Into the Dark

Hey folks!

Last year I had a friend who was making some art while stuck in doctor’s waiting rooms. It was cool in that old school RPG way, two color (because he could only bring 2 brush pens) and more than a little spooky (which I love). I suggested that he needed a game to go with it. He asked me if I wanted to try writing one.

I put this together in 2 weeks for Big Bad Con. Some really cool peeps helped me playtest it :slight_smile: It went shockingly well. It was tiny, it was old-school, it was spooky. We had a great time. I asked a few friends to read it, and I kept adding bits until people other than me could run it. I’ve really enjoyed reading a couple of the AP reports.

I wanted to talk about the system briefly. I wanted to make something that’s familiar (and what’s more familiar than small dungeon crawling games ^_^) but also fairly minimalist. I wanted to make a tiny blades system that is so bare bones it would help people leap into designing their own hack in short order. I wanted to see how far I could push some of the design and still have it feel like Blades to me.

I really like it, but of course you’ll have to judge it for yourself. :slight_smile:
It’s got some old school sensibilities, creepy gear, scary monsters.

The game has:

  • A lightweight system core that fits on 2 pages.
  • 4 Unique delver types (the Murkhunter, Explorer, Shadowbinder and Lightbearer)
  • Load and loot system
  • Murk adventure generations tables, and 5 pregen adventures with monsters, loot suggestions etc. So you can jump right into playing.

The system has:

  • HP! Woo!
  • Stress and resists
  • Partial successes
  • XP with variable cost advancement (no levels)

Should be releasing it Monday. Hope folks check it out :slight_smile: I’m planning to run it for Halloween!


Ah! This looks gorgeous!


It’s a real thing now! In case you’re interested:


I just picked it up :smiley:

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Read through the rules, really loving everything that I’ve read.

Removing position and effect is interesting. Do you find as a GM that you are aware of it anyways?


Hi Stras,
As always it’s great to see another game from you. Will be playing this as soon as I can track my scattered crew down!

Will there will be a print version of this in the future or is it intended to stay as a small lightweight pdf only release?


You have to be, because one of the core mechanics is getting (or losing) extra dice from position. So you talk through the factors before making the roll anyway.

For example:
“Hey I’m going to yell and charge the Night Render” is probably a straight up roll.

“Hey, it hasn’t noticed me, so I’m going to stab it from behind” might net you +1 to +2 dice.

Similarly: “Hey I’m risking my arm by activating this Shadow Band, can I get some extra damage?”
GM: “Sounds like a +1d situation for me, but on a 4/5 I’ll fill up this 4-clock and when it’s full you lose the limb. Sound fair?”

It’s not as robust in some ways I find, but in actual practice it acts very similar. It’s kind of a lightweight implementation that helps speed up the process.


It’s a super lightweight game (so a print version would be more of a booklet than a full book). That said I did lay it out in 5.5x8.5 format intentionally (that’s Monsterhearts book size in case you need something for reference) and I’ll definitely at least take a look at print-on-demand if not actual print options. No promises about when though.

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That makes a lot of sense, equating position and effect to dice feels like an evolution to an extent. Blades portrays criminals at the height of their game, but for most people difficult situations usually means success is less likely, not just disastrous.

Thanks you for the feedback. I really love the game. Just need to find a group for it.