We’ve waited it for a long, long time, but finally, another agonizing wait has come to an end and a project come to fruition. Juhana Pettersson’s 2009 roleplaying game Ikuisuuden laakso has finally been released in English, under the title of Valley of Eternity, and is available on DriveThruRPG in PDF and PoD. It is the third Finnish RPG to be translated to English, after Zombie Cinema and Stalker. Originally, the English-language edition was supposed to be done by Cubicle 7, but apparently they were too busy with The One Ring to bother, and the final product has now been released by Vagrant Workshop.
What is Valley of Eternity, you ask. Well, it is nothing less than the greatest penguin RPG of all time. Drawing from spaghetti westerns, Conan the Barbarian and March of the Penguins, it depicts a bleak and barren Antarctic, where penguins and anti-penguins eke out a meagre living in the harsh environment. The flock, the community, is the penguins’ best hope for survival, but when it is not enough, heroes must do alone what the flock cannot do together.
There are also the anti-penguins, who have made the perilous journey to the Valley of Eternity and let the wind in, allowing the glacier to change them and grant them mystic powers over the ice and the cold.
There are numerous threats in the Antarctic. There are the predatory skuas, the sea leopards, killer whales, egg-thieves, marauding bands of anti-penguins, and most dangerous of all, the eternal cold.
Valley of Eternity is one of those fascinatingly strange game ideas that pop up here and there. I originally reviewed it for the old Roolipelaaja magazine, and I will be translating my old review for the blog sometime in the next week. It’s also a pretty good read. I mean, how often do you see a game recommend that players dress up black-tie to get in the mood? Other mood-enhancers it recommends are, to my recollection, playing with the windows open in the winter and having ice cream and fish for game snacks.
The system, as I remember it, is pretty light and runs on six-siders. Also, one of the stats is “Fat”. Gotta love it.