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The classic image of a mage is a wealthy scholar, usually male, sequestered away in an ivory tower. Surrounded by books, familiars, and strange instruments of all sorts, he is content to perform his experiments and work his rituals in pleasant solitude, knowing that the outside world will never intrude on what is truly important.

Would that you could have that. Ivory towers don’t come cheap nowadays. You’ve maybe heard of a friend of a friend who crashes on his uber-rich friend’s ivory-colored silk couches, but you couldn’t afford so much of a swatch of the couch fabric, let alone the penthouse in which the couch sits. There are still some mages in the one percent. You’re not one of them. The best you can do is throw yourself on their tender mercies.

Maybe you’re an apprentice. Maybe you’re running from something, or someone. Maybe you just needed a cheap spot to crash until you can finish school in the city. For whatever reason, you found yourself signing your soul away on this lease to one of the fat cat casters. It’s not too bad, you have hot water and a bed of your own and maybe even a kitchen. It’s within your price range, which is a miracle. Good thing, too; if you don’t make rent by the end of the year, it’s gonna be your ass handed over to the Goetia or the Faerie Courts or whoever’s weird sigil was on the contract you signed.

But hey, you’ve dealt with worse, right?

Debt is Only The Beginning is a rules-light tabletop dealing with magic and uncertain living situations, and was originally published for Avery Alder's Rentpunk Game Jam. It will always be PWYW.


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debt.pdf 1 MB


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A simple and efficient little game, with a cool premise and enough to make it work! The prospect of playing downtrodden mages is much more appealing to me than playing a lofty one :)

Thank you so much! I really look forward to hearing how it plays for you!