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Sunday, October 22, 2023

Tabletop RPG ‘Deathmatch Island’ Draws Inspiration From ‘Squid Game’, ‘Battle Royale’ [Trailer]

While we haven’t had any official game adaptations (yet) of Netflix’s hit series Squid Game, for those that like the idea of competing against your friends in a competition to the death, designer Tim Denee has your interests in mind with Deathmatch Island. Taking cues from Squid Game, Battle Royale, The Hunger Games and other dystopian game shows, Deathmatch Island is a fast-paced tabletop roleplaying game based on the PARAGON system by Sean Nittner and John Harper.

The story is simple: You wake up to find yourself in a deadly game show set on a chain of mysterious islands. Armed only with their hazy memories and matching uniforms, players compete in challenges to satisfy the demands of Production.

Each session is divided into two phases. In Phase One, competitors explore the island, moving from node to node on the map. Resolving the contest presented at each node can yield the winners a set of rewards, advantages and more. In Phase Two, the fun begins with the battle royale. Everyone will compete, but only a fraction will survive. The deliberately sterile corporate design of Deathmatch Island hints at something lurking beneath the surface. Why do the competitors only have hazy flashes of their former lives? Did they volunteer or have they been forced to compete? Who or what entity is behind Production? Through play, your group will explore these themes of paranoia and control.

The game offers the opportunity to risk it all and rebel against Production. Will your competitors play to win or will they break the game? It’s a choice each player must make.

Character attributes are easy to digest, with the conflict resolution mechanics letting every player craft their own approach to tackling a contest, creating a low-prep, narrative-forward tabletop roleplaying game. You can check out an example playthrough here, featuring designer Tim Denee leading players through a one-shot game.

Currently, Deathmatch Island is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign, but it’s already cleared its goal, with plenty of stretch goals already achieved. The game has been playtested and polished, and the primary layout pass is complete. All backers get access to the latest, fully-playable version of the rules as soon as they make their pledge.

The crowdfunding campaign will fund production of a digest format (6″ x 9″) 216-page hardcover version of the book, as well as PDF, print-on-demand, and Roll20 variations. The physical rewards for Deathmatch Island are expected to finish production in late spring/early summer 2024.

The post Tabletop RPG ‘Deathmatch Island’ Draws Inspiration From ‘Squid Game’, ‘Battle Royale’ [Trailer] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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