Roleplaying games come in all shapes and forms and cover all sorts of topics, but Bully Pulpit Games’ The Blue Way strikes me as being exceptionally uncommon.
In The Blue Way, the war has been lost, and your village now belongs to Lord Gjerch Bravn and his wife, Lady Kløyk Bravn. In fairness to your new Dusians rules, they want to bring the village back to normality, bring order and make it a peaceful place.
However, they’re doing this by the standards of Dusia.
The game is gritty and tough. It comes loaded to the hilt with necessary player safety tools. Suitable for 1 to 6 people, with 4 being the best, the game harshly forces characters into making impossible decisions.
As the victors instil their law and order on the village, players will deal with oppression and violence. They will encounter intolerance, witness cultural destruction and feel helplessness.
The Blue Way’s bleak take on colonialism is timely, but it’s unforgiving.
Bully Pulpit Games, perhaps still best known for their story-telling game Fiasco, weave together resolute fantasy with tones of the Spanish colonisation of the Americas and The Norman Conquest.
It’s rare enough to start the game once the battle has been lost; it’s almost unheard of for there then to be no “win” condition or a way out for players to find, and that’s the dark space that The Blue Way is in. Playing The Blue Way is about opening yourself up to those dreadful feelings of helplessness and, through the safety of the game system, confronting them. Experiencing The Blue Way might also just help reflect on contemporary conversions and decisions our cultures face today.
Bully Pulpit’s The Blue Way.
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