Stalker RPG to Be Released in English

…and I translated it.

It’s official now. Burger Games is releasing the English-language version of Ville Vuorela’s Stalker, sometimes called the best Finnish RPG of all time (by Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest daily newspaper in the country) or indeed, the best there is.

The final manuscript that I sent yesterday clocked in at 101 093 words, 182 pages. Now it’s just a matter of proofreading, editing, layout and finally, printing.

It was quite a bit of work, but in the end, most of the text was in a straightforward, matter-of-fact style, and I didn’t need to coin all that many new words or terms. Roleplaying games are easy, that way.

So, come July, even if you aren’t conversant in our strange Ugric moon language, you will be able to enjoy the dark brilliance of Stalker and have your characters get killed in abject misery in the ruins of Toulouse, where it’s a flip of the coin whether a given natural law even functions in a given place.

Come to think of it, the game’s tone isn’t far from Lamentations of the Flame Princess in that respect, except for the genre and setting.

Anyway, it was a fun and a rewarding job. I’ll post more information once it’s out. Meanwhile, you may refresh your memories of my review from way back in 2008.


22 thoughts on “Stalker RPG to Be Released in English

  1. That sounds intriguing. Can you give us a few more details what the Stalker RPG is about? It’s the first time I’ve heard about it.

  2. It’s a diceless sci-fi horror roleplaying game based on the Soviet science fiction novel Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Thirteen years ago, a terrible disaster occurred in five locations around the world, creating the Zones. Hundreds of thousands died. The Zones are places where the laws of nature are treated more like guidelines. Within their borders, you may encounter anomalies that increase the local gravity thousandfold, slow the passage of time in a small area, or emanate a magnetic field strong enough to rip the iron out of your blood.

    Many think that the event was caused by an alien intelligence, though they still differ on the motivation – whether it was an attack or something else, the cosmic equivalent of a roadside picnic where we are the ants and animals of the forest that come to pick through the trash they left behind. The event is called the Visitation.

    Death and anomalies aren’t the only things they left behind. There are also the artefacts, small items with strange powers that can breach the laws of nature and produce effects that in a less scientific world would be immediately deemed magical. There are wheels that, once put into motion, will ignore friction, inertia and even gravity and just keep going until stopped by a greater force. There are items that are weightless when touched by the bioelectric field of a human being, but increase in mass to thousands of tons when they are let go. There are small rods that, once bent, will cause nausea and hallucinations in everyone present as they straighten out. There is the legendary golden orb, that will grant the deepest wish of anyone touching it.

    Nowadays, the Zones are all declared international land, subject to the oversight of the Institute, a UN organization. All scientific research on the Zone and its artefacts is to be done under their supervision and they are the final authority on anything related to the Zones or the borderlands around them. They are corrupt and rotten to the core.

    You play the stalkers, criminals who enter the Zone, brave its anomalies, find its artefacts and sell them to the highest bidder. You risk your freedom, your life and even your very humanity to explore its depths, survive its dangers and find its treasures. You may be doing this for the money, for the adrenaline rush, or simply because you are in love with the Zone.

    The game is set in the here and now, today, and the Zone described in most depth in the core book is Zone France, in Toulouse.

  3. Well, the translation is done and it’s now in the proofreading and layout stage. The progress has been stalled for reasons unrelated to the project. It’ll be finished when it’s finished, I guess.

  4. Wondering what’s going on with this game. With the latest events at GSC a lot of S.T.A.L.K.E.R properties and what is going on with them are sort of brought into question.
    I would love to pick this up as a softcover and even if it was only available as a downloadable .pdf
    Inquiring minds would love answers here.

  5. Well, it hasn’t been cancelled. As I understand, the publisher and the proofreader are now working on it as their personal lives permit, and hopefully the book will be released sometime during 2012. The events at GSC and the fate of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. properties have no bearing on the situation of Burger Games and the Stalker RPG.

    I’ll have a newspost up on my blog within the hour once a release date is set, and spread the joy far and wide. I just have no idea whether I’ll get to do that tomorrow, next week or in June or something.

  6. Would love to hear more about this!

    If it’s not too much trouble, I’m sure a comment on this post when you know more would be much appreciated – that way commenters will get an email notification!

  7. Burger Games updates on the translation status: “Stalker RPG translation… well, my proofreader has promised some action this week and if he delivers, the PDF version will become my top priority. I want this project over and done with, I want to keep at least most of the promises I made about it and it might even yield some coin, not just for me but for mister Boris Strugatsky as well. Who, I am told, has had some health issues recently. Aged 79, he is already immortal because of his works but if Stalker RPG royalties can put a tiny dent into his hospital bills, my work on this Earth has been done.” Source:

  8. According to a post by the designer Ville Vuorela in the Praedor RPG Facebook group, the Stalker proofreading is almost done and it will be available on DriveThruRPG within a couple of weeks. WOOOOOOOOO!

  9. It has been sent to DTRPG and is going through their approval process.

    The print version is currently up in the air but may be available for Ropecon, in a limited run.

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