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Queen’s Gambit inspires playable characters in Fake Chess RPG

Pretending to pretend to play Chess.

Outwit opponents as a roster of playable characters in Fake Chess: Book of Champions, an expansion to the bizarre roleplaying game.

Designed to be played alongside the RPG Fake Chess - which has players pretending to be grandmasters of the classic abstract game - Book of Champions adds a collection of playable characters to the title, each with their own unique moves and play styles. Several of these characters have been inspired by popular depictions of Chess players, such as Anna Taylor Joy’s character in the Netflix television series The Queen’s Gambit - based on a novel about a female Chess prodigy with ambitions to become an international grandmaster - and a “gregarious city park hustler” modeled after Laurence Fishburne’s character in the 1993 film Searching for Bobby Fischer.

Fake Chess: Book of Champions PDF screenshot

Players will also have the option of picking from a variety of other archetypes including a child prodigy; an icy Russian; a chess computer and even the Angel of Death themselves. Depending on which playable character they choose, players will have access to a specific play style that will determine how they approach the game of Chess. For example, the benevolent mentor character is an affectionate and unselfish player, meaning that they will prioritise teaching their opponent over winning the game. Players will also have the option to use suggested props and setup, as well as an arsenal of different moves throughout the game - from asking specific questions of their opponent to responding to an opponent’s move in a certain way.

Fake Chess is a rules-light RPG inspired by the surprising amount of drama that surrounds the game of Chess. As aspiring - or current - grandmasters, players in Fake Chess face-off against one another in a game that’s designed to look like Chess, but is definitely not Chess. Using an actual Chess board and the RPG’s rules, players each act as if they’re playing the most complex and intense game of Chess, but are really taking part in an elaborate form of roleplay.

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Sean Cain is the creator of both Fake Chess and the Book of Champions expansion, alongside other tabletop roleplaying games such as the solo RPG, Long Haul 1983, and Our Ladies of Safe Harbour: A Brindlewood Bay Mystery, a horror RPG about a group of elderly women who face off against Cthulhu-esque threats.

Fake Chess: Book of Champions is available as a digital PDF from Cain’s page for $3 (£2), alongside the original Fake Chess.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: 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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