Wretched & Alone in The City That Never Sleeps
What Foul Dust is a solo roleplaying game based on Chris Bissette's The Wretched and the Wretched & Alone SRD by Bissette and Sanders. The games uses a tumbling block tower, a deck of cards, a six-sided die, 10 tokens, and a recording device like a journal or digital voice recorder.
You will take on the role of a person, much like Jay Gatsby, who wanted to realize their dream. In its pursuit, your character has turned to bootlegging for the mob. Will your character survive long enough to fulfill their dream?
What Foul Dust is a game about futility, greed and carelessness, and the price the rich will pay to defend their class. But it is also a game about hope. About persistence. About how dreams become real.
Whether you skipped reading Gatsby in high school or love it as a great American novel, What Foul Dust will lead you into Jazz Age New York City: the homes of the rich, speakeasies, and beyond.
The game was initially developed as part of the Gatsby Jam hosted by Wannabe games in January 2021. I couldn't initially figure out how to make it work. As much as I love the novel, and as clearly as I saw the potential of the game, I couldn't find my way around the problem of the novel's point of view.
Fitzgerald completely erases indigenous people from the novel, even when noting the continent's colonization. I knew I did not want to make a game that carried that exclusion forward. That's when I hired Elijah Forbes as a sensitivity reader. Elijah's insights helped me to solidify some ideas and inspired new ones.
It helped turn the game into an exploration of the American Dream, and who that Dream belongs to. The game provides opportunities to explore marginalized identities and dreams that go beyond material wealth.
Thanks to the Kickstarter backers, What Foul Dust will launch with more than 500 community copies. Every purchase will add to the pool. If you do claim a copy, please consider giving the game a 5-star rating. Every rating helps the game find a larger audience. Thank you!