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2014-02-15, 03:30 PM
I really like dark fantasy. I think it is my favorite genre.

And the world I'm tring to build is dark.

But many friends said to me that dark fanatsy is way to popular now a days.

Is it true? What is the darkest game you guys ever played?

I mean I don't think that games like dragon age, Warhammer, Exalted or Two Worlds II are dark enough.

Mr Beer
2014-02-15, 03:41 PM
Call of Cthulhu is probably the darkest game I've played. In the fantasy genre, Warhammer. Which is extremely easy to turn up the dial on BTW, it can be as grim as you like.

Lord Raziere
2014-02-15, 03:53 PM
I mean I don't think that games like dragon age, Warhammer, Exalted or Two Worlds II are dark enough.

Exalted. not dark enough. wat. Dragon Age. not dark enough. wat.

Warhammer. not dark enough. WAT.

I genuinely curious as to what you think IS dark enough, because Warhammer is generally acknowledged as the most grimdark of all of them. there is not much darker you can get than the game that has a space opera spinoff that is so grimdark its basically a ludicrous parody of grimdarkness that you are not supposed to take seriously. and even then, WH40k is basically still fantasy, just in space and substituting magic with Psyker powers.

I mean really, if you don't consider Warhammer dark enough, I don't know what to tell you, there is not much darker you can go....

MonochromeTiger
2014-02-15, 03:58 PM
Exalted. not dark enough. wat. Dragon Age. not dark enough. wat.

Warhammer. not dark enough. WAT.

I genuinely curious as to what you think IS dark enough, because Warhammer is generally acknowledged as the most grimdark of all of them. there is not much darker you can get than the game that has a space opera spinoff that is so grimdark its basically a ludicrous parody of grimdarkness that you are not supposed to take seriously. and even then, WH40k is basically still fantasy, just in space and substituting magic with Psyker powers.

I mean really, if you don't consider Warhammer dark enough, I don't know what to tell you, there is not much darker you can go....

well you could take the warhammer fantasy setting to its logical conclusion of everything that can die has died, everything that can't die is suffering in an endless back and forth fight due to a lack of other things to fight, and reality itself is collapsing into nothingness out of sheer horror..then add in magical darkness everywhere so that the "dark" part is taken literally.

Lord Raziere
2014-02-15, 04:08 PM
Yea, and the reason why the PC's fight is so that they can feel endless pain and agony as opposed to going numb and not feeling anything at all, because they long ago forgotten the meaning of happiness or joy or peace. they have to eat the ghosts of all the innocent people that ever died to sustain their power so that they keep being immortal so that they don't die and go numb from no pain. and of course the entire world is nothing but rock and sand, even the plants are gone and any shred of hope you find your character feels an overwhelming urge to exterminate immediately because hope is such an alien concept to them, they don't want to feel the unknown emotion because its so unfamiliar and scary to them.

MonochromeTiger
2014-02-15, 04:12 PM
Yea, and the reason why the PC's fight is so that they can feel endless pain and agony as opposed to going numb and not feeling anything at all, because they long ago forgotten the meaning of happiness or joy or peace. they have to eat the ghosts of all the innocent people that ever died to sustain their power so that they keep being immortal so that they don't die and go numb from no pain. and of course the entire world is nothing but rock and sand, even the plants are gone and any shred of hope you find your character feels an overwhelming urge to exterminate immediately because hope is such an alien concept to them, they don't want to feel the unknown emotion because its so unfamiliar and scary to them.

don't forget that they're also haunted by everyone they may have ever known or loved constantly tearing at the remains of their broken psyche and repeatedly driving them to more and more extreme cases of self endangerment as they're reminded at all times that they were never cared for and that their existence is a lie that serves only to bring suffering to those around them.

BWR
2014-02-15, 04:12 PM
See if you can dig up Kult. Darkest game I could find without going quite far enough to be satire or parody.

Red Fel
2014-02-15, 04:22 PM
I think there's a communication issue here - "dark" and "edgy" are terms with multiple definitions.

For example, some people see "dark and edgy" meaning horror, which is valid. Others see "dark and edgy" meaning gritty and grim, with true crime and violent and dark conduct. Also valid. Still others see "dark and edgy" meaning that everyone dies or goes insane, the PCs included. Also valid.

So let's start with that - what do you mean when you say "dark fantasy?"

Because I can think of games like Dragonlance, Exalted, or Scion that can be dark, or games like V:tM or W:tA that can be bright and cheerful. I find that while a setting and system may lend itself to one particular style and tone of gameplay, it need not be that exclusively; I could see even Call of Cthulhu being light, comedic, and epic in the hands of the right DM and players.

So let's start from scratch, [email protected]: What exactly are you asking?

2014-02-15, 04:25 PM
Exalted. not dark enough. wat. Dragon Age. not dark enough. wat.

Warhammer. not dark enough. WAT.

I genuinely curious as to what you think IS dark enough, because Warhammer is generally acknowledged as the most grimdark of all of them. there is not much darker you can get than the game that has a space opera spinoff that is so grimdark its basically a ludicrous parody of grimdarkness that you are not supposed to take seriously. and even then, WH40k is basically still fantasy, just in space and substituting magic with Psyker powers.

I mean really, if you don't consider Warhammer dark enough, I don't know what to tell you, there is not much darker you can go....


Well... First there is a clear distinction between good and evil.

The supreme good is a "Hope" for the world.

The evil is too much "Mwhuahaua I will burn the world cause i got nothing else to do!"

Besides how can you take a solider seriously if they are dressed like this:

http://u.kanobu.ru/longreads/2013/5/22/ab2226b9-df2c-41df-b270-275af1fc5ee2.jpg

I mean how can they walk? It looks like they are wearing vaults.

MonochromeTiger
2014-02-15, 04:34 PM
I mean how can they walk? It looks like they are wearing vaults.

genetic modification to nigh superhuman levels as well as it being specifically designed for use by them (there's a reason you don't hear about imperial guardsmen in space marine power armor). but really even then it's no more ridiculous than the billions of examples of fantasy armor and weapons that are highly impractical (example being every sword a final fantasy protagonist uses ever).

but yes as red fel said what are you actually setting as your standard of "dark" for this question?

2014-02-15, 04:48 PM
genetic modification to nigh superhuman levels as well as it being specifically designed for use by them (there's a reason you don't hear about imperial guardsmen in space marine power armor). but really even then it's no more ridiculous than the billions of examples of fantasy armor and weapons that are highly impractical (example being every sword a final fantasy protagonist uses ever).

but yes as red fel said what are you actually setting as your standard of "dark" for this question?

Yeah I also hate huge swords.

I'm sorry guys I did not wanted to sound offensive.

Well, a dark place like real world dark ages. A place with slaves, but not non human slaves such as dragon age. A place with wars, but not war againts orcs and alien lovecraftian beings such as warhammer. A place with starvation and disease. A place where war is hell not a glorified thing.

Edit: i think that a place with no heros summarizes.

Talakeal
2014-02-15, 04:54 PM
Yeah I also hate huge swords.

I'm sorry guys I did not wanted to sound offensive.

Well, a dark place like real world dark ages. A place with slaves, but not non human slaves such as dragon age. A place with wars, but not war againts orcs and alien lovecraftian beings such as warhammer. A place with starvation and disease. A place where war is hell not a glorified thing.

Edit: i think that a place with no heros summarizes.

I have heard a lot of good things about Midnight, although I haven't been able to track down a copy myself.

I am also writing a gothic fantasy game that my players feel is overly dark (although not nearly as dark as I could have made it) which I hope to release by the end of March, which I hope you will give a look /shameless plug

SiuiS
2014-02-15, 04:56 PM
Changeling: the lost is a game at its core that is about being raped and abused, tossed into an uncaring world and forced to either be crushed by the traumas they cannot forget or wheel and deal politics with other trauma victims who don't give a damn how you feel.

Mage: the Awakening is a game where the truth of totality is revealed to you, and other than the gnostic ideal of it being important because it's objectively true, it's also meaningless and soul crushing in a very Lovecraftian way. You either get hunted down and killed and have your soul eaten or you join a bunch of factionalized muster cut religions who all revere the point in time when they could be jackasses without consequence, and your only choice is to accept it and become a jackass. Mage is a game where the nicest people end up as monsters because you have infinite power and nothing matters, god is dead and your enemies killed him or them and stole his throne, and the only reason the world hasn't been consumed by madness from beyond the veil is because the bad guys need the world to stay crapsack but intact because they today to god-emperors who deem it so.

Werewolf: the forsaken is a game about magical puberty. Doesn't get much darker than that.

MonochromeTiger
2014-02-15, 04:57 PM
Yeah I also hate huge swords.

I'm sorry guys I did not wanted to sound offensive.

I didn't take offense, just mildly surprised that a setting known for how crushingly futile most "good" actions are wasn't considered dark.



Well, a dark place like real world dark ages. A place with slaves, but not non human slaves such as dragon age. A place with wars, but not war againts orcs and alien lovecraftian beings such as warhammer. A place with starvation and disease. A place where war is hell not a glorified thing.

Edit: i think that a place with no heros summarizes.

I may be misunderstanding but it sounds like you want a relatively low fantasy (by which I mean human centered) setting with standards on war a bit closer to real life?

Tengu_temp
2014-02-15, 05:38 PM
Warhammer. not dark enough. WAT.

I genuinely curious as to what you think IS dark enough, because Warhammer is generally acknowledged as the most grimdark of all of them. there is not much darker you can get than the game that has a space opera spinoff that is so grimdark its basically a ludicrous parody of grimdarkness that you are not supposed to take seriously. and even then, WH40k is basically still fantasy, just in space and substituting magic with Psyker powers.

I mean really, if you don't consider Warhammer dark enough, I don't know what to tell you, there is not much darker you can go....

You're talking about WH40K. WFRP isn't anywhere near as grimdark, nor anywhere near as over the top. It's a dark fantasy system where corruption can be found anywhere, being a hero is hard (but not impossible), cities are dirty, villages are suspicious of outsiders, and adventurers have to deal with rusting equipment and infected wounds. It's a down to earth game where you're more likely to investigate a suspicious new cult in the city than fight a dragon to rescue a princess. For a long time it was the default RPG system in Poland.

TheCountAlucard
2014-02-15, 05:42 PM
Just because Exalted's got heroes doesn't mean it's not dark - for one thing, it uses the old-school definition of "hero," as in, a person who does big important things that aren't necessarily good or evil. And there's definitely no objective morality.

Real sickness, real starvation? Check - the game has rules for cholera, not random-turn-to-snakes disease. Slavery? Check - the Guild is so successful at it that entire nation-states have become depopulated. War? Check - conflict spreads throughout the setting, and if you're only looking at the stuff happening with ghosts or Fair Folk or whatever, you're really missing out.

Try playing as mortals. It's gonna start looking a lot more like The Black Company.

Speaking of which, The Black Company, by Glen Cook. I recommend it! :smallsmile:

Mr Beer
2014-02-15, 05:57 PM
Well, a dark place like real world dark ages. A place with slaves, but not non human slaves such as dragon age. A place with wars, but not war againts orcs and alien lovecraftian beings such as warhammer. A place with starvation and disease. A place where war is hell not a glorified thing.

Edit: i think that a place with no heros summarizes.

Warhammer Fantasy with an emphasis on adventuring within the Empire can easily cover this. You need never see an Orc if you don't want to. The flavour is pretty much 'no real heroes' anyway.

Otherwise, just pick a system that the crunch you like and write your own setting based on the actual Dark Ages. Plenty of interesting things happened between 400AD and 1100AD, or whichever period you consider to be Dark Ages.

2014-02-15, 07:54 PM
Mage: the Awakening is a game where the truth of totality is revealed to you, and other than the gnostic ideal of it being important because it's objectively true, it's also meaningless and soul crushing in a very Lovecraftian way. You either get hunted down and killed and have your soul eaten or you join a bunch of factionalized muster cut religions who all revere the point in time when they could be jackasses without consequence, and your only choice is to accept it and become a jackass. Mage is a game where the nicest people end up as monsters because you have infinite power and nothing matters, god is dead and your enemies killed him or them and stole his throne, and the only reason the world hasn't been consumed by madness from beyond the veil is because the bad guys need the world to stay crapsack but intact because they today to god-emperors who deem it so.


Ummm... Interesting it seems this is very similar to what I'm looking for! The Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade setting looks perfect. Just need to find the book and see if the rules are as good as the concept.


I didn't take offense, just mildly surprised that a setting known for how crushingly futile most "good" actions are wasn't considered dark.



I may be misunderstanding but it sounds like you want a relatively low fantasy (by which I mean human centered) setting with standards on war a bit closer to real life?

I think it is the fact that there is a always chaotic evil alien race on it one of the main reasons that makes me don't like it... Same goes with dragon age.

No don't need to be low fantasy I love Dragons, fey, giants and all.


You're talking about WH40K. WFRP isn't anywhere near as grimdark, nor anywhere near as over the top. It's a dark fantasy system where corruption can be found anywhere, being a hero is hard (but not impossible), cities are dirty, villages are suspicious of outsiders, and adventurers have to deal with rusting equipment and infected wounds. It's a down to earth game where you're more likely to investigate a suspicious new cult in the city than fight a dragon to rescue a princess. For a long time it was the default RPG system in Poland.

Ummmm... interesting.


Just because Exalted's got heroes doesn't mean it's not dark - for one thing, it uses the old-school definition of "hero," as in, a person who does big important things that aren't necessarily good or evil. And there's definitely no objective morality.

Real sickness, real starvation? Check - the game has rules for cholera, not random-turn-to-snakes disease. Slavery? Check - the Guild is so successful at it that entire nation-states have become depopulated. War? Check - conflict spreads throughout the setting, and if you're only looking at the stuff happening with ghosts or Fair Folk or whatever, you're really missing out.

Try playing as mortals. It's gonna start looking a lot more like The Black Company.

Speaking of which, The Black Company, by Glen Cook. I recommend it! :smallsmile:

I dunno there is somethng about Exalted that just don't do it for me... I think it is the art. or I'm just retarded.

Cikomyr
2014-02-15, 08:02 PM
The currently developping Grim Dawn is pretty bleak and dark..

Demon Soul's universe is also damn dark, if you consider that the true Big Bad is actually GOD EMPRISONNED, and he wants to get out and make everyone suffer for the Lols.

Janus
2014-02-15, 08:14 PM
Darkest fantasy game I've played? Probably Dragon Age, but I'm currently downloading the Witcher from Steam right now. I'll probably have to change my answer later.

I really like dark fantasy. I think it is my favorite genre.

And the world I'm tring to build is dark.

But many friends said to me that dark fanatsy is way to popular now a days.
If you like it that much, just do it. Who cares if it's been done before? Have fun with it!

Hiro Protagonest
2014-02-15, 08:18 PM
The currently developping Grim Dawn is pretty bleak and dark..

Demon Soul's universe is also damn dark, if you consider that the true Big Bad is actually GOD EMPRISONNED, and he wants to get out and make everyone suffer for the Lols.

Actually, that guy is more likely the equivalent of the World Tree. Corrupted by humanity's use of the Soul Arts and twisted into an evil being. It is true that the priests are totally misguided though.

The lady in The Nexus could be God, considering how she treats the BBEG.

I suppose if you want something dark that won't leave your group either depressed or gone long ago (because they don't play games to get depressed), something like a medieval era version of Call of Cthulhu would work.

Ravens_cry
2014-02-15, 08:35 PM
Deadlands is pretty dark, especially once you start peeling back the layers of the world. Heck, the overarching goal for the players is to make small areas less dark.

Talakeal
2014-02-15, 08:45 PM
One complaint I always had with WHFRP was that it was so simple and childish. Everything was all blood and skulls and mindless killing. There was no subtlety in the evil. I feel that treachery, rape, torture, and slavery are much greater c rimes than base killing, but warhammer never allows complex enough relationships to develop to allow any of this as everyone just kills everyone on sight. The biggest disappointments are the various curses and monsters devoted to Tzeentch or Slaanesh, which should be capable of such exquisite and subtle evil and pain, but always come down to murdering the victim in the most gruesome manner possible.

Ravens_cry
2014-02-15, 08:55 PM
One complaint I always had with WHFRP was that it was so simple and childish. Everything was all blood and skulls and mindless killing. There was no subtlety in the evil. I feel that treachery, rape, torture, and slavery are much greater c rimes than base killing, but warhammer never allows complex enough relationships to develop to allow any of this as everyone just kills everyone on sight. The biggest disappointments are the various curses and monsters devoted to Tzeentch or Slaanesh, which should be capable of such exquisite and subtle evil and pain, but always come down to murdering the victim in the most gruesome manner possible.
Yeah, you need some contrast in order for the darkness to stand out. You can't break someone's trust if they don't trust you in the first place.
It's so over the top it's ludicrous.

Tengu_temp
2014-02-15, 09:15 PM
It's so over the top it's ludicrous.

Once again, this is WH40K, not WFRP. There is nothing over the top about WFRP. It's a very gritty, very low fantasy. Huge swords that are constantly dripping blood and giant pauldrons with skulls is something you find in WH40K, and even in WFB, but not in WFRP. Most of the time WFRP looks like XV-XVI century Europe, with wizards and monsters added.

It's not completely grimdark either, and can be subtle as well as any other game. Look at the published adventures; some fit the mold of "rip and tear through bloodthirsty demons and orcs!", but you also get mystery investigation, a trip around the world, and even light-hearted shenanigans. Look at the various location books; there are descriptions of local festivals, taverns of all kinds, and temples where kindly priests give food to the needy. This is a dark world going through tough times, but it's not a hopeless, joyless world. It's very real.

SiuiS
2014-02-15, 09:23 PM
Fair warning. Mage has possibly the worst book at a meta level. It actively works against providing the rules in a fun and engaging way. A lot of what the setting is seeps in at the edges. You're taught from core, about the fall of Atlantis (ignore the name), the sundering of the mortal world, and how everything used I be cool but some jackass ruined it and took over and now they're the bad guy, and this team of idealists are working to restore the world to its rightful glory!

Only as you read, you sit back and think "this isn't righteous. This is a religion based on a wizard Jesus" or "wow, these guys actively try to murder people for interfering with magic, like, conceptually".

The bad guys might actually be the good guys. And you'll never know.

squiggit
2014-02-15, 09:41 PM
Only as you read, you sit back and think "this isn't righteous. This is a religion based on a wizard Jesus" or "wow, these guys actively try to murder people for interfering with magic, like, conceptually".

The bad guys might actually be the good guys. And you'll never know.
That actually seems like something I've seen pretty consistently with nWoD.


There is nothing over the top about WFRP.
Except for like.. Chaos vikings. And Dark Elves in general. And witch hunters in general. And Tomb Kings...

Rhynn
2014-02-15, 09:41 PM
It's not completely grimdark either, and can be subtle as well as any other game. Look at the published adventures; some fit the mold of "rip and tear through bloodthirsty demons and orcs!", but you also get mystery investigation, a trip around the world, and even light-hearted shenanigans.

Also a demon named Dentist (Zahnartz). :smallbiggrin: Although that adventure is far from funny - in fact, parts are pretty much painfully tragic. (WFRP mutants are always really, really sad to me.)

WFRP is awesome and can do grim & gritty (usually at the "nasty realistic" levels) perfectly, but you can deal it up or down easily.


Except for like.. Chaos vikings. And Dark Elves in general. And witch hunters in general. And Tomb Kings...

None of those, except witch hunters (on which I disagree) are really portrayed in WFRP, and certainly not very over-the-top. Don't confuse WFRP with WHFB.

squiggit
2014-02-15, 09:44 PM
None of those, except witch hunters (on which I disagree) are really portrayed in WFRP, and certainly not very over-the-top. Don't confuse WFRP with WHFB.

Maybe I've just had weird DMs then. Every game of WFRP I've played (that hasn't ended in mass death very early on) has included chaos vikings. A lot. Dark elves slightly rarer and admittedly only once were there any tomb king shenanigans. But still.

And if we are separating the core setting from a specific game as much as possible you can still salvage 40k with Dark Heresy, which has pretty much none of the crazy stuff.

Cikomyr
2014-02-15, 10:11 PM
Well, the Norse in WFRP do exist, but they are not exactly more cartoonish or over the top than other antagonist archetypes of the setting. In fact, it's establish that there is quite a number of Norse traders and outcasts who become bodyguards for high Imperial society.

And it's not even the majority of Norse who worship Chaos. There is quite a number of them, but it's not ALL of them.

Once you have taken that into consideration, what's so over the top about vikings? I personally find them to be more of a horrendeous threat than an over the top evil.

squiggit
2014-02-15, 10:13 PM
Once you have taken that into consideration, what's so over the top about vikings? I personally find them to be more of a horrendeous threat than an over the top evil.

Well like everything in (both flavors of) Warhammer it's presentation I suppose.

Cikomyr
2014-02-15, 10:24 PM
Well like everything in (both flavors of) Warhammer it's presentation I suppose.

Horrendeous in the sense of "brutal", "terrible", "dangerous".

You know; like the archetypical vikings before you start going all cartoonish on them. They arrive, they kill, they pillage, they rape, they burn. There's nothing fun nor noble about them. They represent the worst traits of humanity; bullies who attack nothing but defenseless settlements and run away at any opposition.

Alberic Strein
2014-02-15, 11:12 PM
Three points.

First of all, you seem to be looking for the difference between Hokuto no Ken and Berserk. Or Resident Evil and Silent Hill. For the first, heroes are heroes, villains are villains, clear distinction between them, the world is dangerous, but it's only an invitation for the "real men" (and women) to shine. For the latter, the overall message is pessimistic, heroes are not really heroes, and villains... Oh well. They're villains in your story. But the big picture? It's complicated. How hopeful the setting is seems to be the criteria you're going for.

Secondly, I put forward comic books and railroaded video games as examples because the setting is, at least enough for what concerns us, the deal of the GM. Believe it or not, but the darkest game I ever played was a DnD game, it's just that the GM's custom setting was just... Terrible. Terrific, but terrible. We were not heroes, there were no heroes, no Big Good, nothing, just bad choices, bad consequences, and simply the will to go back home.

So, even a simple Tabletop RPG, if using the right setting, can be horribly, horribly dark. It just needs to strip all hope for a better tomorrow. Not all hope from the players however, you want them to try and change things for the better. It just can't happen.

Thirdly, what you may be looking for is Ars Magica. Your main character is a magus. Angels and Devils exist. Magic is a sin, so divine beings will hate you. Devils will want to screw you over. Fairies are completely alien to you, but if they can get one over you they will, and mundane humans are fanatics, which can sense you are different, and do enjoy excluding, and burning to the pier, those different from them. Other mages? If they're not from your order, then you have a "Kill on Sight" order to uphold. They are from your order? They will try to get one over you, by any mean possible. Welcome to the joys of politics.

But with Angels and Devils, things are clear, no? Well... Demons are pricks. Angels don't exactly come down often, but their aura protects the mundanes (ie: not you). There is no proof of Satan or God existing, or for Demons and Angels to be batting for the "Greater Evil" and "Greater Good" teams. In the grand scheme of things, there may not be Good or Evil. Or at least, these concepts could be totally unrelated to Demons and Angels. Also, demons work for your damnation when they can. So they don't reveal yourselves as demons when they can and will try to corrupt you. Failing that? Making you work on sundays works too. Raking up little sins by little sins is an effective way to send Mages to Hell. To what purpose? No one ever knows.

Worse, you're not "one of the big guns", and it will be a very, very long time, before you can even hope to be one. Amongst mages. Which are, all things considered, rather low on the power scale (though they have their moments).

But the real kicker? In game time, years, maybe decades, pass. Before your mage is even remotely powerful enough to be of any importance, he will have loved ones, maybe a family. And some very, very nasty things can be done with magic.

For example, one magic governs the mind. An enemy mage can brainwash a loved ones to different degrees... Like suddenly making them hate you with all their souls (the effect may, or may not be permanent) force them, still aware and all, to kill you (they can resist a bit, but it's way more tragic, since their minds are still untouched) destroy every love or affection they may ever have had for you and then bribe them into killing you since they don't mind any more, change their love for you into an equally strong impulse to kill you, scan their every thought to successfully torture/manipulate them, plant fake memories in their minds to subtly brainwash them, or a combination of any of those factors.

The real, real, kicker though? True Love is a miracle in the game. Miracles are greater than magic.

The strongest mage EVER can utterly destroy your true love's mind, then rebuild the personality from scratch, the entirely new person will still love you and will automatically defeat any magic trying to force her/him to harm you in any way.

So, when your tortured wife stabs you in the gut, you get to die with the realization that what you felt for one another was not, in fact, love.

That, is the darkest thing you can get to do as a PC. Nothing short of synchronizing someone with a Great Elder can even compare to that.

And it's important to have such degree of pure, absolute evil. You can't make a dark game when your players are all "orphan adventurers" with no attachment. The worst you can do is make the character unplayable and still force the player to keep that character. It's meta, it's bad, it's not fun. Give the players things to lose. Things to react to, to relate to. A family, a spouse, children, anything that goes beyond what they're confortable with as "an adventurer's player".

Ravens_cry
2014-02-15, 11:36 PM
Horrendeous in the sense of "brutal", "terrible", "dangerous".

You know; like the archetypical vikings before you start going all cartoonish on them. They arrive, they kill, they pillage, they rape, they burn. There's nothing fun nor noble about them. They represent the worst traits of humanity; bullies who attack nothing but defenseless settlements and run away at any opposition.
That's their victims perspective, yes. The Norse were also traders and explorers who roamed as far west as North America and at least as east as Constantinople. They had their own gods and legends, ritual and myth, with a legacy that lasts to this day in, among other things, om the names of several of the days of the English speaking world's week. A culture that is only hyper-villainous EVIL is just as cartoonish in its own way as the most horny helmeted Viking.
A caricature.

Alberic Strein
2014-02-16, 12:02 AM
Horrendeous in the sense of "brutal", "terrible", "dangerous".

You know; like the archetypical vikings before you start going all cartoonish on them. They arrive, they kill, they pillage, they rape, they burn. There's nothing fun nor noble about them. They represent the worst traits of humanity; bullies who attack nothing but defenseless settlements and run away at any opposition.

What you describe are raiders. Yes, northern raiders were called vikings, but eventually, people from the various countries in what would become the United Kingdom did the same. If anything, raiders are what you think represent the worst traits of humanity. Not viking themselves. Vikings as you conceive them are a small part of a people with religious views, culture, etc... The "archetypal viking" is a trader, not a horned helmet wearing, bare chested, hairy madman with a pair of axes.

Also, the second you say "archetypical", it's a caricature, which loses all pretense of subtility, and hence, the sensibility to be truth.

But yeah, raiders were a real nasty piece of work.

But you know what's worth? Settlers.

On the subject of vikings, the lands they raided didn't originally belong to the poor, innocent people being raided. These poor innocent people got these lands from their fathers and their forefathers, which earned it by killing, pillaging, raping and burning, the previous "owners" of these lands. Because they could. Of course they're not the same as vikings. They never pulled back after attacking the defenseless settlements. That's the difference. So in the end, the bullies slaughtered the poor innocent people to the last man (at least in their sights) and then, in time, sired other bullies, who sired more bullies, but which were "civilized." Of course, they wouldn't bat an eyelash at the thought of murdering another people to gain more land, but attacking them is barbaric.

Of course, the victims of that people were once the bullies, and their own victims were once bullies themselves.

The real world is darker and edgier than most works of fiction, and the greatest example ever of grey and gray morality. Of course, the poor, innocent people can't be held accountable for what their forefathers did, and slaughtering them isn't "just" in any way. But each and every riches they own, they own it to their ancestors bullying others. So them claiming bullying is wrong now that they get the short end of the stick rings a little bit hollow.

Talakeal
2014-02-16, 12:28 AM
I remember being told by an archeologist that when excavating a battle site or mass grave the majority of the skeletons would have broken forearms or have the backs of their skulls shattered, meaning that they either died on their knees shielding themselves from attack or were executed as they fled. Either way, it shows that RL human warriors aren't too keen on mercy.


On the subject of WHFRP, I actually like the game a lot, and I think the more it can distance itself from the increasingly pop culture references and skulls everywhere aesthetic of modern GW the better. The Old World Bestiary is actually one of my favorite RPG books of all times because it actually shows a lot of different viewpoints of the various races, some of them quite sympathetic.

Ravens_cry
2014-02-16, 01:07 AM
My favourite feature is the Winds of Magic fluff. I just love the feel of it.

The Oni
2014-02-16, 02:34 AM
There's a small (and free) RPG called Mythender that might be of interest to you. It's about gaining a spark of divine power that gives you the strength to kill gods and godlike beings. Each time you use such power you are drawn closer and closer to divinity, and further from humanity, and the corruption manifests in exciting ways. When you inevitably succumb to the power rush and become a capital-G God, your friends will all have to band together and kill you. Fun times.

In addition, when you kill things that are the gods of particular things, you can "cull" those things. So for instance, you can kill a lust god and destroy the concept of lust itself. Humanity sans sex drive dies out in a generation or two, good game everybody.

Prince Raven
2014-02-16, 03:32 AM
I think what you're looking for is something less dark than Warhammer. Warhammer is dark taken to comedic extremes.

Rhynn
2014-02-16, 05:08 AM
Arthaus's Ravenloft for D&D 3.X is pretty awesomely dark, but still plausible as a world.

The Riddle of Steel's world, as portrayed by the excerpts in Of Beasts and Men, is extremely dark and terrible - grim horror fantasy for sure. (Granted, that's just the parts that deal with monsters, who are really monstrous.)

SethoMarkus
2014-02-16, 09:12 AM
Couldn't resist posting this. Possible spoiler for The Lego Movie.

Darkness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ded5xU2y-UU#t=25)

Cikomyr
2014-02-16, 09:20 AM
That's their victims perspective, yes. The Norse were also traders and explorers who roamed as far west as North America and at least as east as Constantinople. They had their own gods and legends, ritual and myth, with a legacy that lasts to this day in, among other things, om the names of several of the days of the English speaking world's week. A culture that is only hyper-villainous EVIL is just as cartoonish in its own way as the most horny helmeted Viking.
A caricature.

Off course it's the victim's perspective, and I did made a point to address that it was the side of the Viking who was the most cartoonified. I also mentioned how Norses in Warhammer can be traders.

Yora
2014-02-16, 09:22 AM
I remember being told by an archeologist that when excavating a battle site or mass grave the majority of the skeletons would have broken forearms or have the backs of their skulls shattered, meaning that they either died on their knees shielding themselves from attack or were executed as they fled. Either way, it shows that RL human warriors aren't too keen on mercy.
Did they find any bones with typical injuries that indicate that they are from warriors who were spared, able to flee, or taken prisoner?

Spacebatsy
2014-02-16, 09:30 AM
Does it need to be a specific game?
Any game can be MADE dark if you're up to it, its all about what to emphasize. Some makes it easier for you, I'm sure, but you can still do what you want to the world, its yours :smallwink:
If the players do not feel sick to their stomach due to the actions of others, or more preferably, due to their own actions, then it's not dark enough :smallamused:

Defiled Cross
2014-02-16, 12:48 PM
Call of Cthulhu..

..WWI setting..

..mistake.

:smalleek:

BWR
2014-02-16, 01:41 PM
Changeling: the lost is a game at its core that is about being raped and abused, tossed into an uncaring world and forced to either be crushed by the traumas they cannot forget or wheel and deal politics with other trauma victims who don't give a damn how you feel.

Mage: the Awakening is a game where the truth of totality is revealed to you, and other than the gnostic ideal of it being important because it's objectively true, it's also meaningless and soul crushing in a very Lovecraftian way. You either get hunted down and killed and have your soul eaten or you join a bunch of factionalized muster cut religions who all revere the point in time when they could be jackasses without consequence, and your only choice is to accept it and become a jackass. Mage is a game where the nicest people end up as monsters because you have infinite power and nothing matters, god is dead and your enemies killed him or them and stole his throne, and the only reason the world hasn't been consumed by madness from beyond the veil is because the bad guys need the world to stay crapsack but intact because they today to god-emperors who deem it so.

Werewolf: the forsaken is a game about magical puberty. Doesn't get much darker than that.

Sorry, but WoD, new or old, is just World of Slightly-less-than-optimal-lighting compared to Kult.

Lord Raziere
2014-02-16, 02:10 PM
Sorry, but WoD, new or old, is just World of Slightly-less-than-optimal-lighting compared to Kult.

then give details about it, please. stop beating around the bush as if your boasting about it, its kind of annoying.

MonochromeTiger
2014-02-16, 02:17 PM
then give details about it, please. stop beating around the bush as if your boasting about it, its kind of annoying.

agreed, actually knowing what's being talked about usually helps in determining whether someone is trying to spread interesting games or insulting others' systems and settings of choice because they can.

I see no reason to really look further if all you're willing to say is "kult is so much better than *insert setting you like here*."

Actana
2014-02-16, 02:25 PM
Does it need to be a specific game?
Any game can be MADE dark if you're up to it, its all about what to emphasize. Some makes it easier for you, I'm sure, but you can still do what you want to the world, its yours :smallwink:
If the players do not feel sick to their stomach due to the actions of others, or more preferably, due to their own actions, then it's not dark enough :smallamused:

Some games do certain things better than other games. Mechanical aspects and incentives do a lot to help for specific genres. While you can play horror games with a system like D&D, you can do it a lot better with another system that promotes horror behavior. Same goes with dark fantasy - some systems just do it better, be it from the style of setting, writing or mechanics (or all three and others).

Personally, I think Torchbearer does dark fantasy excellently, though with a high focus. The game isn't about knights in shining armor killing dragons and saving princesses. Neither is there any world-ending plot to stop. It's just about a group of misfits trying to live in a world that doesn't want them, but needs them to do its dirty work. The game is brutal, the fear of the unknown is always there, and you can never be certain if the next "adventure" you go will make you safely home.

BWR
2014-02-16, 03:06 PM
agreed, actually knowing what's being talked about usually helps in determining whether someone is trying to spread interesting games or insulting others' systems and settings of choice because they can.

I see no reason to really look further if all you're willing to say is "kult is so much better than *insert setting you like here*."

I can give a quick description but I fear the result will be like saying "LOTR is about these guys who have to destroy a magic ring to stop the BBEG".

In short, Kult is another 'mystic **** in RL' setting. Humans are divine spirits trapped in the illusion of this world. The point is to try to fully awaken and break free of the illusion. It has themes and ideas similar to many of the WoD games, especially Mage but imo works a lot better. WoD generally strikes me as going too far into the angst and gets a bit whiny where Kult managed to portray some really nasty stuff without giving the impression it was trying so hard it stops being serious and starts getting silly.

Hiro Protagonest
2014-02-16, 04:57 PM
It is dark. You are likely to get eaten by a Grue.

SiuiS
2014-02-16, 06:08 PM
Sorry, but WoD, new or old, is just World of Slightly-less-than-optimal-lighting compared to Kult.

Eh.


Does it need to be a specific game?
Any game can be MADE dark if you're up to it, its all about what to emphasize.


I can give a quick description but I fear the result will be like saying "LOTR is about these guys who have to destroy a magic ring to stop the BBEG".

In short, Kult is another 'mystic **** in RL' setting. Humans are divine spirits trapped in the illusion of this world. The point is to try to fully awaken and break free of the illusion. It has themes and ideas similar to many of the WoD games, especially Mage but imo works a lot better. WoD generally strikes me as going too far into the angst and gets a bit whiny where Kult managed to portray some really nasty stuff without giving the impression it was trying so hard it stops being serious and starts getting silly.

So wait.

"Mage, only I like it better as an opinion because my opinion of Mage is that people do it all whiny and stuff"? That's not "better" at all that's just "my preference".

squiggit
2014-02-16, 06:25 PM
then give details about it, please. stop beating around the bush as if your boasting about it, its kind of annoying.

Kult is basically Mage. I mean there's a few variations and quirks and this sort of balance/insanity tug-of-war thing but it's pretty much mage (with maybe a little bit of changeling).

Arbane
2014-02-16, 07:19 PM
Kult is basically Mage. I mean there's a few variations and quirks and this sort of balance/insanity tug-of-war thing but it's pretty much mage (with maybe a little bit of changeling).

Um... not really. IIRC, in Kult, your 'mental balance' stat determines your supernatural oomph - but only if it's really high... OR really now. So both Florence Nightingale and Ed Gein have supernatural powers.

Scared yet? :smallbiggrin:

I see nobody's mentioned Little Fears yet. Is that because it's too obscure, or because it's too depressing? (It's about supernatural child abuse, from the children's POV.)

Tengu_temp
2014-02-16, 07:34 PM
Yeah, that is the defining element of Kult. Reality is a lie, and the way to get out of this lie and see the world how it really is lies either through very high mental balance, or very low mental balance. The former is extremely hard to achieve, and if someone else tries to make you see the truth, they most likely won't go that route. The latter is achieved through experiencing horrible things, usually first-hand; insanity, drugs, all kinds of torture.

With understanding the truth comes the power to change the world around you. And what is the truth? The ruins of a gigantic city, once a majestic metropolis where all-powerful humanity lived together with god. But now god is gone, the city is a wrecked wasteland, and within it lie the citadels of humanity's captors (let's call them angels). The "good" ones are totalitarian pricks who are not above destroying whole cultures and starting wars just to keep humanity within its illusionary prison. The "bad" ones are worse.

There are also monsters. They tend to be disturbing and live deep within the Uncanny Valley. Most of these monsters used to be humans, but were either turned into monsters by someone else or turned themselves when their mental balance got too low.

Lord Raziere
2014-02-16, 07:49 PM
So.....Mage the Awakening.....but in a bunch of ruins....

yeeeeeeeaaaaaah......I admit, it is darker, but I already prefer Awakening to it now. mostly because I don't see what I can do in a bunch of ruins, and I prefer the modern technology thing....

Grinner
2014-02-16, 07:57 PM
Yeah, that is the defining element of Kult. Reality is a lie, and the way to get out of this lie and see the world how it really is lies either through very high mental balance, or very low mental balance. The former is extremely hard to achieve, and if someone else tries to make you see the truth, they most likely won't go that route. The latter is achieved through experiencing horrible things, usually first-hand; insanity, drugs, all kinds of torture.

With understanding the truth comes the power to change the world around you. And what is the truth? The ruins of a gigantic city, once a majestic metropolis where all-powerful humanity lived together with god. But now god is gone, the city is a wrecked wasteland, and within it lie the citadels of humanity's captors (let's call them angels). The "good" ones are totalitarian pricks who are not above destroying whole cultures and starting wars just to keep humanity within its illusionary prison. The "bad" ones are worse.

There are also monsters. They tend to be disturbing and live deep within the Uncanny Valley. Most of these monsters used to be humans, but were either turned into monsters by someone else or turned themselves when their mental balance got too low.

And good luck finding a copy for anything less than your next paycheck, minus the cost of living.

Rhynn
2014-02-16, 08:45 PM
So.....Mage the Awakening.....but in a bunch of ruins....

Actually, as I understand, the City is more sort of ... "behind" everything. Much (most) of the action happens in the real world, in real cities (which are connected to the City).

Kult reminds me of Little Fears (the original, "unsanitized" edition). Now that's a dark game... a game about playing little children, and it's got probably the creepiest Hell(s) I've read about.

Cikomyr
2014-02-16, 10:00 PM
I like what has been explained about Kult. It's sort of like Plato's Cave, but with the idea that the outside of the cave is constantly bombarded with meteors. So why would anyone WANT to get out?

Is there an actual motive to awaken the rest of humanity..? Like, maybe, have a war against the Angels? Restore the City? Find God?

Bosaxon
2014-02-16, 10:33 PM
I'm surprised Lamentations of the Flame Princess hasn't been mentioned yet. I picked up the Free RPG Day supplement, and it's likely one of the darkest fantasy products I've read.

Rhynn
2014-02-16, 10:41 PM
I'm surprised Lamentations of the Flame Princess hasn't been mentioned yet. I picked up the Free RPG Day supplement, and it's likely one of the darkest fantasy products I've read.

LotFP is pretty awesome, but a lot of it just goes into (possibly intentional) juvenile grimdarkness (see Death Love Doom). On the other hand, the spells etc. do portray an awesomely dark fantasy world, and the module Better than Any Man, for instance, is exceptional.

Grinner
2014-02-16, 11:42 PM
I like what has been explained about Kult. It's sort of like Plato's Cave, but with the idea that the outside of the cave is constantly bombarded with meteors. So why would anyone WANT to get out?

Why do conspiracy theorists spend their lives fruitlessly chasing after shadows, against forces they could never hope to resist?

For the truth, of course. Truth is the highest of virtues. The truth must be revealed.

Cikomyr
2014-02-16, 11:49 PM
Why do conspiracy theorists spend their lives fruitlessly chasing after shadows, against forces they could never hope to resist?

For the truth, of course. Truth is the highest of virtues. The truth must be revealed.

How can you be sure that the ones who have "seen" the truth aren't actually mad?

Shyftir
2014-02-16, 11:54 PM
How can you be sure that the ones who have "seen" the truth aren't actually mad?

How can you be sure that the mad ones aren't actually the ones who have seen the truth?

Grinner
2014-02-16, 11:57 PM
How can you be sure that the ones who have "seen" the truth aren't actually mad?

And how can you be sure those who seem mad don't just have a slightly wider perspective?

You can't. That's why enlightenment can't be forced. As the adage goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him truly grasp the fundamental truths underlying reality. He has to figure that out for himself. Otherwise, he's really just going on blind faith."

I believe Jenna Moran coined a mental illness for things like this in Nobilis 3rd Edition. She called it dementia animus, where the afflicted are aware of the metaphysical world, but while this perspective is a correct one, "it is not a functional one".

Scow2
2014-02-17, 12:35 AM
So... Kult is nothing more than "The Matrix"?

That's what I'm getting out of the whole thing.

BLue pill please... or is it the Red one?

Grinner
2014-02-17, 12:43 AM
So... Kult is nothing more than "The Matrix"?

That's what I'm getting out of the whole thing.

BLue pill please... or is it the Red one?

Same principle, yes.

Arbane
2014-02-17, 01:00 AM
So... Kult is nothing more than "The Matrix"?

If you replace the Agents with the Cenobites from Hellraiser, and Los Angeles with Silent Hill... yeah, pretty close.


BLue pill please... or is it the Red one?

Whichever you like. BTW, they're both suppositories.

Tengu_temp
2014-02-17, 01:52 AM
So.....Mage the Awakening.....but in a bunch of ruins....


No. You held onto that one setting element and completely ignored the rest of what I said. When someone bothers to describe something to you and you brush it off with an inaccurate one-sentence summary, that's rather rude.


I like what has been explained about Kult. It's sort of like Plato's Cave, but with the idea that the outside of the cave is constantly bombarded with meteors. So why would anyone WANT to get out?

Is there an actual motive to awaken the rest of humanity..? Like, maybe, have a war against the Angels? Restore the City? Find God?

1. Truth. Truth is important.
2. Awakening gives you amazing powers.
3. Normal humans are often defenseless against and/or controlled by supernatural forces.
4. Awaken enough people, and the illusionary world will shatter, and all humans will regain their bithright. This is what the angels fear and don't want to happen.
5. By the time you're powerful enough that you start considering awakening others, you're enlightened and/or insane enough that you don't really think like normal people anymore.


So... Kult is nothing more than "The Matrix"?

If the Matrix was an extremely dark and messed-up movie. Also Kult is older.

SiuiS
2014-02-17, 04:13 AM
Why do conspiracy theorists spend their lives fruitlessly chasing after shadows, against forces they could never hope to resist?

For the truth, of course. Truth is the highest of virtues. The truth must be revealed.

Still hearing Mage, here.




You can't. That's why enlightenment can't be forced. As the adage goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him truly grasp the fundamental truths underlying reality. He has to figure that out for himself. Otherwise, he's really just going on blind faith."

That's... I'm pretty sure one of us has been using the wrong popular saying. And I'm not anywhere near sure it's you over me.



I believe Jenna Moran coined a mental illness for things like this in Nobilis 3rd Edition. She called it dementia animus, where the afflicted are aware of the metaphysical world, but while this perspective is a correct one, "it is not a functional one".

Hahahaha! Yoink!


So... Kult is nothing more than "The Matrix"?

That's what I'm getting out of the whole thing.

BLue pill please... or is it the Red one?

Yup. Still hearing Mage. XD

Arbane
2014-02-17, 04:42 AM
Still hearing Mage, here.

According to Wikipedia, Kult was first published in 1991. Mage: The Ascension was published in 1993.

Yeah, that Gandalf dude was a total rip-off of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Elderand
2014-02-17, 05:01 AM
Did they find any bones with typical injuries that indicate that they are from warriors who were spared, able to flee, or taken prisoner?

The site itself is skewing the perspective, by definition those that would have been spared or taken prisonner would not be in said mass grave.

Yora
2014-02-17, 06:17 AM
That was my point.

Not saying it didn't happen, but these things are always to take very cautiously as evidence for general behavior.

Tengu_temp
2014-02-17, 07:09 AM
Mage, in either incarnation, is much more hopeful and optimistic than Kult. Yes, I'm calling something from WoD hopeful.

(Something that's not Princess: the Hopeful, at least. Ha ha! Coincidentally, Princesses and Geniuses are the best fan splats. Screw your angsting, too busy doing magical girl stuff and/or SCIENCE!)

SiuiS
2014-02-17, 07:17 AM
According to Wikipedia, Kult was first published in 1991. Mage: The Ascension was published in 1993.

And?


Mage, in either incarnation, is much more hopeful and optimistic than Kult. Yes, I'm calling something from WoD hopeful.!)

Oh, definitely! But the fact that you have a direct feed to fix everything and somehow end up playing politics or living alone under a bridge because they're on your thoughts instead makes it all the more sorry.

One is a distinct setting and the other is a toolkit which can make that setting. The only reason I'm contesting it at all is because of the OMG ITS THE BEST!!!! imo method used as a rational arguing platform.

DBlues
2014-02-17, 09:25 AM
This was written on a mobile phone with a Spanish autocorrector: might have spelling errors.

You can try Midnight. It's a setting for D&D 3.5. Think of what would have happened if Sauron had won the War of the Ring. The Material Plane has been isolated from all other planes of existance. The only god that can contact mortals is the Dark God Izrador, whose only objective it's to use all the natural magic of the world to destroy the spell that trapped him in the world and go back to destroy the other gods.

The young Fey (elves, gnomes, dwarves, halflings and all the halfbreeds in between) fight a war with the Empire Izrador has conquered. Halflings have become slaves, and the having fey blood is a crime that will take you to your death.

Dwarves fight inside the tunnels of their mountainhomes, but the fight is already lost. The only thing they can do is to try to survive for as long as possible. Meanwhile the elven forest is covered by blood and ashes, as the orc armies of Izrador advance. Inside Izrador domains, legates, his priests, act as an inquisition that seeks and destroys anyone who can read, use magic or collaborates in any way with rebels.

Have I mentioned that the only 4 people who might have stood a chance before Izrador were corruptas and now serve as his generals? They are a powerful and proud warrior and human general, an elven sorceror, former consort of the elven queen, a Liche, who acts as Izrador's High Priest, and the matriarch of all dragons in the world.

Also, because the material plane has broken all contact with the other planes, souls cannot go into the afterlife and everyone comes back as undead, and most outsiders, even good ones, have gone crazy.

With no help from any gods, no hope and the natural magic of the world disappearing day by day, the PCs are rebels who have to fight. Winning is impossible. At best, you can survive.

Mono Vertigo
2014-02-17, 12:46 PM
I'm a bit surprised the two games I'm going to talk about weren't mentioned yet...


JAGS Wonderland. There are people going insane, having crises more and more regularly, until they disappear (or die). It's also contagious.
Thing is, these people are not going insane. They're going unsane: reality as we know it is losing its grasp on some unfortunate souls, who fall through the cracks into, well, Wonderland. It's not a nice place, nope. At all. (When you look like you're having crises, you're actually replaced by your "reflection", that tries to copy you as best as it can while you're dealing with creatures and things that don't exist in the physical world. The deeper you're in Wonderland, the less your environment matches the real world, and the weirder the situation looks to humans.)
If you're lucky, you stay alive long enough to develop mutations that help you survive better.
For extra creepy, people in the real world have no idea what's going on, and therefore are trying to use rational means to fight against it: psychotherapy, medication, support groups, etc. Many of the infected think they're genuinely crazy no matter how real it looks to them, but no amount of therapy will help. The biggest clue that it's not a mere psychological disorder is that, sometimes, when you come back from Wonderland, something follows you through the cracks.
(Not too dissimilar to Changeling: the Lost, except it would be about insanity rather than abuse. Also, forget the JAGS system if you plan to try it out; use another system for mechanics, and keep nothing but the fluff, for JAGS is extremely crunchy but the extra crunch doesn't bring anything of value IMHO. Also, according to the metaplot, humans are fated to win over the irrationality of Wonderland; I'll suggest ignoring that if you want to keep the setting dark and edgy. After all, Wonderland is a threat for all humanity potentially.)


Don't Rest Your Head. Insomnia has driven you mad - or because you became insomniac because of your already weak grasp on sanity? Whatever, now you're stuck in a dark city after a long time spent not sleeping. All the locals are mad, and most are dangerous or hostile. It's like you're stuck in a nightmare.
You have Madness powers, based on your own obsessions or talents. They can be frightfully versatile and useful. Abusing them, though, will get you in trouble. Big, big trouble.
Oh, yeah, and this game is not precisely supposed to end well by default.


You know, it's starting to occur to me that I might be inordinately fond of RPGs dealing with insanity and psychological horror.

Tengu_temp
2014-02-17, 01:16 PM
Don't Rest Your Head is not really that dark by default. It's very... Tim Burton-esque, for lack of a better term. And the gameplay can become a straight-up pulp adventure at times. A gothic pulp adventure about slightly unhinged people.

Lord Raziere
2014-02-17, 01:24 PM
Mage, in either incarnation, is much more hopeful and optimistic than Kult. Yes, I'm calling something from WoD hopeful.

(Something that's not Princess: the Hopeful, at least. Ha ha! Coincidentally, Princesses and Geniuses are the best fan splats. Screw your angsting, too busy doing magical girl stuff and/or SCIENCE!)

sigh. yet I'd still rather use anything but WoD's system to run them. I don't have for some reason the mechanics just don't click for me.

maybe I can somehow make some set up in Mutants and Masterminds, specifically for the Mages, those would be the hardest, probably some form of Variable power, maybe somehow based on how much Expertise one has in certain Arcanums? Or maybe just make the Arcanum's a bunch of Expertise skills that they use as an Enhanced Trait, then set a lower PL that would work so that the Mages aren't too powerful, and then give them Spell Resonance complications. yea I think that could work.

for everything else, its far easier cause no one else is as flexible as Mages. Geniuses: grab any power you want then put Removable on it, Muggles Make Inventions Break Down as a complication, done. Changelings: take any power you want as a Contract, Clarity and Fair Folk Pursuit as complications, done, Sin Eaters: take any power you want put removable on it (because keys), give yourself rank one Immortality with the Geist complication, done.

Werewolf however would require you to stat out the various forms ahead of time then give them for free to everyone, Vampire also would require certain powers given out to everyone for free, Demon and Promethean as well I think...

Mono Vertigo
2014-02-17, 02:18 PM
Don't Rest Your Head is not really that dark by default. It's very... Tim Burton-esque, for lack of a better term. And the gameplay can become a straight-up pulp adventure at times. A gothic pulp adventure about slightly unhinged people.

Right. I never got to play it, only read about it, so my opinion is incomplete.

Talakeal
2014-02-17, 04:52 PM
That was my point.

Not saying it didn't happen, but these things are always to take very cautiously as evidence for general behavior.

Of course you aren't counting survivors. The point is that significantly more people where killed trying to flee or surrender than actually died in combat trying to defend the village.

Tengu_temp
2014-02-17, 05:26 PM
Right. I never got to play it, only read about it, so my opinion is incomplete.

I didn't play it either, but I talked with people who did, and I read the rulebook.

Hida Reju
2014-02-18, 06:16 AM
Well even if the system has issues I have not seen a darker universe than RIFTS by Palladium games pretty much ever.

The majority of the world is screwed over, monsters everywhere, Bandits with a Laser Pistol and cheap body armor can run ram-shod over small towns like Gods.

The only organized forces in the world often are so focused on the Ends Justifies the means as the solution for absolutely everything that they commit atrocities in the name of survival daily.

Magic/Psionics/X-men mutants are all active in one form or another and often are feared/hated onsite.

The whole world is chock full of racism, bigotry, hatred, and a general lack of caring about anything.

The story of what happened to Mexico and Central America when the Vampires decided to just take them over is pretty much a super nightmare/horror story.

Each book makes the last book look warmer and fuzzier. Even if you run it in a different system due to the lack of balance take a look at how they did the story it nailed dark so much it walks bowlegged with a perpetual grin on its face.

Tengu_temp
2014-02-18, 07:18 AM
RIFTS is in the same camp as WH40K; so over-the-top it's impossible to take seriously.

Grinner
2014-02-18, 09:05 AM
JAGS Wonderland. There are people going insane, having crises more and more regularly, until they disappear (or die). It's also contagious.
Thing is, these people are not going insane. They're going unsane: reality as we know it is losing its grasp on some unfortunate souls, who fall through the cracks into, well, Wonderland. It's not a nice place, nope. At all. (When you look like you're having crises, you're actually replaced by your "reflection", that tries to copy you as best as it can while you're dealing with creatures and things that don't exist in the physical world. The deeper you're in Wonderland, the less your environment matches the real world, and the weirder the situation looks to humans.)
If you're lucky, you stay alive long enough to develop mutations that help you survive better.
For extra creepy, people in the real world have no idea what's going on, and therefore are trying to use rational means to fight against it: psychotherapy, medication, support groups, etc. Many of the infected think they're genuinely crazy no matter how real it looks to them, but no amount of therapy will help. The biggest clue that it's not a mere psychological disorder is that, sometimes, when you come back from Wonderland, something follows you through the cracks.
(Not too dissimilar to Changeling: the Lost, except it would be about insanity rather than abuse. Also, forget the JAGS system if you plan to try it out; use another system for mechanics, and keep nothing but the fluff, for JAGS is extremely crunchy but the extra crunch doesn't bring anything of value IMHO. Also, according to the metaplot, humans are fated to win over the irrationality of Wonderland; I'll suggest ignoring that if you want to keep the setting dark and edgy. After all, Wonderland is a threat for all humanity potentially.)

This one is a fun read.

I've never really been clear on what Wonderland is, though...Is it Chessboards One through Seven? Or is it something within them?

Callos_DeTerran
2014-02-18, 10:56 AM
You can always try the Games of Thrones RPG. Very few fantasy moments, rather dark and gritty. Very realistic consequences to actions that you or someone else takes.

Scow2
2014-02-18, 12:29 PM
RIFTS is in the same camp as WH40K; so over-the-top it's impossible to take seriously.It's only "Impossible to take seriously" if you look at it in the broad strokes, and not the little details that end up painting the world so dark.

warty goblin
2014-02-18, 12:59 PM
You can always try the Games of Thrones RPG. Very few fantasy moments, rather dark and gritty. Very realistic consequences to actions that you or someone else takes.

That, or just play Sorcerer with an emphasis on dark. Shouldn't be hard, by default Sorcerer already tends towards the pitch black.

Man on Fire
2014-02-18, 06:02 PM
Yeah I also hate huge swords.

I'm sorry guys I did not wanted to sound offensive.

Well, a dark place like real world dark ages. A place with slaves, but not non human slaves such as dragon age. A place with wars, but not war againts orcs and alien lovecraftian beings such as warhammer. A place with starvation and disease. A place where war is hell not a glorified thing.

Edit: i think that a place with no heros summarizes.

You sound like a person who would like to play a game in world of Berserk manga. It could work well in savage worlds.


You're talking about WH40K. WFRP isn't anywhere near as grimdark, nor anywhere near as over the top. It's a dark fantasy system where corruption can be found anywhere, being a hero is hard (but not impossible), cities are dirty, villages are suspicious of outsiders, and adventurers have to deal with rusting equipment and infected wounds. It's a down to earth game where you're more likely to investigate a suspicious new cult in the city than fight a dragon to rescue a princess. For a long time it was the default RPG system in Poland.

In some places it still is. Loads of people play it where I'm from. And it still had a lot of suplement material from MiM (for those who aren't Polish, it's short for "Magia i Miecz" which would translate as "Magic and Sword", Polish RPG magazine that lasted 100 issues)
Yet I cannot end up on any of those games :smallannoyed:

Fabletop
2014-02-20, 10:37 PM
Sometimes we go back to move forward;

Aftermath! (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/15/15896.phtml), grimdark post-apocalyptic goodness:smalltongue: