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Kingdom of Nothing RPG

***** (based on 1 rating)
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List Price: $15.00

Our Price: $13.50

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Once upon a time, great monsters of grey glass and granite rose up into existence all across the world. They tore and gnawed and gnashed their way through the dirt and bedrock until their roots were buried deep within the earth. They sucked the life from the surrounding land.

Their sinews coursed with cement and rusted metal, their veins pumped sewage. They choked the air when they inhaled into steam-filled lungs; and when they exhaled, only smog and fire escaped. With a thousand limbs they reached up and scraped the sky.

As years passed and these horrors grew and grew beyond all reason, pieces of them died and fell away. Most of the time, they would cannibalize their dead extremities and grow new ones in their place. Sometimes, though, these places were left to rot.

It was in these dead places that ghosts came to live; in the shadows and tunnels of the urban nightmare. In the Forgotten Places. These ghosts inhabit a world most have never seen. It exists in disharmony with the reality we've come know, at once overlapping and contradicting it. It exists in the shadows and back alleys and tunnels of the urban landscape; in abandoned train stations and condemned buildings. Great rotting palaces lie within these places, vast labyrinths within the tunnels of the city.

Kingdom of Nothing is a game about people who've lost everything, and their struggle to crawl their way back out of the cracks through which they've slipped. In it, players take on the role of a forgotten person. Something happened to them that was so horribly traumatic it brought their lives crashing down and forced them onto the street and into homelessness. A mysterious force called the Nothing has eaten their memories and manifested their fears as twisted monsters that threaten to destroy them.

Through the course of the game, they come to grips with the thing that destroyed their lives and regain their memories piece by piece. Players at the table collaborate to create your character's backstory as you collaborate to create theirs. Throughout the course of the game, players discover the intense drama that led their character to get lost in the Nothing.

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Product Reviews (1)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 1 rating)

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Charming, original and powerful. A hidden gem.

*****

I would like to begin this review by pointing something out: Kingdom of Nothing doesn't romanticise homelessness. In its execution it touches on many social issues that surround homelessness and it doesn't turn it into a joke or some bizarre power source. Kingdom of Nothing is innately supernatural (it is driven by the force called the Nothing which erases the memories of and about the Lost) but these aren't "hobo-wizards"; the aspects of the game that go beyond the mundane are beautiful but still retain their ugliness.

Mechanics
This game uses coins as a conflict resolution mechanic; depending on your survival/lucidity (essentially stands for both your physical/mental health and power), skills, relevance of your Echo (a supernatural guide of some sort) and your possessions (of which you have few) you shake a number of various sized coins to determine how well you perform in the conflict. This mechanic works and is totally thematic for this game.

KoN uses "scenes"; the game takes place as a string of events that lead up to a conflict. The players have control over the direction of the story takes, however; through good role-play they gain "plot coins" which can be spent to find out more about whom you are and overcome your burdens. This encourages characters to push forwards both their own and their ally's salvations.

Characters
You're homeless. Something horrible happened to you. Your character sheet has been passed around and everyone else has written secrets about your past that you'll have to work to find out. The light at the end of the tunnel doesn't come easy. One thing I love in particular about the character creation is that GMs are able to cross off player's possessions and are encouraged to be a dick about it. Just like real life. Character creation is quick, narrativistic and FUN. The fact that you know more about the other characters than your own is wicked.

Setting
I really love the genuine feeling of the fluff in this game; it all sounds completely fitting for what terminology is used by homeless. Rag-pennies are magical items (much less extraordinary than D&D magic items however) and Jittney Mills are the power stations and so-on that the Lost can use to create them, for example. There is also great information about topics regarding homelessness, such as health/hygeine, sleeping, shelters and drugs/alcohol.

Conclusion
Kingdom of nothing is out-there, ambitious, easy to learn and fascinating. I could hardly put the book down when I was reading it cover-to-cover. Another thing is that it has made me think about homelessness at length for the first time in my life and I have learnt a stronger sense of compassion. Thank you, Jeff Himmelman.

I strongly recommend this book.


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