Moth-Light: A Post-Fall Sci-Fi Adventure (Alpha)


Moth-Light is:

A dramatic science-fiction adventure game centering questions of trust and conviction.

A game of inter-clan conflict and survival amidst the ruins of an intergalactic civilization.

The exploration of a beautiful alien world fallen to the whims of enormous predators known as Moths.

Moth-Light is inspired by classic adventure fiction, wuxia style “diplomacy-by-the-sword” storytelling, and rag-tag character driven space-dramas.

The Moth-Light system features many calculated revisions to the popular Forged in the Dark formula including but not limited to:

A revamped action system.

The introduction of social Strings as the primary transactional resource, (no more Coin!)

Guidelines on how to interpret post-fall tech, known as auger, in your game.

Instructions on how to craft Pacts, Promises, and Vows.

The introduction of the “Devil’s Die” mechanic.

Six basic playbooks in booklet format including:

 The Favorite: A Privileged Leader & Diplomat

 The Hunter: A Skilled Tracker & Guide

 The Mouse: A Sneaky Scavenger & Thief

 The Recluse: A Learned Philosopher & Engineer

 The Spear: A Masterful Martial-Artist & Warrior

 The Will: A Disciplined Spiritual Leader & Adept

And two special playbooks:

 The Heart: A Pure Heart, Bound by a Sacred Duty

 The Shell: A Lost Soul Preserved in Steel

If you’d like to learn more, check out the project here or feel free to hit me up in DMs or on Twitter @MothLands :sparkles: Note that Moth-Light is in a playable alpha stage. If you want to participate in playtestjng the game, we should talk!

If you have any questions about the mechanical changes to Moth-Light, I’m excited to discuss them in depth. I also occasionally post twitter threads on the topic to my account.


This looks great! A lot of cool, different things going on, clearly. For some reason I get a sense of “Hollow Knight” from it, with more giant, implacable moths.

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Not wrong! I definitely appreciate the grounded conflict of Hollow Knight and enemies with an implacable horror-tinge.

Aesthetically, some influences include:

Horizon: Zero Dawn

Avatar (both the James Cameron one and Avatar the Last Airbender/Legend of Korra)

Nausica of the Valley of the Wind

Classic science fiction novels and art (Moebius, Left Hand of Darkness)

And “Lost in Space” style ground level science fiction stories.

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Brief devlog post on the state of Moth-Light. Now that my move is over I hope to have a lot more time to develop and play test the game :sparkles:

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I’ve been playing around in Affinity Publisher recently and getting RESULTS. So happy with how these sheets are turning out.


The latest alpha update is here:

Development of Moth-Light continues! Expect even more refinement as my local play-test gets underway.

Notable changes in 0.5 of the Alpha.

  • Rules edits and corrections for clarity.
  • Harm has changed to promote a more narrative focus. Players may Invoke their own Harm to gain XP and quicken healing.
  • Improvements to the Playbook Sheets: Superior visual refinements, major revisions of Moves, and the addition of a short Friends and Rivals list to inspire roleplay. The Shell playbook has received extra attention: play as an intelligent mind occupying an artificial construct struggling with conflicting memories of a tragic past.
  • The addition of a “Tone” system for expeditions. Tone indicates the default position of dangerous encounters, giving GMs a reference point or the obstacles they throw in The Pacts way.
  • The skeletal structure of the rule-book is coming together. I’ve also fleshed out the book with basic rules information for the uninitiated.
  • Greatly expanded playbook information in the rules text, including fictional references meant to help players define their backstory.I

In future updates look for:

More lore.
Refinement of the Trappings system.
Example scenarios and expeditions.
A section for factions and fronts.
And much more.

Download the playbooks and take a peak at my progress, here:


Nice! This is looking good. Thanks for keeping us updated, Justin.

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Those are some sweet looking sheets!