Dream Apart

Jewish fantasy of the shtetl.

Dream Apart gives us demons and wedding jesters; betrothals and pogroms; mystical ascensions and accusations of murder; rabbi’s daughters running away to be actresses or bandits or boy soldiers; the sounds of the shofar ringing through cramped and muddy streets, of cannon fire, of the wolf’s footfalls in the snowy pine forest; asking “What do you do next?”

In Dream Apart you play a Jew of the shtetl, a little mostly-Jewish market town in the Eastern European countryside. In the cities, the industrial revolution has begun. Prussia, Russia and the Hapsburgs have devoured the small countries between them. Surrounded by an often hostile Christendom, by wild forests in which anything might creep, and by the invisible creatures of the Unseen World — angels, demons, ghosts, and dybbuks — the Jews of the shtetl try to outwit or outlast those who would do us harm. We feud and reconcile, bargain and gossip, celebrate and mourn, and snatch a little joy and love while we can. Life in the shtetl is sweet as raisin pastries and bitter as horseradish: may it be the Divine Will that it endures another season…

In a Nutshell

Jewish fantasy of the shtetl.
Immerse yourself in a fantastical version of history.
For 3-6 players across 3-4 hours.

A game of belonging outside belonging.

By Benjamin Rosenbaum
Art by Zev Chevat and Ezra Rose

Content Notes

Dream Apart includes themes of violence, war, oppression, and anti-Semitism. When you play, your group can decide what to focus on and what to avoid, and tools are included to make that process easier (pages 11-14).


Download the Dream Apart Play Kit.

About the Book

This book contains two games of belonging outside belonging. Dream Askew (by Avery Alder) explores the story of a queer enclave amid the collapse of civilization. Dream Apart (by Benjamin Rosenbaum) explores the story of a Jewish shtetl in a fantastical version of nineteenth-century Eastern Europe.

Both games use a simple no dice, no masters system that puts the focus on relationships, community struggles, and player choice.

A picture of a softcover book of both Dream Askew and Dream Apart.

Buy Now

The book is available in both softcover and hardcover. It comes with the PDF, as well as a printable play kit for each game.

You can also buy just the PDF. Two versions are provided (singles and spreads), and it comes with the printable play kit for each game.

To buy, visit the storefront.