New Roby/Macklin Game: Vicious Crucible

Josh Roby & I are at it again. Pay close attention, my sons and daughters, for one is totally free and the other is being Kickstarted. These are the Vicious Crucible games, which Josh Roby explains both us in this sweet Kickstastic video:

If you’re allergic to videos, here’s what’s up:

The borderlands of the Verdigris Valley have never been peaceful, but now an invasion force gathers at the summit of the Pashuan Way, looking hungrily down on the rich homesteads and crippled fort below. The days to come will throw six men and women into a gauntlet of desperate pressures, crushing obligations, and entangling relationships. Some will fall; some will triumph; some will cave to the pressures; some will bask in the flames like a phoenix. These six stand on the precipice of The Vicious Crucible of Verdigris Valley. The only way out is through, and the only way through requires a painful transformation into something new.

The Vicious Crucible of Verdigris Valley is game for up to six players and a GM. It plays in three to five sessions, or a pulse-pouding single session of jump cuts and action sequences. Best of all, it’s free.

All Vicious Crucible games are released as a free download. I’m using a “ransom model” for funding the project, with a bit of a twist. The first game, Verdigris Valley, is already released for free (download below). If the ransom is met, I’ll publish the next game for everyone to enjoy. On top of that, when you back the project, you also get the Franchise: you get to vote on where the next Vicious Crucible will be.

So check out Verdigris Valley and decide if you’d like to see more. Then hit up the Kickstarter and pick a reward tier that looks fun.

As with Void Vultures, my role in the project is editor & co-developer, Unlike Void Vultures, this system is actually is only a few pages long. The rules are six pages in total (and Josh gets into the process of designing for that), with the supplemental material for the adventure 30 pages beyond that (including characters, locations, and a map). It has a witty back-and-forth beat mechanic that’s focused on character elements to generate the scene’s language[1]. Check it out; it’s free, and I think worth your time.

For that second game I mentioned (in case you didn’t finish the video above), Josh is doing the Kickstarter for the second Vicious Crucible game, which the backers will vote on if it succeeds. Consider backing the Kickstarter if you’re interested in that, or you just plain like what you see in Verdigris Valley and would like the see the creators get some coin for their work.


– Ryan

[1] Which has become one of my favorite mechanics. I love it in Cortex Plus, loved it in Dogs in the Vineyard before that.