We had a chat with game designer Pelle Nilson and graphic designer Johan Nohr about 'Mork Borg' -- their dark fantasy tabletop roleplaying game that Free League Publishing will release under the company's imprint for products developed by outside companies. Ockult Örtmästare Games and Stockholm Kartel designed the game, which puplishers described as 'artpunk" in a prepared statement.
Q: What is the production history of the game?
A: It all started out from a will to create a rules light game for conventions, the pub etc. The first game was called GrittR and was on one paper. That was in early 2018. Later that year it got extended to another paper with the Omens and classes. We made a horror game together (swedish folklore style) and talked about the possibility to make a unique, small zine out of GrittR. I already had made a Swedish solo fantasy game called MÖRK BORG (still online) and really wanted that name for the zine. Well, we started out and, it grew... some more creatures, some setting, some more tables. Still we kept this crazy zine visual style even though it was now going to be a hard cover book. We contacted Free League Publishing and they wanted to help us with the printing, distribution etc, under their sub-label called Workshop. The Kickstarter did more than good and we could design the book exactly as we intended.
Q: What is the premise?
A: In short: The world is ending. A doomsday prophecy states that six Miseries will occur before everything blackens and burns. Some people believe that enough god-offerings might avert this, other take their oppurtunity to kill and steal before all is over, and some desperately search forgotten libraries and temples in hope of an answer. The world is bleak, horrible and dying but it's where you live. What will you do?
Q: Could you describe the tone?
A: As if Darkthrone and Bongripper made a split EP and it was the soundtrack to that very last scene in Magnolia. It's Nihilism, the game. But with a sense of humor, albeit pitch-black.
Q: Who worked on the game?
A: The game is really a collaboration between Johan Nohr of Stockholm Kartell and Pelle of Ockult Örtmästare Games. Johan was in charge of the visuals and Pelle cared for the setting, text and rules but we brainstormed, added and tweaked a lot of content across these very loose borders. But we were not alone in the making of this. The English text was curated and in many ways rewritten by Patrick Stuart, and then edited again by Levi Huntsman and Moonrat Conspiracy (Fiona Maeve Geist + Jarrett Crader). The Swedish text was proofread by Christian Sahlén, Dan Algstrand, Johan Eriksson and Skander Fanni. Free League Publishing, as we mentioned, helped us out with shipping and printing, and the entire Stockholm Kartell also helped with ideas and suggestions from the sideline. Also we had a bunch of playtesters who came with valuable input. And let's not forget all the backers that made this thing possible in the first place.
Q: What in your opinion is the game's niche?
A: We're not really sure what to call the niche or scene the game belongs to, but whatever it is, there's a ton of good stuff being made in it. The all-around compitability and mind-bending creativity is super inspiring and a lot of the creators seem like pretty chill people.