In the Light of a Faded World (2022)

Faded World, as you might infer from the title, is post-apocalyptic. Post-post, really. Something wiped humanity out (roll a d12 to find out what!) and the world has mostly moved on, though there are still fragments of our civilization to be found. Players take the roles of animals who explore and interact in the ruins of our world. It is sort of like Bunnies & Burrows meets Metamorphosis Alpha, but built out of Nate Treme’s In the Light of a Ghost Star. In this it is very lightweight and focused on atmosphere.

The rest of the zine is devoted to a very short adventure frame in a long abandoned mall, profiles for some woodland creatures, brief rundowns of alternate biomes and lots of tables. There is the aforementioned apocalypse table, as well as tables for generating encounters, adventures, artifacts and rumors. The most intriguing is a d8 table for determining why a character is retiring from the life of adventure.

All this is supported by art by Amanda Lee Franck. It is all gorgeous, and gives a real ground level view of this small, fuzzy, post-apocalyptic existence. There is also a tone-setting piece of fiction sprinkled through out by Zedeck Siew, which is lovely and harrowing in turns.

The thing I find really interesting is how not depressing the game is. I kind of expected heavy human-centric melancholy but there is very little of that. You can feel humanity in the landscape and there is a bit of sadness in every ruin, but overall the game feels strangely comforting. This old world’ll get along fine without us.

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