Arium is a tabletop roleplaying game and world-building toolkit. It is currently funded and unlocking stretch goals on Kickstarter.
If I had to pick a phrase to describe what sets Arium apart from the crowd, it would be this: The only limits are your group’s imagination, and what the dice allow. I could say this about many TTRPGs, but I have yet to play a game that embodies this statement as fully as Arium: Create and Arium: Discover.
Create is an incredible tool for building a world that the entire table is fully invested in and pushing the boundaries on genres. As a genre-masher in my writing, this immediately appealed to me. Do I want to play in a post-apocalyptic Viking boat tribe, where the ocean churns with unspoken terrors? Absolutely, yes. That’s my kind of high adventure.
Do I also want to GM a monster-hunting romcom where Olympians and Atlantians must find their life partners before the gods meddle in their love lives?
Also a hard yes. This game has range.
The beauty of Arium is that you can literally build ANYTHING in a cooperative effort, and the minimalistic rules can be applied to whatever setting you’ve imagined. Let’s dive into the two parts that make this game!
Arium Create: Cooperative world building is streamlined into several steps that let your crew brain-dump on the table, then compile and sort what the group wants to play. It’s possibly my favorite part. A meeting of the minds, different passions and genres hammered out and forged into a shining new world that leaves everyone burning to play.
You all made it. From the land (or lack thereof) that you stand on, to the people who decorate the worldscape, the game inherently allows your players to buy into the NPCs and what is happening in this world.
Arium Discover: Now that your world is fleshed out, the PCs’ characters are built, it’s time to adventure. But guess what! Player influence of the world isn’t over! Each player has a certain number of Discovery Tokens, which allow you to adjust successes, or even add some kind of effect or condition to the world.
Would your character have made that grab when an NPC slipped from the edge? Discovery Token.
Are you threatened by a big monster, and maybe something larger on the food chain would chase it off? Discovery Token.
As I said before, the simple rules allow you to apply them to whatever incredible world you’ve created. Primary Attributes combine to naturally flow into Secondary Attributes, which are generalized. Any roll you want to make fits under one of these options, and you roll a pool of D6s.
When you roll, you look for ‘hits.’ Hits are face values of a 5 or 6. However many hits you have, equals if you succeeded or not! This is determined by a DC set by the GM. Two hits for a moderate difficulty, three for major, and so on. Simple and effective, and your character can have ‘boons’ or ‘banes’ that feed into your chances for success… or failure.
As both a player and a GM, I have experienced the full expanse of this game. It’s a joy to Create and a pleasure to Discover the lengths of the world you and your friends have built together. Arium has given me and my friends many hours of fun and memories. If playing outside of the box is your jam, then I would highly recommend this game.
Emily Earhart (Anthrama from Of Dice & Dames) is an Arium GM, live streamer, and writer.
Check out Arium on Kickstarter!