It is not easy to talk about the phenomenon Indie in terms of culture, but it is deeply complex to talk about it in publishing and even more in the world of RPGs. Not so much because this world is becoming increasingly popular, but because it can appear "partisan" even towards products of dubious quality.
Over the years, in Italy, we have seen many independent indie publishing houses arise and which, thanks to an excellent work, have brought players unique products of their kind to the tables; how to forget the Janus design with "Don't Give in to Sleep", "Polaris" or "Fiasco" or the Narrative with "Dogs in the Vineyard" and "World of the Apocalypse", but alongside these more or less famous houses many other Indie authors took courage with two hands and produced something without the support of anyone.
Alessandro Girola: an indie story
But what is Plutonia Experiment? It's a Quantico Blog as it likes to define itself, and it's a definition that fits perfectly.
But let's start talking about the author. Alessandro Girola He was born in Milan and for about fifteen years he has been walking the scenes of independent publishing (indie) both with publications of narrative that with RPGs self-produced. His career in the field of fiction ranges from horror to weird, passing through science fiction and ucronies, to conclude with some fantasy ebooks.
It is thanks to this desire to write fiction that his role-playing products were born. Sometimes, when you know an author, it is difficult to choose what to present him and we have chosen to let you know him through his role-playing games.
There are currently four Publications by Alessandro Girola in the world of indie role-playing, and they are all recoverable directly on the author's website. They are "Italy Doppleganger", "Guide to Mondo Delta" (compendium for Italy Doppleganger that allows you to play this distorted world), "Il Sonno della Ragione" and the last release, fresh of this month "Moths".
One setting: the Primary Lands
Before specifically presenting each product I want to tell you that all these games "share" the Narrative multiverse that Alessandro went to create.
Born from his writer's pen, his Multiverse contains all his creatures in the role-playing field. Within his books, in fact, it is widely explained how to integrate each work and be able to play with each of his manuals. Portals, dimensional passages through the elemental planes.
Each setting published so far by him concerns what are considered Primary lands; these Primary Lands are exactly like the Planet Earth we experienced, but following some event has seen a change in the evolution of the world as we know it.
A note on the game system. The system that Alessandro Girola's role-playing games use is one of Mauro Longo's revisions of a pre-existing system called FF Essence (Fighting Fantasy Essence). This system has been completely reworked by Alessandro to be able to meet the needs of his manuals, from the insertion of Fear Points, Humanity Points etc. We attach the link to the article written by the good Mauro for all the necessary information.
And now let's launch without delay into examining these four products
In a now abandoned Italian village there is a dimensional passage that from ancient times allows access to realities other than this Primary Earth where this book takes place. The Italian secret services, like those of the other countries of the world, constantly monitor these passages to prevent too much of the worlds from coming together.
It may well be the synopsis of this manual, but there is actually much more to say. Italy Doppleganger is a role playing game investigation with dark hues where the "real" world intersects with occult, "inframund" and other planes of existence.
The game manual, in addition to including the whole setting, also contains the rules to start playing in this world, from character classes to interpret, to fairs to face, to realities to visit.
In the last pages of the manual you will find i reading tips. As previously mentioned, all the material published by Alessandro is always supported by stories or books that are born in the world just described.
Guida to Mondo Delta
What would have happened if what poets, dreamers, scientists and writers describe in their stories were nothing but reality? A reality certainly different from ours, but still a reality? If Dante's Hell or Oz really existed? What if those who vanish every year are only sucked into parallel worlds through invisible window areas?
Many may remember "People Who Disappear", an old issue of Dylan Dog, but if you find yourself on Delta world you won't have much to be happy about. What it was a Primary Earth merged with the natal dimension of the Living Gods, and from this union Mondo Delta was born.
Think of a place like Hieronymus Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights" and you will only be able to imagine this place, towards which expeditions of exploration were launched that have failed miserably.
You just have to launch yourself in this "Land of Toys" (yes, Collodi also visited it) and hope not to lose your life or at worst, your mind.
The Sleep of Reason
We are in the middle of the Cold War e the monsters and mad scientists of horror and pulp movies exist seriously. And not only that, some of them work for one of the two blocks facing each other, both militarily and in the world of espionage.
Have you always dreamed of playing the Invisible Man, Dr. Fu Manchu, Dracula or the Werewolf? This is the manual for you. With a unique mechanics like theHumanity, a resource that can be used to use one's powers, players will always be on the edge of falling prey to their real nature.
But in addition to espionage against what could these Portents confront? Against the fear of the different, a more than current theme in our current world. Versus alien invasions, you know "War of the Worlds" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" right? They will be our heroes ... did I mean monsters to save the human race? And will they be accepted?
The Sleep of Reason is perhaps the product that I feel most related to, being a fan of all the "weird science" of the films of Hammer (a movie house born in 1949) and the plethora of monsters they gave birth to.
This game manual was born, just like for Italy Doppleganger, come on stories Tomato Moth e wax moth of this author.
The central theme of Primary Earth and the Multiverse is also present in this product, but unlike the previous ones, it seems that Earth Moths is not so accessible in the "Mirror Game" that characterizes it. This occult world bases its existence on Great balance: this concept is detached from good and evil and the entities that live in this reality try to tip the arms of this cosmic balance on one side or the other. This, in the past of the world, has caused more or less serious devastation over the centuries.
The other interesting concept, at least in my opinion, are and "Minor Incarnations" and "Free Magicians". These two playable classes, from the description in the manual, have a unique depth and go perfectly with this manual with deep Urban Fantasy colors.
Let's draw conclusions: a fast and immersive indie
Alessandro's products in them simplicity and immediacy they allow a rapid creation of the characters and an even more rapid "take to the field" to play. The speed with which you can master the game system and its breadth considering the works part of a single universe, will make the experience even more immersive.
In addition to the manuals, remember that you can fish with his hands narrative associated with those products to make the narrative experience on these Indie products even more detailed and rewarding.
As a final tip, I hope you can drop by on his blog page and give gods an opportunity products outside the box we are used to.