I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.

- William Blake

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Ø2\\‘3|| is out. [Yes you've read it right]

Ø2\\‘3||, the new book by Jens  Durke* (The Disoriented Ranger) is out (at a discounted price as I write this).

While I do not fully understand the name choice, I've read the book in an earlier version (and gave Jens my impressions), so I cannot write an unbiased review (I also consider myself "internet friends" with Jens), but I think this is an interesting RPG - one of a kind, really. Maybe you could see it as the 2021 version of Paranoia - once we were afraid once war, treason and constant vigilance, now we are threatened by social media, AI, infantilization, fake news and, well, constant vigilance.

It also reminds me of Misspent Youth* or Cyberpunk* somewhat. But these are just references - Ø2\\‘3|| has its own things going on.

The writing is good, and it paints a very grim picture of the future. Here is the blurb:

Welcome to a very dark world ...

This game is designed with the DM in mind instead of the next product to sell. You buy this, you’ll have all the content you’ll ever need to play this game for a very long time. We will offer supplements in the near future, of course, but what you get here is as complete as we could make it.

The setting is Europe in the year 2081, unified under one totalitarian party called The Family. The United States of Europe (USE, for short) are a playground for all the bad ideas this century has already come up with (and some of the classics from the last 100 years). Citizens are rated by an arbitrary and mean Social Status system, puberty blockers are mandatory for all but the Elites. All of this is shrouded through a huge media ruse: reality is hidden behind a fully augmented and gamified layer, maintained by an AI implanted at birth and controlled by The Family. Citizens never grow up, just grow older and if they aren't high in social status, they are bled and used for everything they have, most of the time without even realizing it. That veil is lifted for some, and with that comes resistance (or opportunity).

It’s a game that assumes players are open to exploring all kinds of ideas and willing to put some thought into the stories they tell and experienced DMs who want to explore a system that challenges them as well. It is also a satire of a dystopian future that may not yet fall upon us …

You will find in this fully illustrated tome:

  • a completely free-form character generation that lets players create exactly what they want

  • a character advancement that emerges in-game with play and for each character individually

  • an original game engine that creates a base narrative for a DM to manifest their campaign on

  • a unique cinematic combat system that mixes tactical gaming with storytelling freedom

  • a point based economy that can empower players but will also strengthen the DM response

  • tools to create a complete and dynamic dystopian sandbox for your players to explore

  • 5 years worth of writing, researching, designing and play-testing

Reading it may depress or elate you, playing it will make you laugh and discuss. Or, as a friend of the game put so eloquently:

Start this game engine, it produces satire!

If all that sounds as if it could be for you, you should give this a shot.

All the work was put into making this the best book it can be, not a pdf. This is dead tree only.

I'd recommend you check this one out especially if you like:

- Tragic/satiric views of our possible futures.
- Very dark humor.
- Games such as "Paranoia" and "We happy few".
- Books like 1984, Brave New World, and The Futurological Congress, or anything by PKD.
- Black Mirror.
- Amazingly creepy art.
- A new, unique system (Jens writes about OSR stuff, but this is very much a modern system).


  1. Thank you! Yes, I consider you a friend as well. This is very much appreciated. As for the name choice: this is a satire and the innuendo and obscurity are very much part of that. As is the decision to go PoD only. As you said, it is very much its own thing ... I regret nothing :)

    1. My pleasure man! Congrats on getting it out, I know this is hard work!