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Takipsilim: A game of magic in the modern era

By Noela Camille Bonilla Tumesa Published Aug 17, 2020 12:00 am Updated Aug 18, 2020 12:20 am

Project Tadhana is set on creating a new and original tabletop Role Playing Game (RPG) that takes inspiration from Filipino mythology, folklore, and urban legends called Takipsilim after the success of their cult classic, Tadhana.

Project Tadhana is a company described as an on-going endeavor to create original Filipino mythology inspired table-top RPGs, with a unique system that’s decidedly different from the conventional polyhedral dice mechanic of other tabletop role-playing games like the classic Dungeons & Dragons.

Fans of the previous game will be excited to know that Project Tadhana is developing a new local tabletop called Takipsilim, which promises to introduce us to numerous denizens of Philippine folklore and myth.

Just imagine a world full of monsters and men, where you can choose to become a speedy Tikbalang who is a tailor, a bloodthirsty Aswang who works in a call center, or even a Garuda who moonlights as a flight attendant.

It’s a thrill to know that players will have a game containing RPG elements with an intriguing storyline, an exciting soundtrack, and beautiful cards that will make everyone fall in love with magical tales set in a contemporary time.

When playing Takipsilim, players are encouraged to create their own adventure while playing their favorite creature based on Philippine mythology like the enigmatic Garuda, beautiful Aswang or beguiling Tibaklang.

Takipsilim character sheet.

In a recent interview, Nathan Briones, lead writer and game designer, enthusiastically mentioned the following inspirations: Tabi Po by Mervin Malonzo, Trese by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldissimo, Sandman by Neil Gaiman, and Constantine from DC Comics.

They realized that there wasn’t a tabletop game using Philippine mythology set in a contemporary timeline. They initially wanted to see if it was possible to use magic, evade engkantos and hide bloodlust in a modern setting.

They asked, how will magic affect society? How will the wild creatures of Filipino mythology, like Aswangs and Tikbalangs, integrate into regular civilization? These questions deserved to be answered and the team was up for the task.

Fans of Trese will also be delighted to know that Takipsilim is mostly based on the Treseverse, thanks to Hugot card game creator Thomas Regala’s suggestion.

In an RPG set in a world that is similar to ours, where the supernatural happens on a daily basis, players are able to explore magic and fantasy while tackling real-life situations.

Fun trivia: The name of the game, Takipsilim, is also a shout-out to Alexandra Trese’s Cloak of Takipsilim (Cloak of Twilight). It was also a play on the company name, as well as a nod to the supernatural going-ons during the time of darkness just before sunrise and sunset.

As the name of the game suggests, players can expect horror, fantasy and a bit of social commentary.

Nathan humorously shared that social horror was not initially a part of the game. But during play tests, things unexpectedly took a dark turn and became more interesting. There’s a bit of cognitive dissonance so it was a nice look into the player's mind on how they see society and how they will react when magic is present.

In an RPG set in a world that is similar to ours, where the supernatural happens on a daily basis, players are able to explore magic and fantasy while tackling real-life situations.

Characters will be exposed to the consequences of their choices, their connections to their surroundings and the actual importance of influence and wealth. To be fair, characters will certainly understand that money and connections are also a huge part of the game and it’s just as powerful as real magic.

Takipsilim as a game can have two players, a Game Master and the player, or as many as five people to create a party with a Game Master. The players will play fictional versions of themselves and choose their faction, meet notable NPCs (non-playable characters), engage in a campaign, and test their mettle against other supernatural creatures.

Unlike other tabletop RPGs, a campaign can last as long as the player’s want, but most of the storylines will be resolved by the fourth session.

Players will be using cards and will also need to play a song for background music during their character’s turn.

Some players tend to get attached to their character’s life and issues so they can extend the campaign. The Game Master will decide on whether or not it can last longer or if it will be wrapped up earlier than expected.

Nathan even said, “Problems are closer to home like a movie, so it has a beginning and ending. You just want your characters to be happy.”

The interesting part of the game is that players will be using cards and will also need to play a song for background music during their character’s turn. When playing, the players can play with regular cards, use a music app with songs for the characters, and the rulebook.

In the game, there are two factions: “Takipsilim” and “Tago-Tago” with NPCs for each. You will then choose between five races, assign your characteristics, decide on your profession or job, find a hobby, and take up a useful skill.

Your character will also receive a “Pamana” or your Power. Notable Powers include Albularyo (Power over the Body), Salamangkero (Power over the Earth), and Mangkukulam (Power over Natural Laws). These powers have varying degrees of attack and defense that you can use to promote your interests or to assist your teammates.

An interesting twist in the game is the “Kalooban” portion, wherein a player is encouraged to choose a Filipino proverb, idiom, and saying things such as “Pusong Mamon.” This is an integral part of the character creation process because it will help you determine what kind of person your character is.

This is just a sneak peek into the upcoming release of the game with more surprises in store. Takipsilim is slated to be released in the 3rd or 4th quarter of the year.

You may visit their Facebook page to show your support and to purchase their tabletop games. Tadhana Adventurer's Kits are available at Neutral Grounds, The Dragonforge, DriveThruRPG.com and Abubot.ph.