Unbound – Playtesters wanted!

The cover, and all internal art, is by the very talented Adrian Stone

EDIT: The playtest period is now over! Thanks for all your interest and feedback, and keep an eye out for the Kickstarter coming in March.

Hello, we’re Grant Howitt and Chris Taylor. We’ve written a new game called Unbound, and we want your help to playtest it. (It used to be called Chronicle, but we’ve changed the name for a number of reasons.)

Here’s what Unbound is: it’s a quick-burn universal pulp action RPG with a focus on bringing story and player creativity to the forefront. It has interesting and tactical combat. It breaks down the barriers between GM and players, giving everyone control over the path the adventure takes. It comes with world creation tools baked into the system, so as players build their characters, the GM is asking questions about their choices that will fill in the environment around them and determine the events that happen during the story.

Unbound is coming to Kickstarter in March. We’ve been developing and testing it for the last year, and we’re keen to get more eyes on it ahead of the campaign.

I’ve heard enough – I want to playtest your game!

Click here to send us an email and we’ll sort you out with a PDF and a questionnaire.

The Deadeye role focuses on long-range firepower and mobility.

What kind of stories have you told with Unbound?

A campaign of Unbound is called a saga, and each saga is made up of groups of 4-6 adventures focusing around a particular group of characters called an adventure. Here are the stories of our current two playtest sagas:

In a noir cyberpunk future where interdimensional shadowfield biotech and experimental daylight weaponry sit side-by-side, a band of opportunists – a deadbeat ex-soldier ex-boxer ex-bouncer, a paraplegic hacker in a mechanical suit, and a corporate defector with animated tar instead of blood – make a strike against Orpheus Corp; they descend into the underworld beneath the corporation’s central tower and are overwhelmed by the dead-eyed inhabitants in the crumbling skyless cities they find there, and die, or worse. Then, in the second adventure, ten years later, the teenage children of one of the lost opportunists – the Mason family – protect their mother, look for love, and buck against the oppressive rule of the Orpheus military regime as part of the Greybirds, a rebellious faction of youths in way over their heads.

In a fantasy realm, two washed up researchers and their coach driver are bundled out of wizard university and into the jungles of Xetlan on a quest for the fabled Still of Eternal Life, that flows free and forever with powerfully intoxicating liquor. They steal the still from an underground snake temple and high-tail it out of there, but not before accidentally wiping out a small civilisation. Then, in the second adventure: the Earth temple has been destroyed, and the Snake God is angry, and the wilderness is in turmoil as the Pale Devil marches on the lands with machines of fire and blade, so three tribal champions from the Fire, Water, and Air temples fight back against the invaders as those washed-up researchers establish trade routes to the new-found paradise.

What’s more, during playtest, we’ve created (but not run full sagas for): power-armoured dwarves on a peacekeeping mission in the worst part of the worst town this side of the Obsidian Peaks; a mad city where people sell their souls to birds and kidnap the spirits of trains for ransom; a post-apocalyptic sci-fi game where dragons scud through shattered cities and humans valiantly attempt to bring them down to sell their valuable, powerfully narcotic blood; and an underground war campaign set as the high elves strike against the spidery dark elves in their lost arcologies, and experimental technology sees our valiant heroes warp and change into subterranean ghouls to fight the nightmare inhabitants of the warrens.

All this creation stems from a simple series of questions attached to the players’ choices, letting everyone at the table get involved and invested in the story of the saga at every step.

I still need more convincing!

What else is interesting about Unbound? Let’s take a look:

– It uses playing cards to resolve actions rather than dice
– Those cards get marked during play as the characters acquire experience and weather serious setbacks
– It’s setting-agnostic but the genre is action, with battles standing as a centrepiece of play
– Character generation is quick, easy, and (dare we say it) fun
– Each character group shares a Core, which gives them an instant group identity, motivation and story arc
– It has a really good GM advice chapter that will even help you run games that aren’t Unbound
– You can play as an all-bear party if you want, and some of the bears can wear hats

The Warrior core is for stories about soldiers, combat, conflict and war.

If you’re still not convinced, then thanks for your time. If you’d like to play Unbound with your group, click here to send us an email and we’ll get you a PDF as soon as we can.



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2 responses to “Unbound – Playtesters wanted!”

  1. Mike P. Avatar
    Mike P.

    This sounds pretty cool, but doesn’t marking up cards mean I’m going to need to buy a lot of cards?

    1. grant Avatar

      Yup! We get ours in packs of 12, it costs about $2 a pack which isn’t going to break the bank I don’t think

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