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Man came to our woodlands with axes, hounds, and fire.

They tore down the old oak, where the birds made their nests.

They built upon the glade, where the deer used to roam.

They cast us to the wind and forced us from our home.

Only together may we wayward souls find a new place to call our own.

Play as a community of wayward animals in search of a new home in Briar & Bramble, a community focused roleplaying game crafted in the heart of the English woodlands.

The Game

  • A wild world
    Explore the english countryside, pass through overgrown woodlands, cross raging rivers, make your way through human lands all in search for a new home.

  • Build a community
    Create a collective of miss-matched woodland creatures who are all putting their differences aside and are working together to overcome whatever may come their way.
     
  • Everyone plays their part
    When making a character you’ll choose a Playbook based on your role within the community; Each having its own distinct themes, playbook specific moves, and a defining moment.
     
  • All animals welcome
    Just because the game is set in the English countryside, doesn't mean you can’t be a rascally raccoon. All are welcome in the community.

Inspiration

The key thematic inspirations for Briar & Bramble are darker tales of animals such as The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann and Watership Down by Richard Adams. The name was inspired by the song Detectorists by Johnny Flynn.

Powered by the Apocalypse -  Vincent & Meguey Baker
Simple World - Avery Alder
Skeleton World - Cromlyn Games
Vision Based Games Design - Artificer Games
Lines & Veils - Ron Edwards
The X-Card - John Stavropoulos


Media

Hear some designer insights and seee it being played on The Gautlet's Powered by the Apocalypse focused Podcast +1 Forward here;

Listen to the game being played by the folks at Fables Around The Table here;


Hear me discuss my inspirations and my TTRPG history with Craig from Third Floor Wars here;


Check out Heart Points playing Briar & Bramble here;

Read a wonderful article by Dicebreaker about it here;


Read the first article ever written about Briar & Bramble by Geek Native here;


Press

If you'd like to feature Briar & Bramble in your podcast, actual play show, review site, or stream, feel free to contact me at...

Twitter: @TheDrunkWizard_~
Discord: https://discord.gg/X5BMGZVYzd
Email: Drunk_Wizard@Outlook.com

Credits

Games Design & Writing - Freddie Taylor-Bell
The Flock Playbook - Dennis Salvaty
Artwork - Kristin Olsen Askland
Handouts - Harald Eckmüller
Editing - Steven Ticehurst
Woodland Advice - Lefty
Design Consultant - Chloe Montgomery


Download

Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

Briar&Bramble.zip 34 MB

Development log

Comments

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The game sounds amazing and I'm really looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately I have no idea what a ".7z" file is or what to do with it. I assumed it was some kind of .zip file, but my computer is not giving me an option to extract the files. Can you help me? 

(1 edit)

Hi!

I reccomend using WinRaR or 7zip for unzipping the folder (both are free)
I use 7zip myself and all you have to do is Right-Click > 7Zip > Extract Files Here.

I hope that helps,

Freddie

(+1)

This game is nuts! Love it

(3 edits) (+3)

There are no wolves in England since the XVII century at least. Nor bears for that matter. Maybe could be substituted by domestic hounds? Just after writing that I readed that you can be non-british beasts, sorry. Anyway, probably "England" can be changed for anything, I suppose. 

The questions in the Lay of the Land move overlap a lot. Those 5 are the same as this 3:

Is there anything dangerous here?

Is there anything edible for me here?

What has happened here recently?

I notice that you rely a lot on partial success in "you succeed if you let the narrator make a move". That makes the players know exactly what your move is wich could lead to power gaming. I haven't seen the principle of keeping the narrator's moves hidden but it's a useful one to keep the narrative going on. If they decide not to let you do the move, they don't succeed therefore, as a narrator, you should make  a move, anyway. It's OK not to define all 6- results but 7-9 should be more detailed. 

(2 edits) (+2)

Hi, appriciate the feedback and the edit.

I deliberately wanted there to be a differentiation between identifying animal threats (Are there any Predators here?) and human threats (Are there any Humans or Human traps nearby?) because humans represent a much bigger threat than any animal does but I do take your point about combining the two “What food could we forage here?” and “What animals could be hunted here?” options.

(1 edit) (+4)

What's immediately striking about Briar and Bramble is how the setting and tone are baked into the mechanics. The game is about keeping hope alive during a sad and desperate situation in a world that wants to hurt you and B&B never lets you forget that.

Anyone who enjoys ttrpgs should give this book a read. Regardless of your opinion on Powered by the Apocalypse games or even the premise of Briar and Bramble, I think there's an important lesson here about cohesion and how evocative a game's setting can be through its rules.

Also, yes, you can play as cute animals which is always a plus.

(+3)

What can I  say about B&B that hasn't already been said about similar inventions like the wheel or penicillin?  

Drunk Wizard strikes again folks! This game fills a niche in my heart that's been left conspicuously void by other TTRPGs. Though some have tried and failed (looking at you Mouse Guard), Briar and Bramble exquisitely brings home the experience of playing as a fluffy (or not-so-fluffy) woodland creature.  

Whether you're interested in the small inter-personal struggles between our forrest friends,  or broader commentary on the relationship between humans and our woodland neighbors,  Briar and Bramble can get you where you want to go.

(+3)

A very well written and edited TTRPG that makes use of an unconventional setting, straying away from violence and bloodshed, but instead telling the tale of this interesting world where you actually play as animals.

I think most people who are into TTRPG should definitely check it out! It's surprising that it's free to download(though you should definitely be paying) considering the level of content and polish available in this. Not to mention you are likely to get hours of content out of this with a good group of friends.

(+3)

I have played and run many systems and powered by the apoc is by far one of my favourites and to hear that someone was writing another style of storytelling for this system I jumped at the chance to have a look at it and I was blown away by how wonderful quaint at first sight this game but when you read into more you see the dangers that your characters will be facing by human and predators alike. I cannot wait to run this for my players and if you like games that creates enviroments for players to explore different ideals, roleplay experiences and see the world in a whole new light. This is the game!

(+3)

I've been planning to do a woodland themed story for a while but executive dysfunction prevented me from properly adjusting another style of game to fit it, after a brief glance over it this seems perfect for my bird campaign.

There's a lot of leading questions for the Narrator to help prompt further gameplay decisions and to keep my brain on track so I can focus on what is important in the world and story crafting.

The inclusion of player safeguarding is also really useful as most games allude to it without providing the information required for it and having that openness and transparency seems like a great way to normalise discussing or avoiding difficult topics with your players.

I'm definitely looking forward to being able to see friends in person again to run this game! it looks like it's just as easy to play online, but I feel like this is going to be one of those experiences that is best done irl.

(+6)

This looks utterly charming and combines all of my key interests: finding food, a sense of community, and avoiding humans. :D

(+4)

Some really neat concepts! Definitely going to be trying this with my weekly group! :)