What is Lotus Dimension?
Lotus Dimension is a tabletop role-playing game (RPG). You've probably heard of at least one very popular RPG called
Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), in which players create their own characters with specialized skill sets, then work together
using these characters to solve challenges, defeat monsters and villains, deploy magic, find treasure and more.
What if a game drew on amazing sci-fi and fantasy storytelling while also incorporating principles of nonviolence inspired by
peaceful protests, historical leaders and the tenets of peaceful philosophical practices?
And what if it offered players a way to visualize and role-play solutions to wildly imagined problems, responding to and
replacing violence and weaponry with empathy and ingenuity?
Lotus Dimension is that game.
Okay, how do you play?
Lotus Dimension takes place in a slightly futuristic world in which portals have opened up leading from Earth to other realms.
Players work together to explore these realms and achieve objectives in a structured quest.
Each player creates his or her own character, choosing from a list of eccentric modern-day archetypes like hacker, mystic,
parkour specialist, and more, then customizing their specialties. Player levels and stats are loosely designed around the noble
eightfold path in Buddhism and the concept of karma.
One player acts as a guru guide, leading the other players through each quest. (The first quest, included in the Starter Set, is
called "Liberation in the Zeppelins.") Players brainstorm together to solve problems, evade or defeat monsters or villains,
overcome obstacles, deploy magic, obtain treasure and other rewards, free prisoners and find the way forward -- all while
causing the least harm possible.
Which can be super tricky. How do you escape imprisonment or confront a threat without using swords or spells that cause
harm? How do you defeat an opponent to overcome obstacles and win treasure if your strategy has to consider your opponent's
desires, safety and well-being as well as those of yourself and your own team?
Through the challenges of each quest, players build their characters' inner strength, mindfulness and wisdom to advance to new
But it's not all woo-woo conflict resolution stuff. This is an adventure game. You'll voyage into other dimensions filled with strange
beings, mysterious landscapes, and magic. You'll rescue prisoners, neutralize armed opponents and less-than-friendly creatures,
search for clues, and evade terrorist assassins. You'll creep along cliffs that fall to undiscovered depths in the mist below, and
advance with invisible stealth on a heavily guarded fortress.
And to do all this, you'll have to think in new ways to come up with some pretty clever and unusual tactics and responses.
Who can play Lotus Dimension?
Anyone can play Lotus Dimension. You. Your friends. Your kids. Your parents. Your brother's kids who you never know what
to buy for the holidays. Students. Teachers. Activists. Pacifists. Gamers. Game shops. Book clubs. Bookstores. Fans of Harry
Potter, Tolkien, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and Stranger Things.
Basically, if you like storytelling, weird twists, and the freedom to guide the action and create new outcomes, Lotus Dimension
is for you.
The game is simple to learn and changes with every play, based on players' choices. It's best for ages 12 to adult, due to non-
graphic mentions of violence that set the context for some of the challenges players must face.
"The central crux of this modern, eccentric RPG [is that] you don't battle your way out of conflict, you think your way out. -Erik Kain, Five Really Cool Tabletop Games on Kickstarter Right Now
"Sure, other games have been set in a near-future world. Sure, other games involve portals to other realms. But how many others are based on the tenets of non-violence, such as peaceful protests, historical peaceful leaders, and philosophical practices? Yeah, not so many of those." -Polar_Bear, Lotus Dimension RPG Up On Kickstarter
"'If you can't kill it, get creative,' is the first thing any novice D&D player learn[s]. Lotus Dimension is simply removing step one. If you know you can't kill it from the beginning, what else can you do? Completely change the way you play the game." -Maddi Chilton, New Boardgame Is Like Dungeons & Dragons Without All The Violence
"...a tabletop, D&D style game in which characters advance through nonviolent means." -Cory Doctorow, Kickstarting Lotus Dimension, a pacifist RPG
"...building a nonviolent space in the world of live role-playing games." -Lakshmi Gandhi, Meditate, Don't Annihilate
"Murder hobos got your #rpg GM self down? Check out this new game." -@campaigncrawl
"Interested to see how it plays and avoids the tired aspect of violence as a default reaction in RPG games." -@fnordland
"I love the idea of an RPG rooted in nonviolence and the eightfold path." -@BrotherMagneto
"How would nonviolent conflict resolution change our thinking and maybe actions?" -@bruce_staley
"#DnD meets Gandhi." -@debrosereeves
Credits & Gratitude:
Copyright © 2016 Scott Wayne Indiana. 1st edition. All rights reserved.
Lotus Dimension is the sole property of Scott Wayne Indiana.
Designer and Creator: Scott Wayne Indiana
Editor and Creative Consultant: Alexander Wilds Cunningham
Editor: Harvest Henderson
Gratitude to the following people for their help with development and playtesting:
Adam Berne, Jeffrey Paul Coleman, Michael Cosaboom, Luke Crane, Stephanie Cunningham, Jay Derderian, John Dimatos,
Andrew Duden, Rob Erickson, Ray Ferrer, Brandon Hodge, Frank Walden Indiana, Stephanie Johnson, Marina Kaganova,
Justin King, Ken Kosman, Nien Lam, Erik Leavitt, Eric Mika, Ryan Mullen, Cindy Pineo, Richard Pineo, Ian Reeves,
Jason Smith, Julio Terra, Mike Witherell, Fanny Wuyts
Lotus Dimension was successfully launched on Kickstarter in September of 2016.
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