Voidheart Symphony: The Revolution and Retaliation update

Hey folks, I’ve uploaded a new version of the Voidheart Symphony RPG to Itch.io – tightening up rules, making investigations flow better, and tweaking a lot of the arcana.

If you’re interested in a full changelog, you can read through that here, but briefly this version had four main priorities.

  • I started another layout pass on the main book. It should be much more readable now, and more vibrant and eye-catching. Also check out the playbook art we’ve received from Marie Enger!
  • I fleshed out the advancement economy of the game. It now makes clear what growing attunement to the World and the Void means for your rebels.
  • The procedures of play flow better and are communicated more clearly. It should be a lot easier to see how an investigation works, and how you take down a Vassal!
  • The game is clearer about what it’s trying to say about marginalisation, intersectionality and revolution.

I’m very proud of where this game is going. If you’re a kickstarter or backerkit backer, your download keys should be going out this week. Otherwise, you can grab the PDF now at https://ufo-mina.itch.io/voidheart-symphony

If you’ve read or played the game and have feedback, get in touch at mina@ufopress.co.uk or on our discord server – I’d love to hear from you.

Welcome to Mysthea: RPG Players!

Welcome! Today we’ll be talking about what RPG fans who haven’t played Legacy before can expect from Mysthea: the RPG.

If you enjoy traditional RPGs…

If you are a veteran of more tactical games, you will be pleased to know that you won’t start the game with an inept Character. That your initial quests will matter and be relevant to your world. That your daring plans are not only encouraged, but required. That you can roleplay deep Characters over the course of a meaningful story arc. That they are free to be and do whatever you want, and that they will still be deeply unique.

But let us give a fair warning: you might want to take a moment to regain your footing. This is not your wargame-inspired grid-based extravaganza. This game draws from the latest trends in narrative games, streamlined and given support to speed up play and simplify the transition. Make no mistake, though, there is still plenty of depth and variety to keep action tense and fluid – just subordinated to the fiction instead of pieces on a board.

If you are an experienced storyteller you will be surely surprised by how we blur the lines with board games, taking from them visual cues and clear, concise rules. Don’t worry, for the fiction is king here, and Mysthea tells deep tales of self-discovery and sacrifice.

You may be surprised by a few vital differences:

You control your Character… and a Guild!

Sure, you can play with the traditional approach and focus on the adventures of one hero per player, but then you would lose half the fun of the game. We focus on the organisation you control and how it changes the world over a long time span – you’re making History here!

You are all shaping the scenario and story together.

There is a GM, but they are not solely responsible for describing every place, person and event. There is also a setting with solid foundations and rich lore, but you will often have the chance to dictate events and flesh out details – not just to advance your Character or Guild’s agenda, but sharing narrative duties and responsibilities with the GM.  After all, you all want the same thing: a memorable campaign!

The rules stem from the fiction.

This is not a system to mirror reality or calculate probabilities. It doesn’t curb creativity with a numerical straight jacket. It aims to push the fiction forward by adding consequences and ramifications. It listens to every word you say, and gives them weight in the story… with or without dice rolls.

If you’re a Powered by the Apocalypse veteran…

Like Legacy before it, Mysthea runs on the Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) engine. Here’s a breakdown of what we’re doing differently from other PbtA games:

Each player has two playbooks: Guild and Character.

Most of the time you’ll be zoomed out (using Guild moves) or zoomed in (using Character moves). In a break from Legacy, your Character will belong to another player’s Guild – until they ascend to the Champion role and become a free agent!

Broader scale.

The actions Guilds take can change regions of the world, move armies, and bring entire factions to their knees. Even at the character level, moves focus more on the outcome of your actions than the moment-to-moment back-and-forth.

Disposable characters

When the story is focused on a particular Family, other players can build Quick Characters from that family to act as support for that player’s main character. But they never lack relevance or tools to leave their mark on the world, and in your story!

Advantage, not +1.

Where other PbtA games give situational modifiers in the form of ±1 to the roll modifier, Legacy uses Advantage/Disadvantage – roll 3 dice and take the highest 2/lowest 2. This makes bonus tracking less fiddly, and keeps dice modifiers within the -1 to +3 sweet spot where the system shines.

Episodic Play.

The game is divided into specific periods of history called Seasons. Once you’ve dealt with the current Season’s drama you skip forward a significant chunk of time, with moves giving you a glimpse of what happened in the intervening time. We’ll also provide Season themes, with further challenges and changes, in order to tell the story of the reconstruction of your Borderlands, the war with the Empire, and the rise and fall of Champions and Guilds.

More player resources

Faction sheets, Mission cards, Treaty boards, Battle Mat… the game will provide many visual aids to help players and the GM manage game systems and fictional abstractions. Nothing will be mandatory! But we want to deliver a luxurious game table experience if you feel inclined.