A Torch in the Dark, solo dungeon crawling forged in the dark

I have released the first version (0.1) of A Torch in the Dark, my single-player dungeon crawling, class warfar…ing hack of BitD.



The People’s Revolution has overthrown the nobles of the realm. The last emperor died cursing the land and all who deposed him. Now the only coin that is left lies buried with the undead lords beneath the capital. Delve into the dungeon, twice-kill the dead kings, and redistribute their wealth.

This project was a sort of design workshop for me to figure out how to convert the BitD rules to a single player system. A lot is maintained: action ratings, load, stress, mixed successes, and a lot is missing: position & effect, descriptive harm, XP triggers, crews, etc.

I found the best approach was to remove as much ambiguity as possible. Without a GM or other players to adjudicate, you want to give the players definitive rules on how to approach each encounter and engage with each mechanic. The tricky part is trying to maintain any sort of fictional mechanisms, like contacts, factions, and narrative complications.

So instead of worrying about any of that, I left them out and just made a tabletop version of video games like Darkest Dungeon and Slay the Spire :smiley: Players don’t have to worry about the fiction as much if it’s mostly already established and the premise is straight-forward. Honestly I’m quite happy with it. I think this will be a great jumping off point for other single-player FitD projects I have in mind, and I’m already looking forward to adding new features.

If you have any questions or comments about the game, or making a single-player variation of the Blades in the Dark system, let me know!


A Torch in the Dark has now been revised and completed!

Version 1.0 of the game is live and is very different! I completed overhauled the resolution mechanic so it is now based on your characters skills and items. I also wrote hundreds of encounters across 9 dungeon locations, made new art, and did some fancy layout for the game in Affinity Publisher.

The core theme of the game remains the same. You play a single delver exploring the tombs beneath a medieval city. The last Emperor was killed during the People’s Revolution, but his death-curse has resurrected the dead Lords who threaten to take the city from the people. You are possessed by the literal spirit of the revolution as you delve, fight undead Lords, and use their treasures to fund your downtime activities.


This looks dope AF. Are there any recorded actual plays of this? :slight_smile:

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A Torch in the Dark has gone through some updates since last I posted!

You can pick up version 1.3 on itch.io or through DriveThruRPG.

The changes are mostly related to layout, spaces between lines, just a bunch of minor stuff that makes the text more readable and look prettier. I’ve levelled up a little bit as a designer since this was released, so just wanted to give it some touch-ups.

Thanks everyone for the support so far! Happy delving!

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Currently there is one recorded actual play in Italian. That’s all I know of at the moment!