Monte Cook Games have been teasing The Darkest House for a short while now. The reveal has come today and it a grander project than many suspected.
The Cypher System publisher says it’s a new type of RPG product that’ll make the game you’re playing right now a better game.
The Darkest House is a digital product designed for the needs of a game being run and played online—and built to take maximum advantage of that mode of play. Think of it like an RPG book that’s been reimagined from the ground up for the online environment, with pages formatted for your screen, easily-sharable resources, no page-flipping, intuitive navigation, and additional features that don’t just make online gaming easier—they take advantage of its unique nature to deliver a better RPG experience. Your players may find the Darkest House a daunting challenge, but you’ll find it amazingly easy to GM.
What is The Darkest House?
The Darkest House, if the Kickstarter is successful, will be a download that offers up details of many rooms in a house. It’s a GM’s tool designed to be used during online gameplay.
In the download will be narrative props, maps, illustrations and other resources designed for easy sharing. There’s also a PDF that contains the House’s background and conversion rules and “House Rules”.
There’s also a Player’s Guide, again in PDF, that tells the players what they need to know about the conversion rules and the game.
As for which systems can be converted to The Darkest House, Monte Cook Games say any system can.
The Darkest House is compatible with the game you’re already playing—in fact, it’s specifically made to be integrated into your current campaign. The House System easily converts characters from the game rules you’re currently using (it takes about five minutes), and then lets you return to your normal character sheets when your PCs emerge from the House. The House System is a sort of RPG Rosetta Stone, allowing easy translation from any game system—and even letting you bring characters from different games together.
While The Darkest House has been designed with online play in mind, you won’t need a virtual tabletop for it. You can play using Zoom, Discord or Slack.
When characters enter the Darkest House, they’ll find more than just a haunted house. Far more. It is a crucible of sorts, where their mettle and their minds will be tested. Those who fall short will suffer heavy consequences. Those who can hold their own, however, emerge not only stronger but with greater insight into their world, their companions, and most of all themselves. The House draws upon a character’s memories and personal fears. It challenges their very notions of morality, family, friendship, love, and truth.
Monte Cook Games have certainly set the bar of expectations high with this one.
What do you think? Measured observations are welcome and you can leave them in the comment section below.