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Itras By (English) $19.95 $14.95
Publisher: Vagrant Workshop
by Edward J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2013 12:05:55

When I first discovered indie RPGs after many years thinking GURPS was the epitome of gaming, I thought simply opening up the GM role to the rest of the table, asking the other players "I don't know, what IS behind that door?", would make an awesome play experience. It didn't work very well! But with Itras By, I've finally found that experience: it's a game where volleying ideas back and forth between GM and character-players is fun, functional, and utterly central.

Itras By is founded on the principles of improv theater. "Don't block," that is, never stifle another player's fun by rejecting their ideas or refusing to participate in their stories. Instead, use what they give you, and build and add your own spin and suggestions. It brings about a delightful, smooth flow of play with a lot of kibbitzing and laughter.

The setting, an anything-is-possible surrealistic city where elements of weird urban fantasy (like China Miéville or Neil Gaiman), crime noir, and mythic fable blend, supports this freewheeling creative energy. No suggestion is totally implausible. And the minimalist mechanics, involving card draws that provide task-resolution with a jolt of improv inspiration ("Yes, you succeed, but a tiny detail goes wrong...") or inject surreal elements that take scenes in new directions ("play this scene on the B-side of Itras By, where everything is opposite"), work perfectly to keep things moving in new and exciting directions.

The editing is not perfect; you will need to inure yourself to strange turns of phrase and blatant typos, especially on the official cards. But these minor blemishes are not enough to take off the product's 5-star rating for me. This is rapidly becoming one of my all-time favorite games!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Itras By (English)
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