Tales from the Loop RPG

/Tales from the Loop RPG

Tales from the Loop RPG

Tales from the Loop
Tales from the Loop RPG Book Cover.jpg
Cover of Tales from the Loop RPG book
Designer(s)Nils Hintze
Simon Stålenhag
Illustrator(s)Simon Stålenhag
Publisher(s)Free League Publishing
Modiphius Entertainment
Publication dateMarch 10, 2017; 3 years ago (2017-03-10)
Years active2017–present
Genre(s)Science fiction
Alternate history
Language(s)English, Swedish
System(s)Year Zero Engine
Playing timeVaries
Random chanceDice rolling
Skill(s) requiredRole-playing, improvisation, arithmetic

Tales from the Loop (Swedish: Ur Varselklotet) is an alternate history science fiction tabletop role-playing game designed by Nils Hintze, based on the art of Simon Stålenhag. It was published in 2017 by Free League Publishing, the international arm of Swedish game and book publisher Fria Ligan AB, and Modiphius Entertainment. The game is built upon the Year Zero Engine created by Tomas Härenstam, who also served as the editor and project manager.[1]

The role-playing game was originally a stretch goal on a Kickstarter campaign for publication of the art book,[2] but was then further funded by a Kickstarter campaign by Fria Ligan AB, who surpassed their crowdfunding goal and raised a total of 3,745,896 kr from 5,600 backers.[3]

The stand-alone expansion Things from the Flood (Swedish: Flodskörden), based on Stålenhag's art book of the same name, was also funded by a Kickstarter campaign, raising a total of 4,249,903 kr from 5,824 backers.[4]

Play overview


Tales from the Loop has two settings available from the rulebook. The first setting is an alternate version of the Mälaren Islands, west of the Swedish capital of Stockholm. The second included setting, which was created from reaching a stretch goal on the Kickstarter,[3] is in a city based on Boulder City, Nevada.[1] There is a step-by-step guide for players to put their own hometowns into the game, which was included due to a stretch goal on Kickstarter being met. The chapter, called "Hometown Hack", appears in a supplementary book, Tales from the Loop: Our Friends The Machines & Other Mysteries.[5]

In Tales from the Loop, a story that the players play through is called a Mystery. The players play as the Kids, a group of friends, aged 10-15, living in the late 1980s. In the Mysteries, the Kids encounter machines and creatures that have come to exist because of the Loop, a huge underground particle accelerator built in the late 1960s.

Game mechanics

Tales from the Loop runs on 6 main principles that are meant to help the Gamemaster and players create the intended feeling and plot of the Mystery:[1]

  1. Your Hometown is Full of Strange and Fantastic Things
  2. Everyday Life is Dull and Unforgiving
  3. Adults are Out of Reach and Out of Touch
  4. The Land of the Loop is Dangerous but The Kids Will Not Die
  5. The Game is Played Scene by Scene
  6. The World is Described Collaboratively

The Kids are characters created by the players. The game offers many options for the player to choose from, but the main categorization for a Kid is based on their Type, similar to how Classes work in Dungeons & Dragons. The types introduced in the game are:[1]

  • Bookworm
  • Computer Geek
  • Hick
  • Jock
  • Popular Kid
  • Rocker
  • Troublemaker
  • Weirdo

Things from the Flood is a stand-alone game that can be used with new characters as well as characters brought over from earlier Tales from the Loop play. The mechanics remain much the same, except for two major differences: the player characters are slightly older, and death is a possible outcome.


Shut Up & Sit Down praised Tales from the Loop for its comfortable, contemporary setting, simple rules that make the game easy to run, and the alternation between sci-fi and the kids' lives, while criticizing its Type system for characters, noting the usage of "hick" sounding derogatory and "suggested “Pride” for the Weirdo involved being homosexual–– the only mention of queerness in the entire game".[6] Geek & Sundry named Tales from the Loop as 2017's best RPG release and praised Stålenhag's art, the collaborative nature between the GM and players, and the simplicity of running the game.[7]

Year Category Institution Ref
2017 Best Art, Interior ENnie Awards [8]
Best Game
Best Setting
Best Writing
Product of the Year
RPG of the Year Golden Geek Award [9]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Tales from the Loop. Fria Ligan AB. 2017. ISBN 978-1-910132-75-3.
  2. ^ "Simon Stalenhag's Tales from the Loop". Kickstarter.
  3. ^ a b "Tales from the Loop - Roleplaying in the '80s That Never Was". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  4. ^ https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1192053011/things-from-the-flood-sequel-to-tales-from-the-loo
  5. ^ Tales From the Loop: Our Friends the Machines & Other Mysteries. Fria Ligan AB. 2017. ISBN 978-91-87222-93-1.
  6. ^ "RPG Review: Tales from the Loop". Shut Up & Sit Down. 2017-08-02. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  7. ^ Wieland, Rob (2017-12-21). "The Best in Tabletop 2017 - Tales from the Loop". Geek & Sundry. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  8. ^ "2017 Noms and Winners". ENnie Awards. 2017-08-19. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  9. ^ "2017 Golden Geek RPG of the Year Winner". Retrieved 2020-04-14.