Bully Pulpit Games, the publisher behind Jason Morningstar’s Fiasco and Night Witches, seems like it has another hit on its hands. Its latest project is called Star Crossed, a two-player pen-and-paper RPG about forbidden love. With less than three days left in the Kickstarter campaign, this project is on track to be Bully Pulpit’s most-funded game of all time.
Star Crossed is the work of writer and game designer Alex Roberts. The game stars a pair of characters who, as she puts it, “really really want to, but really really shouldn’t.” A great example of the couples players can create at the table include the game’s namesakes, Shakespeare’s star-crossed Romeo and Juliet. But Star Crossed isn’t a book filled with lore about awkward romances. It’s a system that you use to tell your own stories.
Examples from the game’s community of playtesters include two nuns that fell in love with each other while in the same convent, an alien brain parasite that fell in love with its own host, and a superhero and supervillain with an unhealthy amount of sexual tension. The game is absolutely begging to be applied to fictional universes, meaning that you can finally act out the ship of your dreams at the table.
Unlike traditional tabletop RPGs, Star Crossed uses a Jenga-style tower of blocks instead of dice. It’s a technique pioneered by Dread, a tabletop RPG designed by Epidiah Ravachol, and one that tends to lower the barrier of entry for new players.
Another side effect of the blocks is that, once the tower falls, it’s time to improvise the climax of your story, no matter where you are in the role-playing arc.
“When you as the player do certain things that increases the attraction between the two players, you have to pull a brick from the tower,” Roberts said during the campaign’s pitch video. “If the tower falls before the last scene, that means your characters act on their feelings. What they looks like depends on what kind of fictional situation you put them in.”
A digital copy of the game is available for as little as $10, and will include all of the same lavish illustrations from artist Jess Fink as the physical edition, which goes for $50 during the campaign. Back at any level, however, and you’ll have immediate access to the current draft as a digital download.
The campaign for Star Crossed promises to deliver a final digital version by June, with physical copies to arrive by December. The Kickstarter runs through May 10.