Gossamer Worlds – INK (Diceless)
This trip to one of the countless Gossamer Worlds clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 13 pages of content, so let’s take a step through this door!
Okay, have you read Flatland? If not, I’d strongly suggest you do so – for its implications are very much relevant for this Gossamer World: You see, INK is unlike most such worlds in that it exists as a 2D-world, where visitors are subject to the so-called rendering, as they are translated into 2-dimensional versions of themselves – for this world is one of sentient comics, classic ink drawings and the like – INK is layered on sheets and traveling from one sheet to another changes you – and yes, there is danger in this brute-force conversion of styles…in this translation, in which beauty and reality may be lost or gained.
In a world defined by the artistic, one should not be surprised to see a class-system, as portraits lord over sketches and the underclass of downtrodden scribbles, while specialized drafter annunaki (stats provided) and the erasing eraser erebi can be considered to be the truly powerful forces of nature of INK, dangerous in either the scroll kingdoms, panelopolis, the funnypaper farms or the scrawl – oh, and have I mentioned Major Maim? This guy makes Judge Doom look like a downright cute, reasonable guy – think of superman as evil and as an existential nihilist hell-bent of destroying (and/or escaping) the limitations of his world…
Considering the strange nature of INK as opposed to many more conventional gossamer worlds, it does come with rather detailed pieces of advice to properly implement it in your game, which is greatly appreciated.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing’s two-column full-color standard for the series and a diverse array of high-quality full-color artworks illustrates the world in the different styles you can expect – nice touch. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Matt Banach’s INK is brilliant – much like Planet Fiction, it allows for a huge array of real life creatures to be inserted in the game – from your favorite superheroes to manga/anime-characters and classic paintings, this one sports so many narrative options, it’s not even funny anymore. Ever wanted to know what would happen if Garfield and Odie could duke it out in a Gundam? Well…there you go. Unlike Planet Fiction, though, this may have less space to develop the world – but it has the upper hand in one crucial regard: A unique selling point. Depicting the 2-dimensional, comic book reality herein can lead to truly memorable, unique adventures and constitutes one of the crucial strengths of this extremely evocative world. Granted, you can mostly ignore this component, if the repercussions give you a headache, but personally, I love this pdf for it and consider it one of the best in the whole series, on par with the genius Poetica Mundi-installment. Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval.