A downloadable game

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

A game by Mitchell Salmon

In each of us, there are two natures...
this primitive duality of man—good and evil...
It is the curse of mankind that these polar twins should be constantly struggling...
—Dr Henry Jekyll, from Jekyll and Hyde, the Gothic Musical Thriller

Content Warning: Body horror, violence.

A Game of Monsters

A Modern Prometheus  is a gothic horror roleplaying game for 2 players based on the Mobile Frame Zero: Firebrands framework by D. Vincent Baker and Meguey Baker (Lumpley Games).

Players take on the role of a scientist dabbling with dark forces at the edge of the natural sciences, and the creation that they bring to life as a consequence. Together, you and your partner will discover through play who is human, and who is monstrous.

You will take turns choosing from a list of minigames specific to your character to craft a shared story of science, vengeance, humanity, and rage. No two minigames are exactly alike. Use crafted prompts to guide your interactions as you explore the depths of your character, and discover their fate in the final confrontation between creator and creation.

Prepare for a emotional and horrific tale that only you and your chosen partner can tell.

This game is inspired by works like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and adaptations.

Details

Themes

 2 Players

 1-2 Hours

 Ages 13+

No GM or preparation required

Gothic Horror

Science Fiction

Compete with a friend

Ask questions to find out what happens

Tell a story together

Stretch Goals

A Modern Prometheus is a finished game, but as we hit certain sales goals I will be able to afford to expand and improve it. All sales of A Modern Prometheus will contribute towards funding new art and minigames that will be added to every copy! If you purchase the game now, you'll receive all updates for free as they happen. It's like a Kickstarter, except you get the game right now!

If you like A Modern Prometheus, you can help hit these stretch goals by leaving a generous tip during purchase (if you can afford it), leaving a 5-star review to boost visibility on this site, or sharing this page on social media with the hashtag #AModernPrometheus.

Locked - Expanded Art - $1200

At the first stretch goal, I will have recouped the cost of all the art, writing, and editing that it took to get this game up for sale, and be able to commission three new art pieces by Cara Tune, who did the awesome gothic art for the logo and page decorations. Cara is a fantastic artist based in Melbourne, Australia, and she has already brought such awesome creativity and gothic mood to A Modern Prometheus. Her website is caratune.com.

Locked - More Minigames - $1600

More will be announced when we get closer to the goal...

Actual Play

Want to feature A Modern Prometheus on your podcast or stream? Go for it! Linking back to this store page is appreciated, and tag me on Twitter to let me know I can share your recording.

Scene Play

Tucker Lemos and Arya Burke weave a marvellous and horrifying tale that perfectly captures the mood and terror of A Modern Prometheus

Website: sceneplay.fireside.fm
Twitter: twitter.com/scene_play

Yes Indie'd

Marx Shepherd interviewed me for Yes Indie'd, a podcast about indie roleplaying games, inspiration, and the theory, process and practice of game design. 

Website: yesindiedpod.com
Twitter: twitter.com/yesindiedpod

Inside the Caravan

Andrew the Halfling reads through indie games in 10-15 minutes for a great quick dive into new games, creative systems, and the indie scene. Check out his thoughts on A Modern Prometheus.

Website: halflingcaravan.podbean.com
Twitter: twitter.com/HalflingCaravan

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I respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and the Boon Wurrung / Bunurong people of the Kulin Nations as the traditional owners of the land on which the majority of my work takes place. I pay respects to elders past and present. Sovereignty was never ceded.

Purchase

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

A Modern Prometheus_v1.0.2_pages.pdf 4 MB
A Modern Prometheus_v1.0.2_spreads.pdf 4 MB
A Modern Prometheus_v1.0.2_pages_printer friendly.pdf 5 MB

Extras

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Donate Art

Want to contribute new art to the game without waiting to hit stretch goals? Buy this Extra to donate a new art piece by Cara Tune, based on your favourite minigame. You will work with me to create a brief for Cara to work from, and give feedback during the development process.

Disclaimer: I maintain the right to have final say on the art pieces. If we cannot reach a brief that satisfies us both, your donation will be refunded. Art funded this way will replace art planned for stretch goals, not add to the total number of art pieces.

Community Copies

When you buy a copy of this game at or above the minimum price, you are also buying a copy for someone who can't afford to pay for the game right now. Community copies are free copies of the game for anyone who can't afford the listed price right now. No questions, no judgement.

If you grab a community copy from the pool, please consider taking a moment to leave a positive review, comment, or rating to help boost the game's visibility. But no obligation!

Development log

Comments

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(+1)

A Modern Prometheus is an intense two-player (or very optionally three player) character study where you play as Frankenstein and Frankenstein's Monster.

It's 42 pages, with strong, consistent, and atmospheric layout. It's also quite easy to read, and the pages don't pack in a lot of text, so don't be intimidated by it looking like it's a novella in length.

Mechanically, Prometheus uses the Firebrands (ha-ha) engine, so dice are secondary to choices, and the major element that's gamified is coins. You earn coins by engaging with different kinds of scenes, called minigames, which you each take turns framing.

The back and forth of power, justification, suspicion, and dread between creator and created is the living, beating core of the game, and the fun of play is in discovering who these two characters are.

One thing that I think is missing, and that might be worthwhile to add as a player, is a city creation toolkit. As written, Modern Prometheus assumes the general context and milieu of Frankenstein, but you can do a *lot* more with it than that. The game's format is just as effective if your story is about a companion AI and a 23rd century investor, or a recently awakened vampire and their one tether to the mortal world, so you may want to thresh out the city and setting before beginning play if you want to steer in that kind of a direction.

Overall, if you live for drama and you've got at least one person you can pull into a game, you should get this. It's moody and gothic and nuanced and you get back twice what you put into it. However, it's not competitive. It's not about overcoming challenges and using your numbers to win, so if you like that part of gothic roleplaying, it may be less of a good match.

Still, if you liked Frankenstein, if you like stories where two brooding characters' values are in conflict, and if you don't mind doing potentially a bit of world-building at the start, you should also pick this up.


Minor Issues:

-Auto-hyphenation seems to be on. It breaks up some words in ways that don't feel very natural, and it sticks out more in paragraphs such as on page 5.

(+2)

A Modern Prometheus does an excellent job of exploring the question 'who is the real monster here?' and what a monster is. There are some really poignant questions here, making great use of the Firebrands system. And the layout is super slick! Definitely recommend!