Updated: Dec 2, 2020
"This is an absolute mess!" Rufus's gravelly voice announces. He is met immediately with a hushed chorus of "Quiet!" and "Shhhh". In the stillness that follows only the soft thudding of bare shambling feet on the lab floor can be heard. It seems for the time being that his outburst went unnoticed by the horde passing nearby. "Quickly and quietly now... we've almost made it to the elevator shaft." Talisa announces. The group shuffles along quietly one step at a time, quiet and serious as death itself. CRUNCH! Talisa looks back in horror to see Jack standing in the middle of a pile of broken glass. Suddenly all hell breaks loose and the horde of the undead moves with unnerving speed like the crashing of the tide against a straining dam. They were out of time...
Welcome to the world of SHIVER: Roleplaying in the Strange & Unknown. This brilliant RPG takes all of the story telling you know and love from your favorite B-movies, Monster of the Week shows, and an innumerable slew of other genres, and wraps them in a game designed to be both entertaining and intuitive. From the character creation to the dice system, every aspect of design is built to remove the rules as an obstacle from the story you want to tell. This sort of narrative focused design is something that has been sorely lacking in the TTRPG scene and comes at a moment in pop culture where the thrill of cinema and the need for genuine connection with friends and loved ones is at an all time high.
SHIVER is built with the core focus of allowing you to tell the stories you want to tell and play out the different movies you've come to know and love. The beauty in this however, is not as much in the way that it allows for carbon copies of classics like "The Mummy", "It!", "Jurassic Park", etc... but rather the immense freedom in creativity that is put in the hands of both the players and the director. Rarely do we see a system that successfully does; genre agnosticism, simple but well developed rulesets, or unique character options. Not only does SHIVER manage to do all three well, but it does so with a level of heart that shows the passion and care that designers Charlie and Barney Menzies put into their product.
Art is something that can make or break a system. Even the most well orchestrated rulesets can be killed from the jump if the art style doesn't enhance the flavor and emotion. Drawing from the styles of artists like Mike Mignola, artist Ben Alexander really drives home the tone of this work through his use of vibrant color and rich shadows. Thumbing through the rule book you get the feeling you are living out the pages of pulp magazines, comics, or your favorite cult classic movie poster. Not only does this art compliment the rules in a meaningful way, but goes a step further to enhance the experience. As players watch the doom clock tick up, they can only imagine the horror of what might happen should they meet Patient X, or Giggles the Clown.
I cannot recommend the importance of jumping on this Kickstarter and being able to say that you were able to grab the first edition of this groundbreaking RPG. This has been Jarret Curtis giving SHIVER: Roleplaying in the Strange and Unknown, 6 out of 6 Infinity Stones!
Catch our newest episode and interview with the creators of Shiver at: https://www.theinfinitybros.com/podcast/episode/3f7fb102/special-spacestone-qanda-with-creators-of-shiver
Or wherever you find your podcasts!
Jarret is our resident TTRPG expert and SHIVER fanatic. With more hours invested in his parent's basement DMing than Doritos crumbs in the average neckbeard, Jarret knows a thing or two about good systems when he sees them.