Do you have any suggestions for amount of actions per turn or total deck size if attempting this with 8-10 people?
A downloadable modular story game
Aurora is a tabletop roleplaying game for 2-6 players. This game is deliberately designed to be played comfortably while practicing social distancing or together around a communal table when the necessity for distancing has ceased.
Your story is built and told in three modular phases:
1. Crafting a unique deck of Oracle cards through the mail, using your friends zipcodes to randomize prompts and elements of your illustrations. Phase I is available as a free demo as part of the Step Up for the Postal Service game jam.
2. Using those cards to build a flawed City corrupted by Darkness and populate it with hopeful citizens who aspire to overcome those flaws with Light.
3. Acting out the story of the overcoming of darkness in favor of light, using your characters and cards from prior phases to bring hope and revolution to your world.
To play, you need a few friends, some paper or note cards to write and draw on, and a method to communicate.
UPDATE April 2021: Since many of us are receiving our vaccines and hopefully will be able to return to in-person play, I made a free deck you can use to skip or supplant Phase I! It is listed as a free demo here so you can use the cards even if you haven't bought the game yet or if you just got the zine at my store. Available as a two-sided print PDF and as individual card PNGs for uploading to Roll20 or other virtual tabletops.
In order to download this modular story game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $6 USD. You will get access to the following files:
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um, I don't! in phases 2 & 3 I'd say that's too many players for it to work correctly. If you're just doing phase 1, a 10 people could do 2 actions each and have a deck of 20 cards, for 8 people do 3 actions each and you'd yield a 24 card deck. In all versions, each player will have the cards-in-hand at least two times to get a Label and Art on every card.
so basically (number of players) x (number of actions) x 2 = (total cards in deck), and your deck should be in the 20 card range for phases 2 & 3 to be cool!
Aurora is a GMless, setting-neutral, multiplayer rpg about a group of characters overcoming adversity.
It's also a collaborative, crafting experience where you create your own tarot deck and then use it.
Aurora is 24 pages, with a lovely oil-painted cover, excellent layout, and some chaotic but very atmospheric backgrounds and illustrations. Visuals-wise, it's super polished.
Mechanics-wise, Aurora is broken into three connected mechanical packages. The first is a play-by-mail deck creation game. The second is a card-tile-based city builder. The third is a more conventional, character-driven roleplaying game that's nevertheless quite mechanics-light and narrative-y.
If you wanted, you could stop at any phase and have a custom tarot deck or a collaboratively built city under strain. By that same token, you could swap out Aurora's mechanics for the third part and replace them with something more dungeon-crawl-y. Aurora actively encourages this, and it gives you a lot of guidance throughout on how to hack it.
Overall, if you like storytelling games, this is a heck of an engine. It delivers three different experiences, any of which could be a full game in its own right, and any of which could be hacked and adapted to your own purposes.
If you're here for crunch, Aurora does not provide a ton on that front, and you'll have to add your own. But with that said, Aurora is extremely well put together, and it may be worth a look even if it's outside of what you'd usually play.