Not The End is the new title of Fumble Gdr, written by Claudio Pustorino and illustrated by Peter Bastas, a non-setting game system that could become one of the best story engines of the year. The Quickstart pdf was recently released, which we warmly invite you to download, in view of the future Kickstarter.
Who is this system recommended for?
If you love numbers, millimeter-optimized builds and experience points, this system is not for you. Not The End is an engine that is based on two main factors: narrative and risk. There will be no numbers to come to your aid, if anything, a simple calculation of the probabilities in the extraction of the tokens.
What are its strengths?
The system will always lead you to create a unique character. The lack of statistics is compensated very well by the concept, traits and skills of the person you play. Two swordsmen will have a different story, goals and life experiences, which will be immediately reflected in the character sheet.
Once the numbers are forgotten, players can focus on understanding what really characterizes their character, be it a target, a scar, a unique object or an important name.
Another fundamental strength is the strongly narrative aspect of the system. Through a token mechanic, which give advantages or complications to the scene played, the narration never stops. The simplest failure never resolves in "Try to break the door and you can't" but at most in "Try to break the door, you can't and a suspicious noise makes you understand that the guards have noticed something". The difference is substantial and changes the perspective with which we approach the scene.
How are the skill tests carried out?
One of the most appreciable things about this game is the fact that it does not include dice. To play you need a bag (or something that can serve its function) and two sets of tokens distinguishable by color (not by shape). The first type of token will be worth for successes, the second for complications. Each trial has a difficulty (which can be expanded by the player) which brings complications tokens in the X bag. The player will then insert X tokens based on the traits, skills, everything on the card that may have to do with the test in question. From this pool the player can choose to extract 1 to 4 tokens. It takes only one successful token to pass the test. Each additional positive draw adds perks to the scene while each complication token obviously brings additional problems. This obviously leads to play adding elements, since nobody can foresee or prepare everything that could happen.
A different way of telling a RPG
Turning to what you can touch with your hand, the Quickstart that was delivered to us in Lucca had nice square pages. When I asked the reason for this choice, it was immediately pointed out to me how much easier it is to insert sample paragraphs next to the rules. The winning aspect of this vision emerges from the first pages. The Quickstart is full of examples, which guide the study of the rules (very simple but well explained) step by step.