ARC: Doom is a new tabletop RPG, recently released on Kickstarter and funded in just under twenty-five minutes. But what is special about this project and why did it strike me while I was reading it?
In recent times, I have been perpetually torn between the traditional board game, full of tables and dice to roll, and the indie one. Last year, for example, I had fallen madly in love with a micro-rpg called Death of a Hero.
This year, however, it's the turn of the "trindie" (traditional indie) I'm talking about: ARC: Doom.
Honestly, the first thing that came to my mind when reading the name of this game is a possible pun, an acronym. ARC could be the contracted form of ARmaggedon Clock. The Armaggedon clock, the time that passes before the end of the world. And you know what? This could be the case, since this role-playing game is expressly about dealing with a cataclysm.
Before starting to analyze it, here is the trailer!
ARC: Doom Content Analysis
This role-playing game, created by Exalted Funeral and by Momatoes, has a very light regulation system, quick to master, but at the same time deep, with interesting mechanics. In particular, I found the idea of the three very apt Omens that will precede the advent of the apocalypse, the death of a player character andJudgment Day Clock.
I would like to spend some time explaining in detail these last two ideas which have also been included in the quickstart.
The death of a character you play is a very trying event for a group of adventurers. Not for nothing, previously, I referred to that micro-rpg! When a character dies in ARC: Doom his other companions gain an amount of experience points equal to three times the lowest level of Bond (personal) with the deceased character. This will lead to greater awareness of the value of a dead person's life, but at the same time will cause the Doomsday Clock to run faster towards the end.
Why this? Death leads to a heightening of a sense of impending end. It is normal for people facing an apocalypse to feel life flowing like sand between their fingers, as well as time.
This Judgment Day Clock, in fact, is the unit of measurement that will accompany your sessions, until the end of the world and, perhaps, we hope beyond.
When I got to read this rule it came to my mind The Banner Saga. I think the similarities are obvious: a world that goes towards destruction where everyone comes together to face it. Especially in the third act of the Saga there is a lot of this sense of escalation.
In short, the mechanics are interesting, I recommend you take a look.
What will the finished manual contain?
Sifting through the manufacturer's website I found what, according to them, will be the content of the finished manual. Here is the translation:
A complete RPG fantasy system with rules for:
• Construct compelling, fast-paced stories through the mechanics of the Doomsday Clock and a triad of Omens.
• A new method of combining player skills with problem solving approaches. Do you want to appease a giant? Use your Charisma creatively or carefully.
• A combat system driven by the player's initiative based on intentions. You no longer have to passively wait for the next round - players are required to strategize for teamwork in each round.
• Unique ways to cast and retrieve spells, use specific techniques during combat. Heroes may also be asked to perform strange rituals such as eradicating a cherished memory from their minds or even consuming a door!
Additional content to make your adventures more exciting:
• Forty and more between character spells and techniques. From sending a simple whispered message, to a complex magical opening of a secret door through a magical revelation, up to a real miracle.
• Thirty-six fascinating creatures: from bunny-eared noblins, to cannibal elves, to moon-eating dragons and more.
And finally a practical guide to make the game accessible and satisfying for all players
Conclusions on ARC: Doom TTRPG
For a few days now, many have been talking about this game. Driven by curiosity, I downloaded the quickstart and quickly got excited about the system. But it wasn't this that made everything even more interesting in my eyes, but a thought from the creators of the game that made me reflect on an important point that we often lose sight of:
The perfect game does not exist.
It's fun to lead the players,
it is above all human that they make mistakes,
but learning from them is perhaps the most important thing to consider.
It is therefore important to “fail better and better” and learn from our mistakes.
Perhaps this is the most important lesson this game gives us. Fail, but in an attempt to do, to change the fate of the world and, in the unfortunate case of not being able to save the world, fail in the attempt without having any regrets!
Take a look at this game. I recommend it dispassionately.
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