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Upwind is a roleplaying game inspired by Studio Ghibli and Treasure Planet

Co-created by writers behind D&D 5E and World of Darkness.

Upwind, a roleplaying game inspired by the likes of Studio Ghibli and the Disney film Treasure Planet, has seen a new release courtesy of the publisher behind Call of Cthulhu.

Originally launched via a Kickstarter campaign that raised $32,891 in November 2016, Upwind is now available via Chaosium. The studio is distributing both a core rulebook for the RPG - containing everything players and GMs need to start experiencing the game - and a campaign sourcebook called The Prophecy of the Grand Amplifier, which follows the story of the player characters as they make their way through the training intended to make them into knights.

Upwind is a fantasy roleplaying game that takes place in a world where ships, buildings and entire countries are capable of floating in the sky. Using these flying ships, people are able to explore the skies and make their way around the remnants of a world now divided into two distinct halves. The skylands of the Kingdoms make up the floating world of Light, whilst the skies below house the Children of the Dark.

The Kin make up the people of the Light and use the wind to provide their machines with energy. Most of the technology that exists within the world of Upwind originates from the civilisation before the Downfall - an event that caused a great cataclysm which led to the creation of the sky world. Player characters become Knights of the Explorer’s Guild, an organisation that sends its members out to discover hidden technology from the old world.

Upwind is based on an original gameplay system called Q, which enables players and the GM to resolve encounters at a faster pace. Whenever a potential conflict occurs, two outcomes are proposed by those involved and are presented as the stakes for a bid made using playing cards. Whichever participant wins the bid will have their outcome drive the game’s narrative. Players can shape their characters around certain numbers and suits of playing cards in order to provide them with an advantage when attempting to get their desired outcomes.

Upwind RPG artwork 2

The creators responsible for Upwind are Jeff Barber - founder of Biohazard Games and the creator of sci-fi RPG series Blue Planet - John Hay, who has worked on several roleplaying games including Dungeons & Dragons 5E and the A Song of Ice and Fire RPG; illustrator James Stowe; and late game designer Stewart Wieck, who co-created titles such as Vampire: The Masquerade and Mage: The Ascension before his death in 2017.

Apart from releasing Upwind and Call of Cthulhu, Chaosium is known for publishing the medieval-themed RPG King Arthur Pendragon, as well as both the RuneQuest and HeroQuest roleplaying games.

Upwind is out now, with a hardcover copy of the RPG available for $44.99 (£33) and the PDF version priced at $14.99 (£11).

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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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