Good Society: a tabletop roleplaying game of Jane Austen and others
March 17, 2019 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Good Society, the RPG is a collaborative roleplaying game "that seeks to capture the heart, and the countenance, of Jane Austen’s work. It is a game of balls, estates, sly glances, and turns about the garden. At least on the surface. Underneath this, just as in Austen’s own novels, it is a game of social ambition, family obligation and breathtaking, heart-stopping longing." Notable for blowing past their original Kickstarter goal of $4000 Australian in the first two days and winding up at $154,774 Australian, enabling better printing, more supplemental books, and donations to public libraries.

What drew my attention (40+ years tabletop roleplaying and, yes, I've actually worn the corners of some of my dice) was the core mechanic - the trading of story tokens with no chance element whatsoever. Easily hackable (a magic supplement for Patricia Wrede fans and a swashbucking supplement for people with a sword fetish were launched in the same Kickstarter, and I recently ran across a Tolstoy campaign)(and I'm working on a Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy hack that seems doable) and well-supported (the creators have several "how to" videos on their YouTube Channel), this game is number one on my "to be played" list.

And did I mention the multiple levels of gender roles that can be set by mutual consent of the players?

And the amazing artwork, with multiple POCs in major roles?
posted by Mogur (15 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yes. Like Mogur, I have beeen in this hobby for a bunch of decades and it gnaws at me that the central mechanic of almost every game is armed combat. Yes, drama requires conflict but not everything need include arterial spurts.

I am not so much an Austen fan, but I will support this on general principle.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:59 PM on March 17 [6 favorites]


The lovely people at Geekspace TV did an actual play series of the original and a miniseries with the swordplay expansion, for anyone interested in how it plays.
posted by juv3nal at 2:36 PM on March 17 [2 favorites]


I'm in the indie TTRPG designer scene, and the amount of creativity, amazingness, and thoughtfulness that comes out is incredible, can barely even scratch the surface of what's going on. But yes, Good Society is fantastically worth playing - once life slows down, I should consider submitting some other games to the Blue. Thanks for the post!
posted by yueliang at 2:38 PM on March 17 [8 favorites]


I'm in the indie TTRPG designer scene

I had to google this because I suddenly became terrified that there were tenure-track RPGs
posted by clockzero at 3:27 PM on March 17 [21 favorites]


The One Shot podcast (good folks all around) recently did a couple episodes playing a scandalous game of Good Society
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 4:10 PM on March 17 [3 favorites]


I picked this up at my local game store recently and I’m so excited to give it a shot. Unfortunately the game appears to depend on the cards as well as the core rules, which makes it a little difficult to play with my regular group (which is online via google hangouts).
posted by a device for making your enemy change his mind at 4:12 PM on March 17 [1 favorite]


I had to google this because I suddenly became terrified that there were tenure-track RPGs

For each paper you have submitted for publication this academic year, roll 3d6 to see if the paper is accepted. Subtract the number of previous years you have not published from the roll before scoring.
posted by fedward at 4:52 PM on March 17 [11 favorites]


Oh, thank you for this post! I'm working on a game and setting (and high-school drama serial fiction) about monster hunters as the most prestigious social class in a modern world where the monsters very deliberately hunt us. I'm gradually developing a gameable relationship and reputation system, and while I have a couple of okay reputation rulesets to draw inspiration from (definitely not steal, no way), none of them are that robust and/or immediately translatable. Pendragon in interesting, but without adopting the dual opposed traits system or something similar, I'm not sure how glory would translate immediately over on its own to function how I want, and most other stuff I have is a little bare-bones. I'm curious to see what sort of systems are showing up outside of the OSR and D&D 5e waters that most of the blogs I follow swim in. Since kinda archaic is how I want the high society to feel for the setting, so this should be good reference material. Definitely going in my to-read-and-maybe-play list.
posted by Caduceus at 7:19 PM on March 17 [1 favorite]


I picked this up at my local game store recently and I’m so excited to give it a shot. Unfortunately the game appears to depend on the cards as well as the core rules, which makes it a little difficult to play with my regular group (which is online via google hangouts).

Take a look at their video here, for online play how-to's.
posted by Mogur at 7:44 PM on March 17 [1 favorite]


Along these lines, another really unique indie tabletop RPG was the Golden Girls RPG. Which maybe isn't that surprising, given that they're the ideal template for an adventuring party: Dorothy the fighter, Rose the cleric, Sophia the magic user, and Blanche as the rogue.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 8:58 PM on March 17 [8 favorites]


I'm curious to see what sort of systems are showing up outside of the OSR and D&D 5e waters that most of the blogs I follow swim in.

It doesn't really have anything to do with reputation systems, but one indie rpg thing that piqued my interest recently was For the Queen (actual play part 1, part 2), if you're not already familiar with it.

It does some interesting things (er one interesting thing done really well) that I think lends itself to being lifted and dropped into other contexts. The whole, game, basically, with some judicious tinkering could serve as an elaboration of Dungeon World type Bonds.
posted by juv3nal at 9:36 PM on March 17


I heard an interview with Storybrewers on the Mud & Blood podcast on their other setting, Alas for the Open Sea, which sounds fascinating. The elevator pitch is "a roleplaying game of myth, mystery, and the complexities of the human heart. Set in 19th century rural UK." Not exactly run-of-the-mill either, but the creators gave me a real good vibe, so I'll probably be checking out their stuff.
posted by Harald74 at 1:35 AM on March 18


Apropos of nothing, the kids being a little older now, I've eked out a monthly evening of TTRPGs with my old crew. So now I'm up from the yearly mountain cabin retreat weekend we've been doing for years. I'm going to take over the GM role from next month, and the game is Forbidden Lands, which seems promising.

And actually I don't care what the game is, I'm just happy to meet up regularly with they guys. They're a good bunch.
posted by Harald74 at 1:41 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


I contributed to the Kickstarter for the this, and I couldn't be happier with the finished product...it's beautiful, both as a game and as physical book.

There have actually been some amazing things coming out of Kickstarter for TTRPGs. I'll throw in a good word also for What Ho World, which is for roleplaying in a world very reminiscent of P. G. Wodehouse's work. And it's less literary, but Revolutionaries is for playing agents of the Culper Ring in revolutionary-era America. My favorite, though, is Invisible Sun , which is...expensive, but mainly because there's like 2 tons of stuff in the starter box. And it's available as a PDF now on drivethrurpg, which wasn't originally going to happen.

I have no idea how viable many of these products are over the long term...TTRPGs are a niche product, and there's only so much attention available, but if you're into this stuff it's really a golden age, completely unprecedented in my experience.
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:28 AM on March 18


I backed this at a level where I was made into non-player gentry. The art made by Aviv is spectacular. This is seriously one of the coolest things I've ever kickstarted. The physical book is beautifully made.

The thought that you may be using my character card in your Austen style game makes me grin. So please, send me a missive if Anastasia does anything amazing or scandalous in your games. ;)

I blogged about my npg card here.
posted by dreamling at 8:56 AM on March 18 [5 favorites]


« Older Something to make you smile   |   We got bored while you were gone. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments