Game type – Roleplaying (RPG/TRPG) (paper & pencil)
Format – PDF (19.25mb)
Book Title – Bleake Rebellion
System – Bleake Rebellion
Author – M. J. Graham (Houseless Hills) 2013
Page Count – 141
Player Count (suggested) – 3 to 6
Time/Length of play (suggested) – 2 to 3 hours for 3 to 5 sessions
Price (as of todays date) – $6.55 (download)
I will admit right now that I was unsure how this game book would read, nor if the game itself will be up to much. The book title didn’t give anything away, and I had not heard anything of this game before being given a copy to try from Marcus Graham himself. I was under no pressure to review and volunteered to do so. Many thanks Marcus for giving me this game book.
The book reads really well, it is not over complicated, and you can soon be through all the rules for running a game in a short while. The book contains both a contents, at the beginning, and a glossary, at the end. There are also several pre-generated characters filled out on the character sheet for you to use, or as a good example of how to fill and create a player character for the game. There is not a lot to the character sheet, stat wise, most is there for descriptive assistance in helping round out the character for playing. Nine is about the total of number based stats that need to be filled.
Players are called Player Narrators, and are encouraged to help flesh out the game and contribute to the ongoing story run by your GM (game master), or in this book he is called the Historian.
The game is set in a fictitious 18th century, dark and brooding city, with corrupt authorities and rebels as the main opposing sides. Considering the size and ease of read this book gives, the author has given enough for background. There is magic and curses, Gods and holidays, currency and suggested prices for goods and salary. There is also some black & white art work through out the book, that add to the feel that is trying to be created, and is not over used or a distraction.
The system is very easy and not bogged down. The random element uses only beads of two different colours, and a bag to draw from. There is also mention, for on two occasions, of using a die, one to decide if the Gods heard a plea, and two on a player character’s mortality, (which is rolled at the start of each story). The die used on these two occasions is one ten sided dice. After reading through the book I felt the need to play the game as it seemed like a nice little system that was not complicated and was easy to run. There is plenty for ‘Historians’ (GMs) to run with as it is not all given to you on a plate, but ideas and suggestions for you to build on, take the game where you will, create your own city and own rebels.
I would like to recommend this game to those who enjoy a darker fantasy setting, where the story revolves around the corrupt authorities of the city, and the rebels who try to take them on. Like I said it is a good easy read, and at the price you have nothing to lose in giving it a try. But I do feel it would be one of those games for one-off session, (or a little longer,) not one for major or long campaigns.