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Snowball

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Snowball is named after the well-known Snowball Effect - the most common metaphoric illustration of positive feedback loops. The name came about as a result of looking for a water-based name, one that could thematically tie it back to its direct ancestor The Pool, a game by James V. West. Snowball is, and will always remain, free on the world wide web. It can also be purchased as a part of the No Press Anthology, accessible through the link on the right. There, it comes with seven other wonderful games written by other authors, as well as several illustrations you won't see anywhere else! Download Snowball.

Read a review of Snowball and the other games in the anthology.

Snowball was the first product of Twisted Confessions - in fact predating it. It has become more popular than I've ever expected, having been played in at least five countries on two continents!

Snowball was designed to capitalize on a particular narrative idea - that of the backwards and/or disjointed narrative that proved very popular in the movie Memento, the book Slaughterhouse Five, and numerous other experiments. Converse to expectations, it was surprisingly easy to bring that style of narration into roleplaying using the Pool as a chassis, and soon enough, Snowball was born.

All of the early play of Snowball was virtual, happening on the IRC channels sponsored by the Indie-Netgaming group, and was almost entirely unplanned. Due to scheduling conflicts, no story was ever finished, but the games were still considered enjoyable, and were invaluable. Read the logs..

As of August 2005, Snowball is now available in French, thanks to Cedric Ferrand of Montreal. Download the French copy, called Boule de Neige, now!

The first official Snowball adventure, A Rough Night in Roundstone was written and run by an Englishman, Guy Jobbins. Not only did he come up with a very interesting scenario set in the famous (if not popular) roleplaying world of Glorantha, he also set the precedent for Snowball adventure design that has yet to be beaten. Even if you're ignorant of Glorantha (as I am), Guy's adventure needs only a few tweaks to be introduced into most fantasy settings. Download it, you won't regret it.

The second Snowball adventure, Brainwash, was originally written in Italian by Lorenzo "Lollo" Trenti, for use at Ambercon Italy, 2004. An English translation remains unavailable, but the Italian copy is available in PDF format. As soon as I am able to procure one, an English translation will be made available on this site, and I will make more extensive comments.

If you've written a Snowball adventure, or have a description of your Actual Play experiences, send them in and I'll post them here!

Some discussion of Snowball has occurred on The Forge, the internet home for independent role-playing games. The relevant threads are:

  • A Snowball's Chance in Hell - The introduction of Snowball to the internet community at large, as well as an account of Guy's Roundstone adventure.
  • A Snowball Query - which discussed the differences between Snowball and The Puddle, another child of The Pool.
  • Brainwash, where Lollo introduced his Snowball adventure.


Last modified: Thursday January 01 1970 00:00:00, by Alexander Cherry
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