Things from the Flood is a sequel to the great roleplaying game Tales from the Loop, published by the Swedish publisher Fria Ligan. If you likes Tales from the Loop, you should definitely check this game out.
Tales from the Loop is one of my favourite games. It is a fun, fascinating and great storytelling game, where you take on the role of a kid in the 80’s that never was.
I ran a campaign in Tales from the Loop using a small town in Iceland, Skagastrond, and placed the Loop nearby. It was so much fun and the game allows so much player advocacy, making it more a joint story telling effort. The story we told involved a crazy scientist using the loop technology for time travel; a rather unsavoury, married middle aged man trying to get his way with the young girls in the village; dinosaurs and strange VHS tapes.
Things from the Flood – the sequel
When I saw the cover of Things from the Flood I have to admit, I was blown away. It had so much promise. The kids looked older, the technology was strange and had some weird biological effect. It screamed Lovecraftian Mythos and for an avid reader of H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction it had everything to catch my attention.
So, I waited eagerly for the Kickstarter to arrive. Finally, few weeks ago it arrived and, oh boy, did it deliver!
Things from the Flood uses the same system as Tales from the Loop. You have four attributes; Body, Tech, Heart and Mind; and twelve skills, which are linked to the attributes. You build a dice pool using attributes and skills, using d6, and each 6 rolled is a success.
You choose a type for your characters, which can range from a hacker to raver to street kid. Age doesn’t play the same role as it does in Tales from the Loop, where your age defines your Luck. All characters still have Drive, Anchor and Problem, as they did in Tales from the Loop. However, Pride is gone, replaced by Shame. These are mostly storytelling devices, though they can have an effect on one roll in a session.
The biggest change is that now the teenagers can die. And I have to admit, I love how this is handled. Every character has a number of Scars and if they become Broken, the character needs to roll over his number of scars on a d6. If the roll fails, the character mysteriously disappears, dies or goes irrevocably mad.
Just as with Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood comes with two different settings, one set in Sweden and the other in United States. Both setting appear in the Tales but have developed and changed. A lot!
The Loop technology failed! Prior to the failure there were massive floods, destroying homes and farmlands. The pole shift delivered a fatal blow to the magnetrine fleet and a strange phenomenon called The Machine Cancer festers in technological devices.
Still, the teens need to deal with their parents, school, work and each other, not to mention make sure they don’t miss out on the rave next weekend, listen to the latest albums of Prodigy and Nirvana and have a MSN and IRC account.
While the mysteries in Tales from the Loop were fantastic in nature, the mysteries of Things from the Flood are darker and more bleak. Of course, there are a few mysteries in Our Friend the Machines & Other Mysteries that are quite dark.
The four mysteries are tied together in a campaign called Prophets of Pandora and each mystery is more dark than the one before. Perhaps many players will miss the fantasy and the science fiction of the Tales, but these mysteries are in fact quite interesting and, not wanting to spoil the fun, are just as good, if not better, than the mysteries in Tales.
The Swedes seem to have found a Golden Ratio to creating interesting and great roleplaying games in recent years. Since 2016, I have only found one publication that I didn’t like.
Things from the Flood is a great sequel to Tales from the Loop and I can’t wait to run a game for my group, re-introducing the players to Skagastrond village again, though much darker this time.
The additions to the game are great and make it more interesting, exciting and fun. It is a superb co-operative horror roleplaying game.
If you don’t like games where the player advocacy is high, where it’s more about roleplaying than rollplaying, perhaps this is not a game for you.
If you liked Tales from the Loop, this is a must have! Simple as that. If you don’t own either of these games, perhaps it’s the time has come to change that.