Tales From The Loop RPG, First Impressions

This afternoon I received my copy of the Tales From The Loop RPG which I helped Kickstart last year. I wanted to share with you all just how fantastic this book is.

Made by Modiphius Entertainment, Tales From The Loop is a role-playing game set in the “80s that never was” of Simon Stalenhag’s artwork. If you haven’t heard of him, give him a Google. And you’re welcome. The book is full of his artwork and as such is easily one of the prettiest I own.

Tales is the game of kids growing up in a town in the sticks, populated by self-absorbed, disinterested adults and surrounded by all sorts of weird and wonderful technology. Some of this tech is abandoned, some might be part of a supserscience cold war apparatus while still more of it could be semi-sentient and AWOL. It is a game about solving mysteries that only the kids seem to notice. Simply put, it’s a game about kids trying to understand their world.

The game mechanics are based on the system found in Mutant Year Zero, I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like fun. Characters have a type (Geek/Jock/Weirdo etc) and Stats and Skills but are really defined by the troubles they bring with them, their relationships with their friends and their drives. Actions are resolved with a pool of (stat+skill) d6s, roll a 6 to pass, which is nice enough. What is really interesting though is if you fail a roll you can have your kid take a condition (scared, hurt, tired etc) and push for a second try, letting you re-roll. Characters can’t die in Tales From The Loop any more than they could in touchstones like The Goonies or ET. In total system only takes up about 30 pages, it’s pretty lightweight and laser focused on kids adventuring into the unknown.

Another 30-odd pages give good write ups of the area around the titular Loop, an enormous particle accelerator, in Sweden and the equivalent area around the other accelerator in America. Both of these locations are screaming out to be explored and they explain some of what is going on in Simon’s snapshots of this world. Plenty of questions are left unanswered though. There’s a couple of gorgeous maps of the two locations too.

The rest of the book I haven’t read much of yet, but more than half of the 180 pages is GM advice for structuring mysteries and getting the atmosphere and tone right. The book also include four mysteries intended to be run either individually or as a campaign over about half a dozen sessions.

I haven’t read the second half yet because I currently can’t decide if I want to run it, or play in it.

Tales From The Loop is currently available in print and PDT from the Modiphius online store.

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