Long live the age of the wholesome RPG! The latest tabletop offering to take players on a gentle trip through both fantasy worlds and their own consciousness is Brambletrek, an upcoming RPG about small mice on a big adventure.
Those mice are Gnawborn, anthropomorphic micefolk exploring the wide forests of Hyhill and the wider world of Akeroth. The mystical setting was previously explored in a sourcebook compatible with the likes of Pathfinder and D&D 5E, while Brambletrek will run on an original journalling gameplay system.
That journalling system is designed to play either as a solo adventure or with a group of up to four people, without requiring a GM. In place of a GM, players draw cards from a standard deck of 52, which throw up narrative prompts and challenges, from mysterious locales in the forest to dangerous foes. The system is designed to encourage replayability, generating a newly randomised series of events during each session.
Each player can embody one of Brambletrek’s four class-like legacies, equipping their mousekin with a bard-esque musical instrument, sword and shield, bow and arrows, or magical staff. The Seer, Scrapper, Seek and Storyteller each have differing skills in the world, influencing the outcome of players’ encounters.
Players record their character’s experiences in a journal throughout, leaping off of Brambletrek’s story-focused structure and promise of therapeutic, reflective introspection alongside the expected RPG exploits.
Indie RPG publisher Crossed Paths Press is due to launch a crowdfunding campaign for Brambletrek on Backerkit on September 5th, looking to fund its core rulebook - including the game’s rules and guidance on exploring the forest realm of Hyhill.