When faced with impending doom, tabletop RPG players aren't always in control, but in most RPGs there's a way out of a tough spot, or a way to reason with the game master. However, #SigilStonePublishing is developing a game that changes who's directing the experience.
Perseverant has no game master, no long series of rules, no series of sessions to complete one game, and yet it still provides an amazing role playing experience. The game gives you just one goal: survive.
No game master?
One of the things that makes for a great roleplaying experience is having a game master (GM) who really knows how to make the game enjoyable.
Unfortunately, you don't always get a GM who has the player's entertainment value in mind, and that can lead to some disappointing adventures. With Perseverant, you can have all the joy of roleplaying but without the trouble of having to find a compatible GM.
The players decide the plot elements
First the players decide on the general theme of the game, which could be a zombie apocalypse, getting lost in the wilderness, or running out of oxygen in a space station.
In order to decide what happens during the game, the players will develop plot elements such as locations, situations, or challenges that can happen.
So for instance, players who are surviving in the wilderness can agree and decide that one location is actually a thick forest. Additionally, they can then define some possible situations like running into a hunter's trap. Since there is nobody to regulate when these elements will take place, they're all written on index cards which are randomly drawn throughout the game. This is so that no one will know exactly what combination of events will take place.
Chance decides what situations you face
The challenge within the game starts with the players drawing the index cards. They draw one location and a challenge source card, and then roll on the trouble table, which has a series of events that could hinder a player's ability to handle the challenge.
After combining the elements decided by chance, it is up to the player to act out the scene and hopefully survive the crisis. The game's Kickstarter page provides the following example.
Jessica pulls "Ancient, snow-laden ruins" as her Location card, pulls "Avalanche" as her Challenge Source card, and rolls "A previous choice haunts you" on the Trouble Table. She'll use these elements to frame the scene.
It doesn't require the same players to play regularly
Perseverant is also player friendly as it doesn't require players to meet over and over again for long drawn out campaigns. Each session can be completed in one sitting, so if some of the players can't meet, no problem — just play a new game with whoever is there and tell the absentee player about all the excitement they missed!
You can find more about this game on its game page, #Perseverant.
What's interesting about this game is that while the players have a lot of power to choose the setting and possible circumstances, during the game each player only has control of the actions of their respective characters, and nobody can have any control over what happens in the story.
This is interesting because in most tabletop games the inclusion of a GM allows for negotiations, rule interpretations and modifications to the situation to fit what a GM wants to happen. In Perseverant, nobody has that kind of power, and what you get is what you must overcome, so not every character will make it out of this game alive.
Genre: Tabletop, Adventure
Release date: March 2017
Developer: Sigil Stone Publishing
So what do you think? Can you handle a tabletop RPG that takes control of the players?