Den of Wolves, by John Mizon, is a game about survival, inspired by the 2006 version of the 1978 sci-fi television series about a ragtag fleet under pursuit by an implacable foe. In Den of Wolves, players portray the survivors of Earth and its extra-solar territories as they are pursued by the Wolves, a former nation of Earth’s commonwealth now out for domination.
In the 27th Century, the old and new nations of Earth (nations on Earth and those on other planets) live in relative peace, having formed the Interstellar Council to ensure that peace. When one of those new nations commonly known as Wolf, more accurately Wolf 1061C, quit the Interstellar Council it was seen as disruptive, but not a shock. For decades Wolf has been something of a rouge actor. No one thought anything would come of it.
Then came The Attack. Wolf launched an unprecedented multi-domain assault on the rest of the interstellar community. Their methods were as subtle, such as when the entire leadership of the FSA turned out to be deep cover Wolf agents. Their methods were overt, such as when a strytium bomb took out the capital habitat of Proxima B. Their methods were thorough, in that 90%+ of the naval capacity, military and civilian, old and new nations, was destroyed, captured, or neutralized.
That remaining 10%- is you.
Hastily assembled around the lone Sengstacke-class battle tender in operation, with the entirety of the population not under direct Wolf domination, is the fleet, serving as the remaining main body of the Interstellar Council’s naval forces, the Interstellar Council-in-exile, and quite simply the home of thousands. The Wolves are in pursuit, but you must survive. Oh, and anyone might actually be working for the enemy, even without them knowing it, because the Wolves are expert in deep mental programming.
Each player has a role on a team associated with a role on a particular ship. There are three sorts of roles: political roles, still trying to keep a semblance of a normal operating government, military roles, protecting the fleet from Wolf attack, and operational roles, keeping the fleet flying through negotiation and trade. A few of the operational roles also have specialist sub-roles, unique talents that role brings to the fleet.
Over a series of turns, players juggle the need to keep their ship fed, fueled, and happy, which requires coordination with the rest of the ships in the fleet; the need to defend the fleet, which is as much about trying to jump ahead of Wolf pursuit as it is about fighting Wolf forces who catch up, and the need to deal with crises of a more political nature, (so a resource and trading game, a tactical game, and a council game). Complicating everything is that there are known Wolf agents on board. Anyone might be trying to subvert the cause.
Two things that might be different from the megagames you are used to: first, this game represents the time shortly after The Attack. It is not about the resolution to the whole story, so the situation in the conclusion may, in an absolute sense, look like the situation at the start. Second, the logistics rules are a lot more player-facing. Moderators are there to help, but it is run by players and for players. You could cheat wildly. Everyone’s trusting that you don’t.
Mind control and refugees. War, and genocide are in the background, and there is abstracted violence throughout the game. Many of the political issues in play relate to the liberty/security axis or state violence. An underlying theme is about how violence can go from justified to unjustified, and how to discern that line.
The traitor mechanic means that you will need to be ready to switch sides at a moment's notice. Maybe more than once. If you dislike games with traitor mechanics, this is one to skip.
As usual with games inspired by existing properties, the fiction itself is the best guideline for the sort of material you might encounter, so please use that as a reference.
The game takes place on July 13, 2019 at the Public Media Institute’s Co-Prosperity Sphere (3219 S Morgan Street, Chicago IL 60608). Check In begins at 9:30AM, and the game runs until about 4. The game is followed by a short formal debrief, then a longer informal one.
If there are not enough tickets sold by late June, the game will be canceled and tickets refunded.
The site is wheelchair accessible. The game has a considerable amount of printed material, and while much will be distributed before the game, several pages may not.
Our Social Contract is available here. It is enforced. Players will be required to acknowledge and sign an affirmation to the social contract before play.
The game is 18+, but if you are younger or want to bring a younger player along, please contact me, as there are some accommodations available.
The game runs for 6+ hours without a break. Refreshments may be served on the site. Bringing water and something to snack on is advised. A full meal is not recommended - you won’t have the time.
Coming in as a team? Tell me when you buy your tickets, and all attempts will be made to keep you as a team (generally teams in this game are 3-4 players).