Belly of the Beast – Sean’s Pick, 102116

Something about facing the darkness of the world and kicking it square in the nethers seems to be of high appeal these days, and here’s another powerful example of the trend. It’s post-apocalypse in one of the strangest ways, though in the same neighborhood as The Day After RagnarokThe Kickstarter got some solid attention, and it’s clearly climbing the charts.

A tabletop RPG about callous survivors scavenging the abyssal guts of the world-eating Beast that consumed their home.

You are a scavenger. Driven by the primal instinct to survive, you venture into the depths of the Evergut in search of some remnant of the past that will postpone your inevitable digestion.

The land was resplendent once; sprawling forests, massive ranges, glittering coastlines. Hundreds of clans, nations, and empires carved their homes from mountain and glen – living and killing and loving beneath the sun-kissed boughs.

But that was a lifetime ago. For generations the survivors have known nothing but sorrow. The Hungry God consumed all, leaving the world as little more than a skinned carcass moaning to be put out of its misery. Millions were swallowed during the Great Devourer’s gluttonous feast; and yet, humanity pressed on.

Belly of the Beast is a tabletop roleplaying game focusing on scavengers: brazen survivors that plumb the depths of a world-eating monster’s guts, scouring the remains of the mighty Empires that were eaten by the Beast. 

System

The core mechanic uses the well-tested Ethos Engine (Vow of Honor, Hunt the Wicked). It is a d6 dice pool in which you gain and spend dice toward your Instincts (Greed, Violence, etc), and roll against the most relevant Skill’s rank. The more successes you roll out of your d6 pool, the better your outcome.

The game is certainly task-resolution oriented, and focuses on grim and gritty people and their personal stories, rather than epic or high fantasy.

Setting

Take the trappings of a late-medieval Byzantine Empire and throw it through a blender. The Beast is a monster the size of a mountain range, and it has happily gobbled up all of the world’s surface — including its cities, people, and artifacts. You’re one of the survivors, either recently swallowed in the Beast’s inexorable buffet, or you were born there in the last 60 years, eeking out a living within the cavernous innards of the Evergut.

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