Adam Dixon and Thryn Henderson
Ryne is an upcoming roleplaying game about people building communities in the footsteps of titans. It’s a Powered by the Apocalypse game focusing on emotion and connections, focusing on the lives people create in a strange and vibrant fantasy world. Touchpoints include Tales of Earthsea, Shadow of the Colossus, Studio Ghibli and the ever-changing tales of folklore.
Ryne is crowdfunding July 2022. The campaign will fund the printing of a hardcover book filled with beautiful art, evocative worldbuilding, and rules for travelling Ryne’s paths and inhabiting its communities. Additional rewards include a fabric book wrap, featuring a stunning watercolour map by Shel Kahn, and a collection of stickers featuring landscapes, places and titans which can be used to mark features on your own map of the world.
Things that we think are really cool, things that we’d love to chat about:
- Titans aren’t things to be fought and conquered, we’ve designed the game to focus on exploring the cultures and communities people form to understand the unknowable Remnants.
- Roll with your emotions. These emotions aren’t set, but unique to your character. When you roll, how you’re feeling, your connections to your companions and the mood of the world all shape how things turn out.
- Characters can get really interesting and weird, with low rules overheard. Humans can have wings, shells, electric skin, mycellial tendrils, or anything you can dream of. You can play any rolebook as a ghost!
- Robust tools for journeys that focus on the wonder of the world. Community rules that focus on inhabiting places long established, rather than building and expansion.
- Initially developed for actual podcast These Flimsy Rituals. Shaped over five years of play and recording. It’s a PbtA game designed to tell long stories, advancement isn’t just about getting new stuff, but adapting old moves.
In Ryne, you play as characters from a variety of backgrounds with different stories to tell. Each of you though is someone who is exploring their relationship with this strange world, who, even if they don’t know it yet, is about to meet change and challenge. You might be the Guardian, a legendary fighter turned teacher, trying to find the best path for their charge. You might be the Unravelling, able to shape spirit into powerful magic, tearing yourself apart with every spell. You might be the Tender, your focus on the land and the food it grows, finding ways to adapt as the environment suddenly shifts.
Each game of Ryne starts with selecting a story seed – a short worldbuilding game where you collaboratively imagine a piece of the world and decide the kind of story you’d like to play through.
- The Change sees you trying to understand why the landscape you call home is falling apart, perhaps dealing with the death of a titan or the jarring wanderings of another.
- The Path is about journeys. As you play you’ll move between juxtaposed landscapes, see titans on the horizon and explore the communities that have formed along your route.
- The Gatherers focuses on a group of people intent on learning the secrets of the titans. Whether you seek to gather knowledge about the world, trade strange secrets or harness a gods power, you’ll contend with uncaring colossi and their supernatural attendants.
Remnants, our word for the titans, are the broken husks of gods. Each of them is tied to a domain, a set of concepts that it represents. The environment around each is shaped in their image – the mist-sheathed swamps of a remnant of longing, the singing jungles of a remnant of jubilance.
Ryne contains a range of tools for imagining remnants and the landscapes that they create. Players imagine their own version of this patchwork world, filling it with fantastical wildlife, unbelievable geography and the indifferent titans that carve its horizons.
- 10 rolebooks, including: the Fledgling, a teenager finding their way in the world; the Heart, an artist, leader or revolutionary who embodies a concept; the Tethered, a spirit at home in their new form.
- 4 story seeds, worldbuilding prompts that shape your game: a caravan fleeing a destructive force, a community facing change, scholars trading the secrets of the remnants, pilgrims on a long and difficult journey.
- Roll with emotions. Your character’s emotions are their stats. Their mood influences how things go; as they change and grow, so do the emotions on their sheet.
- Emotion is at the heart of everything. Geographical features, communities and landscapes have moods. The GM uses emotions to define NPCs, the remnants and their supernatural servants.
- Spirit is real—magic is shaped from it, ghosts wander freely. Any rolebook can be played as a ghost or grounded (someone without a spirit).
- A unique setting for you to make your own. The book blends details and examples from the world, with tools for creating territories, remnants, communities, threats and seasons.
- Geared for long-term advancement, based around change, growth and in-fiction milestones.
Ryne is a beautiful system that brings deep emotional impact and adventure to the table. Play testing with my friends has made me feel closer and like I know them better through the colorful stories and characters we’ve made.Playtester
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Furtive Shambles is a game design co-op based in Yorkshire, UK. It’s made up of Thryn Henderson and Adam Dixon, alongside other collaborators. Our other projects have included Small Town Skeletons, a game about teenagers who happen to be skeletons trapped in the curse that is their hometown, which we Kickstarted in 2020; Mixtapes, a series of one-page games based on pop bangers; and Into the Flames, a horror game about an accursed pilgrimage stalked by ghosts played around a campfire.
We’re looking to promote the game as much as possible before and during the Kickstarter. We’re could:
- Give an interview about the game, an element of its design, the world, our development process.
- Do some worldbuilding or character creation with you for a stream or podcast.
- Run a session of the game.
- Support you to run a session or more of the game.
THESE FLIMSY RITUALS
Ryne was originally developed for the actual play podcast These Flimsy Rituals. We wanted a game that could help us tell the kind of thoughtful, introspective fantasy stories that we love. When nothing else really fit, we decided to create a game of our own.
Ryne’s development has happened alongside the show. We’ve been shifting and changing the game as we’ve learnt more about how it plays and how our world works. You can hear it changing throughout the show, becoming the game we have today.
Click on the images to download.