New Agon supplement Realms of Khaos is less The Odyssey and more Thor: Ragnarok
Adventure beyond the Vault of Heaven.
Bid farewell to the gods and monsters of your home and trek amongst the stars in a new official supplement for storytelling RPG Agon that retains the myth-making core even as its journeys lean more fantastical.
Designed by John Harper, who created the original Agon alongside Sean Nittner and is also responsible for Blades in the Dark, Agon: Realms of Khaos takes players beyond the bounds of Earth and its machinations, worries and expectations to travel realms both cosmic and extraplanar. The aesthetic touchstones left the Homeric legends on the bedside table as they instead watched Thor: Ragnarok and the newest iteration of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
“Upon the ocean of stars are arrayed the lost realms of humankind, each plagued by strife, crying out for aid,” Harper told Dicebreaker in an email. “Fly on quicksilver sails, hurl javelins of pure radiance, and discover ancient secrets - forging bonds of friendship, love, and alliance to create a new found family among the stars.”
The foundational system of Agon seems to remain intact: players will inhabit heroic figures whose names and deeds literally grant them power and prestige as they attempt to overcome monumental tasks in service to “gods, monsters and mortals”, all for a chance to earn a fitting place in the afterlife - the eponymous Realms of Khaos, in this case.
Doing so requires drawing upon the inherent power of a character’s names, descriptors and relationships to deities, which are represented as dice that increase in size with experience. Those dice are rolled against the challenge rating set by the Strife Player - Agon’s version of a game master - and either succeeds or fails. For example, if Bold Rigge the Mountainhopper wanted to clear a bridge that had been washed out in a flood, they could call on both the Bold descriptor as well as their obvious penchant for being extremely good at jumping.
What’s interesting about Agon - and seemingly hasn’t changed in Realms of Khaos - is that all players have the opportunity to attempt the same challenge in different ways and strive to earn the highest success and therefore more glory for themselves and their patrons. They do so at the cost of aiding their teammates, creating plenty of opportunities for narrative and emotional tension within a group.
Imagining a group of teenage princesses or conceited Asgardian deities shouldering to deliver the best speech or ride a cosmic horse monster the best already sounds incredible, and it seems as if Realms of Khaos might introduce more sophisticated mechanics for exploring the connections between player characters and how the often harrowing events of their journey forge or strain those relationships.
Dicebreaker named the original Agon one of the most beautiful RPG sourcebooks out there, with Wheels especially admiring the full-page stylised scenes and colour choices. The hints of Realms of Choas shown thus far are alight with bold pinks and cyans, contrasting with the inky black of space in scenes that evokes the best pages of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples's comic cook series Saga - which Harper also named as an inspiration.
Realms of Khaos will be published by Evil Hat Productions, who also handles the Fate Core system as well as titles such as Thirsty Sword Lesbians, Monster of the Week and Blades in the Dark. Neither a release date nor a price has yet been announced. Keep checking back with Dicebreaker to see when those details become available.