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Welcome Back to the Edge

You step up to the passport control window at last, the long line still stretching out behind you. The government employee is very clean, his noose necktie cinched perfectly. You notice the tattoos on his fingers as he stamps your passport: L O O K   O N C E.

"It's been a long time. Welcome back to Al Amarja."

You can't remember how many years have passed since you last visited the Edge. The brand-new edition of Over the Edge shows you around the place as it is now. The Kickstarter is your ticket for the tour bus.

The Edge is still the weirdest city in the world, and the action comes from the characters you create. New rules focus on the trouble that leads you into the clubs, corporations, and cults of Al Amarja where the good stuff goes down.

The Kickstarter launches today, July 10, and it's full of all-new specials never before featured in an Atlas Games RPG crowdfunding campaign. Get in on the Edgy excellence first!


Unknown Armies Attack Free RPG Day!

Explore creepy places, meet bizarre people, and get one hell of an education when you join the ranks of Unknown Armies with Atlas' contribution to this year's Free RPG Day!

In Maria in Three Parts, you're part of a cabal looking for someone essential to keeping the peace in your part of the occult underground. It's the job of your fellow broken souls to help Maria pull it together to keep the fragile order of things from shattering.

This Free RPG Day game book includes everything you need to encounter Unknown Armies for the first time, or explore another intriguing side story as a veteran UA gamer. Rules, characters, and an intriguing scenario set players up to dive deep into the weirdness of the world.

WE WANT YOU to join the ranks of Unknown Armies! Ask your Friendly Local Gaming Store if they're participating in Free RPG Day on Saturday, June 16, 2018, then plan to get there early for your copy of Maria in Three Parts. You can see a full list of games and participating locations on the Free RPG Day website.


Grokking the Difference: Jonathan Tweet on Unknown Armies vs. Over the Edge

In the final post in our Grokking the Difference series, we talk to Jonathan Tweet, designer of Over the Edge and Clades. Jonathan has also had a hand in the development of other classic games like Ars Magica, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, and 13th Age. Here are a few of his insights into the things that distinguish Over the Edge from Unknown Armies.

There are a number of differences I can see between Over the Edge and Unknown Armies. First, Unknown Armies has a cool backstory that the characters can plug into. Over the Edge is more about the story that players bring, while the backstory is chaotic and self-contradictory.

Second, Unknown Armies says there is a secret order to things. Over the Edge says it's chaos, not order, that runs the world. A lot of it lands right in the characters' laps. If you walk down a street in the Edge, the chaos jumps out at you. You might see baboons patrolling the streets as cheap security; public shrines from undocumented and bloody spiritual traditions; or a heavy metal band ruling a poor neighborhood with high-decibel concerts and street violence. Ultimately, a lot of the flavor of Over the Edge just comes from horrible people being themselves or exploitative systems doing their thing.

Unknown Armies is serious. Over the Edge is serious, but with generous side helpings of hyperbole, satire, and farce. Over the Edge is relentlessly urban, while Unknown Armies embraces the rural American side of life, too.

As far as game systems go, Over the Edge is more freeform in terms of dice-rolling and mechanics, compared to Unknown Armies. There is, for example no mechanical magic system to use that represents secret knowledge in the game world. Players define their characters' paranormal abilities, if any, in a loosely structured way.

Unknown Armies 3 has streamlined mechanics, and so did the original Over the Edge. The new edition of Over the Edge that will be coming out takes streamlining to another level. A single throw of the dice can resolve an entire scene, such as what results when a character breaks into an apartment looking for clues. Bypassing security, finding a way in, staying quiet enough to avoid attention from neighbors, not getting bitten by vipers serving as guards, and finding important clues (or not) can on a single throw of the dice. 

Grokking the Difference: Greg Stolze on Unknown Armies vs Over the Edge

In our effort to untangle the differences and similarities of our classic roleplaying games Unknown Armies and Over the Edge, we asked each game's designer to weigh in with their perspective. Unknown Armies author Greg Stolze has looked at the question with new eyes, coming off the successful third edition of his game. Even now, we're rolling out the UA3 Campaign Starter Kits at your favorite digital marketplaces. Here are his thoughts on the two games:

It's not hard to see similarities between the two games. Over the Edge came out first and was a strong inspiration for Unknown Armies, particularly in the area of 'Players get to define what their characters can do instead of picking off a limited list of skills.' They're both deliberately weird, subverting expectations of what reality is, built around the sometimes-unspoken idea that the game's primary duty is to be compelling, 'fair.'

But the differences are crucial.

A haggard white man with a cigarette and a bloody nose stands in front of a wall showing arcane symbols
     1) Unknown Armies is about people. Over the Edge is about setting.
In UA, every character has a set of gauges that register the traumas they've experienced. Those meters, in turn, show how they relate to others, how they interact with the world around them, and how they respond to further challenges. The spotlight of the story is on the characters, and the mechanics orbit their personalities. OTE, on the other hand, is about the mysterious, baffling, frustrating island of Al Amarja and its myriad bizarre inhabitants. The characters inevitably bring their own agendas, secrets, and mysteries, but those are at best co-equal ingredients in a thick, crowded, and flavorful stew.

     2) In Over the Edge, you explore. In Unknown Armies, you pursue.
A room in a trailer home with a ratty orange couch and papers strewn everywhere.
If you're a GM who likes getting a giant pile of sinister agendas and then assembling them into a maze for the characters to scurry through, ratlike, in pursuit of the cheese of a little power or just an explanation and also, the maze is on fire, then OTE is the game for you. The city of The Edge, the typical setting for an OTE game, gives you all the pieces you could ever need to provide mysteries for players to gnaw and worry at. UA, on the other hand, puts the players in the position of driving the game forward, off on a tangent, or right off a cliff. UA characters are driven and obsessed to accomplish some particular goal, decided on by the players, in a setting collaboratively developed. OTE characters are curious and canny, usually explorers instead of revolutionaries.

     3) The rules are very different.
UA has rules that help generate story. OTE has rules that get out of the way. UA is an intricate percentile-based system with a lot of interconnectedness, by design. It's meant to make every experience or decision weighty and lasting, whether the blowback from bad choices is physical or psychological. OTE runs off a short d6 pool with a few intuitive tweaks to influence outcomes. It's designed for transparency and simplicity, so you can learn the rules in ten minutes and make a character in five.

Gen Con, Atlas, and You

On the off chance you hadn't heard, Gen Con 2018 is happening August 2-5, and as usual, we'll be there, previewing, demoing, and seminaring into the wee hours of the afternoon. Curious where to find us during the best four days in gaming? Start with our dealer's booth, Exhibit Hall #1407, and then check out any or all of the following special events:

Witches of the Revolution*
Cursed Court
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Entry Round
Cogs & Commissars
Witches of the Revolution*
Cursed Court
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Entry Round
Cogs & Commissars
Over The Edge Panel
Ars Magica Panel
Witches of the Revolution*
Cursed Court
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Entry Round
Cursed Court Grand Tournament Finals
Writing & Design Panel

* These events are currently sold out. However, we encourage you to drop by prior to the start of the game, as ticket-holder dropouts or no-shows do occasionally happen.

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