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Clever Girl is an RPG about surviving the fallout of a failed dinosaur theme park

Licence-free games find a way.

Chronicle your attempts to escape a dinosaur theme park or your ambitions for raptor-based revenge in Clever Girl, a roleplaying game inspired by the works of Steven Spielberg,

Though the Kickstarter campaign description for the upcoming RPG does not mention it by name, the classic 1993 film Jurassic Park is a clear inspiration for Clever Girl - considering the reference in the title and the thematic similarities. In the game, players find themselves within the wreckage of an amusement park as the dinosaurs that call the place their home roam free to seek their revenge.

Clever Girl RPG dice
Dice for Clever Girl RPG.

As a journaling game, players don’t necessarily interact with one another like in a traditional roleplaying game, but could have opposing goals depending on who they choose to play as. Based on The Wretched system created by Chris Bisette - that has players using a deck of cards, a tumble tower and a microphone to chronicle their experiences on a spaceship after an alien attack - and the Wretched & Alone system by Matt Sander, Clever Girl has players using a variety of tools to tell their characters’ stories.

As a solo game or two-player experience, Clever Girl enables people to imagine themselves as a human survivor of a dinosaur attack or as the very dinosaurs doing the attacking. Whether the player or players are a human or raptor, they’ll be narrating each day of their story using playing cards alongside prompts within the RPG book, as well as a tumble tower and a d6. Players can continue this process for as long as they want, until their character either successfully achieves their goals or suffers catastrophe.

There are two 28 page books included as part of the complete RPG, with one designed for human characters and another for a raptor character - with players able to play alone, with a friend in a co-op mode or even against one another as a raptor and human. A free playlist created by Sam Leigh that’s designed to be played alongside the game has been made available on Spotify.

Clever Girl was created by Matthew Gravelyn, a writer and designer whose previous titles include Tapestry, a roleplaying game that has the players using prompts in order to create their own genre-neutral stories, and a rules-light RPG about a group of teens who find small ways to rebel against capitalism called Mall Kids.

The Kickstarter campaign for Clever Girl is live until October 14th, with a pledge of $20 (£15) getting backers a copy of both physical books in January 2022. Alternatively, a digital PDF version of the RPG is available for a pledge of $10 (£8).

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About the Author
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Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.

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