Brikoleur is a tabletop role-playing game designed to structure and support creativity and improvisation both in-play and out-of-play, for players and for GM’s, while retaining enough structure that characters are meaningfully differentiated and situations can be predictably resolved. It is a team game: experience points—called juju—are awarded collectively and the players decide how to use them to develop the capabilities of their group. It is set in a world that is both strange and familiar; it is nearly-hard-sci-fi in the not-too-distant future, but political relations have been upended from what we know, and new and strange powers of Q-Space have permanently changed the world.
Brikoleur’s mechanics are as parsimonious, consistent, and as fast to play as possible while providing sufficient structure to make it still feel like a game. The system is classless and level-less, and light on numbers and arithmetic. All tasks are resolved using the same, simple mechanism: set a difficulty, tally up bonuses (or penalties) from at most four sources, roll a die, and see if you beat it.
Brikoleur’s characters are meaningfully differentiated: not everyone should be able to do everything, no matter how hard they try. They are defined by their two Traits and three (or in some cases more) Knacks, which are set on character creation. However, the system is not a reductionist one which defines precisely what can be done and what can’t. It is full of fuzzy edges and grey areas, where players and GM’s are free to improvise with what they have. The Knack and Trait system defines broad areas of competence, which the players themselves can deepen and refine in directions they want, while giving enough limits to make for genuinely different characters. On-the-spot adjudication is crucial, but the system should be straightforward enough that it’s possible to tell whether, say, a knack for People and training in Persuasion is applicable in a given situation or not.
Brikoleur is set a century from now, in a nearly-hard-sci-fi world that is both strange and familiar. About fifteen years ago, Dr. Dedei Akoto connected one Winston Dieumerci to Q-Net using an experimental interface she had devised, and accidentally precipitated the event known as the Emergence. Dieumerci discovered Q-Space, and released the Lwa into it. This caused Q-Net to go dark, and civilisation as we know it to collapse. The Great Q-Space War that Dieumerci and his Lwa allies waged against the Djab Lwa lasted over a year and devastated much of Europe.
The order that emerged from the Darkness saw both revolution and continuity: global hypercapitalism reasserted itself, but power relations were reversed as the First Nations discovered a particular affinity for the Lwa, and quickly ousted their former oppressors.
On the Earth, the ascendant power is the Khilafah: a non-geographical political order headed by the Khalif, and spreading through voluntary adherence, simply by being able to provide its subjects a better life than the alternatives. The off-world colonies are dominated by the Communist Union of Democratic Workers’ Collectives, based on the Asteroid Belt. Between the two lie the vast anarchic Freezones, and the Safezones controlled by corporations and remnants of pre-Emergence polities. In the heart of Europe lies the Zone, a vast, dangerous, and mysterious wasteland created in the final stages of the Great Q-Space War.
Brikoleur is released under a Creative Commons license. Simply put, this means that you can make whatever you want with any Brikoleur assets, publish, and distribute them, as long as you do it non-commercially and include a pointer back here.
If you want to do something else, contact us. We're not greedy, but do want to retain minimal control over any commercial use of this stuff.
Brikoleur is a work in progress and very likely has bugs -- inconsistencies in the Sourcebook, something wrong with the Character Tool, possibly other problems. You can report them by contacting us. We welcome other feedback as well.