Wretched Darkness

Welcome to the nightmarish realms of the Wretchedverse, where horrors lurk around every corner, and the darkness hides untold terrors. Wretched Darkness is a mature horror role-playing game where players take on the roles of anti-hero characters who must face the unknown and confront the supernatural and the paranormal head-on. Wretched Darkness may be played as a dark fantasy game or you can make it into an actual horror experience. Players can choose from several factions for their characters, some already featured in previous Wretched games, such as the Knights of Cydonnia, BurroughsTech, the Araknyd Brotherhood and the Daughters of Ksenia, and a few new ones, like the Warden Foundation and the Children of the Night (460 pages).

By default, the game is set in modern times, in urban environments, where danger lurks at every turn and death is never far away. However, you can use it to play horror games in different timelines. Combine it with Wretched Époque or Wretched Country for a 19th-century terrifying experience, pair it up with Wretched New Flesh – Postcards from Avalidad for a near-future surrealistic horror campaign, jump into the far future by using Wretched Space, or set it in any other age. This book presents you with a sandbox-style setting inspired by the works of masters of horror, such as Clive Barker, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, John Carpenter, George Romero, Wes Craven, Dario Argento, Tobe Hooper, Lucio Fulci and Mario Bava, but expect sources of inspiration as varied as William Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, William Gibson, Paul Auster, exploitation movies and Leonard Cohen’s poetry.

As a Game Master, you will find here tools and game mastering hints for running any style of horror game, such as Giallo, gore, supernatural, psychological, apocalyptic, surreal, sci-fi horror and more. Wretched Darkness uses a revised version of the Wretched mechanics, an old-school set of rules designed for playing characters that are not necessarily good or virtuous. The revised rules are still entirely compatible with previous versions, but they include new mechanics for sanity and the use of magic, as well as several new classes and playable races, such as Incubus/ Succubus, Loup-Garou, and the Wampyr. Player characters are also more vulnerable than they were in previous Wretched games: The Hit Point increase was downgraded (now by default you don’t roll for Hit Points when you level up, you only get 1 additional point per leve) and the level cap is set at 10.

Welcome to St. Cloud

Welcome to St. Cloud is somewhere in-between a campaign setting and a scenario and can be adapted to any system, though it is meant to be a scenario for the Wretchedverse, especially for our horror/ dark urban fantasy game Wretched Darkness (205 pages)

A surreal horror scenario, heavily inspired by David Lynch’s cult TV show Twin Peaks (1990), but it leans on other sources, like John Carpenter’s The Fog (1980), The League of Gentleman (1999), Carnivàle (2003) and 1970s slasher flicks. There isn’t specific mythology, and even the amount of supernatural and/or paranormal phenomena can be easily modified to suit different tastes.

What’s presented here is a detailed description of the titular small town of St. Cloud, WA, and its inhabitants, which provides multiple story seeds. In the end, there’s a much more developed but unstructured plot hook that encompasses a series of events set in motion after the death of a local pre-teen girl.

The final chapter, (Not) Wrapped in Plastic, is a plotline designed for those who want to play St. Cloud with a distinct Twin Peak’s feeling, but without instantly giving away the whole story.

If this and some of the characters’ descriptions sound familiar at a glance (you’re right, of course, it does!), that’s only a superficial similarity, however.

Indeed the inspiration isn’t masqueraded, but St. Cloud can be run even if in your group there are players familiar with Lynch’s work since the characters and the town’s dirty little secrets are pretty different from the source. What remains very similar are the eerie atmosphere and the overall semblance of a soap opera gone insane.

Sub Umbra

Sub Umbra is a conspiracy thriller scenario for Wretched Darkness or other modern horror OSR role-playing games. It is a sandbox adventure taking place in Portugal and contains information about several real-world and fictional factions (some of them already featured in previous Wretched books), characters and historical events. Knowing Portugal or Portuguese history is optional (90 pages).

While researching for a book on secret societies and occult sects at the library of a 19th-century eccentric millionaire, a Portuguese journalist found evidence that the Knights of Christ (the order that succeeded the Knights Templar in Portugal) had retained much of the esoteric lore from the disbanded Templars. However, this was merely the surface-level finding. The records of a 17th-century Portuguese knight revealed the Order of Christ’s progress in harnessing ancient knowledge to manipulate telluric currents from the Axis Mundi, the supposed centre of the world or the universe. This discovery has the potential to unlock a power that had been lost to the world.