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The Play's The Thing
$19.99 $6.99
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Jonathan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2012 19:38:16

I am training to be a secondary school teacher in Australia (years 7 to 12). I also grew up loving RPGs. This great product brings English literature and RPGs together. The author's website has a link to some modest teaching resource to stimulate the imagination of teachers and students.

This is not a combat RPG at all, which caught my attention. Not that there's anything wrong with burning, hacking and slashing!

However, the focus of this RPG is putting on a Shakespearean production, and the politics of different Actors (i.e. PC's) wanting to shine while the Playwright (i.e. the GM/DM/Referee) wants the play that he or she has written to come to life. Actors can negotiate better parts for themselves through story points, and have three attributes related to their acting, and two talents - on-stage and off-stage. These are all used in negotiating your part on-stage.

The book is beautifully laid out - very classy, and not too busy. This suits the subject of the game.

Note that the game is not focused on the actual Shakespearean play itself, but about producing it. The Playwright and the Actors can change the story if they wish. This makes it a great teaching resource to explore with your students what makes a good story, and how good narratives are constructed.

As an added bonus, my wife is an English Literature graduate and a Shakespeare fan (we have several copies of the complete works and individual plays around the house). This might convince her to give RPGs a try.

At $10US, this is a steal. A very well thought out idea that is kept rules-light and tightly focused. I highly recommend it.

[5 of 5 Stars!]