Signal Boosting: Bhaloidam

This entry was originally posted at Deirdra Kiai Productions.

My good friend Corvus Elrod has a project on Kickstarter at the moment, seeking funding for his fabulous tabletop roleplaying system. Called “Bhaloidam”, which aptly derives from the Proto-Indo-European words for “story”, “play”, and “community” (and is just a damn cool name), its goal in a nutshell is to help people tell stories together. Plus, the handbook is being written as a comic book — how awesome is that? Anyway, you can find out more at the official website, and back the project here.*

The Bhaloidam Lifewheel

A Bhaloidam game board, also known as the Lifewheel, with tokens and a timing pawn showing a game in progress.

As for my personal experiences with Bhaloidam, in the 2-3ish years I’ve known Corvus, I’ve played a handful of games in various iterations of the system, and had lots of fun every time. I’ve even co-designed a variant of the rules specifically for running dialogue-based games, as depicted in this here gameplay sample where you play as siblings at a funeral. Since Bhaloidam isn’t tied to a specific story, you can basically pick whatever subject matter you want; the rules are there to give your storytelling some structure and encourage an egalitarian mindset among players. Fierce advocate for social change that I am, this is a design philosophy I’m happy to get behind. I’m already thinking of some ideas for games of my own to run using the system, and look forward to playing them both in person and online.

Anyway, the funding deadline’s in exactly one week, so back the project now and help Corvus hit his funding goal. $9 gets you a digital version of the handbook, while larger amounts of money get you hard copies, game boards/pieces, guest appearances in the handbook, and even opportunities to get copies of the game out to kids’ charities. Definitely a good cause all around, I say.

* Corvus is even running online demos conducted via Google Plus hangouts, which I highly recommend checking out if you’re interested in seeing how it all comes together.

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