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Between Clouds is a colorful, biopunk, tabletop RPG about a family of misfits navigating the open skies atop their beloved flying beast. Life among the clouds revolves around the Kirin, oversized animals that possess volatile genetics and the gift of flight. Across the skies, floating vessels and cities are held aloft by the animated remains of hunted Kirin, whose beating hearts defy gravity itself. Commoners are wary of becoming abducted or eaten by these creatures, while propaganda and folklore only stoke their fears. With an uninhabitable surface below, humanity must learn to coexist with the flora and fauna of their airborne realm or perish.

Kirin are larger-than-life creatures that defy gravity itself. They appear across all of Empyrea in every conceivable shape and size, each of them bearing a resemblance to one of their mammalian ancestors; cats, dogs, horses and so on. Along with the gift of flight, Kirin possess unusual qualities that make them worthy of their legendary status. Their genes are malleable, mutable in a way that allows them to store the genetic information of every living thing they encounter. By using this data, Kirin are able to edit the biology of other living things. On instinct alone, Kirin sustain Empyrea’s fragile ecosystems by transferring genes and mutations from one isolated biome to the next, using them to bolster flora and fauna against ever-changing conditions in a process akin to pollination.

In Between Clouds players assume the role of Symbiotes, rare outcasts who have formed unbreakable bonds with a Kirin. It is not an easy choice to join forces with such a reviled creature. Those who crave power and a comfortable life seek to hunt the Kirin, and the Symbiotes with them if necessary. Few are ever approached by the flying beasts, and fewer still head the call. Those who do lead nomadic lives. They travel across Empyrea atop their airborne companions, making allies and enemies along the way, all while striving to help those in need and protect the wild Kirin that they encounter.

A group of Symbiotes bound to a single Kirin is referred to as a Family, usually consisting of three to five members. In their former lives most Symbiotes were rejected by society for being too unusual, but with their found Family each person can find a sense of community and belonging that allows them to truly flourish. As a group the Symbiotes must protect each other, resolve interpersonal drama, and navigate the stigma associated with their lifestyle.

Between Clouds is made using Free League’s Year Zero game engine, with a strong influence from Belonging Outside Belong games (like Dream Askew/Dream Apart by Avery Alder) and Forged in the Dark games (like Blades in the Dark by John Harper). It's highly approachable for seasoned Year Zero veterans and new players alike, and features bespoke mechanics that compliment the game's setting and themes. 

As featured in Dicebreaker!

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142.19 MB
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File Last Updated:
June 01, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on June 01, 2023.
Andi Licht
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