… but can’t have, because it’s only available in german. Unless, of course, you can understand german, in which case you will want to read my german review of Malmsturm – Die Fundamente. Otherwise you will have to make do with this teaser blog post and do everything in your power to make sure that this spectacular game gets translated to your language (preferably english). Seriously, get in contact with the developers and start a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project or something, now. I would back the shit out of that, just so you know.
Anyway, this is is about the second version of Malmsturm, a grim setting for the FATE roleplaying system that was inspired by the likes of Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber and so forth. (the book has an Appendix N not unlike many OSR games). Another very strong influence is Heavy Metal. And Black Metal, lots of Black Metal. Also Thrash Metal and Doom Metal, everything Metal. Every single page has a song recommendation on the bottom. Let me pick a few of those at random: Belphegor – Discipline Through Punishment, Overkill – Rotten To The Core, Bathory – Twilight Of The Gods, Candlemass – Voices In The Wind, Nile – The Language Of Shadows, Iced Earth – Written On The Walls … it goes on and on. In fact, you can just listen to this neat playlist (which requires Spotify) to get in the Malmsturm mood, just like I’m doing right now.
Why should you be so sad you can’t have this? Well first of all, this thing is pretty uniqe in the realm of FATE roleplaying. Evil Hat usually deals in rather family-friendly and tame games, it is highly unlikely you’ll find any other FATE Core supplement with pictures such as these:
So as you can easily see, Malmsturm is not a game that tries to cater to mainstream tastes. Is that all? No, this is also unique, because this is pretty much the biggest FATE supplement there is. Do you know the FATE Worlds of Adventure? Those teeny tiny little brochures? They’re great, aren’t they? Well this is a fucking 400 page tome full of blood-spattered barbarians, foul magic, vile beasts and character-driven Sword & Sorcery drama. Atomic Robo has 300 pages too, you say? Well, it’s still 100 pages short, it repeats the FATE Core rules, which Malsturm doesn’t, and Malmsturm will actually get another even larger source book! This book contains the foundations of the setting, including but not limited to extra rules, overall world description and a fuckton of assets, such as aspects, stunts and extras. The second book will contain loads and loads of adventure hooks, stories, location descriptions, of course new aspects and other assets and a finishing pinch of awesome.
The characteristic quality of this hardboiled fantasy world is it’s “dramatic reality” as the writers put it. Emotions felt, thoughts thought and things willed have the potential to physically manifest, depending on the weight of one’s fate and willpower. Battles are always accompanied by rain and thunder, a superstitious village in fear of an ancient curse might thus make the curse reality and of course this is also the way magic works here. But altering the world like this is a dangerous thing, and putting too much stress on reality (literally), no matter how strong-willed you are, can result in a Malmsturm. That’s when the aberrations of reality escalate and shit hits the fan. There are fun rules for that, of course. The clever thing about this is, that this is actually just the core idea of FATE, just in the shape of setting fluff instead of (or rather in addition to) rules.
Why am I talking so much about it, when you probably won’t be able to play it? Well because I want you to know it’s there and maybe you know people and will be able to get the ball rolling for an english version! Now let me wrap this up with the same words that garner the last page of this book, words a probably not so wise but nonetheless great man once said: “If you don’t like it, fuck off!” (Lemmy Kilmister, RIP)