This one falls well within the “gaming as exploration of current events and eternal struggles” realm. Dream Askew/Dream Apart is also a definitively 21st century indie design (“no dice, no masters system”).
There are actually two games here (hence the title), each dealing with the concept of belonging while not belonging. Emotional examinations, philosophical considerations, and community building are the vectors of play. If you’re ready to move beyond traditional gaming – even if only for a short diversion – this is a solid choice to take a detour with.
This book contains two games of belonging outside belonging. Dream Askew explores the story of a queer enclave amid the collapse of civilization. Dream Apartexplores the story of a Jewish shtetl in a fantastical version of nineteenth-century Eastern Europe.
Both games are about a marginalized group of people living together in precarious community. They use a simple no dice, no masters system that puts the focus on relationships. community struggles, and player choice.
Build a community together, and then make trouble within it!
This book is organized into four chapters:
Playing the Dream
A thorough, beginner-friendly guide on how to play Dream Askew, Dream Apart, and other games of belonging outside belonging. Includes detailed running examples.
Everything you need to play Dream Askew – the character roles, setting elements, enclave worksheet, design notes, a mediography, and a recipe to serve your friends before playing.
Everything you need to play Dream Apart – the character roles, setting elements, shtetl worksheet, design notes, mediography, glossary, list of regional names, and a recipe for borsht.
Designing New Games
A step-by-step guide to designing your own games of belonging outside belonging, with wisdom on both the thematic and mechanical aspects of game design.
Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
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