Solar System & The World of Near available in PYWY! (The Shadow of Yesterday system)

Hey all,

I just got awesome news from a friend that Eero Tuovinen (Arkenstone publishing) just re-published the 2008 edition of the Solar System and the 2009 World of Near on DriveThruRPG! While the Solar System was easily available online, the World of Near was almost lost to the ages and limited to those that bought a print copy when it was in print, and it’s great that there is now an official way to get booth books in PDF form!

If you don’t know what these are, the Solar System (2008) is a generic revision of the system published in the hugely-influential The Shadow of Yesterday (2006) by Clinton R. Nixon. The World of Near (2009) is a revised edition of the sword-and-sorcery setting of TSoY designed to go together with the revised Solar System handbook.

You might have not played this game, but many parts of its design influenced many later games that you might have played, such as Lady Blackbird, Apocalypse World, Blades in the Dark. It was really one of the first games to bring modern dramatic storytelling mechanics to a framework that resembled more the traditional players-GM split. Its harm system is still used in many current titles.

Best of all, the entirety of both books is sold under Pay-What-You-Want and the text is released under a Creative Common license. Hack’em!

These are truly foundational books, and still very much playable! Take a look: in the times of the 2020 plague, as we isolate ourselves from our neighbours and our disposable income shrinks, there is nothing better than a free RPG.


Awesome! This and Fate 2.0 were the games that got me into indie story games. I had a printed copy of World of Near, but I loaned it to a friend and never got it back.

1 Like

I’d like to hop in on this:

Although both the game and the setting are really great (TSoY was once considered “the perfect game” among story gamers!), I’d like to add that the Solar System booklet has some really top-notch advice text, useful for any GM. It’s a nice macro-essay on story gaming, character focus, how to build theme into a campaign, how to orient conflict resolution in your games, and lots of other really powerful and really well-written stuff. Although I only ended up playing the game once, that booklet was a huge influence on how I think about roleplaying and how I write my own game rules/texts.


I am really fond of that system. I used it as base for my romance novel RPG The Dune Rose. And played a campaign in the playtests.

The group liked it so much that now we play a Burning Empires game, also with that system.

It still feels fresh and relevant to me.

1 Like

I wonder where Eero can be found these days. Besides TSOY I have fond memories of his long thoughtful posts on story-games on his procedures and principles of GMing OSR d&d (although it was ante-litteram OSR I believe)

I chat with Eero a lot, and we play some games online. It seems I can’t convince him to join any forums, but he’s active in private circles on Discord, and has recently started blogging actively again. I also miss his public presence!

1 Like

Here is a link to the new blog, if anyone wants to read: