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Like most of what we call "high fantasy," Apocrypha tells a story that is modern to its own age. Its world is a young one, its short history marred by prejudice and violence, and its inhabitants struggle with the idea of stability during a technological revolution, freedom in a world controlled by priesthoods and corporations, and unity among the children of the gods, while even the gods themselves have not been able to forge unity amongst each other.

Apocrypha players choose from among eleven races and eleven religions, which determine the styles of magic and the advancement of technology to which they have easy access. The sourcebook contains over one hundred pages of information on these races, nine of which are original to the Apocrypha world, detailing their social order, mindset, appearance, and behavior. Although the races are often in conflict, they also interact peacefully in some parts of the world, making the game playable either through the eyes of a single race or for a company of mixed-race characters. Either way, playing an Apocrypha character invites a higher level of roleplaying immersion than most fantasy games; most of the races are not human, and their values and agendas are multi-layered and three-dimensional, but can also be alien to a modern human viewpoint.

Some of the races are purely energy beings, while others have animalistic appearances, being saurian or avian in both temperament and physicality. Some are humanoid, with fae or giantish qualities, and some, like the eyeless, spiny Children of Lorath, resemble nothing else. The denizens of Allmathe live lives that are nomadic or deeply rooted in the soil they farm, controlled by far-reaching, multi-armed corporations or the formalized tenets of ascetic military-monastic orders, devoted to the quest for knowledge and experience or to the mystic unity of mortal life with the immortal power of Truth and love. Whoever they are, player characters will be the best and brightest of their kind, with natural attributes higher and magic more potent than those of their friends and neighbors. Heroes born, they have the power to serve the gods or challenge them as few mortals do.

The Apocrypha system is designed so that the bulk of the players’ effort will go toward character generation. Once the points are spent and the character’s design finalized, the three six-sided die system runs quickly and efficiently during play, so that the director can direct and the players can play without mathematics distracting them from their roleplaying. Every character has access to magic, and technology quite comparable to that used by the players themselves can be had among the scientific races and in the larger cities. Games have an enormous variety of physical setting, from the remote heights of the Palashome Mountains where the Children of Ouliria, sentient cousins of the fiercest birds of prey, hunt freely for booty and trophies of glorious kills, to the equally treacherous streets of Miroc, the urban nightmare that has come of mixing the eleven races under no law but survival of the boldest.

Apocrypha is a game of a world where one person’s truth is another’s heresy. When strangers and enemies border your homeland on every side, when the forces of pure madness and harshest obedience wage a shadowy, brutal war for Allmathe’s ultimate destiny, the ties between friends are strongest. A story told in the Apocrypha world will be one of love and struggle, heroism and betrayal, and ultimately a game about loyalty to a heritage, a homeworld, and a vision of a future where your character can either sate her ambitions with power and prestige or pass a legacy of hope and friendship to those who will come after him.

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