The Zorcerer of Zo – Sean’s Pick, 020118

Flitting along through Tales of the Fairies Week, we stop to explore the lands of Zo in this lovingly-crafted full-on setting + game by Atomic Sock Monkey. It’s “its own thang,” but it’s also intentionally a guide on how to run a fairy-tale style game as opposed to more traditional RPG adventure experiences. That makes The Zorcerer of Zo both a great game and a great source for research.

Once Upon a Time, in the Zantabulous Land of Zo…

Tailors face giants, enchanted queens dance with human peasants, talking creatures perform domestic duties, witches cast curses and fairies grant blessings. And all are seeking their Happily Ever After.

Fairy tales and folktales have served as fertile ground for many stories, novels, cartoons, movies, and games. They speak to common – possibly timeless – human emotional concerns. Despite being retold again and again until they are cliche and their images instantly familiar, something about fairytales always remains fresh and new, speaking expressively to even long-familiar readers or hearers. Fairytales unite the ordinary and the extraordinary in stories full of magic, wonder, and moral lessons.

The Zorcerer of Zo (ZoZ) is a fairytale RPG by Atomic Sock Monkey Press, publishers of Dead Inside and Truth & Justice. Inside ZoZ, you’ll find:

  • An extensive discussion on fairytales, their nature and tropes.
  • An evocative game setting: the Zantabulous Land of Zo (and its five Kingdoms) — strongly influenced by much-beloved fairytale otherworlds like Oz (naturally), Narnia, Wonderland, Fantastica, The Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Florin & Guilder, Neverland, Living Island — and how it developed in-play with the help of the author’s gaming group.
  • The “Good Parts” PDQ System — a slimmed-down version of the PDQ Core Rules, complete in itself, suitable for fast-paced, straightforward fairytale play.
  • Extensive notes on how the initial ZoZ campaign was begun, the setting and episodes were developed, how the game was run, and the campaign came to an exciting climax (and advice on how you can do the same yourself).
  • Two “DVD commentary tracks” of textboxes — one from the author/GM and one from the players of the PCs — on the Actual Play of the campaign.
  • An appendix with Bonus Material like campaign production notes and additional NPCs.

In the words of Willy Wonka:

Close your eyes.
Make a wish. 
Count to three. 
Come with me 
And you’ll be 
In a world of 
Pure imagination. . . 

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

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