Warrior women like Joan of Arc and pirate queens like Ching Shii have broken into the sphere of war reserved for men; Einstein tore down the fabric of what we believed was a linear reality, while the suffragettes took on the most powerful institution in history: patriarchy. Socrates and Darwin dared to question the existence of gods, and Alexander the Great conquered the entire known world as a young man; Julius Caesar forged antiquity’s greatest empire out of the blood of thousands, while Cleopatra and Spartacus each rebelled against that all-powerful empire in their own way. All of these vastly different people had something in common: They were anomalies in our world. Misfits. Deviants. People who defied social contracts, who questioned moral dogmas, the powers that be, and even reality itself; who broke every law and restriction that mankind tried to impose on them. And so did Napoleon, Nietzsche, Rasputin, Hannibal, King Charlemagne, the spy Mata Hari, Da Vinci, Plato and Freud, Amelia Earhart, women burnt as witches, rebellious prostitutes and many more. Today, all of them reside in one city – Gothica!
When people die, they leave this world. What happens to them next (if anything at all) is unknown. But the multiverse is not without irony and it chose to punish those deviants, who dared to question the natural order, by preserving their souls and sending them to… well, a special place: the pocket-dimension of Gothica. A city in a desert, dominated by black pyramids and gothic skyscrapers, where angels bleed tears of blood, and the Grey Storm and Shade Night terrorize the citizenry. A place best described as gothic, purgatorial limbo.
Here, these thousands of extraordinary historical figures struggle for control of their city. Most of them desperately try to create a world better than the one they left behind. They dream of superior systems of governance, but they cannot agree on how to best rule themselves. Thus, chaos and despair reign supreme.
Gothica is always ripe for civil war as monarchs, democrats, technocrats, plutocrats, anarchists, fascists, satanists, the New Theists, and rebels to every cause vie for power. The Battle Angels roam the skies in fire-spitting engines in a perpetual insurrection as the Guardians of the Gates try to restore balance. All the while, an apocalyptic menace from outside threatens to doom the city of doom. The ruling political factions are too busy with their own petty infighting to pay any mind to what’s coming from beyond the city walls. Instead, they hire cabals to carry out missions to undermine each other. As a member of such a cabal, you negotiate for peace, investigate the terrors and try to be the smart one for the greater good – or you cut throats, build armies, plan heists, sabotage, conspire and manipulate till tensions boil over and you’ve started that civil war yourself.
Welcome to Gothica!
In Blades of Gothica you get to play Arbitrators, Demolishers, Guardians, Reapers, Shadewalkers, Stitchers, and Stringers, which you customize by choosing from a multitude of abilities as well as one supernatural ability that allows you to fly, blank minds, command the darkness, dream of the future, climb like a spider, drink blood for its life essence, manipulate gravity or people’s dreams, corrupt flesh, merge with the shadows, spew spiders, and many much more disturbing ones. Come together with your fellow players to make up a cabal of Agitators, High Society infiltrators, Militants, Seekers, or Sewer Rats to partake in Gothica’s infinite power struggle.
Create your own Deviant
Meet historical figures now corrupted
Resist the psychosphere of dread
Choose political factions to support or betray
And survive in the deadly chasms of a city of horrors
Check out what Gothica and its citizens might look like on my pinterest board: https://www.pinterest.ch/elvatuarscollection/blades-of-gothica/
This 260-page document contains:
- The Forged-in-the-Dark rules for exciting, dangerous storytelling-focused games adapted for Gothica’s murderous political arena
- A truly original setting with detailed descriptions of Gothica’s architecture, weird places, its factions, their ideologies, and heroes and villains from real-world history
- 150+ ideas for missions, campaigns and scenarios for wars
- 7 Character Types with over 70 abilities
- 5 Cabal Types
- 86 supernatural abilities that make your character unique
- Tips for GMs for how to run campaigns with as little prep work as possible, including optional rules for using tarot cards in your game and ways to enter people’s dreamworlds
- A series of apocalyptic menaces threatening the city, some quite unusual