Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth

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Canticle of the Monomyth
Aria "Roleplaying book"
Designer(s) Christian Scott Moore, Owen M. Seyler
Publisher(s) Last Unicorn Games
Publication date 1994
Genre(s) Universal

Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth was a role-playing game published by Last Unicorn Games in 1994.


Unlike many other role-playing games which centered on individual characters in a pre-set game world, Aria was intended to facilitate the creation of gameworlds, complete with cultures, histories, and politics. Players play not a single character, but a series of characters across the history of the game world, in essence playing the role of a given guild, city or culture, and telling a larger, grander story than would be accomplished with individual characters.

The emphasis for character, culture, and world creation is placed on concepts over statistics, and is meant to encourage players and game-masters to create fully fleshed-out, realistic worlds and cultures with feasible histories and politics. Magic is largely left open for the game master (the Mythguide) to decide, in terms of how magic is performed, how one learns it, and what it is capable of within the world. As with most other aspects of Aria there are no set rules on how magic has to work, which races are available, or any other aspects of the culture or world.

Aria is based on the concept of the 'monomyth', the fundamental story that is at the core of most if not all myths, legends and fairy tales. The system is meant to encourage and inspire gamemasters and players to come up with grand tales that not only tell a story but serve a deeper purpose and meaning, in the vein of Joseph Campbell's assertions about myth and the Hero's journey.


Andrew Rilstone reviewed Arias: Roleplaying for Arcane magazine, rating it a 1 out of 10 overall.[1] summarized their review of Aria by saying, "I love Aria, but it is not a game without faults. It has many. However, it also has many virtues, and should not be overlooked simply because of the poor quality of presentation."[2]



  1. ^ Rilstone, Andrew (Christmas 1996). "Games Reviews". Arcane. Future Publishing (14): 66–67.
  2. ^ "Review of Aria Roleplaying". March 4, 2000. Retrieved April 5, 2018.

External links

  • "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2005-10-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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