Children stumble across the dead hulks of a long-ago battle, and uncover a pilot’s ghost.
Ech0 is a GM-less storygame in which players construct the circumstances around a mech pilot’s demise, and explore how the effects of that pilot’s long-ended war still reverberate. Instead of starting with a broader world, the players work from the wreckage of the last war outward, investigating how the war affects the community the characters inhabit.
Here’s how publisher Role Over Play Dead describes Ech0:
This game was inspired by the wreckage of a downed Japanese Zero fighter I came across in the Sabah countryside when I was a kid. The stripped fuselage had been lying there for nearly 40 years. A lonely, fallen engine of destruction. Once, a pilot depended upon the machine for his life. I wonder what conversation I might have had with his ghost. I wonder if the wreck is still there.
What Fans Love About Ech0
- A Twist on GM-less Play – While there is no gamemaster in Ech0, one player assumes the role of the pilot and the rest play the children. They exchange information through a Q & A format, which players use to define what happened in the war as well as the children’s lives now.
- Story Through Drawing – Prompts guide the players to draw the landscape in and around the dead hulks of the old war. As play continues, individual drawings join, creating a fuller map.
- Specific, Not Constraining – The game allows players to define the world as low- or high- tech, but the structure keeps play focused on the humans at the center of the story.
- “Although Ech0 is a wide open game that poses more questions than it gives answers, I think it’s from its specificity and clear images that it draws its strength.” — The UCLA Game Lab
- “ECH0 is a simple game built to tell one type of story and it achieves that goal wonderfully.” — Pod of Blunders
- PDF at Itch.io