MalandrosHillfolk by the estimable Robin Laws — who also created the HeroQuest game engine behind Mythic Russia — is a system using the DramaSystem engine, which puts even more stress (in every sense) on interpersonal conflicts and relationships. It won both the Diana Jones Award for Gaming Excellence and the Indie Game Awards’ Indie Game of the Year in 2014 and not surprisingly, has since been ported to different settings. One of the most recent and, I think, most exciting is Malandros, tapping the considerable (trust me) but underexploited potential of late 19thC Rio streetlife. It is currently in the middle of a KickStarter funding/pre-order campaign and let me strongly encourage you to head over to its page, watch the video and read the text, as odds are that you might not have realised what an exciting and dynamic setting that represents. Then back the project, not least because one of the stretch goals, if it raises an eminently-reasonable £1000, is a mini-setting which I’ll write, Aluminium Wars (yes, that’s Aluminum Wars for the Americans among you…), taking the system into the freewheeling Russia of the 1990s ‘Wild East’ days in an impoverished industrial Siberian city being ripped apart by criminal-political wars over the local industry. Here’s the short blurb:

£1000: Aluminium Wars, an alternate setting PDF by Mark Galeotti
In 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed, and everything was up for grabs. In the industrial city of Krasnoyarsk, while the big beasts of the new gangster-businessman world fight it out for control of the local aluminium industry, corrupt cops, ambitious politicians, hustlers, thugs, and even a few idealists struggle to thrive and survive in a new Russia without rules, rhyme or reason.

Now, wouldn’t you want to see that?

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