Same As It Never Was: 80s Music Inspired Adventures For Tales From The Loop
  • Same As It Never Was: 80s Music Inspired Adventures For Tales From The Loop


    If you want to experience mysteries in Tales from the Loop, Our Friends the Machines is for you. This full color 104 page hardcover includes three complete adventures, eight short adventure locations based on classic 80s songs, four iconic machines from the world of the Loop including blueprints, and a guide to creating your own setting for the game, complete with the Norfolk Broads, a UK-based Loop.


    I received a complimentary copy of Our Friends the Machines to review. Written by Free League, it was published in December 2017 and distributed by Modiphius. Here is my review of Tales from the Loop.

    Color art by Simon Stålenhag depicts the mundane world of the 80s juxtaposed with advanced machines and robots. Black and white portraits portray the NPCs. Detailed maps depict the adventure locations. Interior maps include a grid and size in meters. There are eighteen maps including the Norfolk Broads Loop, a three story home, a high school, and a mummy's den.

    The adventures involve popular toy robots that want to take over the world, subliminal messages to make the "perfect town", and a mummy and dimensional monsters on the loose and raising havoc. These adventures are well laid out. The truth behind the mystery is explained, a way to introduce the kids (PCs) is given, and a way to introduce the mystery is included. To aid in running the adventures, a flow chart shows when certain events take place and what events might follow. Each mystery has a variety of interesting locations, detailed NPCs with art, and advice on how the mystery might be wrapped up. A countdown lists events in the order they happen.

    Adventures are broken into scenes and locations. Each scene includes clues the kids might find, trouble that might find them, and sometimes random events that can happen when travelling between locations. The locations in each mystery are placed on maps for both Stenhamra in Sweden and Boulder City in the US. NPCs and locations are Swedish with American names in parenthesis for Loops taking place in Boulder City in the US.

    Eight locations form a mix tap based on songs like Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper and Nighttrain by Guns N' Roses. The truth behind each location is revealed, hooks are provided, and a countdown of events details what happens when. The location on Michael Jackson's Thriller involves horror monsters going after people who watched a horror VHS tape.

    Some mysteries are whimsical and challenging rather than frightening. Others veer into dark themes and real danger including facing a Satanist who believes that man should let go and embrace his animal urges, sexuality, and destructiveness. The adventures range from Scooby Doo mysteries to Stranger Things violence and terror.

    Machines include the bipedal firefighting autonomous robots nicknamed the Fireguards. One of the three suggested adventures involving the Fireguards suggests having the Kids discover a plan by older teens to lure a robot to the high school and wreck it.

    The book wraps with a guide to creating your own setting. Details cover creating the map, placing the Loop, and determining the agency that controls it. Norfolk Broads, a UK-based Loop, is used as an example. You could use the machines and maps in a Mutant: Year Zero or Coriolis game as well.

    Our Friends the Machines embraces the 80s from the toys to the music to the satanic panic. The mysteries are deep, the NPCs multi-layered, and the town around the Loop full of danger and challenges. Experiencing the 80s that never were is even richer with these adventures and adventure ideas.

    contributed by Charles Dunwoody
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Connorsrpg's Avatar
      Connorsrpg -
      Sounds awesome. i have Mutant:Year Zero and Coriolis. I missed the kickstarter for this, but will get the game one day. i love the Year Zero Engine (and we use it for Star Wars games ATM). Thanks for this.
    1. Charles Dunwoody -
      Quote Originally Posted by Connorsrpg View Post
      Sounds awesome. i have Mutant:Year Zero and Coriolis. I missed the kickstarter for this, but will get the game one day. i love the Year Zero Engine (and we use it for Star Wars games ATM). Thanks for this.
      If you like Year Zero, you will like TftL. Forbidden Lands is coming soon as well. The beta version looks great.
    1. Connorsrpg's Avatar
      Connorsrpg -
      Quote Originally Posted by Charles Dunwoody View Post
      If you like Year Zero, you will like TftL. Forbidden Lands is coming soon as well. The beta version looks great.
      Yeah, I just had a read of Forbidden lands BETA. I was working on my own fantasy version of these rules, but put them on hold when I saw the KS for this... backed it

      I have developed the system for Star Wars, inc how to do species, but ForbiddenLands gives me an idea as to how they do races now.

      I have developed STACKS of Talents for this system. We have grouped ours into Talent Trees/Groups where your Concept grants access to a few groups. But we have 'Entry Edges' to access other trees if you feel the desire.

      Yeah, having a lot of fun with this (and buying a lot of d6 as I used this with 8 student players )
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