Archive for June 14, 2017


Hot on the heels of the recently concluded Let’s Study: Symbaroum series, I’m striking while the iron is hot by kicking off a series on one of 2017’s most talked about releases, “Tales from the Loop” by Modiphius and Fria Ligan.

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Inspired by the Scifi artist Simon Stålenhag’s paintings of Swedish 1980s suburbia, populated by fantastic machines and strange beasts, Tales From the Loop channels ET and Stranger Things, where kids of an era without the internet have to deal with high strangeness in their neighborhood.

The game is powered by the same system as Mutant: Year Zero and Coriolis, so I don’t expect a lot of new ground mechanically, but I’m looking forward to how the game is able to convey this particularly specific sort of mood. As a child of the 80’s this is a bit near and dear to my heart but I’ve got a lot of faith in the Fria Ligan guys.

To that effect, let’s take a look at the principles of the loop:

  1. Your home town is full of strange and fantastic things

    As a kid, your home town is huge, and at times unknowable. Being a game driven by mystery, Tales From the Loop assumes that any home town is a fertile bed for all sorts of strangeness just waiting for some nosy kids to discover them.

  2. Everyday life is dull and unforgiving

    There’s a certain ennui in the everyday life of a kid in Tales From the Loop, and it’s this very reason why Mysteries are so compelling. While homework and chores occupy your waking moments, there’s always the promise of escape to something exciting when a Mystery comes calling.

  3. Adults are out of reach and out of touch

    Adults in Tales From the Loop are powerful, but distant. They don’t really understand kids, nor do they take the kids seriously when the kids talk about Mysteries. They can be of help, but few adults will ever really be allies.

  4. The land of the Loop is dangerous, but kids do not die

    This was something I was wondering about in the game, but I’m glad they called it out. Kids get hurt, locked up, heartbroken and otherwise punished, but they’re never going to die in this game.

  5. The game is played scene by scene

    Tales From the Loop is more cinematic in the sense that it’s played scene by scene. The Game Master is in charge of setting up a scene, and the players play through the important parts of the story. They also get to skip ahead the boring parts to keep the focus on the tale being told.

  6. The world is described collaboratively

    Everyone gets a say in describing the world. The Game Master in Tales From the Loop is encouraged to get the players to add to it by describing details about NPCs, locations and other things that could be spun off into Mysteries of their own.

Given what I know about Mutant: Year Zero and Coriolis, Tales From the Loop will work hard to make each of these principles ring true. Already it’s got a lot of potential, and while the next chapter discusses the 80’s that never was for Sweden and the USA, there’s plenty to pick up from and use for a game set in a different country.  We’ll tackle those when we get to the next post.

If you’d like to follow along or get your own copy of Tales From the Loop, you can grab the PDF over at DriveThruRPG for only $24.99

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