A downloadable game

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Anomaly: Containment Breach is a Tarot based gmless storytelling game about a supernatural Anomaly breaking out of a facility where it has been contained by a sinister organization.

Containment Breach works best with 2-5 players, and games take between two and four hours.

Mechanics inspired by The Quiet Year by Avery Alder.

Genre Touchstones are Magnus Archives, SCP foundation, Warehouse 13, Control, Maximum Ride,  and the Concern from Friends at the Table.

This is a hack of Anomaly, which in itself draws Inspiration from Avery Alder's The Quiet Year.

Playtesting is ongoing and updates will be sporadic.  

Current Version is Version 3.

StatusIn development
CategoryPhysical game
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(13 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
TagsHorror, Tarot


Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Anomaly Containment Breach v2.pdf 304 kB
Anomaly Containment Breach v3.pdf 326 kB


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It's The Thing, but you play as The Thing, in a deeply narrative-game experience shaped by tarot cards.

This is a phenomenal premise, but how you feel about the game specifically may have a lot to do with how you feel about its engine.

If you're familiar with The Quiet Year, that's the engine being used here, just with the slightly more flavorful/inaccessible tarot cards vs a standard english playing card deck.

If you're not familiar with The Quiet Year, get ready for for an experience where you all have to commit to creating dangers and hazards when it's your turn to talk, or else all the narrative tension just bleeds right out of the setting. Quiet Year is a cool game, and an awesome design, but moreso than maybe any other game engine I've seen, it has nothing to keep the players from just declaring that everything goes smoothly and they win.

To put it another way, Quiet Year is a GMless game, but it's one where each player should periodically treat themselves as the GM and attack the setting.

That holds true here too.

For example, if you're using Anomaly: Containment Breach to play Aliens, you want the marines to deploy sentry guns and find the exosuit just as much as you want the xenomorphs to send out hunters and pursue the survivors onto the Sulaco. Way more than in Quiet Year, you want your setting to get completely out of control.

You may also want to have a semi-fleshed premise before you start playing. The book tosses you some really big picture options (a magical school, a laboratory, a corporation, etc,) but if you narrow in on a specific creature before you do anything else (ex. a slime mold in a bathtub that grows whenever it's exposed to any kind of energy, such as light, heat, or kinetic) it becomes really easy to just riff off of that monster and establish the rest of the setting from there.

The game's tarot card deck serves as its prompts list, and the prompts are solid, so once you do get into the groove the game should move quickly.

I think I'd recommend this to anyone that likes monster movies or scifi thrillers, provided they're also open to trying an almost purely storytelling game.

Folks who need crunch, or who don't feel comfortable having a lot of power over a setting, may want to try a game like Geiger Counter first and then give this a shot.

Overall, I think A:CB has the potential to be a very flavorful one-shot---or the inciting incident for a campaign setting. If that sounds interesting to you, I would strongly encourage you to check it out.