Tomorrow City RPG Review

13 May 2024
​​​​​​​Tomorrow City, a dieselpunk RPG set in a bleak alternative reality, comes from the mind of Nathan Russell, author of the noir RPG Hard City. This gritty title is designed as a starter-book, providing players with the tools and general backdrop to set their campaigns within. Russell presents a well-balanced and detailed world to explore, with minimal rules, but plenty of narrative opportunities that players will get great joy in customising.

Written by George Chrysostomou

What is Tomorrow City RPG?

In its most basic form, Tomorrow City encourages players to control characters known as Revs, a group that live outside the rules of society, perhaps revolting against conformity or existing beyond the law. The book presents the titular Tomorrow City and its many regions, including The Spindle at the heart of the city, the Inner City, Midtown, Rimside and the dangerous Underside. It’s up to players to choose how utopian or dystopian they want this futuristic landscape to be, with the story hugely influenced by the zone they journey through.

Boasting the aesthetic of the early 20th century, but with technological evolution influenced by an altered timeline and ‘the Long War,’ Tomorrow City’s inspirations are obvious. The book itself quotes its cultural touchstones, with novels like George Orwell’s 1984, games such as BioShock and movies like Blade Runner setting the tone for Russell’s sandbox. Sci-fi and fantasy elements are woven into the core of the gameplay, with robots, automatons, super-soldier serums, and a form of scientific magic known as the Pattern, providing players with enough narrative material to draw longer campaigns from.

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How does Tomorrow City RPG play?

The book is incredibly light on unique mechanics, instead opting for familiar and accessible entry points which allow players to jump in relatively quickly. The game uses D6 in multiple colours, representing Danger and Action dice. Players will be asked by the Game Master to make checks throughout their campaign, at the GM’s discretion. Players roll a pool of dice, with the Danger and Action results cancelling one another out until a score has been calculated. Much like other RPGs, modifiers, advantages and various power sets can make a difference on the result of the roll, and the book does make enough fuss of boons, botches and other such consequences of good and bad rolls.

One of the two most intriguing additions to this game is the use of a pressure tool, which creates tension and uses the roll of the Danger Dice to increase the sense of dread hanging over a scene. The higher the pressure mounts, the closer the Revs are to an unfortunate occurrence. The other rule worth noting is the introduction of measurements of grit, cred and moxie. Identifying the character’s willpower, resources and toughness, these changing stats present players with personal traits which can be influenced by their narrative choices.

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Is Tomorrow City RPG good?

The book is fantastic at presenting players with all the tools they need to craft the characters, scenarios, and settings that they want to form. Although there is a very basic introductory campaign example at the back of the book titled Escape Plan, this isn’t as much fun as simply creating your own. Tomorrow City uses the idea of ‘Jobs’ to act as a catalyst for storytelling. Revs are required to complete missions, with one chaotic encounter leading to the next. From a heist to a rescue mission, the jobs can vary massively. But players are never left out in the cold when it comes to crafting their worlds. Enemy archetypes, stock characters, employment opportunities, cults and societies, important ministries, investigation suggestions: the range of details that Russell has thought of in crafting this book is endless.

Overall, Tomorrow City is a storyteller’s dream, with a commendable amount of support offered to players who want to build ambitious campaigns, with personalised characters and original combat scenarios. Although the rules are very simple, they are versatile enough to frame this massive infrastructure while welcoming newcomers to the genre.

Should you play Tomorrow City RPG?


Although Tomorrow City doesn’t move the genre forward with any groundbreaking mechanics or gameplay elements, it’s a competent beginners guide for an imaginative new world.

Buy a copy of Tomorrow City RPG on Amazon

Try this if you liked...Cyberpunk RED (2020)

Roleplaying enthusiasts who liked the grungry atmosphere of the Blade Runner-esque Cyberpunk RED will find similar themes and character archetypes within this dieselpunk starter book.

Designer: Nathan Russell

Publisher: Osprey Games

Pages: 224

Age: 12+

Price: £25


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