A downloadable RPG

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We just launched our brand new game Perilous on Kickstarter. Perilous is a GM-optional dungeon-delving game that uses illustrations and prompts to create entirely unique adventures on the fly without ever needing a Game Master.

In Mage Against The Machine you take on the roll of time-travelling wizards attempting to stop the robot apocalypse.  You will travel back to the moments in your lives you have the most connection to in the hopes of finding the events that set in motion the destruction of civilization. But meddling with reality comes at a cost. Each time you use your magic to alter the world you generate anomalies, push too hard and the things you care about most may no longer exist in the present.

Players will create their character by giving them a defining memory they are able to travel back to. Unlike many other games, Mage Against The Machine doesn't use a GM. Instead the player whose moment it is fills in all the details; this player is also unable to take any direct action to alter the timeline or risk catastrophic destruction. Each player will get a chance to take on the role of answering the other players' questions as you visit that moment.

All the players are still responsible for keeping the game interesting. There are two big ways the game encourages this. First, when a player rolls a failure any player can jump in and explain why the plan didn't work. Additionally, as players generate anomalies by messing with time they can be spent to alter any detail provided by the player answering questions about their moment.

After the players have visited each moment and stopped the moments that lead to the machine uprising comes the resolution phase. Each player rolls multiple dice based on how many anomalies were caused in their moment to determine if and how exactly the thing they cared about most has been warped in the present. Mage Against The Machine is a game about risking it all, delving into memories, and coping with loss.







Purchase

Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this RPG you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Mage Against The Machine.pdf 12 MB
Cards.zip 4 MB

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Community Copies

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Comments

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What are the cards for and are they needed 

(1 edit)

The cards aren't necessary. They're sample prompts that can be used to fill in the details of the game if you're having trouble coming up with your own

Wait, so you actually need them to play? I was planning to run this over discord.

*aren't necessary

Oooooh okay. Thank you.

(1 edit) (+2)

Mage Against The Machine is fantastic. It's six pages, black-and-white, with exceptional art (seriously, the cover's incredible and the interior pieces are spectacular too) plus a fun, solid premise.

You play as mages travelling back in time to stop a robot apocalypse, in a sort of reverse-terminator setup that also nods to WoD's Mage.

For a game with this much pulp, it's a little unusual to see it take a rotating GM approach, but even so it does a really solid job of fashioning a hook out of pure story and using it to pull you in.

As part of character creation, you define memories that are important to your character. And then you tie them into the runup to the apocalypse.

Then you jump to those points in time, with the person whose memory you're intruding on serving as the GM for the scene.

Dice are used, and there's a little bit of crunch to them. You roll a d6 to determine how your meddling goes, and the result is slightly weighted towards failure and complication unless you use magic and describe how with an adjective. Repeating adjectives means failure, but using similar adjectives generates temporal anomalies, which anyone can use to add complications or change a scene.

Temporal anomalies ultimately change and pollute the timestream, so while the game will always end with you defeating the robots, it will often be "at what cost?"---making for a solid, conflicted beat to end on, or a potent sequel hook.

Overall, I think Mage Against The Machine is worth putting on your radar. It's fun, it plays quick, it works both as a warmup game or a one-shot, and the art is full of serious standout images. If you like pulpy time-travel stories, this is probably one of the easiest ones to play.


Minor Issues:

-When resolving memories, do you roll every time you attempt to resolve them? Or do you just roll once, and the memory is bricked if you weren't able to solve it?

(+2)

You can keep rolling to resolve a memory, but you're likely to generate more anomalies the longer it takes, glad you liked it so much! This game was kinda experimental so people enjoying it makes me happy :)