Phonomancer (Tabletop RPG)
A downloadable Tabletop RPG
This is a game about magic.
No, scratch that.
This is a game about obsession.
Okay, it’s a game about magic, too, but, first and foremost, it’s a game about sacrificing what you love most in the altar of fanaticism in exchange for power. It’s about how love can sour into addiction, and how you have something that once made you happy, but now need it so desperately that you can’t enjoy it any more.
Oh, and it’s a game about music, too.
This roleplaying game is inspired by the very biographical comic book Phonogram (which came out in three volumes Rue Britannia, The Singles Club and Immaterial Girl), by Kieron Gillen.
Phonogram is a book about modern day magicians who use music to cast magic, and in the author's words is about “how we love art and how we let that divide us, and how that is not always a good thing”. In short, it’s a book about the dangers of fandom - not towards the creators, but towards the fans themselves. “Phonomancers”, he continues, “are addicts chasing a thrill they once had and can’t access as much. (...) Everyone does this, but only Phonomancers get obsessed by it.”
So this became the theme for this game:
“Sacrificing what you love most in the altar of fanaticism in exchange for power”.
How far will you go to get more powerful, and experience a world of wonders few others can; what will you give up? Your friends? Your allies? Those sounds and words that make you feel alive when nothing else does? Just how far will you go to get another shot of power, another few moments of absolute control over reality - and yourself?
If this sounds like something you’d like to explore, make sure to check the comic. And, hopefully, this game.
This game was created in 7 days, as part of the RPGénesis 2019 Game Jam: it's part RPG, part Phonogram fanfiction, all love letter to the comic. It's written from a first person perspective, as if this were literally a game created by an older Phonomancer who uses it as a learning tool for her apprentices.