Secrets Under Stone is a Gothic Fantasy role-playing game drawing the venerable British tradition. The system is designed for a mixture of investigation and adventure in a world saturated by hidden knowledge, where wise travellers go both well-armed and well-informed. This is not a game of heroes or plunderers, but scrappy dilettantes with idiosyncratically mixed capabilities, who frequently bite off more than they can chew.
Imagine a village made insignificant by the landscape that surrounds it, its air thick with secrets. There have been disappearances, perhaps, or murders – gruesome ones, loaded with occult significance. Shadowy cabals concoct plots by candlelight, pursued by interlopers with demons of their own. The stash of books in the church’s broom cupboard locates a hidden temple in the woods, and gives advice on traversing the labyrinth beneath. Dying gods are glimpsed in the abandoned tin mines by practitioners of forbidden sacraments – and as the darkest stars align, the cult’s agenda ticks like a bomb.
Future issues of Deep Under Stone will adapt the system within for a wide range of settings and modes of play.
An easy to learn but highly versatile skills-based 2d6 system, adapted fromAdvanced Fighting FantasyandTroika! but with some key changes (there are three core Ability Scores rather than just Skill, combat is a fast a deadly sequence of rolls against your relevant Skill, and encumbrance directly determines your initiative in combat).
Character creation that is lightning-fast and fully random without being unfair: every character is good at something, but you'll have to discover what it is.
A focus on readability and useability at the table: everything you need to know about a subject fits on a printable two-page spread, meaning you can print them off and give them to your players.
48 pages of content including everything you need to get started: character creation, item descriptions, example monsters, Rituals, and Patrons, and more.
Knowledge is power: rules for immersing yourself in occult disciplines including Astrology, Augury, and Demonology.
Magic that feels part of the world: form contracts with powerful patrons for a share of their magic, or learn dangerous Rituals through study.
An implied setting that draws on centuries of Gothic writings.
Beautiful black-and-white art adapted from the work of Renaissance masters.
A modular and flexible system, with notes on adapting it to a wide variety of settings a play styles.
The first instalment ofDeep Under Stone, a zine that will take the core framework presented here in vastly different directions.
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