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Community Radio RPG basically lets you make your own Welcome to Night Vale episodes, and it’s back with a 2E

Radio roleplay.

Image credit: stock.adobe.com/WH_Pics

If you’ve ever thought you’d make a great radio host in a weird town full of strange happenings, your wish is about to come true - again. Indie tabletop RPG Community Radio effectively you come up with your own riff on the surreal broadcasts of Welcome to Night Vale, and it’s back with a second edition and physical release.

Community Radio first released back in 2014, earning an appropriately cult following for creator Quinn Murphy’s mix of improv-driven party game and the weird-fantasy world-building of an RPG.

The game casts up to 10 people - or as few as three - as the various inhabitants of a strange town beset by all manner of bizarre events. The players work together to improvise snapshots of daily life in their town, either inventing elements of the town’s history and locals as they go or using one of the game’s roll tables to spark their imagination.

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All but one of the players can create and embody multiple members of the community, while one player instead takes on the role of the local radio station’s host. After each scene, the host uses elements established during the preceding slice-of-life to evolve the collaborative lore of the town and drive any ongoing subplots - from the discovery of strange objects to the appearance or disappearance of shadowy individuals - forward.

As well as bringing the town’s inhabitants to life, the non-host players may also represent members of the City Council, who can pass secret notes to the host to force them to incorporate their decrees into their broadcasts. Each play session typically lasts for a couple of hours, making the rules-light experience closer in form to a storytelling party game in some respects.

Community Radio’s upcoming second edition, which is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter as part of Zine Month, looks to revamp the original game with clearer guidance for new players, additional stations for readymade scenarios with lists of suggested prompts and details, and support for multi-session campaigns beyond its original one-shot structure. The crowdfunding campaign will also mark the first time the previously digital-only RPG will be available as a physical book

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Matt Jarvis

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After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.

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