KARMA: A Roleplaying Game About Consequences is a brand new GMless RPG by Gareth Graham of Frenzy Kitty Games, currently running on Indiegogo at the moment.
Gareth was kind enough to send me a review copy of the game, so let’s take a look…
KARMA looks great. While it isn’t image heavy, the layout is clean and readable. What I especially like, and what I think is so important these days, is that it will read well on your device, even a smart phone (I tested it and it does).
KARMA is also meaty for the $10 price tag. From the Table of Contents it looks like you get just under 40 pages of rules, another 40 or so pages for the 8 modules included so far (with more coming, dependent on stretch goals), and then your cheat sheet and character sheet.
Now let’s dig a little deeper.
KARMA uses standard six-sided dice — ten of them — in two colors. You’ll also need some pencils, paper, and tokens to track KARMA.
You also don’t need one of those pesky GM people.
The rules are straight forward and easy to follow, making this a very easy read.
Character creation is simply a matter of creating a concept, selecting a Vice and Virtue, and determining your relationship with the other characters. And that’s where the fun begins. Character creation is very much a part of the game, which is a big plus in our opinion.
Follow that is a series of world building questions, both open to the group and exclusive to your character. Ah, the sweet smell of conflict brewing. What’s nice about this is that a game of KARMA requires 0 prep — the only “prep” you need to do is a fun part of the game that is done collaboratively.
From here on out you play through a number of scenes, culminating in an action packed finale, and there are rules for all of this that make sense and keep things fair and open.
Critical to the game is the Karma system, which I’ll leave for you to discover for yourself, but I will say that it’s a great system that adds loads of fun to the game.
KARMA looks perfect for a 2–3 hour session with friends. I’m keen to play this with my non-roleplayer friends actually, as a way to introduce them to the hobby.
My regular gaming groups would give this a go between campaigns, especially for any group that focuses strongly on narrative. BUT, get this… KARMA is setting neutral, but there’s no reason you couldn’t integrate the game into an existing campaign with existing characters — even from a very different system. Want to take a break from the dungeon in your D&D 5e campaign, but not from your characters? KARMA would give you a great way to explore your characters more deeply, flesh out their motivations, and make them matter more.
So overall, KARMA is a very cool addition to the hobby. I recommend it. You can order your copy (PDF or Print) via the Indiegogo campaign page.