Bleak Spirit is an RPG with a difference. Well, a few of them, actually. First, you can play with as few as two players, with one playing the role of the world while the other being the traveller within it. It's also expected that you'll swap out roles occasionally. Extra players make up the chorus. Also, the world it happens in is a bit darker than most. It's a bleak landscape where the ancestors of an evil empire dwell. They may not be evil themselves, anymore (not entirely, anyway), but the echoes from that time still linger. You can check out the game on Kickstarter now.
From the campaign:
The world of Bleak Spirit is one of majesty and mystery, where the landscape looms vast and conceals manifold cryptic secrets. The twisted descendants of ancient civilisations live among the faded glories of their forebears, pursuing arcane agendas indecipherable to outsiders. And in primordial woods and swamps, fabled treasures and long-forgotten sorceries lie guarded by deadly monsters both fearsome and noble.
This world is gloomy, desolate, lonely -- but also beautiful. Long-abandoned fortress ruins still stand as awe-inspiring testament to the might and vision of their creators. Beside the hungry beasts that prowl the forests, flowers grow, picked out by rays of sunlight glancing through the leaves.
Into this world comes a wanderer, a lone traveller from somewhere else who bears a heavy destiny.
Bleak Spirit is their story.
Bleak Spirit is a tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the empty, haunted worlds of video games like Dark Souls, Hollow Knight, and Salt and Sanctuary. Using a rotating role system, two or more players collaborate to create the story of how a wanderer comes to a strange place, and leaves it forever changed in their wake.
In each scene one player takes the role of the world, one takes the role of the wanderer, and the rest form the chorus. The world describes the scene, bringing the faded grandeur of the setting to life, assisted in this role by the chorus. The wanderer explores the scene, defeats any enemies present, talks to any strange inhabitants, and discovers some piece of mysterious lore.
Then everyone secretly writes down what they think is going on based on the lore discovered so far, the roles rotate, and a new scene starts.
This basic structure is modified by the presence of special cards, which allow elements to bend or break the rules of the game. Everyone gets one, to be played -- or not -- when they see fit.
Over the course of the game everyone gets to contribute lore, and the final story -- what this place is, what happened here, what monster lurks here and why -- is truly constructed as a shared enterprise by the whole group.
With a teaching guide and several tables of inspiration included in the book, you could be telling your own strange, melancholy tales almost immediately that it's in your hands.
The campaign's around 3/5 of the way to its goal with 28 days left to go.