Queer strife amid the collapse.
Dream Askew gives us ruined buildings and wet tarps, nervous faces in the campire glow, strange new psychic powers, fierce queer love, and turbulent skies above a fledgling community, asking “What do you do next?”
Imagine that the collapse of civilization didn’t happen everywhere at the same time. Instead, it’s happening in waves. Every day, more people fall out of the society intact. We queers were always living in the margins of that society, finding solidarity, love, and meaning in the strangest of places. Apocalypse didn’t come for us first, but it did come for us.
Gangs roam the apocalyptic wasteland, and scarcity is becoming the norm. The world is getting scarier, and just beyond our everyday perception, howling and hungry, there exists a psychic maelstrom.
We banded together to form a queer enclave — a place to live, sleep, and hopefully heal. More than ever before, each of us is responsible for the survival and fate of our community. What lies in the rubble? For this close-knit group of queers, could it be utopia?
In a Nutshell
Queer strife amid the collapse.
Collaboratively generate an apocalyptic setting.
For 3-6 players across 3-4 hours.
A game of belonging outside belonging.
By Avery Alder
Art by Zev Chevat and Ezra Rose
Dream Askew includes themes of violence, gangs, oppression, and queer sexuality. 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 Askew Play Kit.
Belonging Outside Belonging
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.
The book is available in both softcover and hardcover. It comes with a PDF copy of these two games, along with everything you need to print before playing.
The PDF is also available as a standalone product. It comes with everything you need to print before playing either game.
Reviews and Actual Play
Avery was interviewed about the design of Dream Askew by the +1 Forward podcast.
Brie Beau Sheldon interviewed both Avery Alder and Benjamin Rosenbaum about their game design work over at Thoughty.
What People Are Saying
Not only does Dream Askew provide an innovative new approach to shared GMing, in addition to an evolutionary diceless approach to PbtA moves, but it uses those tools to let the players create an original sci-fi setting, unbounded from the normal societal restrictions of gender.
-Orion Canning, game designer and podcaster
I love Dream Askew / Dream Apart not only because it’s a good “product,” with great premises and execution, but because its “belonging outside belonging” system tag helped me understand my own goals as a game player/maker but also break from a limited understanding of “game system.”
-Austin Walker, host of Friends at the Table
The Outliers is an eclectic zine containing setting notes, character ideas, micro-fiction, and other ruminations on belonging outside belonging from a wonderful crew of ten collaborators. It’s a supplement for Dream Askew and Dream Apart.
Want to peek inside? Click here for a look at all ten contributors, and what they’ve brought to the table.