Reimagined: Fanfic Role-Playing Game has only been available on DriveThruRPG for two weeks and is already a silver best seller. That’s very impressive. The game is selling like hot cakes.
Just how ‘hot’ you want the game itself, is up to you.
The Fanfic RPG is written by Katarzyna Kuczyńska who has worked as a game designer for CD Projekt Red on The Witcher and The Witcher 2. She has already published two roleplaying games in Polish and writes for the RPG magazine Magia i Miecz (Sword and Sorcery). Kuczyńska is a talent, and I hope we see more of her work.
Reimagined only costs a few bucks and weighs in at the slim 39 pages. This is a lean game without stats, settings and the bare bones of mechanics. That’s kinda the point. Reimagined is a framework in which you and your partner, or a friend, can play a one-on-one game in any setting, with any characters, you fancy.
In the game, you take turns to be the Screenwriter of a scene, the Director and the actors in it. But first, you have to pick a fandom and then agree on how racy you want it. There are four suggested levels in Reimagined: Fanfic Role-Playing Game; Gen, the story will not revolve around romance and sex, Lime, the story will have erotic tension, Lemon, the story will be full of sex, and you’ll be helping describe it, and then Smut in which your shared story will be kinky as hell.
Safety and comfort are at the heart of Reimagined. Right after you agree on how smutty you fancy the game being, the next step is to write down a “No list” and ban things you’re uncomfortable with as well as a “Yes list” to give your playing partner a guide as to what you want to see. The game also uses an X-card, a paper print out for the table top, which you just need to touch (without explanation) to instruct your playing partner to immediately drop that scene.
There’s more to Reimagined than just permission to get kinky with someone you like. There are different types of fandoms the RPG supports; alternative universes (the “What if…?” scenarios), fanfics in which you fix and ending or season of the official story you didn’t like, continuations in which you follow on and beyond the end of a canon story, crossovers and fanfics which explore the expanded universe.
There are four flavours of fanfic the game supports as well. There’s the canon-typical in which you try and stay true to the original atmosphere but also fluff, where nice things happen, angst in which bad things happen, or even dark games which have a focus on desire, pain and power.
Picking the style of fanfic and the flavour is essential as Reimagined comes with simple d6 tables for each which create plot elements for each scene you and your partner play through. For example; a roll of 4 on the ‘Angst’ table means your scene should deal with ‘struggle, internal conflict’. You create your own themes table as part of this process.
If the two players disagree with what happens in a scene, then each rolls a d6 and the highest wins, the Director winning on a tie. The losing player isn’t powerless and depending on what they rolled will still get to affect the outcome.
In any scene, it is the Screenwriter who decides what the protagonist is doing (I think of that as the person who is currently the player). The Director who controls the other characters (I think of that person as the current GM). At the end of the scene, you swap roles. Four finished scenes make an episode of this fictional TV show/fanfic and 5 episodes make a season.
Couples playing Reimagined
If the opportunity for racy and risque roleplaying wasn’t already high enough, Reimagined offers additional and optional rules for couples.
The couple’s rules add influence points; two for the Screenwriter and one for the Director. Influence points are used to have your partner roleplay a specific thing or change something they’ve just roleplayed. Influence points can be ‘bought’ from your partner by doing something for them.
There’s a non-lewd example of the start of a play session at the back of the book. Ann and Peter are playing superheroes in a world set after a powerful villain snapped his fingers and murdered half the population. Ann’s superhero was once a fighter pilot, and Peter’s is the god of thunder.
Overall? I’m not really sure what I expected to find when I downloaded Reimagined: Fanfic Role-Playing Game. I knew in advance that the world of fanfic could be a sexy place and, on reflection, I think it’s good that Reimagined doesn’t skirt around that.
Whether or not a structure for your fanfic roleplaying is something you’re looking for or need what is beyond doubt is the clarity and thoughtfulness of Katarzyna Kuczyńska’s rules and the refreshing layout of the game.
I suspect if your ears perked up at the mention of a ‘Fanfic Role-Playing Game’ then you’ll like Reimagined.
My copy of Reimagined: Fanfic Role-Playing Game was provided for review.
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