Product– After the Rain
System- After the Rain
Producer– Desks and Dorks
Price– Coming soon! Check here-https://www.desksanddorks.org/after-the-rain
TL; DR– Sad done well. 100%
Basics– Depressing! That is After the Rain, a soon coming RPG from Desks and Dorks. This isn’t just one setting, but all of them that are sad. This game is a game of loss as an ever present rain takes away part of who you are. Let’s talk about what that means in depth.
Base mechanics- You build a character by rolling four six-sided dice and choosing three. These three become facets of your character. Facets define you from your child to your job to the person you swore to kill. Over the course of the game, when you do an action you choose a facet that relates to the action. Your actions must therefore be from things that that part of you would allow. A mother of six would not use her mothering skills to build a nuclear sub, but the same woman might be a nuclear physicist and use that facet to build the sub. But, and here is the key, when you use that facet, reduce it by one. The game will slowly wash away in the rain. Once a facet reaches zero, that aspect stops defining who you are. You don’t care about the kids or you just don’t feel you can do science any more.
Dice and doing something different-When you do something with a facet that is way out of bounds for that part of your life like a mother building a sub, you risk the facet. You roll a six sided die and add the facet level. If you roll high, things are great, medium, less so, and low, you lose the facet. Maybe the kids help and the rain makes the sub slip the mooring, roll, and kill them (This is not a happy game!).
Now the breakdown!
Mechanics or Crunch– This is a simple game of loss and the mechanics help build this up well. Everything you do costs you. The math of the game beats you down as every way you solve problems in the game costs you bits of yourself as the rain quite literally takes it away. It is simple, beautiful, and mind numbingly depressing. 5/5
Theme or Fluff– This game is theme. The settings you and your friends make are all about costing you for a goal. Pieces of you are left all around your pretend world as you attempt to survive the rain. The game’s whole motif is the world and the rain are beating you down. And this game does just that. This all sounds bad, but it’s depressing in the same way a sad movie is depressing. It’s well done sadness. 5/5
Execution– This one I won’t comment on. The PDF I had was a simple word document on it. -/5
Summary– What kind of game do you want to play? My wife loves heroic fantasy. She wants feats and math and clicky clicky dice. I told her about this game and she hated it. I told my friends at the comic store and they loved what After the Rain is, and I do too. This game is A Grave of Fireflies come to life. The world and the rain are just taking who you are as you try to survive in a world of constant hardship. That does not make this game horrible. That makes this a VERY specific kind of game for a VERY specific kind of table. My wife and her friends hate this thing. It isn’t a hero’s journey. But, if you want a game of loss and struggle while the world is taking from you, this is your game. Its mechanics completely reinforce the theme and its theme completely reinforces the mechanics. It’s a beautiful sad ballet. I would put this up there with Dread in terms of one night solid RPGs. If you want a game of loss, struggle, and emotional weight, After the Rain is the beautifully tragic game you are looking for. 100%