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Otherworld: Infinite Requiem Gear

  Hello, everyone! I apologize for it being approximately six million years since my last update, but I have indeed been busy. There have been multiple play tests of my board game and fairly massive rework of the objective system, since the original way I had envisioned the game to work would have resulted in a single game taking roughly a human lifetime to beat. That’s been slow going.

  Also, the game’s name, which was decided by popular vote, is apparently going by Otherworld: Infinite Requiem.

Behold, the uncontrollable power of, like, six people voting.

I fully look forward to explaining that, first, it is a board game despite it not mentioning its board game-y-ness in the title and, second, that the subtitle derives from the fact that the basic narrative arc is taken from a sequel to a play most people have certainly never seen or read.

  You can do that here, if you like, in case you care.

  I have also been doing my normal everyday stuff, like teaching and tutoring and staring into the ever-widening abyss known as humanity’s collective mistakes. And then there was being blindsided by a massive (500%!) insurance premium increase, so all in all it’s been a bit busy and kind of horrifying.

  Maybe consider buying a book of mine, maybe, please.

  A while back, I promised that I would be talking about other aspects of the game. In this case, we’ll be diving into the game’s gear. Broadly speaking, the game has four broad classifications for stuff you’ll be picking up: equipment, melee weapons, firearms, and aberrant. Let’s start with the broadest class, shall we?


  Equipment is your catch-all cateegory. Food (or sustenance, if you want to be pedantic about it), ammunition, traps, medical items, flashlights and other kinds of survival-oriented tools fall into this category. Most items have a weight (lower left corner of the card) that will count towards a character’s equipment limit, but there are items that will expand that capacity.

  Some items have multiple purposes, like the humble glow stick here:

Glow Stick
This is clearly the best item in the game! I know one person who can't get enough of them! This is an inside joke!

Light-producing items will allow characters to pick up items during phases of the game where the world is swallowed by a semi-sentient night. While a glow stick is a single-turn item, it can also be used to distract monsters and buy a little bit of breathing distance. It’s really only useful during Otherworld phases, but since the map can get crowded with hungry aberrations in later rounds, it can keep pressure off a weaker character.

  Then there’s stuff that will modify your weapons in some way. Like buckshot:

Spoiler: There are no bucks in=game.

Ammunition types can be slotted freely into and out of corresponding weapons. They can modify range (upper left corner of the card), deal more damage, cause status effects, or completely rework how an attack is handled. In this case, it takes a single-target weapon and turns it into a multi-target spread, with the downside that it won’t permanently remove aberrations anymore.

  Yes, I know buckshot can be lethal. Why not whine at videogame designers that buckshot isn’t the only type of shell, hm?

  If you’ve been paying attention, each item comes with a little bit of flavor text to help contextualize the events of the game. When things are self-evident or generalizable, the text will lean more heavily on in-universe what-the-fuckisms:

Energy Drink
AHHH wait, what?

In this case, this is a reference to the fictional city that is the main location in Improbables. It’s not just self-referential, but to help establish that the Otherworld itself is kind of a central nexus of sorts. Since I am gambling that people know what energy drinks are, the flavor text can be used to help set the tone.

Melee Weapons

  As I briefly mentioned in one post or another, most combat in Otherworld revolves around stunning most of your foes and scurrying away. Combat itself is dangerous, since aberrations strike first. This leaves melee weapons to be primarily reactionary. The big benefit is that they tend to be more capable of landing a hit and they are a more reliable means of permanently killing an aberration than firearms.

  Unlike standard equipment, weapons don’t have ‘weight’ so much as they have a minimum number of ‘hands’ to use effectively. Each character can dual wield one-handed weapons. One-handed weapons do less damage and are less likely to slay a creature outright, whereas two-handed weapons typically have greater penalties on bad roles.

  There are a significant number of melee weapons, most of them based on what you could reasonable expect in a mid-sized urban environment. For instance, why not a chef’s knife?

Chef's Knife
You are required to yell cooking puns when wielding this weapon.

The numbers on the right side are the roll requirements. Green is an ‘execution’ or instant kill on non-boss enemies. The orange-yellow stuns lesser beasties or a hit on everything else. Blue represents a miss, and red is a fumble. To help with people who may not have the best color acuity, there are carets (the funky little ^ marks) to help differentiate where a range begins/ends.

  The number in the starburst at the bottom is damage, which is inflicted on anything with health. Since everyone gets cut in a knife fight (or so I’m told), the fumble roll inflicts damage on the PC.

Fire Ax
Only the curious may use this weapon, for only they may ax questions.
Shut up, I'm funny.

  An example of a two-handed weapon, you can see the not-insignificant damage boost as well as the slightly wider execution range. Although the weapon has a slightly lower chance to fumble (12.5% rather than 25%), the weapon’s heftiness will mean that it inflicts the rather common status effect ‘Exhaustion’, which can limit maneuverability since it penalizes a character running around by inflicting damage.

  Why, yes, I am trying to ruin my friendships, thank you for asking!

  Now melee weapons can also fall into fairly unique categories. When starting my quest to acquire some character illustrations, I approached the amazing Sara Alfa. She took on Hanne, the game’s tank-y, paladin-y archetype. Due to the game being too easy with Hanne rockin’ a stab-proof vest, the challenge was to create a tank that lacked armor but couldn’t be knocked over with ease. And thus, the draft:

  This inspired me to create a new set of shield-type weapons.

Riot Shield
It will be hard not to yell 'BONK' whenever this does its job.

The riot shield itself is a useful means of self-defense at the cost of requiring dual-wielding to effectively deal damage or finish off stunned baddies. It also has less lethality in wider outdoor environments, where walls aren’t around to knock heads for you.

  Additionally, someone had asked Sara if that was a car door re-engineered as a shield. She thought that was so rad that I had to know, to which I immediately agreed that, yes, this is so damn rad. This resulted in the heavier car door shield, which is just so Mad Max-y cool I couldn’t not make it:

Car Door

As you can see, it’s bulkier and essentially locks out all melee attacks for a character. You also can’t be running around creation with a big ass door in front of you, so there’s that.


  Firearms deal stuns and damage from a distance, highlighting their primary utility. There are three types, arranged here in order of lowest to greatest range: pistols, shotguns, and rifles. The number in the upper left of the card is the range of the firearm. They… well, they function like melee weapons, only at a distance. There’s really not a whole lot more to say.

  The weapon ‘weight’ again refers to the number of hands to use proficiently. In the game, if you want to use a melee and a firearm with a combined ‘hands’ of more than two, you pay the corresponding number of hands in your movement roll to switch between them. In a less tortured way of saying it, if you have a total of four ‘hands’, you need to expend two moves to holster one and ready the other.

Hanne's Custom  Police Shotgun   Bolt-Action Rifle
Such variety of shooty sticks.

  Pistols are the most common (and most adaptable) but will be outclassed in damage potential, especially against the beefier monsters. Rifles, as a class, are the heaviest hitting weapons of the game, but also require modifications for all characters use 100% effectively. Shotguns are a good middle ground, but still require two hands.

  One character is quite good at rifles and shotguns, one character can’t use non-silenced weapons, and the melee-focused character is a bit of a dork who gets excited about the mere thought of dangerous boomsticks and is therefore a bit of a dipshit when it comes to using any firearm.

  That’s what we call ‘environmental storytelling’.

  (no it isn’t)


  The final grouping of items are ones that come from the denizens of the Otherworld itself. They are fairly unique in their impacts on the game environment, although there is some cross-over depending on the set. You have items that work a bit like certain medical items:

Pulsing Flesh

You know, like active charcoal in that you eat it and violently barf up trauma.

  Then there are ones that actively change game rules.

Coveted Trinket
This season's hottest toy!

Normally, aberrations prioritize players with the lowest health. The ‘Threatening’ status means that aberrations will go out of their way to attack this PC and that creatures can effectively ‘see’ through walls. Since monsters can detect PCs two tiles away, without walls to break up the landscape a player can create quite the conga line.

  The benefit of this is that when a player falls in combat, the aberrations within two tiles suffer from ‘Frenzy’, which basically means they will eat each other long enough for the newly-revitalized PC to slink away. It’s a powerful though somewhat situational tool, hence the ‘Aberrant’ classification.

  And that’s all for today! Thank you for schlepping about with me through what I thought was going to be a pretty boring breakdown of one aspect of my nerd game. Mayhaps next time we’ll cover the game environment! Mark your calendars for three million years, ‘cause I’m determined to update this website more frequently if it kills me.

Purchase Project Northwoods at Amazon.com.   Purchase Washed Hands at Amazon.com   Purchase Improbables at Amazon.com.


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