unknown Armies. First, Unknown Armies has a cool backstory that the characters can plug into. Over the Edge is more about the story that players bring, while the backstory is chaotic and self-contradictory.

Second, Unknown Armies says there is a secret order to things. Over the Edge says it's chaos, not order, that runs the world. A lot of it lands right in the characters' laps. If you walk down a street in the Edge, the chaos jumps out at you. You might see baboons patrolling the streets as cheap security; public shrines from undocumented and bloody spiritual traditions; or a heavy metal band ruling a poor neighborhood with high-decibel concerts and street violence. Ultimately, a lot of the flavor of Over the Edge just comes from horrible people being themselves or exploitative systems doing their thing.

Unknown Armies is serious. Over the Edge is serious, but with generous side helpings of hyperbole, satire, and farce. Over the Edge is relentlessly urban, while Unknown Armies embraces the rural American side of life, too.

As far as game systems go, Over the Edge is more freeform in terms of dice-rolling and mechanics, compared to Unknown Armies. There is, for example no mechanical magic system to use that represents secret knowledge in the game world. Players define their characters' paranormal abilities, if any, in a loosely structured way.

Unknown Armies 3 has streamlined mechanics, and so did the original Over the Edge. The new edition of Over the Edge that will be coming out takes streamlining to another level. A single throw of the dice can resolve an entire scene, such as what results when a character breaks into an apartment looking for clues. Bypassing security, finding a way in, staying quiet enough to avoid attention from neighbors, not getting bitten by vipers serving as guards, and finding important clues (or not) can on a single throw of the dice. 

Grokking the Difference: Greg Stolze on Unknown Armies vs Over the Edge

Jun 8 2018
In our effort to untangle the differences and similarities of our classic roleplaying games Unknown Armies and Over the Edge, we asked each game's designer to weigh in with their perspective. Unknown Armies author Greg Stolze has looked at the question with new eyes, coming off the successful third edition of his game. Even now, we're rolling out the UA3 Campaign Starter Kits at your favorite digital marketplaces. Here are his thoughts on the two games:

It's not hard to see similarities between the two games. Over the Edge came out first and was a strong inspiration for Unknown Armies, particularly in the area of 'Players get to define what their characters can do instead of picking off a limited list of skills.' They're both deliberately weird, subverting expectations of what reality is, built around the sometimes-unspoken idea that the game's primary duty is to be compelling, 'fair.'

But the differences are crucial.

A haggard white man with a cigarette and a bloody nose stands in front of a wall showing arcane symbols
     1) Unknown Armies is about people. Over the Edge is about setting.
In UA, every character has a set of gauges that register the traumas they've experienced. Those meters, in turn, show how they relate to others, how they interact with the world around them, and how they respond to further challenges. The spotlight of the story is on the characters, and the mechanics orbit their personalities. OTE, on the other hand, is about the mysterious, baffling, frustrating island of Al Amarja and its myriad bizarre inhabitants. The characters inevitably bring their own agendas, secrets, and mysteries, but those are at best co-equal ingredients in a thick, crowded, and flavorful stew.

     2) In Over the Edge, you explore. In Unknown Armies, you pursue.
A room in a trailer home with a ratty orange couch and papers strewn everywhere.
If you're a GM who likes getting a giant pile of sinister agendas and then assembling them into a maze for the characters to scurry through, ratlike, in pursuit of the cheese of a little power or just an explanation and also, the maze is on fire, then OTE is the game for you. The city of The Edge, the typical setting for an OTE game, gives you all the pieces you could ever need to provide mysteries for players to gnaw and worry at. UA, on the other hand, puts the players in the position of driving the game forward, off on a tangent, or right off a cliff. UA characters are driven and obsessed to accomplish some particular goal, decided on by the players, in a setting collaboratively developed. OTE characters are curious and canny, usually explorers instead of revolutionaries.

     3) The rules are very different.
UA has rules that help generate story. OTE has rules that get out of the way. UA is an intricate percentile-based system with a lot of interconnectedness, by design. It's meant to make every experience or decision weighty and lasting, whether the blowback from bad choices is physical or psychological. OTE runs off a short d6 pool with a few intuitive tweaks to influence outcomes. It's designed for transparency and simplicity, so you can learn the rules in ten minutes and make a character in five.

Gen Con, Atlas, and You

Jun 1 2018
On the off chance you hadn't heard, Gen Con 2018 is happening August 2-5, and as usual, we'll be there, previewing, demoing, and seminaring into the wee hours of the afternoon. Curious where to find us during the best four days in gaming? Start with our dealer's booth, Exhibit Hall #1407, and then check out any or all of the following special events:

Witches of the Revolution*
Cursed Court
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Entry Round
Cogs & Commissars
Witches of the Revolution*
Cursed Court
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Entry Round
Cogs & Commissars
Over The Edge Panel
Ars Magica Panel
Witches of the Revolution*
Cursed Court
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Entry Round
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Finals
Writing & Design Panel

* These events are currently sold out. However, we encourage you to drop by prior to the start of the game, as ticket-holder dropouts or no-shows do occasionally happen.

Gen Con art and logo banner

Grokking the Difference: Jeff Tidball on Unknown Armies vs. Over the Edge

May 21 2018

People sometimes offer vague descriptions like ''It's about weird stuff' when they're trying to describe Atlas Games RPGs, especially Over the Edge and Unknown Armies. That kind of description is is accurate but insufficient, like describing a car by saying, 'Well, it's an object,' or describing Star Wars as 'a story.'

The perennial 'weird stuff' description especially falls down when it comes to describing how Over the Edge and Unknown Armies are different from each other. It turns out that there are as many ways to talk about the difference between those two games as there were people around the Atlas Games conference table on the day the question came up. Here's my personal take: 

Over the Edge is a game with international flavor that's best at telling stories about political conspiracies and outré behavior. It's about how people relate to each other in strange ways. Over the Edge has secrets that people keep from each other, but the secrets are MacGuffins (sometimes conceptual, but still) around which dramatic relationships revolve, rather than ends in and of themselves.

Unknown Armies, on the other hand, is a game about occult knowledge and the secret underpinnings of the universe. It asks the question, 'What will you sacrifice for power, to reshape the world in your own image?' It's about how the protagonists define themselves. Its secrets are their own ends, things its characters must find out because their demons drive them to it. Although it can be played on a global scale, Unknown Armies retains a uniquely American outlook and feel even when it's taking place in the farthest corners of the globe.

Naturally, these generalizations have their shortcomings too! Neither definition is true for all aspects of their respective games' backgrounds. Over the Edge has secrets that primarily drive inter-group conflict, and Unknown Armies has outré behavior. But broadly speaking, if you were presented with a series of character or adventure summaries and had to use these definitions as your only working understanding of these two games in order to sort them, they'd guide you to a high degree of accuracy.

The best news? Both games are awesome! If you're only familiar with one, try the other. And if you've never played either of them, now you have a way to figure out which you'll explore first.

Witches of the Revolution in Spanish

May 5 2018
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla. Was witchcraft involved? Who can say. But consider: If witches helped the American revolutionaries defeat the British — as Witches of the Revolution supposes — why wouldn't they want to stick it to the French, too? Read more about Cinco de Mayo on Wikipedia and draw your own conclusions.

In any case, to celebrate, we've released the rules for Witches of the Revolution in Spanish, nicely laid out in PDF format. Have a look!