The Drifter’s Escape is an anthology of short stories and a role-playing game. Like most anthologies, there is a unified theme to the entries: they are all about the role of the American drifter, and his place in the American landscape. The stories and the game do not intersect except thematically. There are seven stories, ranging in length from three pages to nineteen, and they are all written by my brother, Jake Lehman. There is one role-playing game, and it is written by me, Ben Lehman. Although I am certain that someone will correct me within the next 24 hours, I believe that the Drifter’s Escape is the first product of its type: a presentation of prose fiction and a role-playing game as thematic and equal elements of a book, with a strong unity of purpose but without the stories serving as examples of play or the game being a tribute to the story’s canon. You can read a short sample story, Norfolk and Southern, here on the site
About the game
The game is for three or more players (the largest group which I have played it with is 7, although it scales past that) of similar age and maturity. The game takes 1-3 hours to play to completion, about 20 minutes of which is set-up. If you eat an early dinner, it can be played after dinner and Polaris before you go to sleep. In the game, one player takes the role of the Drifter, someone who is coming into a new place, where they know no one, with the intent to leave rather than settle down. The other players take the role of the forces (The Devil and The Man) trying to get the Bliss Drifter to submit to their ownership of his life and soul. At the start of the game, The Devil and The Man control everyone but the Drifter. As the game is played, some people might redeem themselves and leave their control. A recent player of the game described it as “a very quiet, very powerful experience.” My play of the game has felt the same. The stories that the game produces are about ordinary people and their ordinary lives, but despite (or because of) that they are engrossing and often deeply affecting.
How to purchase
The physical game is available at Indie Press Revolution and should also be available at some local stores.
You can also buy the ebook.
If you have any questions about this or any of my other games please don’t hesitate to e-mail me.