You know you’re in for a good time when a text begins with the theoretical collapse of thermodynamics, but upcoming tabletop RPG Infinite Revolution doesn’t have time to waste explaining the physics behind its blindingly quick take on magical girl-meets-super robot-meets-tokusatsu fiction. Passionate, raw and ultralight, this is a game for those players who want their emotions to explode out of their chests like supernovae.
The creation of independent designer Gwendolyn Clark, Infinite Revolution is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter with plans to publish a physical and digital book containing everything a group of players and a facilitator need to protect Prima Sol from the inexorable onslaught of the Void. This scourge of antimatter has been devouring the universe inch by inch, drawn by the clarion light of humanity’s cutting edge V-Engines - that which opened the universe also brought us face-to-face with an unbeatable enemy.
Until the Revolvers stepped up, that is. These player-controlled demigods of impossible particle physics house a literal hypersonic turbine in their heart. Spinning ever quicker in an attempt to convert everything it touches into starlight, these turbines also power the Revolver Drives - massive exosuits capable of moving and fighting at blistering speeds with weapons forged of pure light. Revolver Drives and their pilots are functionally immortal when compared to humanity, living on the bleeding edge of reality and whatever lies beyond, but that power removes them from anything you might consider ‘normal’.
Reading through Infinite Revolution, this oil-and-water dichotomy between thrill and fear, anxiety and joy, protecting life while sacrificing your own, forms the thematic heart of its storytelling potential. It's hard to avoid the fact that many of Clark’s inspirations focus on younger generations trapped in oppressive, uninhabitable systems created by their forebears and how the current youth generation face a world imperilled by climate change, rising fascism and gross economic disparity. When facing such odds, why not fight until death, steal every moment of joy, love and connection possible from the jaws of oblivion, and then die in an explosion of brilliant light?
Playing Infinite Revolution is as simple as grabbing a bunch of six-sided dice and counting successes. Like other titles that take advantage of dice pools, players are encouraged to leverage every advantage at their disposal - weapons, training, connection, environment, etc. - while the facilitator assesses risk and sets a target threshold. Three core stats, Hot, Quick and Bright, determine each Revolver’s proficiencies in contests that range from closing a gaping hole in reality to connecting with other members of your Brace - the team of quantum superheroes forming humanity’s vanguard.
Each mission breaks down into three key phases: ops, combat and downtime. During operations, the players’ Brace will handle all tense situations that aren’t directly fighting the veil, which might look like rescue missions, reconnaissance, or even social friction between members of the team. Downtime follows the Forged in the Dark ethos of allowing players a chance to vent emotional steam, handle maintenance on long-term projects or simply improve their abilities by customising their Drives.
Combat is where Infinite Revolution shows off its most innovative design. Instead of caring about individual parts, hit points and really crunchy maths, battles in this RPG only care about speed. Drives and their voidish enemies will fluctuate across eight overlapping speed bands, accelerating and braking in a fluid dance too fast to concept on a normal grid. Players will position themselves next to friends and foes in order to trigger powerful abilities before thrusting away from the resulting fallout.
Clark’s writing throughout the rulebook is a singular joy. Their descriptions of stats and concepts project a vibrancy that excites the reader, like electrons dancing along a jolt of wattage. They also constantly deploy the rule of threes in a poetic and satisfying way that I personally appreciate. And the description of the Zodiac-aligned Drives - at once both technical and razor sharp - are worth the price of admission, alone. Infinite Revolution is one of those rare tabletop RPG books that might be as pleasurable to read as it is to play.
The Kickstarter campaign for Infinite Revolution will run through October 5th and aims to produce both a physical and digital edition of its one core rulebook, both of which are expected to be available to backers in May 2024. A quickstart edition of the rules, which will allow players to play through a full session using pregenerated characters and Drives.