We just received word and a press kit about a new Kickstarter launching on 1 October 2020. A new roleplaying game entitled Acheron. While skimming over the press kit, I can see that its design has been influenced by a good many systems and popular themes such as horror, magic, and the like.
The publisher, Dark World Studios, provided the following blurb.
“Acheron is a Grimpunk tabletop role-playing game where you must sacrifice your humanity to fight against the evils of the world. Mystery, monsters, and magic collide in this 1930s era setting where The Government controls the path of History, Factions war for resources, and The Wall looms forever upon the horizon.”
It is a tabletop RPG that leans into the mature themes of the world. We pride ourselves on being realistic, not just with the brutality of combat but also the psychological effects (as much as you can in a ttRPG, obviously) of experiencing things that are out of this world, morally corrupt, or violent beyond what one would normally experience. We’ve also worked to make a world that, while influenced by the U.S. 1930s, Dishonored franchise, works of H. G. Wells, etc. is something all it’s own with a living, breathing feel.
The following was taken from the publisher’s website as I feel it gives a good summary of what this project is all about.
At its core Acheron is about sacrificing your humanity, both temporarily and permanently, to fight against the horrors that inhabit the world. Whether they be cultists, madmen, beasts, or the strange Outsiders.
Acheron’s development philosophies reflect this primary concept in multiple differing ways. These philosophies are Player Choice, Gritty Combat, Simplified Realism, Character-Altering Consequences, and Fun.
You will experience our 1930s era world through the lens of a unique character. Three distinct races, Humans, Darkleechers, and Soulmenders, as well as their many pedigrees, make up the vast population of the world. These races, along with a the selection of Attributes, Skills, Merits, Flaws, and Abilities, create extremely individualized characters. Our free-form Progression System allows for many different approaches to the challenges the world presents, whether that be a combat focused brute or a smooth talking dame that has never hurt a fly.
Gritty Combat and intense role-play meet in a game that doesn’t shy away from the realities of the world. Gunfights are deadly, and so are monsters. One must plan accordingly. Simplified Realism means that all of the lore and the mechanics in the game are crafted with an eye to the real world for influence and grounding. Acheron has trauma, societal issues, moral dilemmas, and the atrocities of the past woven into it’s canvas. This is a game with mature themes. Therefore we thought it only appropriate that the mechanics reflect the realities of the world. This even extends to magic, which is seen as dimwitted mysticism by some and wielded with maleficence by others.
Player Choice and Fun are central to Acheron, and we make sure to never lose sight of them in our quest for a realistic world. That is why we’ve chosen a free-form Progression System, have included optional rules for Players and Game Masters to modify their games, and have even designed Magic, Mancies, and other systems to be semi-modular if Game Masters wish to include some of our mechanics while excluding others.
The final book will deliver a complete Tabletop Role Playing Game experience. In our core book we will have what would normally be spread between a Players Manual, Game Masters Guide, and Bestiary.
As with any game that delves into horror and violence, it may not be for everyone, and your mileage may vary. Keep an eye on Kickstarter beginning on 1 October.
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