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Kingdom of Nothing
 
$7.50
Average Rating:4.9 / 5
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Kingdom of Nothing
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Kingdom of Nothing
Publisher: Galileo Games
by Charles C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/28/2012 16:53:14

Kingdom of Nothing is not your typical RPG: for a few examples, Players don't make their own characters--at least half of a player's character is generated by the other players and the Narrator of the game; there are No dice--challenge results are decided by tossing coins (which integrates with the themes of the game in a most impressive manner); though still open ended as most RPGs are--there are some defininte win and lose conditions for the characters which act as rewards and punishments for them.

The rules are a little sparse in areas, but I regard this as an invitation to write my own. I'm intent on e-mailing my rules to Galileo Games--maybe they will be included in a future edition.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kingdom of Nothing
Publisher: Galileo Games
by Gokce M. A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/26/2011 02:39:10

This book has one of the most beautiful design I've ever seen. It can be read once, without hurting your eyes even using a computer to read. Using big points of letters is a good idea, and biggest reason of this book becoming 80 pages.

Kingdom of Nothing is about homeless people, who lost everything they hold dear. Yes, players are to roleplay homeless people. They try to remember their old lives, they thrive find a way, or they may vanish into shadows... to hunt other homelesses. KoN takes its base from urban legends and Industrial Revolution.

Even while you are reading introduction, you will feel that you are being sucked into setting. You use changes as dices and a plastic cup to roll them, don't you think it is fabulous?

The method defaulted to create character, forces you to create a "character". Not some numbers, statistics or a cold piece of paper. You create a human being who lost everything he loved. Also, character creation is collaborative. The other players and Narrator are to write secrets for your character. Since you are the main character here you also feel that you are shaping story, not moving in a pre-made adventure. Pre-made adventures are not bad surely, I try to emphasize this is not that way.

Since game is about you finding yourself and your old days(as a character), KoN is a noir game. It's not pitch black, but grey, far from white at first, maybe further if you don't try live better, but to see sunlight at the end of cave. It is eye hurting but beautiful. You may have one or two broken ribs, but it is totally worth it. You feel alive as a character if you go through this game enough time.

Sure, there are drawbacks of this system. It is NOISY! A hell of sound comes out, when you roll changes and it is head-hurting after a few times. There are some abusible spots, but it is hard to find and you may not see someone using it even if you play with a hundred of character. This system focuses on role-playing.

This book has all things to run a game in itself. It has both player and narrator part, and also a bestiary -this may be a wrong term-. Also good visuals, good design and a good choice of words. Pleasuring in all ways.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kingdom of Nothing
Publisher: Galileo Games
by Justin P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/09/2011 03:47:03

As the blurb says, Kingdom of Nothing is an urban fantasy game, reminicient of Niel Gaiman's Neverwhere, where the players take on the role of a homeless person who has slipped through the cracks of the world to be devoured by The Nothing.

Character creation is collaborative, where you describe your character as they are in the moment - how they look, their name, and what's in their pockets. The other players will fill in the Secrets, detailing the history and traumatic event that landed the character where they are today. To me, this is a perfect system for a game where the character doesn't remember what happened and it goes a long way in increasing player buy in. Granted, you'll need to have the right group to make a game like this work but in the hands of the right group you end up with an amazing experience.

The setting is also collaborative, with the Narrator and each player filling in the details of the city the game is set in. Similar to Dresden Files, this sort of setting creation definitely increases player investment as they are encouraged to include locations that mean something to their character, even if they don't know exactly why.

The system uses coins in a cup, adding a bit to the penniless feel of the character. As a player, you decide how much you're willing to invest in the situation at hand by the number and type of coins you throw in the cup. During the course of play, characters will discover magic, monsters, and try to reclaim their memory, dealing with the tragedy that pushed them into The Nothing's grasp.

If you are a fan of urban fantasy, collaborative story creation and story-focused gameplay, you can't go wrong with Kingdom of Nothing. While the group makeup can make or break any game, the way the Secrets are developed does require a level of trust in your fellow player. Where you envision your character as being a former firefighter who failed to save someone from a fire, you could end up with a dark secret that your character is really a pyromaniac and the helmet you wear is nothing more than a joke. It's a selling point for me but some people dislike having that level of control taken away from them. I can't count it as a flaw (I love it!) but some might.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kingdom of Nothing
Publisher: Galileo Games
by Jonathan L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/18/2011 03:41:33

At Dreamation I ended up picking up Kingdom of Nothing by Jeff Himmelman. Jeff does the writing as well as the illustrations for the book. It's the first book that Brennan over at Galileo Games published and it's the first one he didn't write. I've been meaning to pick it up ever since he started talking about it because I like pretty much everything Brennan has put out and it's in essence a horror game. These two things make it a quick sell for me.

However, when I picked it up I will admit that I had a reservation. You see, there's a comic artist in Toronto who decided that he was going to do a comic about the homeless people he saw around him in Toronto. If you've been downtown, there are a fair number of homeless people and they all have their own stories and are their own people and what the artist does is play on them and completely dehumanize them. The comic became about him rather than about the people he was supposedly writing about.

When I opened up the book, I was worried because even the best intentions can become problematic.

Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed.

Kingdom of Nothing is a game where you play people who find themselves as one of the Lost. Something large and traumatic happened to you and you find that people no longer pay attention to you. Even if you shake regular folk, you'll find that they forget you pretty quickly and you go back to being stuck in the Kingdom of Nothing. The goal of the game, is to get past the bad stuff that stands in your way and come out the other side.

The book itself is gorgeous, and the illustrations are breathtaking. Everything just seems to fit right. The hopefulness mixed with despair. The fact that you're dealing with your community of Lost and what goes on there is captured wonderfully in the illustrations.

Now, what makes this game great is the mechanic. I'm usually one for the story and screw the mechanic, but sometimes there comes something that is so perfect for how the game works that you can't really divorce the game from the mechanic. Don't Rest Your Head is like that, but Kingdom of Nothing has just completely blown DRYH out of the water for immersive mechanic. From the part in character creation where the book encourages the GM to be ruthless when it comes to taking away things that the characters might have had, to the idea that you use spare change as the way to see if you succeed sends chills down my spine as someone who creates games. I love the idea that the only way to get ahead is to be risky, or desperate. I just love the mechanic so much that I read it again, and I never do that unless I absolutely have to.

The other part of Character Creation that I really love is the fact that everyone writes up your secrets and it's up to the GM to try to weave them together. Usually it's not that hard, because you have to leave the trauma up there as something you forget. It's rife for props to come into play, if you like to make props, or other elements. I might even consider trying to use music if I could find a way to do it right.

The setting also makes you more aware of what's going on around you, or at least it did for me. When I was driving my autoshare car around doing errands I ended up looking at buildings that might be Lost places and what I might be able to do with them. How I could run a game and use a map of Toronto and mark these places down and how they might impact people.

If I do have a complaint about the game, it would be the couple of editing mistakes that appear here or there. There are a couple things that are duplicated in a bunch of lists. Also, there's a moment where it says that a dime is worth three successes and later on it says that it's worth only one. I'm going to stick with the dime as three because it fits with the theme and the progression.

For fifteen bucks I would highly recommend this game to anyone. If you're making a big purchase at IPR or if you see it at a con, it is totally worth the pick up cost.

TL;DR Version Setting is chilling and appropriate. Book is beautiful to look at. Mechanic is perhaps the best woven in I've seen, even better than Don't Rest Your Head. At 7.50$ you should buy it now.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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