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Michael Van Vleet

A member registered Aug 27, 2017 · View creator page →

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A Warm and Pleasant Hum is included in Trophy Dark's final release (page 72), so it would be duplicated effort. So no, it's not currently planned.

On a long enough timeline? Yeah, I guess.

Not only a fantastic collection of tight adventure seeds, but also a good lesson in how little prep one really needs to set an entire evening of Blades in the Dark on its way. Each scenario is designed so it can be played a few different ways, depending on which NPCs and details you select, making it readily adaptable to your crew and their history.

And it's just a fun read. That's worth something as well. Not everything needs to be rated on utility. Let's also leave space for joy, which this collection delivers.

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This is a super fun little sourcebook. I made it the centerpiece of a night of gaming and feel like I was only able to scratch the surface of introducing colorful NPCs, odd exhibits, threats and wonders. 

Our crew of cultists managed to induct a new member, our Spider started a romance, and our Slide got stabbed pretty badly after an act of sabotage (unrelated to the stabbing). Successes all around!

Luckily, The Nameless Exhibition is an annual party, so I can dip back into this adventure resource again and again.

The narrative voice in Items won me over, 100%, so every slimy meatdrone included was just icing on the cake. Meat-icing on the meat-cake. 

Love the boldness of the point of view coming through what, in lesser projects, would be colorless exposition.

A demon queen and a ticking clock for a Presidential rescue? What more could you ask for? 

Oh, you could ask for "a ride home?" I dunno, rides home are for closers, pal. Are you a closer? Can you get it done?

I also added two versions of the character sheet so it can be downloaded separately and distributed to players.

Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad your doomed group of adventurers had a fun time.

With regards to the betrayal elements: there is a mechanic built to support that style of play, though it doesn't appeal to everyone. The Reduction Roll kicks in when a player is at 5 Ruin, right on the brink of losing their character. They can then start betraying the party in order to lower their own Ruin and claw back a bit more time before they're lost. 

I love the idea of adding time pressure to the game. Because your characters aren't built to last, it makes sense to discourage players from too much planning (instead of doing the dangerous and exciting thing!) Go punch that bee! Touch the gross thing! Wander off alone! Tell the best story!

I have a running theory that each of us carry the Hell Door within ourselves and only at our lowest point to we find the key to opening it, but it's going to take visiting more small towns and interviewing more people after nightfall to be sure

[scribbles furiously in a notepad labeled SMALL TOWN HELL] uh huh, uh huh, got it

Am I a sucker— pun unintended, but immediately recognized and welcome— for Dracula? Yes. Absolutely. 

But that doesn't take away from the fact that kumada1 has managed to turn the Count into a metafictional invasive species, damaging the math of your favorite RPG until he's stopped. If your game universe needs a Dracula problem, depress that plunger and inject Dracula right into your game universe's veins. 

I suppose at this point there's little value in leaving up version 1, especially if it may cause confusion. Just hid the file. It's only the complete ver. 2 going forward.

This one-shot was reworked with a version 2 that includes the rules for the game as well. 

Weird, thanks. Fixed.

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This is one of my favorite Troika! settings. Full to the brim with great ideas AND handmade clay figures for the backgrounds and illustrations! 

It's got every kind of plot seed a GM might want: evocative new backgrounds for players that each do a bit of world-building, colorful factions to fill in as friends or foes, conspiracies, secrets, a struggle over an untenable status quo... and at the time of this comment's drafting, it's criminally under-priced as a 53 page PDF with custom sculpted artwork.

Don't miss out on this sphere!

Here's what's great about games from Riverhouse Games: They oftentimes interrogate the definition of a "game." After reading one, I re-examine memories of childhood, half-remembered games that seemed to spring fully formed but still managed to dissolve like sea foam. There was one that involved moving around on one's knees on grass, pinching one's hands in a crab like motion, attempting to catch one's fellows. This was called "King Cobra." Were our hands meant to be fangs? Or the hood of a cobra? These details are lost. It was a fantastic game.

Here's something else that's great about MACHINE GUN: [imagine here the sound of a drum kit kicked down wooden stairs that descend into an unfinished basement, a space with nothing but potential in dim light]

The older you get, the harder it is to get friends to carve time out of their schedule to hang out the way you used to: with no real conception of time's passing. Eating, drinking and chatting, hiding yawns, unmoored from daily routine.

Perhaps, then, what is needed is the ultimate excuse: Dracula, dead at your feet, and in need of monitoring. The ultimate party centerpiece. The totemic anchor.  After all, who's gonna say "Okay, folks, this has been fun, but I've gotta  jet" when there's a danger this pale fiend is faking it? 

This game-slash-ritual is a gift for the right group. 

Not everybody can be Mother's Favorite.

A perfect rules-light evocation of the adventures of masked men & women who find top ropes wherever they're needed to drop mighty elbows on vampires, mad scientists, rudos, and all enemies of the common people! If you can read this game and not immediately start dreaming of your perfect mask, or how you'd petition an ancient god to allow your fantasmal companion to rejoin the world of the living so they can deliver a beatdown from beyond, then... wow. You can just meet me in the ring, then.

GAH! In six panels, this Trophy Dark incursion gets players up close and personal with way more body fluids and body horror than they probably want to deal with. But the prize at the end is eternal life, so...  it's probably worth betraying every other player's character and everything your character is supposed to value, right? 

You can fit a lot of terror in six panels of a trifold booklet and just as much in a field of rapacious grass. Lemongrass provides a solid foundation for a Trophy Dark incursion, with striking imagery and sharp-edged details that'll entertain the heck out of a group of players while their characters are undone by their own greed. 

I'm really loving this trend of fitting an entire evening's adventure into a trifold brochure. Natalie Ash's ability to match intuitive text layout with an easy-to-follow map are just [chef's kiss] and there's nothing about this slimy outing that I don't find absolutely charming. Become an Ooze Master! Live the dream!

One of the best adventures I've read a in some time, SO YOU'VE BEEN THROWN DOWN A WELL is the perfect mix of adventure, possibility, horror and comedy, and the sort of adventure you can immediately imagine running for your friends, right from the very first scene. Madeleine Ember knocked it out of the park with this punitive-pit adventure and Natalie Ash's layout make it easy to visualize how the scenes work together. 

On top of all that, you get a bunch of Troika! backgrounds! A must-have for anyone who's been thinking of giving Troika! a go.

Up to your elbows in monster guts and no idea what's worth what? Well fret no more, treasure hunter, 'cause Gabriel Robinson has created a reference to help you pick the best bits out of the broken pile of monster you've got in front of you. 

I've been very grateful to have more ideas for my players than just "Uh... I guess you could sell its feet 'cause they could be made into umbrella stands?"

Trophy Dark incursions start with the knowledge that your treasure hunters are doomed. How much heavier, then, is the weight of a journey that starts with promises made to others, knowing that as you journey through kaleidoscopic glades, bee-infested woods, and dank catacombs that your doom will claim not only your life, but the hopes you carried with you from someone who foolishly believed you capable of great things.

The Paperflesh Advent is one of my favorite incursions, full of horror, treachery, delicious imagery and a burning sugar apotheosis that's not to be missed.

Madeleine Ember delivers one of the most harrowing Trophy Dark experiences ever, daring players to trundle through snow, wasting away while otherworldly delights tempt them towards further destruction. While reading this incursion, you can almost see your own breath and feel the pull of the Everspring yourself, well before actually sitting down at a table with players where all this terror will actually spring to life via the group's collaborative effort. Don't sleep on SHIVER. If you fall asleep, the snow may blanket you and you may never be found again.

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Something in the shape of an FAQ:

Q: Is this thing a trick? Am I going to pay $5 for a game that's just a big joke where I spend time making a character and then they just die before I do anything?

A: Not really? I mean, that joke is in there. But there's TWO games: One is a joke game that's much more fun to read than experience.

But there's also a REAL game Amalie invented where you use an invented network of relationships to stave off disaster... for awhile. You and your pals invent characters, and a bunch of NPCs you have relationships with, and then you draw cards that represent emergencies. You spend relationships and skills as a resource to address these emergencies, but eventually you're gonna run out, or you'll draw an Joker (instant end of game). It's play-to-lose but a lot of fun can be had on the way there.

THEN you die.