Tag Archives: fractured identity

Metatopia 2018 Report – Part 3: Fractured Identity

Per usual with all Metatopia recaps, everything presented here is based on playtest material and not final published versions.

Day 1, continued

Fractured Identity by Dana Cameron/Ardens Ludere

Presented by Dana Cameron

I think this was the most intense session I played at this con, made all the more sad because I forgot to take a group photo! Before playing this game, I was familiar with the designer mostly for putting cats in cyberpunk games (for example like this). This game is not like that.

This game is about collectively trying to navigate a broken dreamscape of memory and imagination. It's a card-based game involving the construction of common tableaus to play from, and it's GMless in that the players take on a rotating configuration of roles over the course of the game. Everyone plays an aspect of one central protagonist, and everyone also contributes to the environment and NPCs and so forth.

There's in-fiction confusion about what is dream or hallucination or reality, and the game fosters imaginative surrealism and emotional exploration. There's also a lot of first-person questioning of reality, and between that and the strong emotional themes, this is a pretty heavy game for me! But I love it. The card-based mechanics mean a very straightforward prompt-and-interpret mechanic for generating story, and the surrealist themes really lift a lot of the concern about going "wrong" with interpretation.

Again, this game will need a lot of pregame tone discussion, and this one doesn't strike me as leaning in a goofy or zany direction. This one seems to invite a more...troubling?...kind of surrealism. As with others, I'm quite looking forward to this game's development. To also keep up with this game, I imagine you should keep an eye on Ardens Ludere.