November 7

Top 10 rpg list: Number 1 – Over the Edge

Mandatory Disclaimer

The GM should read the following statement before and after every session of Over the Edge.

“All references to vices and to the supernatural contained in this game are for entertainment purposes only. Over the Edge™ does not promote satanism, belief in magic, drug use, violence, sexual deviation, body piercing, cynical attitudes toward the government, freedom of expression, or any other action or belief not condoned by the authorities.”

Over the Edge is probably one of the most unusual in my collection and unlike some of the other top ten entries I can’t place where I first heard about it, which is unusual for me.  I do know exactly where I bought it from; the Virgin games store in Central London, I’m not saying I have a photographic memory but I left the price tag on it.  Since it was a game I did try to play with some of the members of the Critical Miss gaming society when I bought it I can hazard a guess that it was about 1992 when I purchased it.

I was amazed by how free form character creation was, no fixed attributes rather you defined your own traits; this caused a little difficultly among the group as this was a radical idea and we didn’t know how to proceed.  Not so much a radical idea these days as other indie games have taken to going down the route of allowing you to define your own traits.

The System.

You need nothing more than a few d6 to accomplish your task, either against a fixed difficulty or in the case of an opposed roll the highest number wins.

The Background.

This was the main draw for me, the wonderfully detailed island setting of Al Amarja, a place of cults, cultists, conspiracies, fringe powers, magic, the post office and other things man was not meant to know or understand.  I’d love to write about the rich tapestry to play with but I don’t want to spoil it for any potential players that have yet to explore the vivid game world or experience the weird and unusual.  I know you can certainly search for other pages relating to the background but you’re not going to find anything here.

One idea I am still toying with is to get a game up and going but have the island adopt the swinging 60s setting of British culture; with all the classic tropes thrown in for good measure.  Maybe some sort of Avengers style vibe mixed with Prisoner, Danger Man and Smiley’s people?

In Play.

In the end I got one or two evenings play out of the book.  The party had gathered at the Al Amarja airport and was walking through the depature lounge when I was just describing the general goings on including an announcement over the tannoy for Mr. Jones to pick up the white courtesy phone; I was unprepared for what happened when one of the group picked up the white phone and introduced himself as Mr. Jones.  If at that time I had been more of an experienced GM I could have certainly run with it and perhaps sent the players off into the seedier side of the island but I panicked and the outcome was a little predictable and the party went back to leaving the airport.

Conclusion.

I’d certainly recommend going and finding a copy of this almost forgotten gem just for the weirdness of it, the aforementioned background and the vast open ended sandbox nature.

 

Over The Edge can be found here at the home page of Atlas Games


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Posted November 7, 2014 by GeneralTangent in category "horror", "Modern", "RPG

About the Author

I've been gaming on and off since about 1989 and during that period have played with numerous game systems. I'm fluent in a few, have a basic understanding of quite a few more and can get by in others. Somewhere along the way I found time to be a playtester, contribute to an unpublished game supplement and be associated with another gaming magazine written by far more talented people than I. This lead to one infamous article being written in which I followed the letter of the adventure and torched the parties river barge. I'm also listed on http://rpggeek.com as a game designer.

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