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Build a World Only to See It Fall


We had built our civilization on exploration. We were curious beings–if we were not seeking then who were we? But we were becoming stretched too thin when there were no more worlds to explore within the solar system, and many of us were becoming lost. This was the civilization my friends and I built in Downfall by Less Than Three Games.

Downfall is the perfect love-poem to world-builders. It’s a game that invites you and three players to build a society, the nuances of its culture, sigils, customs–all constructed around a crucial flaw that will be the downfall (yup, I said it) of this civilization.

Tabletop roleplaying games are great exercises for writers. Author Ta-Nehisi Coates actually said in an interview with Big Think, “[T]he first things that taught me about how words were beautiful [were], hip-hop and Dungeons and Dragons.”

He goes on to explain how opening the Monster Manual for the first time, and reading the descriptions of these mythological creatures that made them real.

Like Dungeons and Dragons, Downfall is one of many games where players can build a world and then inhabit characters who are a product of that culture and society. Each scene getting an opportunity to negotiate how a hero, true believer of this flawed system, and “average Joe” would react during the final breaths of a dying civilization.

Role-playing games at their core have the capacity to be cathartic experiences. Where we can explore the “otherness” of a person or culture, and seek to empathize with it by taking on another worldview. Downfall is a game that really gets people thinking about that process and encourages players to make their world’s end romantic, beautiful, and meaningful.

If you’re looking for a game to prime those creative pumps, I highly recommend playing Downfall.

Watch an example of play with developer, Caroline Hobbs.

Another example of play.

Downfall by Less Than Three Games will be available for play in our Gaming Room during RoberCon weekend. It takes about 2 – 4 hours to play.

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