In 1954, the Swedish government ordered the construction of the world’s largest particle accelerator. The facility was complete in 1969, located deep below the pastoral countryside of Mälaröarna. The local population called this marvel of technology The Loop.
Acclaimed scifi artist Simon Stålenhag’s paintings of Swedish 1980s suburbia, populated by fantastic machines and strange beasts, have spread like wildfire on the Internet. Stålenhag’s portrayal of a childhood against a backdrop of old Volvo cars and coveralls, combined with strange and mystical machines, creates a unique atmosphere that is both instantly recognizable and utterly alien.
Now, for the first time, YOU will get the chance to step into the amazing world of the Loop. With your help, we will be able to create a beautiful printed RPG book about the Tales from the Loop.
This game is our third international RPG, after the critically acclaimed Mutant: Year Zero and Coriolis - The Third Horizon. The lead writer is the seasoned Swedish game writer Nils Hintze, backed up by the entire Free League team who handle project management, editing, and graphic design.
Additional writing in the game will be done by the award-winning and best-selling game writer and author Matt Forbeck, with twenty-seven novels and countless games published to date. Matt will be writing the alternative US campaign setting (read more below).
All art in the game is of course done by Simon Stålenhag himself. Most of the art will be drawn from the pages of the Tales from the Loop artbook - many scenarios in the game are based directly on illustrations in the artbook - but the RPG will contain some new original art as well, including the cover image.
The book will have approximately 150-200 pages, in the US Letter format.
Worried about backing a Kickstarter with Christmas approaching? We have you covered! We aim to finish a complete BETA PDF of the game and send it to all backers before Christmas Day! So, why not let the Tales from the Loop RPG be your Christmas gift for yourself or a scifi-loving friend?
We expect to ship the printed game in February.
Were you a backer in the kickstarter for the Tales from the Loop artbook last year? As you may remember, this RPG, in PDF format, was actually a stretchgoal in that campaign. All backers in the previous kickstarter will get a complete PDF of this game at no added cost. This new kickstarter is for the printed version of the game.
In this pen&paper roleplaying game, you play teenagers in the late Eighties, solving Mysteries connected to the Loop. Choose between character Types such as the Bookworm, the Troublemaker, the Popular Kid and the Weirdo! Everyday Life is full of nagging parents, never-ending homework and classmates bullying and being bullied.
The Mysteries let the characters encounter the strange machines and weird creatures that have come to haunt the countryside after the Loop was built. The kids get to escape their everyday problems and be part of something meaningful and magical - but also dangerous.
The core rulebook will contain several complete Mysteries to play and a complete campaign setting, based on the Mälaröarna islands outside of Stockholm. In addition, the core rulebook will include an alternative campaign setting in a US location, based on Boulder City, Nevada. The US setting text will be written by the award-winning game writer and author Matt Forbeck.
The game engine of Tales from the Loop RPG is based on our previous game Mutant: Year Zero, that was awarded with a Silver ENnie for Best Rules at Gencon 2015, and used also in Coriolis - The Third Horizon.
The core mechanic is the same: To make a skill roll, you simply grab a number of dice for your attribute score, skill level and gear, and roll them all together. You need at least one six to succeed, and extra sixes can give bonus effects.
This core mechanic is of course adapted and expanded to support the themes of Tales from the Loop. The rules focus less on conflict and combat, more on exploration, relationships and the characters' needs to balance solving Mysteries with their everyday life as schoolkids.
With your help, we can make Tales from the Loop RPG even more amazing. Below are the stretchgoals we have lined up if we exceed our initial funding goal.
STRETCHGOAL 1: HARDCOVER BOOK – UNLOCKED!
If we reach this goal, we will print Tales from the Loop RPG with a top-quality hardback cover.
STRETCHGOAL 2: MAP OF MÄLARÖARNA – UNLOCKED!
If we reach this goal, we will print a large full-color map of Mälaröarna, the main game setting. If we unlock the alternative US game setting, a map of that will be added to the flip side of the map. This reward will be included in pledge level BOOKWORM and above.
STRETCHGOAL 3: SWEDISH EDITION – UNLOCKED!
If we reach this goal, we will publish a Swedish edition of the game. The content will be exactly the same as the English edition. In a backer survey after the Kickstarter is over, you will make your choice of which edition you want. The Swedish edition will be available also with the limited cover included in the COMPUTER GEEK level and above.
STRETCHGOAL 4: US SETTING – UNLOCKED!
If we hit this mark, we will include a US setting in the base game. This setting, written by a seasoned US game writer, can be used as an alternative to the Swedish Mälaröarna. The US setting will be included in both the English and Swedish editions of the book.
STRETCHGOAL 5: ADDITIONAL CHARACTER ART – UNLOCKED!
If we reach this goal, Simon Stålenhag will make more art for the game. Each of the eight players character archetypes will get a full-figure portrait, included in the main game book.
STRETCHGOAL 6: EXTRA MYSTERY STORY – UNLOCKED!
If we hit this mark, we will include an extra, fourth, scenario in the core rulebook, written by the lead game writer Nils Hintze.
STRETCHGOAL 7: MYSTERY LANDSCAPE – UNLOCKED!
If we pass this goal, we will expand the game with a “mystery landscape” - this is a more open scenario setting, that lets the characters explore the mysteries of the Loop in a sandbox manner. Written by the lead game writer Nils Hintze.
STRETCHGOAL 8: GM SCREEN – UNLOCKED!
If we reach this goal, we will publish a high quality, deluxe GM Screen with Simon Stålenhag’s awesome art on the outside and useful tables on the inside. The GM Screen will be available as an addon product in this kickstarter.
STRETCHGOAL 9: EXTRA MYSTERY STORY - UNLOCKED!
A complete "Mystery Story" (scenario), written by the intrepid Swedish horror and scifi writer Anders Fager, infamous for the short story collection Swedish Cults. This scenario will be included in PDF format for all backers at level TROUBLEMAKER and above.
STRETCHGOAL 10: CUSTOM DICE SET (ADDON) - UNLOCKED!
If we reach this goal, we will make awesome-looking engraved custom dice for the Tales from the Loop RPG, produced by the awesome team at Q-workshop. These special dice are designed to support the game mechanics but can be used as normal six-sided dice as well. These dice, in sets of 10, will be made available as addons.
STRETCHGOAL 11: EXTRA MYSTERY STORY - UNLOCKED!
If we hit this mark, we will produce another complete "Mystery Story" (scenario), written by the prolific Swedish indie RPG designer Mikael "krank" Bergström. This scenario will be included in PDF format for all backers at level TROUBLEMAKER and above.
STRETCHGOAL 12: MUSIC BY SIMON STÅLENHAG - UNLOCKED!
Simon Stålenhag isn't just a visual artist, he's a talented musician too! If we reach this stretchgoal, all backers at level TROUBLEMAKER and above will receive digital copies of eight ambient tracks, recorded using synthesizer and piano.
STRETCHGOAL 13: ROBOT BLUEPRINTS – UNLOCKED!
We will have an artist create detailed blueprints of two robot models drawn from the pages of Simon Stålenhag’s artbooks. Each blueprint will come with a text about the robot model and its history, as well as story hooks with suggestions on how to use it in play. This PDF stretchgoal is included for all backers on the TROUBLEMAKER level and above.
STRETCHGOAL 14: EXTRA MYSTERY STORY – UNLOCKED!
If we hit this mark, we will produce another complete "Mystery Story" (scenario), written by the Swedish RPG writer Jonas Ferry, who was a contributor to Mutant: Year Zero and has a long background in indie gaming. This scenario will be included in PDF format for all backers at level TROUBLEMAKER and above.
STRETCHGOAL 15: HOMETOWN HACK – UNLOCKED!
If we hit this mark, we will write a step-by-step guide for how to create a game setting out of your own home town (or any other town you like), and placing the Loop there. This PDF stretchgoal is included for all backers on the TROUBLEMAKER level and above.
STRETCHGOAL 16: MAGNETRINE SHIP BLUEPRINTS – UNLOCKED!
If we reach this goal, we will have an artist create detailed blueprints of two majestic magnetrine ships, drawn from the pages of Simon Stålenhag’s artbooks. Each blueprint will come with a text about the ship and its history, as well as story hooks with suggestions on how to use it in play. This PDF stretchgoal is included for all backers on the TROUBLEMAKER level and above.
STRETCHGOAL 17: MIXTAPE OF MYSTERIES – UNLOCKED!
If we reach this goal, we will write a new Mystery Landscape, filled with exciting scenario locations and story hooks for you to explore. Each story hook will be inspired by a famous song from the 1980s. This PDF stretchgoal is included for all backers on the TROUBLEMAKER level and above.
STRETCHGOAL 18: THINGS FROM THE FLOOD EXPANSION - UNLOCKED!
If we reach this goal, we will make a major game expansion based on Simon Stålenhag's second artbook, Things from the Flood. This expansion, which might even be a stand-alone game, shifts focus from the 80s to the 90s and will include new character Types, an updated setting, and several new Mysteries. All backers on level TROUBLEMAKER and above will get this expansion in PDF format. We cannot commit to a date now, but we aim to release it within a year after the Tales from the Loop RPG. Please note that this stretchgoal will not be included in the Mystery Compendium addon.
Below is a summary of what is included in the different pledge levels that you can choose between.
You can complete your pledge with additional products, at a discounted price. These will be delivered together with your copy of Tales from the Loop RPG, at no extra shipping cost. Please note that you can only order addons if you are a backer at level BOOKWORM or above.
To buy an addon, click the "Manage My Pledge" button and increase your pledge manually with the total cost (in SEK) for all the addons you want. When this Kickstarter is over, we will send out a backer survey in which you can mark exactly which addons you want.
Please note that you must add the funds for the addons to your pledge before the Kickstarter is over. You cannot increase your pledge after the campaign has ended. Your total pledge should cover your base pledge reward + shipping to your country + total cost of the addons you want.
TALES FROM THE LOOP GM SCREEN - 150 SEK
A top quality, deluxe GM Screen in landscape format, with Simon Stålenhag’s awesome art on the outside and useful tables on the inside.
CUSTOM TALES FROM THE LOOP DICE SET - 150 SEK
A set of 10 awesome-looking engraved custom dice, designed specifically for the Tales from the Loop RPG, and produced by the awesome team at Q-Workshop. These 16 mm special dice are designed to support the game mechanics but can be used as normal six-sided dice as well.
TALES FROM THE LOOP COMPENDIUM - 200 SEK
A printed compendium containing all unlocked PDF stretchgoals in this kickstarter except the Things from the Flood expansion. The final page count and cover design for this compendium are not yet set. The compendium will ship separately at a later date during 2017. Shipping is included in the price of the addon.
TALES FROM THE LOOP T-SHIRT - 150 SEK
A high quality black T-shirt with the Tales from the Loop RPG official logo. You will be able to indicate your size (SML - 3XL) in the backer survey, after the kickstarter is over.
TALES FROM THE LOOP RPG POSTER - 150 SEK
A large (594 x 841 mm) poster featuring Simon Stålenhag’s amazing cover art for the Tales from the Loop RPG.
EXTRA COPY OF THE TALES FROM THE LOOP RPG STANDARD EDITION - 350 SEK
An additional copy of the Tales from the Loop RPG, standard edition. A map of the campaign setting is included. This book is available in English or in Swedish. You can indicate which version you want in the backer survey after the campaign is over.
EXTRA COPY OF THE TALES FROM THE LOOP RPG LIMITED EDITION - 800 SEK
An additional copy of the Tales from the Loop RPG, in the same limited edition with a cloth cover as is available in the POPULAR KID reward. This book is only available in English.
TALES FROM THE LOOP ARTBOOOK - 350 SEK
In this top-quality artbook, Simon Stålenhag’s first set of paintings are collected in book form - together with texts that tell the stories of the youth who lived in the shadows of the machines. This book is available in English or in Swedish. You can indicate which version you want in the backer survey after the campaign is over.
THINGS FROM THE FLOOD ARTBOOK - 350 SEK
In his second artbook, Simon Stålenhag continues the stories of Tales from the Loop. In Things from the Flood, Stålenhag moves his focus from the ’80s to the ’90s, the decade of great change when the outside world truly came to Scandinavia. This book is available in English or in Swedish. You can indicate which version you want in the backer survey after the campaign is over.
The acclaimed artist, concept designer and author of the Tales from the Loop artbook (2015), Simon Stålenhag is best known for his highly imaginative images and stories portraying illusive sci-fi phenomena in mundane, hyper-realistic Scandinavian landscapes. Tales from the Loop was ranked by The Guardian as one of the “10 Best Dystopias,” in the company of works such as Franz Kafka’s The Trial and Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca.
Not only have Stålenhag’s unique and cinematic images earned him a worldwide fan base, but have also made him a go-to storyteller, concept artist and illustrator for both the film and computer gaming industry. Simon Stålenhag’s work can be seen in films such as Searching for Sugarman (2012), directed by Malik Bendjeloull, and in games such as Ripple Dot Zero (2013).
During his ten years as a game writer, Nils Hintze has written a great number of scenarios, articles and reviews. Previously he has written plays for theatre groups.
Nils is known for his ability to create scenarios which allow the players to explore their characters and their relationships while facing dangers and solving mysteries. The conflicts in his games are often built on personal dilemmas, where thrill and mystery is not seldom mixed with humor.
Nils is educated in creative writing, but he normally works as a psychologist. Nils is also one of the three creators of the Swedish role-playing podcast Podcon.
Free League Publishing is the international arm of Swedish game and book publisher Fria Ligan AB. Since 2011 we have produced a range of pen and paper RPG's, and have won several awards in the process.
Our first international game, Mutant: Year Zero, co-published with Modiphius Entertainment, was awarded a Silver ENnie for Best Rules at Gencon 2015. We have run several successful crowdfundings for roleplaying games and artbooks.
Our international distribution and shipping is handled by the excellent people at GamesQuest in the UK.
Our latest international kickstarter, for Coriolis - The Third Horizon, raised 1,233,574 SEK (approx. 133,700 USD) in August 2016. That game is now finished, and being printed.
Join us on Facebook at facebook.com/frialigan!
Risks and challenges
We have completed several successful kickstarters and have solid experience in the field. The text is already written, editing is under way and almost all of the artwork is done - all we need to finish is the layout, printing and shipping.
After the kickstarter for the Tales from the Loop artbook last year, we did have distribution issues and some backers needed to wait too long for their books. We have learnt much from that process, and now have changed our entire distribution system. Our international distribution and shipping is now handled by the excellent people at GamesQuest in the UK.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)