29 December 2019
Co-op RPG-lite nonsense with no need for a DM
Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance joins the list of storytelling games that encourage you and your friends to talk absolute nonsense to one another for your own entertainment.
Weary DMs will be pleased to hear that they won’t have to run yet another set of rules, as Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance is a DM-free game. The developers do stress however that you will still get to roll a D20.
The game comes from Twogether Studios, comprised of Jennifer Ellis (Illimat, Action Pups) and Keith Baker (Gloom, Eberron), offers a modular adventure system which has promised up to 120 hours of adventure.
The game works as a kind of mad-libs organised adventure. The set up includes each player answering a question from the deck (what is the Lich’s name? What does this magical object do?) to start building the narrative.
The rest of the game is an attempt to get through a deck associated with a location, usually with an item of some sort. To improve your chances one must improve their strength, and this is done with a little improv. This might come in the form of describing a scene or element from a scene from a prompt (how do you open the gate? For example) – which seems like a fun way to get people into the habit of roleplaying.
And of course, you can do this to whatever effect you like – but usually with the outcome of nonsense. As you progress, cards add values to one another, meaning players have to work together to overcome them.
The game is currently taking pre-orders to ship in August 2020. Visit the Twogether Studio site to pre-order the game. Take a look at the game being played to see if it takes you fancy: