What is PbtA (Powered by the Apocalypse)?
Most of our games are Powered By The Apocalypse (PbtA). This is the same system used in Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, Dungeon World, and more.
Many of these games share a simple core; when a character takes an action that fits one of the system’s moves, the player will roll two six-sided dice, add in a stat, and look back to the move for a result. On a 10+, the character will find success. On a 7-9, the character will have success, but with some kind of cost or complication. On a 6 or less, the Master of Ceremonies (MC) or Gamemaster (GM) will say what happens next… and it probably won’t be so good for the character.
There are other commonalities—specific character types called playbooks, a focus on playing to find out what happens, similar tools for the Gamemaster—but they all vary widely in their particulars. Any of our PbtA games may break with the others on some of these elements, but remain the same on others.
What do the ratings on each product mean?
The intended audience for our games varies widely. A game like Bluebeard’s Bride contains mature content and is best suited for a group in the mood for horror, while Epyllion is for all ages, and creates fun, interesting fiction. You can play Masks: A New Generation with an eye to hopeful stories of young people standing up to the world around them, while Urban Shadows exposes the depths of corruption some souls can sink to in dark, mature stories of violence and crime.
To make it easier to tell the right audience for any particular game, we’ve given each game a rating, along with a note on how long a session runs, whether the game works best in a one shot or campaign format, and how many players we recommend. Our rating system is only a suggestion – many of our games can have the content dialed back or intensified depending on your group’s comfort level. We recommend using the X-card or other safety measures to help modulate content, particularly in a horror game.
Adults Only: Content such as explicit violence and sexual violence. Suggested for 21+
Mature: May contain graphic violence and sexual content. Suggested for 18+
Teen: May contain violence and some sexual content. Suggested for 13+
Everyone: Content is suitable for all ages