If you're a fan of the literary works of M. R. James, then Casting the Runes is the absolutely perfect RPG for you. Even if you don't know who M. R. James is, if you're a fan of supernatural investigation, intense moments of high drama, and otherworldly creatures, then Casting the Runes is still the absolutely perfect RPG for you. The new RPG is up on Kickstarter now.
From the campaign:
Casting the Runes is an investigative roleplaying game based on the ghost stories and tales of the supernatural by renowned medievalist and writer, M. R. James.
Writing between 1904 and 1935, his story collections are considered classics of the genre, and are based on and around the investigation of strange, uncanny, supernatural artefacts that either summon terrible, malevolent entities, or unlock the ways for disturbing events to manifest.
Many of James' works have been broadcast on the radio, filmed for television, and adapted for cinema. The story this game is named after, 'Casting the Runes', was filmed as 'Night of the Demon' in 1957.
Casting the Runes the roleplaying game is powered by the GUMSHOE game engine, the perfect rules for investigation and tense, supernatural events. Set in the Edwardian Era (approximately 1901-1910, during the reign of King Edward VII of Great Britain), players take on the roles of occult investigators: antiquarians, scholars, archivists, archaeologists, detectives, and so on, exploring the supernatural and uncovering arcane and esoteric mysteries. The GUMSHOE engine, created by renowned game designer Robin Laws, has been carefully tailored to the ghost story genre, and everything you need to explore the Edwardian world and create your own Jamesian stories is included in one book.
GUMSHOE is a system for designing investigative roleplaying games and adventures, emulating stories where investigators uncover a series of clues, and interpret them to solve a mystery. In GUMSHOE, the players always get the clues they need to move the narrative forward. Characters are defined by Investigative Abilities, which allow you to find the core clues your character needs to move forward in a mystery-solving narrative, and give occasional additional benefits; and General Abilities, which help you survive while gathering information and solving problems. Characters progress from scene to scene, interviewing people and using their Investigative Abilities to find core clues, which advance the story and help the players solve the mystery. If a scene contains a core clue and a player character uses an Investigative Ability relating to that clue, the character will find it. Investigative Ability ratings also function as pools, from which players can spend 1 to 3 points to get additional clues, providing more information or other benefits about the situation. Investigative Ability pool points are refreshed between scenarios. General Abilities are used when the outcome of an ability use is in doubt (such as at dramatically important points in the story, or for tasks of exceptional difficulty). For these tests, GUMSHOE uses a six-sided die, which is rolled against a Difficulty – usually 4, although it can be modified from 2 to 8 depending on how hard the Games Master thinks the task is. If the die roll is equal to or higher than the Difficulty, the PC has succeeded in her action.
The campaign's a bit more than halfway to its goal with 26 days left to go.