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The Bureau (2022)

The Bureau (2022) is an adventure zine for Goblin Archives’ Liminal Horror RPG (a horror hack of Cairn), though conversion rules are included for Agents of ODD, The Company and Mothership.

Basically, this is an RPG version of Remedy’s 2019 videogame Control. There are some other influences, and a good number of new and interesting ideas, but the framework is all Contol: a government agency devoted to studying extradimensional incursions, in a weird high rise headquarters that re-arranges itself, whose hubristic delving into the unknown results in extraplanar hijinx, and so on. I feel like Control inspired a ton of RPG material in its wake, but this is my pick for the zine that encapsulates that vibe the best. The aesthetic, which pits the banal rigor of bureaucracy against the chaos of intruding realities, is on point.

There’s a good balance here between a disorienting, shifting environment and several clear story lines that emerge through play. Basically, there is one BIG problem in the building that has created a lot of little problems that need solving, though doing so has ambiguous results. And that’s all I will say about that, lest I spoil anything.

Bottom line: a solid adventure, a good foundation for an ongoing campaign and an excellent start for Liminal Horror.

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