The sleep of reason generates monsters
And now something special.
My cellmate Alex Girola is expanding into the world of indie gaming, and I just got my copy of Il Sonno della Ragione (The Sleep of Reason), a neat little game that’s so cool, I blackmailed Alex into allowing me to contribute material.
And while the Mana Brothers are hard-at-work already on a set of scenarios, we are also discussing an English edition of the game.
It would be cool.
So consider the following a sort of preview.
The Sleep of Reason is said to generate monsters.
Set in the 1950s, the game takes place in a world in which the Cold War is raging, and in which the old monsters from black and white movies are real.
From the Werewolves to the gill-men (and -women), from Egyptian mummies to Transylvanian vampires, the whole cast from the old movies is at large all over the globe, with a liberal dash of mad doctors, devilish mentalists and other freaks.
And they are not necessarily the bad guys – and that’s the reason why players will portray “good monsters” in the scenarios.
Vampires in the Balkans playing cat and mouse with the KGB? A Frankenstein-like monster working as a hard-boiled P.I. in San Francisco? A werewolf working… as a werewolf for Hollywood drive-in-ready B-movies?
Now, the presence of these creatures in the world of the 1950s is not commonplace, but it’s neither a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence.
Governments have a good reason to keep a tight lid on the fact that there’s fish-men living off the coast of Massachusetts, and at the same time the Man has many uses for the skills and abilities of these outsiders.
This is the game to play my old idea…
I was a werewolf for the FBI!
As a fan of old Universal monster movies and of related subjects, with a side interest in pin-ups, rock’n’roll and 1950s ephemera, this is the game that was designed for me.
The handbook suggests three basic campaign styles:
. Monsters on the run: the characters are a small community of weird creatures, trying to escape a bunch of ruthless monster hunters.
. Monsters on the prowl: a team of monsters keeping the neighborhood safe, because it’s their neighborhood too!, and because if they take care of nuisances, no one will come sniffing around.
. Monsters with a badge: a special team of monsters working for a government agency as spies, troubleshooters or paranormal investigators.
The gaming system is old-fashioned but solid, and easy to learn. The world offers a lot of twists and turns, and the setting is both more light-hearted than the classic World of Darkness, and more flexible. It works just great for short one-shots, but there’s meat enough for a whole campaign, and can do both comedy and gritty action without too much fuss.
All in all, another nice addition for my collection of games, and a great inspiration for stories and other stuff.
Watch this space.