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Sales

Let me start by explaining that Discordia has been run since 1986 as a non-profit organisation. Our basic policy has always been to spawn 1-3 game concepts each year, try them out on the widest number of people, and develop the most popular games into products.

Discordia is currently a non-profit organisation - this means that our current production values are relatively low (at least, compared to FASA or some other large, faceless corporation), our print runs are quite small (usually between 20 and 200, depending on the game) and made to match the audience and, most significantly, all of our 'employees' have other jobs. That said, Avatar looks better than Tunnels and Trolls ever did.

However, for just over a year now it has been our intent to take Discordia boldly into the marketplace. I suspect it may still be our intent in six months time.


Avatar (1st & 2nd edition available UK 5.99 & 7.99 respectively P&P 1.45)

Avatar is a character based role playing game. It aims to be as flexible as possible, in terms of setting, by including an innovative World Building game and by basing action firmly around characterisation by means of a system of personality traits that build a realistic picture of the character for player and Gamesmaster alike. Avatar uses open-ended combat and magic systems, which constantly refer back to these character templates to ensure the personality has a real and important effect on the game scenario.

The rules assume some previous experience with role playing games, and many common gaming conventions are used without explanation (for example, 1d20 for the value obtained from rolling a twenty sided dice). The system aims for fast, simple, easily resolvable rules management, with a minimum of in-play table reference. Once the basics have been understood, game-play should be slick, favouring character interaction over number crunching.

Background

Any world in the Avatar system is superimposed over a background of Twilight and Shadow. Twilight represents the real world, but an area of the real world impinged upon by Shadow, a purely conceptual dimension that is directly linked to the personalities of every living creature within Twilight. Twilight can affect Shadow - events changing people - but in Avatar, Shadow can also affect Twilight - people and personality directly affecting reality. The description of Twilight and Shadow is beyond the scope of a small introduction, such as this one.

The World

Avatar incorporates a method by which worlds can be generated by the entire group, players and Gamesmaster, who are to use that world in the game. This obviously allows for a wide variety of different settings for the game. The rules are purposefully non-restrictive, allowing for this variation in settings. For this reason, the game is suggested for experienced Gamesmasters and players, although intelligent beginners should have few difficulties.

A sample world is provided, to give some idea of what is possible with the World Building game, and to provide a setting for those people who do not have time to build a world, or convert an existing world to Avatar mechanics.

Magic

Magic in Avatar is a reflection of how influential a magician is in Shadow; how deeply that magician's personality affects the world around them. Anything is possible in the Avatar magic system, from spot magic effects to spells and rituals, created to fill any desired purpose.

When magic is cast, the magician can suffer mental damage known as Backlash, depending on how difficult the task they attempted was, and how proficient at magic they are. If they are too disoriented by this damage, they are prevented from successfully manifesting the effect and may be driven insane. A full system for insanity, linked to the Demeanour system, is included.

(Text above is copyright Discordia Inc, 1993. Avatar is copyright Chris Bateman, 1993)


Outlands (5th edition Out of Print)

Outlands is a science-fiction role playing game, designed to capture a cinematic atmosphere. It is not space opera, and is not concerned with creating a wholly believable future world. Instead it attempts to create an environment where players can take part in a gritty science fiction movie.

The setting is not a utopian future, and neither is it a grim, black future where the citizens hold no power. The background to Outlands lies somewhere in between. Like the modern world, there is justice and injustice, and people are not tangibly good or evil; they are just people.

The players play central characters to whatever storyline is being enacted. They are not necessarily heroes, but they are the centre of the action. Similarly, the players provide a supporting cast of people that their characters know - friends, lovers and adversaries - that the Gamesmaster uses to build and act out the plot.

The rules cover creating characters and supporting casts; creating weaponry, vehicles and starships as well as combat, psionics and a host of other areas essential to creating a cinematic adventure.

Background

At the time Outlands is set, mankind has expanded deep into the stars. Technology has advanced dramatically, but not to the extent that might have been predicted in the past. From time to time in man's history, technology has advanced in some area, and caused a ripple across all facets of man's life. Historically, these technological revolutions have sparked a century or so of development, punctuated by periods of technological stasis.

The speed of light remains a fundamental limit in the universe, although the creation of the singularity drive has allowed mankind to travel vast distances in comparatively short periods of time. However, this has led to problems with communication. In order for information to travel from system to system it must be carried by starship, which means the rate at which information propagates is different throughout known space.

This delay in communication causes a phenomenon known as the information wave. Like ripples from a stone dropped in a lake, information travels outwards from its point of origin, carried by the ships that travel from that system. The information wave has a large number of ramifications on the people who live in known space.

One of the most startling breakthroughs has been the creation of the cyberlink; an interface protocol between electronics and the human nervous system. Over the centuries, people have come to accept the cyberlink as part of life. It allows two people in a room to speak to each other without talking as their conversation, by broadcasting messages over the equivalent of a radio channel. Furthermore, because most planets have networks of transponders, people can talk to any cyberlinked-equipped person or machine on the planet.

An additional development caused by the creation of the cyberlink is the wetdrive. A human's personality and memories (known as their engrams) can be recorded on a datachip and executed on powerful computers, allowing a certain degree of immortality. In theory, this engram could be placed into an appropriately prepared clone body, allowing immortality, although the law dictates that all clones are unique individuals with their own rights, making this practice effectively murder (and makes illegal cloning an important criminal racket).

Political power is held by the Confederation - a loose alliance of every world in known space. Membership is compulsor; planets that attempt to leave are considered `hostile forces', on the assumption that peace is maintained through unity. Order is enforced by the Military, which also carries out a variety of services which insure that life in the Confederation runs smoothly.

The Confederation is officially a democracy, but the slow rate at which information propagates means that systems at the edge of Confederation space could not possibly communicate with each other to determine govermental policy. Instead, the Confederation is divided into sectors. Each sector has its own local government to determine law, and is answerable only to the edicts of the central council.

The central council, based at Terra (Earth), is capable of passing laws which cannot be overuled by the sector governments. The central council is an amalgamation of each of the sector governments, and everyone who can vote in a sector government has a vote in the central council. Since the vast majority of representatives are unable to attend in person, the central council exists in part as a network of engrams, running on a secure computer system. Security for this system is understandibly tight, and members of the central council are expected to update their engrams regularly.

Creating Outlands Campaigns

Outlands is designed to be played in a campaign format, where the characters, and their supporting cast, are built up over a series of episodes. The political and physical situation of the Confederation lends itself to a political campaign, but the wealth of uncharted worlds beyond the Gulf - an area of space that marks the boundry of the outlands - allows almost any science fiction plot to be explored.

The Outlands campaign universe is an internally consistant blending of elements from a variety of sources (including Angel Station, Aliens and Dune) in much the same way as the original Dungeons & Dragons built a composite universe from fantasy novels. It has been a cult favourite of the company since its inception in 1986, and is still going strong today.

(Test copyright 1995, Discordia Inc. Outlands is copyrighted several times between 1986 and 1995 to Chris Bateman).


Shifter (1st edition available UK 4.99 P&P 0.99)

"There were a lot of stories, when I was in the Academy, of how the best qualification a Shifter could have was a really solid personality disorder. When it's your job to travel to strange new times and fuck them up royally, well, you can see how a lack of moral fibre could be an advantage. So I believed the stories, I tried my best.
"Then I got paired to a man called Sandler. He said he had a talent for psionics, could synch in anything, anywhere. So here we are, trapped in a stone cell in some ancient keep, the swords are clashing all around...
"'Time for some fun,' he says, this big grin gashed into his face, cheeks twitching. And he closes his eyes, begins to synch... Only he isn't as good as he thinks, and synchs his SIN gun right into his left lung. Christ, what a mess. Got me out of the cell though - I said he'd pissed me off, and waved my hands around a bit.
"I re-applied to the Academy after that. For quick-learn, to become a tutor. Chaos is one thing, but do you know how long it takes to wash your partner out of your hair?"

- Soloman 13-T, Site Tutor.

Background

In the future, mankind has learnt many things. One of the most influential discoveries is that our universe is one of many millions of alternate universes. To the horror of intelligent philosophers everywhere, possible worlds are shown to both exist and to be reachable.

Developing psionic powers allows people to `Shift' between different timelines (known as variants). At first, shifting is just used to explore, but eventually the nature of variant physics is uncovered: variants are in competition with each other, and only high entropy timelines - universes which waste energy, have large populations and do not recycle kitchen products - survive.

The people of Earth begin to compete actively with the other variants. Unable to travel forward in time, but able to shift sideways and backwards through the set of variants (known collectively as the Matrix), Shifters destabilise other timelines by reducing the rate at which they increase in entropy, and steal technology from them to improve the technology in their own timeline. Since technological devices increase entropy levels, as much technology as possible is stolen. And since different timelines develop differently, all kinds of advanced tech can be plundered from the Matrix.

By the 32nd century, our timeline has become so improbable that most of mankind's effort is focused on shifting through the Matrix to ensure its continued existence. Our Shifters call this base of operations the Nexus. The Variant Corp., in charge of all authorised shifting, sends teams of Shifters out into the Matrix to strengthen the variants leading to Nexus, steal technology and undo the work of rogue Shifters and Shifters from other variants.

Shifters have a dangerous profession. Their unique shifting talent tends to destabilise people, making them less probable to exist. if their stability falls too low, they cease to exist. Also, they can get destabilised if their own, personal variant of origin is destabilised or destroyed.

Since the Shifters of Nexus come from the same timeline, when Nexus becomes destabilised, the Shifters become destabilised. Because of this, and because of the high `mortality' rate among Shifters, candidates for the job are constantly recruited from other variants. The population of Nexus is a strange blend of lifeforms from throughout the Matrix - from evolved sharks to psychotic vacuum cleaners.

The Game

In the Shifter Role Playing Game, players take the role of Shifters, working from Nexus to improve their chances of continued existence and that of Nexus. Going on missions into the Matrix, they demolish variants to strengthen the timelines leading to Nexus.

Shifter uses a deck of cards for resolving random events. It is not truly diceless, in the sense that no random resolution is used, but it doesn't use dice at all. This allows the game to be played easily, without a table, allowing drunken players to collapse onto a sofa and struggle through the game. Also, if you have braille cards, you can play with blind people. Gee, we think of everything.

Discordia Incorporated - we're not tools of the dice makers, we're servants of the liquor and tobacco industries. To this end, we strongly recommend playing Shifter whilst you are wasted and don't have a copy of It came from the Late, Late, Late Show on hand.

(Text copyright 1995, Discordia Inc. Shifter is copyright 1990 & 1995, for two completely different forms)


The Music Game Thingy (UK 3.99 pounds)

One of our card/board games, The Music Game Thingy is a battle of corporate war & backbiting in the music industry. Players represent record labels, signing up artists and then manipulating the media to get the best sales. Players can also get involved in sabotaging their opponents operations covertly, or they can just go all out for the throat.

Our most popular board game, this is still in a fairly cheaply produced form (comparable to first edition Junta). We do print runs at 10 a time and it is therefore never really out of stock. The rules are available on request and if you have access to a laser printer, it is possible for you to print this game yourself for FREE. However, you do have to sign a declaration before we let you do that (email us for details).


Corruption

Corrpution is TMGT's sister game. Enter the cuthroat world of American politics, as players compete for the support of the voters, and bribe, assassinate and sleep their way to the White House.

Rush to get support, to steal policies and to court the interests of the infamous floating voters before the election begins, and then use your contacts to expose scandals that will help knock the opposition out of the running.


Some Final Notes

I should pause to mention Star Fleet Officers and Star Fleet Empires, which were our joint projects with Task Force UK but it now looks questionable that either will come to fruition.

All prices are in UK pound sterling. Cheques and postal orders are acceptable, made payable to Discordia Inc. Postal address given on request. Shipping (and P&P) to non-UK countries has to be arranged on a case by case basis.

Feel free to ask any questions you like (to the usual email addresses). If you are interested in any of the above games, get in contact with us and we'll see what we can do. We have a proud and disastrous tradition of mailing our products outside of the UK, which I'm sure will continue for the time being.

Thank you for your interest in Discordia Inc. Discordia Inc. logo

Spiral Lobster & Cokaigne.
Discordia Inc. (sales@discordia-inc.co.uk)


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