Montreal-based Dream Pod 9 built its early reputation with Heavy Gear, Jovian Chronicles, and other RPG and miniatures games inspired by high-tech science fiction and Japanese-style robots. In sharp contrast, Tribe 8 (1998), DP9’s third RPG, is a chronicle of dream magic, supernatural horrors, and godlike figures on a post-apocalyptic Earth.
When the demonic race of Z’bri horrors enslaves humanity, the Earth Goddess manifests magical avatars called Fatimas to overthrow the demons. But life under the Fatimas is no utopia either. Tribe 8 player characters are the Fallen — outcasts from the seven Fatima tribes — determined to build an eighth tribe and a new society on the ashes of the old.
The Tribe 8 First Edition rulebook itself is formidable and not easy to grasp: small print, pages and pages of character narration, interspersed with a few character stats and some nice artwork. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s “post-apocalypse Clan of the Cave Bear“: neo-gothic/urban tribal barbarians worshipping feminist totems, using swords to fight mind-shattering tentacle demons from another dimension — some sort of new-agey magic and a “technology bad, grunting and berries good” attitude — and set mostly in Canada.
It’s better to start with the clear outline in the Tribe 8 Player’s Handbook: “In this game you play a Fallen, exiled from the ‘perfect society’ because it wasn’t as perfect as the Fatimas said. You live on a discarded island [in what was once Montreal] — a forgotten land for a forgettable problem. But there is something here, something greater than yourself. The island of Hom is full of people like you, where everyone tries to do his or her part. Alone in exile, you start to build a family around you — your cell. You may not always get along, but you need each other — to deal with others like you, but who pursue different goals.
“Beyond the island of Vimary is a whole, strange new world, with crazy xenophobic Keepers, fierce barbarian Squats, the Z’bri and their twisted Serfs, the restless dead, and surviving threats from the World Before like radiation, toxic chemicals, and diseases. lf that weren’t bad enough, there is the River of Dreams, the Sea of Lost Souls, and spirits of all sorts. And one all-important question overshadows all else, a challenge to all of humanity: What are you going to do about it?”
You can learn much more about the game’s backstory and premise on the Dream Pod 9 Tribe 8 page.
This bargain-priced Tribe 8 Bundle presented everything you need for a complete campaign in the unique Tribe 8 setting. There were six titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $40): the First Edition Player’s Handbook (retail $7) — read this first! — plus the 1998 Tribe 8 First Edition rulebook (retail price $8) and the Tribe 8 Weaver’s Screen and Assistant (retail $6) that launches the extensive T8 metaplot, plus the Tribe 8 Companion (retail $6), the Horrors of the Z’bri book of adversaries (retail $6), and the Adrift on the River of Dream magic sourcebook (retail $7).
Those who paid more than the threshold (average) price also got our entire Bonus Collection with ten more titles (retail value $59):
- Children of Lilith (retail $6) and Trial by Fire (retail $6): The central books in the initial T8 story arc, Children of Prophecy.
- Vimary Sourcebook (retail $7): The acclaimed core setting book — one of the best-regarded supplements in the T8 line or anywhere.
- All three “Word” tribebooks: Word of the Pillars (retail $5), Word of the Fates (retail $6), and Word of the Dancers (retail $6) — the guides to playing, or opposing, the Seven Tribes of the Fatimas.
- Into the Outlands (retail $6): A setting sourcebook of the wilderness that surrounds the island of Vimary and the lands of the Z’bri.
- Word from the North (retail $5): An adventure that expands the T8 metaplot to the Z’bri stronghold of Capal, City of Hate.
- Warrior Unbound (retail $6): The adventure that launched the second Tribe 8 story arc, Conquest.
- Broken Pact (retail $6): A complete campaign in the Conquest story arc. The Pact of the Dome collapses as Joan and Tera Sheba launch a Crusade that brings down the world.