“Tales From The Loop” was far and away one of 2017s most intriguing and successful role-play games. It romped away with a host of awards at the ENnies – including Best Game, Best Setting, Best Writing, Best Internal Art and the much coveted Product of the Year. It follows a number of other exciting and very playable games from Free League; “Mutant Year Zero” and “Coriolis : The Third Horizon”. As a backer of the Kickstarter that Free League ran to bring “Tales From The Loop” to market I had been eagerly anticipating the first supplement for the game “Our Friends The Machines & Other Mysteries” and when it arrived late last year I was more than pleased with the final product.
“Our Friends The Machines & Other Mysteries”, is is a full colour hardback of just over 100 pages and in keeping with the core rulebook it is full of fantastic artwork by Simon Stalenhag. The book has seven chapters comprising of a good balance of scenarios and other resource materials for the games master.
There are three longer scenarios; “Our Friends the Machines”, “Horror Movie Mayhem” and “The Mummy In The Mist” which are complemented by the stylish “Mixtape Of Mysteries” a collection of eight shorter scenarios based on classic pop songs from the 80’s. As in the core book all of the scenarios here can be set in either the Boulder City (USA) or Malaren Islands (Sweden) settings with easy references for name changes.
A chapter on Machine Blueprints details four machines commonplace in the 80’s that never was, and which are used by government agencies, corporations, and other organisations. Each machine gets its own detailed blueprint a good narrative description including its history and use along with a number of plot hooks for each machine.
The final section, a popular stretch goal from the Kickstarter, is the “Hometown Hack”. This is a easy to follow guide for setting “The Loop” in your hometown, personalising the game and making it something special for you and your friends. A particularly nice touch is the worked example of a UK Loop created for Free League by Modiphius Entertainment set in and around the Norfolk Broads and the nearby town of Great Yarmouth. I have spent family holidays in this area and it was a real buzz to see familiar place names jumping off the page. I’ve already started work on my own hometown hack setting The Loop in Barnsley in South Yorkshire, (I might share it here when I’m happy with it).
“Our Friends The Machines & Other Mysteries” is available now in hardback and PDF. You can pick up your copy over at the Modiphius webstore. Priced at £24.99 for the hardback and includes a PDF copy which you can download immediately after purchase. The PDF is also available on DriveThruRPG.