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Queer strife amid the collapse. Jewish fantasy of the shtetl. Two beginner-friendly roleplaying games of belonging outside belonging.
Queer strife amid the collapse. Jewish fantasy of the shtetl. Two beginner-friendly roleplaying games of belonging outside belonging.
Queer strife amid the collapse. Jewish fantasy of the shtetl. Two beginner-friendly roleplaying games of belonging outside belonging.
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    1. Menachem Cohen

      @Benjamin I would be happy to be on that thread and in that game. What you're saying about the sorcerer has me intrigued.

    2. Avery Alder 2-time creator on

      We hit $50k! I'm really excited about the momentum behind this project. Thank you all so much.

    3. Benjamin Rosenbaum Collaborator on

      @FrivYeti how lovely! Thank you!

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      FrivYeti on

      Ran into this game on the One Shot podcast, and it is pure and beautiful in every way. You've sucked me into backing!

    5. Benjamin Rosenbaum Collaborator on

      @Menachem, awesome! I feel like we should get you and @Neil and some of our advisers together and record an all-Rabbi game of Dream Apart! :-)

      I emailed with @Neil about the Sorcerer and would be happy to include you in that thread. The thing is, the Scholar character is also potentially a mystic, and potentially also a Kabbalist; the difference between them is partly that the Scholar is probably doing it the normative and socially approved of way, and this playbook we're talking about, probably if the shtetl knew the details of everything they're doing -- or at least, everything they're tempted to do -- they definitely WOULD be ostracized. So picking a name that's totally something approved of by the tradition, and doesn't have that note of heresy and menace, feels suboptimal.

    6. Menachem Cohen

      I haven't made the time to look at what's been released yet, but I like to @Neil Amswych's comments and would add mekubal as a possible sorcerer substitute. Neil, I am also a rabbi backer with lots of game play, testing, and design experience, who is super excited about these games.

    7. Avery Alder 2-time creator on

      Davide Inghilleri, there definitely are Stretch Goals! Check lower down on the page, or previous updates. Our stretch goals are mostly about funding contributions to a zine called The Outliers, which brings new setting and character ideas to your table & helps flesh out the worlds of the shtetl and the enclave. We're getting super close to hitting our next goal, and I've just unveiled the one that lies beyond that!

    8. Davide Inghilleri on

      It's a pity that there aren't SG.

    9. Avery Alder 2-time creator on

      @Neil Amswych, I'll message Benjamin (the author of Dream Apart) and suggest that he follow up on your comments over email. Thanks for the thoughtfulness and attention you brought to your reading!

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      Adam Kratz on

      Woo, 40k reached! :) Congrats, Avery

    11. Neil Amswych on

      Before I comment, can I just be clear that I love the idea of Dream Apart and will be bringing it to my community. So, the following is intended to help develop it, not to critique it.

      My main point is that I'm wondering if Mystic is a more appropriate term than Sorcerer? You may want a Sorcerer specifically, but here's why I’m not convinced that’s an appropriate term for a shtetl...

      A sorcerer is someone who claims to have divine powers, or is someone who specifically conjures up items. Sorcery is actually specifically forbidden in Torah as well. The word Sorcerer comes from the Latin sortarius, which is one who casts lots. It’s a Diviner. You’re using Sorcerer more as someone who communes with spirits, who accesses the other realm.
      For that, I’m thinking Mystic is a far more appropriate term. This is someone who might have studied Merkava Mysticism, or Sefer Yetzirah. They may create a golem but that’s not conjuring in the same way as a magician or Sorcerer as understood in fantasies. What they’re doing is manipulating the holy letters that make up creation. The closest modern parallel I can give is Neo from the Matrix, who learns to manipulate the Matrix in order to perform what seems like fantastical feats. Similarly, the Jewish mystic creates a cow to eat or a golem to protect the community not through magic but through manipulation of that which already is. Their access to divine realms is totally different to that of the scholar, it’s through an intimate connection, a cleaving, to the mystical side of God’s realm.

      At the end of the day, I see “Sorcerer” as a goyishe word (to use the game’s terminology). I don’t think a sorcerer would last very long in a shtetl because they would be socially ostracized. A mystic, however, would definitely be a part of the Jewish community.

      Interested to know what you think.

    12. Neil Amswych on

      So.... am I the first Rabbi to back this project? Maybe!

      Very excited to receive this, and if you need any help, consultation etc then please don't hesitate to be in touch (not only am I a Rabbi but I have been a playtester and editor of a number of large games).

    13. Avery Alder 2-time creator on

      @Wade, I think it bears similarity to the tone of The Quiet Year, another game design of mine that features community-building amid the collapse of civilization. Both games have a tentative, skeptical optimism. Something good could be built here, but it's not clear whether we have the skill and grace to pull together and put aside our differences.

      Dream Askew is a game of contending with both scarcity and opportunity, and at its heart are questions about what the collapse of civilization means for marginalized people: will it destroy us or lead us to utopia? You have to play to find out!

    14. Wade Rockett on

      Is the tone of Dream Askew fundamentally optimistic, where the apocalypse provides marginalized people an opportunity to rebuild the world better than it was? Or is the tone more grim? (Or maybe that’s up to each group?)

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