The Australian duo of game designers, snack food addicts, & lovers of tabletop roleplaying games Hayley Gordon & Vee Hendro started Storybrewers in 2016 as a way to share their crazy game ideas with the world.
One of their most recent creations is Good Society, a tabletop roleplaying game where players work together to create a Jane Austen style story.
Gordon shares that it's Austen herself that inspired them to make the game. "We've always enjoyed Austen's work, but more than that, I've always noticed in both myself & others a desire to see what would happen if you were the main character in an Austen novel" she explains. She elaborates:
- How would you navigate difficult suitors?
- How would you handle family expectations?
"Where that desire exists, that's usually a good sign that there's a fun tabletop roleplaying game to be made," Gordon reveals. Noting that Austen is a great mix of funny & reflective. "I really enjoy that," she says.
In the game, players take on the role of characters similar to their Austen novel favourites; navigating a world of social expectations, scandal, &reputation. At the same time, players also have the power to control the overall story, plus shape events, characters, & plot twists.
"It's a lot of fun ... at least we think so," teases Gordon.
Gordon also details how are several things about this game that are a bit different from more traditional tabletop games you might play. She says that firstly, this is a really collaborative game. For example, there are no dice. "Shocking!" Gordon cheekily admits.
Instead, players can use tokens to create story shaping events ranging from dramatic storms & overturned carriages, to blooming romance & proposals.
Another thing Storybrewers has heard people enjoy about the game is the way it emulates an Austen novel. "For example, there's an epistolary phase where characters write letters to each other," Gordon reveals. "Out loud. No actually writing required," reminds Gordon. She adds that there are monologue tokens which provide the opportunity to hear the internal thoughts of all the major characters.
Gordon is excited that the game is ready for players' preorders, as they raised funds for it through Kickstarter. She admits how Kickstarter campaigns are always a lot of nerves & hard work, but an unparalleled way of getting your work out there.
The biggest challenges of the campaign for Storybrewers were around meeting backer expectations, shares Gordon. "We have such wonderful backers, & people are very excited to see what your game is like," she says.
Gordon adds that one of the best bits of running a campaign is the chance to interact with a lot of people. "And we've always tried to include backer input in our stretch goals," she says.
"At the same time, we've learned it's a fine balance between being able to create unique extras that really excite people, & avoiding over-promising more than you can realistically create," Gordon shares.
"We make games about the things that fascinate us & spark our imaginations," explains Gordon. Adding how, "we hope people who play them have the same experience."
Learn more about Storybrewers & pre-order Good Society: A Jane Austen RPG by clicking here + here. You can also check out their other work, like the game Alas for the Awful Sea, & their collection of free games for download.
Wanna see the game in action? Story Brewers highly recommends watching A Manor of Speaking, a play-through of the game you can find on YouTube (click here):