--- LATEST NEWS ---
We have successfully concluded our Kickstarter campaign for Locus!
Our goal was to get a professional editor and print the books with the possibility for further content and this is now in progress.
Digital release is planned for January 2021.
A tabletop role playing system of personal horror
Our first published creation, Locus is a bespoke, mystery/horror roleplay game with a unique mechanics crafted entirely around horror. One of the core goals of this system was to personalise the monsters for the player characters, making it more meaningful to them and less existential or abstract. It plays with themes of guilt and regret, with all player characters requiring one or more Haunt - an event in their past which plagues them and drives the journey through a harsh landscape. The title, taken from the latin genius loci, is itself a clue to the mystery element of the game - why exactly is the world so hostile?
Crafted For Horror
Locus has been designed from the ground up with its thematic goals in mind. One of the keystones of this development process is the dice based resolution mechanic. All rolls use 3d6, where the threshold of success is decided by the character's attributes, but the result used is decided by the difficulty of the action. This aims to create a wide spectrum of outcomes which is heavily affected by the characters the players have made. The probabilities in play help engender an atmosphere of uncertainty and tension, while maintaining the integrity of characters' mechanical identity.
All the most impactful horror stories have monsters that reflect the characters in some manner, that play on the same themes that the character explores, that tie in with their story in some way. This can be found across media like novels, games and books to great effect. We felt that in order to make a genuine horror system, this had to be a necessary part of our design goals. As such, we developed monsters that could be tailored mechanically and thematically. In the Director Guide, you will find a chapter dedicated to developing your own monsters, based on your cast of characters. It has guidance for designing their behaviours, their appearance, and how they should interact with the player characters to make some really memorable and effective adversaries.
The game is presented in two documents - a Director's Guide and a Player Guide. Potential players should ideally not read the Director's Guide, as it reveals many of the secrets they would be aiming to discover in play. The Player Guide covers what you can expect as a player, the rules, character creation and some guidance on roleplay, interacting with the world and how certain conflicts will play out mechanically. The Director's Guide contains all the tools needed to understand the lore of Locus and build and run your own game, guidance on working with players to get the most out of the personalised elements of your design including monsters tailor made to the player characters, and a full sample campaign.
The seeds of Locus’ creation were planted over 7 years ago, in a horror-themed roleplay game Steph ran as an undergraduate, set in an asylum with time-travel elements. Upon reflecting on that game, we realised that for that style of story, none of the available systems they looked at really fit, including the system she used to run the game. During development, the initial idea morphed and matured into much more.