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OVER THE EDGE: A Roleplaying Game Of Weird Urban Danger Returns to Kickstarter

OVER THE EDGE: A Roleplaying Game Of Weird Urban Danger Returns to Kickstarter

Twenty-five years ago, Over The Edge released its conspiratorial island Al Amarja in the Atlantic Ocean. Fraught with all sorts of shenanigans from paranormal entities, mad scientists, and secret agents. One of the first games to use a dice-pool instead of attributes and skills, Over The Edge was one of the most distinguished indie RPG’s for years and was a perfect game to play with copious amounts of caffeine. How else are you supposed to handle an island district patrolled by thugs with baboons?

Over the Edge 5

After inspiring countless campaigns on the island, Over The Edge returns to Kickstarter with its already successful campaign by Atlas Games and a veteran squad of RPG makers and artists. Now heading into stretch goal territory, let’s talk about this island and why you should run it.

Al Amarja

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Al Amarja is an independent island state in the Mediterranean sea… and it’s been basically colonized and conquered by everyone from the Greeks to the Castilians and decided it really didn’t want to be part of the United Nations either. You see, those drawn, or run to Al Amarja do so because they are… alien to the rest of us. A jet-setting grifter there to pull off the greatest caper in modern history, or psychic super-children, to reincarnated Atlantean priests all find their home here—and still use American currency.

Atlas Games believes you’re going to me more invested in a unique character you create yourself, so they crafted a system to allow you to do that, while giving storytellers a rich sandbox to run. Focus is spent on developing the city and islands, with transportation guides, turf wars, popular attractions and more. This is a godsend to storytellers trying to tie everything together in one campaign under a city. After all, knowing that the poorest neighborhood is still the turf for Lucifer’s Glorious Lords of Passion, a metal head gang that uses music to solidify their hold on the district writes its own campaign.

The Team

Jonathan Tweet, one of the games original creators, returns after working on a few other games you may have heard of; Ars Magica, Everway, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Omega World, and 13th Age to name a few. In between teaching game design at the University of Washington, he found time to relaunch his game and answer a few questions along with Art Director James Mosingo (Witches of the Revolution, Eclipse Phase, 7th Sea, Shadowrun, and more). I had a chance to ask Johnathan Tweet himself what thing he geeks out most about in the new edition, here’s what he came back with:

“I love doing system work, and I had a great time geeking out with the new conflict resolution system in Over the Edge. My whole life I’ve been a numbers guy. My professional RPG work has ranged from Everway, a New Age game with tarot-style cards instead of dice, to D&D 3rd Ed, with cross-class skills, a flat-footed Armor Class value, and all those details. For Over the Edge, I’ve designed a free-form system that has crunch built in, and I’m excited about how it turned out. To start with, I stripped conflict resolution down to one super simple roll, and then I added just enough mechanical elements to make it work, and no more.
For conflict resolution, such as a fight or an attempt to sway a crowd with neurolinguistic programming, the player rolls a pair of classic dice. If the conflict is unbalanced in the character’s favor, the player can reroll a die once or twice. If the enemy has the advantage, then the GM can force the player to reroll a die once or twice. After any rerolls, the total on the dice determines whether the character succeeds, and the presence of 3s and 4s represents bad twists and good twists. Twists are surprising results that are outside the binary succeed/fail spectrum. The old system had success and failure, but the new one has success, failure, and surprises.
The game system went through a lot of changes in response to testing results. It’s hard to create a system that’s both simple and good, and I think this new system ended up right where I wanted it. The point of the system is that it provides robust results with a minimum of fuss. There are no flanking bonuses or initiative counts. Players can focus on the narrative choices that their characters make, and they don’t have to switch gears to engage in a tactical simulation for combat. 
Remember at the start of Stranger Things when all the kids playing D&D hold their breaths while they one player makes a consequential die roll? In Over the Edge, a lot rides on each throw of the dice, so many of the dice throws play out that way, with everyone at the table watching and waiting to see how it turns out.”

Style and artwork offer hints to the games new meta, mirroring things that happen in our own modern society and according to James Mosingo:

Over the Edge

Already funded, they are well into stretch goal territory you can find everything on their Kickstarter. The base core book should be in the range of a 264-page book, hardcover or digital with all the fanciest of fancy hyper-links.

Including temptations for a Retro Pack, a back catalog of all previous Over the Edge books and supplements from previous editions, dice sets, retailer packs and more.

Have you ever played Over the Edge? If so share your stories below!

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Featured Image by: Over the Edge Kickstarter and Atlas Games.

Rick Heinz is the author of The Seventh Age: Dawn, and a storyteller with a focus on LARPs, Wraith: The Oblivion, Eclipse Phase, and many more. You can follow game or urban fantasy related thingies on Twitter or Facebook.

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