[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]t’s not every day you have a heavily influenced Slavic and Mediterranean folklore based RPG, but today ladies, gentleman and others, I present to you, Awaken!
Set in a dark, war-ravaged fantasy world, Awaken puts you in the role as a Vasalli, powerful humans gifted with vast abilities. As you explore the forgotten mythologies, you’ll attempt to change the course of history by saving the denizens of the Alliance. In this darkest hour, the only possible hope is the Vasalli. But with these newfound powers, will you be a voice for humanity and hope, or an advocate of the darkness that dwells within our hearts?
Awaken focuses on three major aspects.
“Experience a story-driven game that emphasizes player interaction, immersive mood, and narration.
Play as Vasalli, powerful beings destined for greatness, and discover the secrets of your lineage—and your fate.
Enjoy the intuitive and light rules, which help you tell a story rather than burden you down.”
Let’s Set the Mood
I’ll be honest; I’ve played a lot of tabletop roleplaying games, but I have never played one inspired by Slavic and Mediterranean mythology. Nightmarish adversaries are destroying the cities as the Collossi guardians that once protected them are slowly crumbling away as hope fades. This is definitely a setting for those who love dark.
For those of you unaware, the creators of Awaken are from the Slavic region, which was a key inspiration for this game and mythologies. Speaking with the creators’ it’s clear that this game is close to their heart.
No one knows what causes it, but every so often ordinary human beings will experience the Awakening. Usually this occurs during their teenage years and for those Vasalli that go through this, will undergo abnormal changes, which mark them as the few who can rise above with exceedingly powerful abilities.
When an individual experiences this phenomenon, it varies depending on the person and circumstances. For some, this might be something that develops overtime, whereas for others, it may develop almost instantaneously over a terrifying or shocking situation.
So, with this powers the Vasalli vary anywhere from selfish and egotistically, to power driven sociopaths, to paragons of the virtuous. Where you want to go on your journey with your new-found abilities is entirely in your hands, and so is the fate of the world.
Awaken’s system uses only six sided dice for easy use and accessibility. You also gain bonuses for mix and matching skills, which rewards creativity. The system is skill based, allowing you to acquire from the varies skills and Vasalli powers as you progress through the various stories that await you. You’ll also find that the game is very narrative driven, often centered around your character’s path, the narrator will help tell the stories of the characters.
One of the unique features of the system that stood out to me is the “picture rule.” Basically the more the player describes their actions, the more the Narrator will choose to reward them with bonus dice and can even give them an automatic success, skipping the roll entirely.
You can find Awaken on Kickstarter here. Their goal is $22,000 and they have some rewards such as acquiring the game, GM screens, mp3 soundtrack and more. The campaign ends on May 14th, so if you’re interested in backing you’ll want to get clicking.