Today we talk about STREBEN a darkly tinted dystopian post-apocalyptic fantasy role-playing game ("dark grim") Old School. I don't know how else to define it ...
I would be surprised if you had heard of it since it is a project "released”On 5 December 2021, but whose gestation began some time ago and continues to this day. If you were wondering how I know it, it is because I am one of the beta testers of this game, as it was created by two dear friends of mine [Giovanni Galli aka Hans Ritter aka Starfox Mulder of the Bit-lloni (do you remember we talked about them Thu) is Nicholas Rossi aka Master Nicodemus] that I met when I moved to another city and region.
STREBEN setting and history
Better than the words of the authors I could not use to delineate the temporal political boundaries of STREBEN:
Grab a history book and get to 1220 AD
So far everything is as we remember it ... then the Apocalypse.
A ball of fire passed over Europe and disappeared beneath the Mediterranean Sea, exploding in a roar heard across the globe.
From that moment on, every horror story told to terrify children turned out to be a dark prophecy. Trolls, Dragons and Orcs were real and no one knew how to stop them. Kingdoms fell, the dead were incalculable, and humans began to change too. Some were born with more and more animalistic features and were chased away or killed; some found themselves capable of controlling invisible but incalculable forces.
From the ashes of the Holy Roman Empire, the Empire of Heroes was born. Enzo, son of Frederick II of Swabia, was its founder and sanctioned the union of nine fortified cities, united with the same purpose: to resist the horror that spread everywhere.
Lubeck, Bremen, Magdeburg, Stuttgart, Koln, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Regensburg and the capital Nurnberg.
Few venture outside the walls. A few Jäger (the corps of militia explorers), the well-defended caravans of merchants shuttling from one city to another (protected by well-paid mercenaries) and finally the Schatzjäger, treasure hunters and relics of a hazy past. The latter constantly risk their lives to sift through old ruins, abandoned fortresses, dark caves, in the hope of stumbling upon some precious piece to be resold on the black market.
Outside the walls there is death and glory in equal measure, but even in the city the intrigues woven by noble families in search of power can prove just as deadly.
Whatever you choose to be, in Streben you will have the chance to make your way through your self-sacrificing spirit and determination… or perish trying.
Hinc et nunc it is the stage on which the characters will move.
In the first chat about the project the two authors and us beta testers talked about the rest of Europe [France and England (with a couple of setting ideas not bad at all if they are kept!], It goes without saying that the project is in progress. full expansion, so at the moment it will only be possible to play in Germany ...
STREBEN the history
We of the historical group of Giovanni and Nicolò RPGs started hearing about STREBEN in November 2018; November 20 to be exact. From then on, a series of one-shots followed one another that changed, but not upset, the game system (if you are wondering which one, I refer you to the corresponding paragraph).
The first test campaign started on 4 February 2020. Shortly thereafter, we moved to other platforms for the lockout of the borders that we all remember well. The story found its conclusion in June of the same year, as soon as the borders reopened, after a long series of changes to the game system in progress.
After the summer, two other mini test campaigns started tightly, with two different groups, for another project in the world of STREBEN, to then arrive at the second campaign.
The many faces of STREBEN
As can be seen from what is written above, STREBEN is a game that features several incarnations. I talked about the release of December 5, 2021, about the different campaigns and the different systems used. So, to clarify, I'm going to illustrate what those who approach today can find STREBEN.
STREBEN ONE PAGE RPG
If today you start following the page Facebook's STREBEN (where there are also links to Telegram and Discord channels), you will find yourself in front of the STREBEN ONE PAGE RPG. This is a rather streamlined set of rules that can be found on the Master's screen. Character creation is "fairly" fast (eight points for three characteristics, one Talent, 100 dinarius to purchase equipment), except perhaps for spells. Even with the Master's help, creating balanced spells from scratch could lead to a slight increase in preparation time.
The solution of any test is entrusted to 1d6.
The most engaging and interesting part of this game was the enthusiasm with which it was received by the community. Everyone immediately went out of their way to create new material, such as monsters, talents and magic; but above all of adventures, many of which are linked together almost to compose a real mini campaign.
As I said, the enthusiasm was such that in just two months, we came to have more weekly publications [setting (Monday), additional material, stories in the world of STREBEN (with actors and characters from past campaigns), direct live with the authors, adventures (Friday)], with a magazine that collects all the contributions of the month!
Next week, the first of March (SAVE THE DATE!), pre-orders will open for STREBEN SCHATZJÄGER. This is the board game version where they will take on the role of unscrupulous men and women and with so much courage to go into the ruins of the former world in search of treasures to resell. The quikstart is right there, at the end of the path!
STREBEN SCHATZJÄGER is a real dungeon crawling (old school type HeroQuest, Warhammer quest, etc.), playable even alone. The commitment of the creators is to deliver it by June to all supporters!
Rumors say there is something special in store for supporters of this funding "campaign".
Last face (or is there anything else that's boiling in the pot?), Which is the one that has seen us players more involved from the point of view of testing, also due to the larger number of rules, is the STREBEN RPG classic. At the moment it is still in the process of settling the regulation; we await the start of the third campaign to evaluate the changes made.
Art & graphics
Among the collaborators of Giovanni and Nicolò who deal with the visual aspect of the project STREBEN there are Simone "Old Raging Barbarian"Tammetta (cover artwork) and Sid for internal illustrations.
THEamanuen Ste Stefano Gelao di Handwritten - Scriptorium Amanunese the page frame took care of the card (top secret).
There would also be another artist to mention, but we will not do it as it is a surprise for those who will go to finance the game ...
IMHO, My Two Cent, etc.
As I have already mentioned, the authors are my very dear friends, especially Giovanni. I am also among the players who have experienced and played the various incarnations of STREBEN, so my opinions must be taken with the right distinctions.
As for the game systems, I find them congenial to various projects. I don't like regulations that focus on interpretation only, nor those that are mathematical only.
SCHATZJÄGER andRPG they require a very, perhaps too much, tactical approach in confrontations; for SCHATZJÄGER it is obvious because it is a board game, where the battle grid is the basis; L'RPG however, it seems “contaminated” by this aspect. Regarding the rest of the system, I wait to comment after trying the new batch of changes.
The one aspect I am less comfortable with in general, however, is the setting.
If for theONE PAGE e SCHATZJÄGER the knowledge of the game world is minimal, and only a pretext for the board game, as far as the RPG is concerned, having to immerse oneself in a dystopia of our world, requires that the history be detailed, that the political / religious / social changes are well delineated, that everything new is at least "fairly" clear.
I admit, very candidly, that despite having played two RPG campaigns, I still have not yet got an idea of how some aspects of the world work ... but at the moment this is the case, since it is our Nicolò Rossi who he has on his shoulders all, or almost all, the weight of the writing of the setting and a lot of work still needs to be done ...