A downloadable game
Exodus 1.4 - the big update with new art, bonus content, new playbooks, and more - is now available! be sure to check out the beautiful new art, and the bonus content in the Exodus Companion!
Exodus is a role-playing story game about being on the run in a society that has turned against you. It's a story of angels on the road, making community as they go, and trying to find somewhere better. It's a game rooted in a time, an autobiography and a plan and a dream and a fear all in one.
Based on Avery Alder's Belonging Outside Belonging system, Exodus is inspired by Ezra Furman's 2018 album Transangelic Exodus, itself a "queer outlaw saga". The game is for 2-4 players, with no dice and no GM, and takes usually 3-4 hours to play. Players will create characters, draw a road map of their journey as they go, and take turns playing setting elements (known as Situations) as they travel.
Along the way, the players draw their journey's landmarks on their Road Map, and, when the story calls for it, take over one of the four Situations: Locals, The Road, Supplies, and Authorities. By making moves from the situation sheet, whoever holds that Situation pushes the rest of the group on their journey and presents challenges along the way, and then puts it down when their character needs to interact with that Situation.
The Exodus core book includes four playbooks:
- The Guardian: When they came for yours, you had the plan, the escape route already mapped. Your bags were already packed. You knew that this world is no place for a creature like you. And when the time came, you hopped in your vehicle and you tried to get the people who matter to you to safety.
- The Traveler: You've done this before, a dozen times, a dozen ways. You've been fleeing your whole life, ever since you could fly. This is the last time you'll run, if you have the strength for one last journey. You may never reach a promised land, like the one you tell stories about, but you'll find a home, if you can make it one.
- The Artist: For a while, your art and your charm kept you safe and commodified. But when things started to get bad, you knew whose side you needed to be on. But you couldn't just give up your creativity - you took it on the road with you. You'll need art, where you're going, but more importantly, you need to show the world what this is you're going through, even if some people won't understand.
- The Dreamer: For years you've dreamed of wings. One day you'll spread them, you say. Other angels, they know, they recognize their own, but they would never presume to carry you skyward before you're ready to fly. But you couldn't stay where you were, could never spread your wings there, and when the time came, the angels had a seat for you, too.
Also included is the Exodus Companion pdf, which includes a bonus Situation (A Moment of Heaven, for when you and a lover have a quiet moment alone), several "quickstart" scenarios, a few essays and play tips, and five bonus playbooks:
- Janie Jaffe W, with The Messenger: Your people have been running for a long, long time. It’s written in your stories, your songs, your blood. You have always been the outsider, in more ways than one, yet you have held your histories close, found truth and power therein. So maybe they’ll help you on the road.
- Remi Permann, with The Lover (adapted from Feathers): When your world turned against you, you didn’t just leave on your own. You followed the heart beating in your chest, full of love and starving for more. You take your refuge in the arms of others, and those arms carried you with them. Your destination is not a place, but a feeling, and you just hope you can get lost in the ride.
- Sasha Reneau, with The Ophan: You make a joyful noise. You don’t match what an angel is supposed to look like--by anyone’s standards. Wheels encircle your ribs where wings might sprout; eyes, painted or blinking or lensed, peer out where feathers ought to be.
- Riley Hopkins, with The Present: You hit your hand against the dashboard in rhythm to the song. The windows are down, your friends are singing. This moment is all you need. The past doesn’t have anything you want to answer and the future can be dealt with tomorrow. This might not last long, but you’re all here for now.
- Nora Blake, with The Fallen: You were part of the choir, and found their music stagnant and complacent. You pushed back against the role you were given, and soon you found that kind words and gentle requests were the dealings of other, prettier angels. You raised hell in heaven, and the price you paid was sidelong glances and uncomfortable smiles. Now your wings have hooks and barbs, and your halo is propped up by horns.
Lastly, if you would like to buy a physical copy of the game, you can do so below! By buying a zine copy, you'll get a print-on-demand (or at least, print as soon as I can physically get to the print shop) copy of the Exodus zine! Please contact me before you order regarding international (i.e. non-US) shipping; I will need to price out shipping to your location to confirm S&H cost.
Bonus content in the Exodus Companion by Janie Jaffe W, Remi Permann, Sasha Reneau, Riley Hopkins, and Nora Blake. Layout by Jay Iles. Art by Emil N. Tót. Editing by Kai Gee.
(Current version is 1.4 as of 4/27/19. )
Anybody interested in helping to playtest or looking for folks to play with, we would love for you to join our discord server at discord.gg/tsV3Qgp!
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:
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