Juhana Pettersson’s unique role-playing game Chernobyl Mon Amour, funded last year, is finally out and the backer copies have been sent. I did the translation, which was a fun gig. Especially the bit where I spent a couple of days reading up on the differences between Russian and Ukrainian transliteration in English as opposed to Finnish before concluding that going with the original differentiation is the best idea.
It’s a freeform game with very little in the way of rules mechanics. In Chernobyl Mon Amour, you play criminals who have fled into the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation. There, in the community of other former criminals in similar straits, you have the opportunity to forge a new life and find love. The focus of the game is less on problem-solving, adventure and violence and more on romance, coming to (possibly perverse) terms with the ever-present radiation, and day-to-day life in what’s essentially a postapocalyptic society.
You can get the game on DriveThruRPG in both PDF and PoD softcover: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/233986/Chernobyl-Mon-Amour
Just surfacing from a ten-day larp conference trip to note that Chernobyl Mon Amour is up on the IndieGogo crowdfunding platform. This is the English-language edition of Juhana Pettersson’s role-playing game Tšernobyl, rakastettuni. I did the translation.
The project has already reached its funding goal and there are no stretch goals to meet, but there’s still 16 days left on the clock.
It was an interesting work to translate since unlike most role-playing games, Chernobyl Mon Amour contains basically no rules mechanics. It’s as freeform as they come. It’s a game about former criminals building new lives and finding romance in the outlaw society of the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation. It’s like no game I have seen before. To quote the crowdfunding page:
In Chernobyl, Mon Amour you play a Ukrainian criminal who flees the long arm of the law to the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation. The concept is based on a Ukrainian folk story about a criminal who fled to the Zone and became so radioactive that the authorities had to leave him there.
You know that there is no return from the Zone. Your crimes are such that society will no longer accept you, and the only thing you have left is the possibility of a new life in the radioactive forest. As you settle into the Zone and meet its inhabitants, you start to yearn for something more. You want love.
Playing out these love stories amidst a radioactive society of criminals is the core experience of Chernobyl, Mon Amour.
Go get it!