Previously, I have mentioned how Nigel and I have been working on a secret project that we weren't able to announce yet. That's because it was a licensed product, so we had to wait for approval, but now we've been approved, so we can reveal that we will be producing a rules supplement for one of our favourite games, When the Moon Hangs Low.
The Hunter's Guidebook will provide some new marks, edges, equipment, enemies and other rules for the game, usable by gamesmasters and players alike.
If you've not tried When the Moon Hangs Low yet, you should - it's a great game with simple rules and an incredible setting. If you like Darkest Dungeon or Bloodborne, or the Hugh Jackman Van Helsing movie, it's for you!
A Peek at What's to Come
I thought I'd spend a bit of time to give you some teasers as to what to expect inside...
Marks are probably the most important aspect of your character, providing them with a special magical gift and a curse to fight against as the game progresses. They are all incredibly flavourful and highlight different tropes and themes.
The Hunter's Guidebook will include three new marks, so as a teaser, I thought I'd talk about one to give you a taster - the Warded.
Hunters with the Warded mark have tattooed their bodies with arcane wards, to protect them against the creatures of the dark and other enemies, that damage enemies that attack them. However, the wards are powered by the Dark itself, and the hunter slowly absorbs this energy as their wards are triggered.
Edges are the special tricks and magic powers your character can use to give them an edge in the hunt and the fight against the Dark. With the edges, we wanted to broaden out the options available and the scope of things that your character can do. Several ideas for edges came to us when we were involved with a playtest with When the Moon Hangs Low creator, Rob Leigh - ideas for effects and abilities that we thought we'd like to use that didn't currently have an edge to allow you to achieve it.
To pick an example, the character I was playing, Piper (inspired by the Pied Piper of Hamlin and his namesake from Guild Ball), wanted to try and hypnotise the enemy by playing a haunting melody on his flute. The Hunter's Guidebook includes a new edge, Dark Calling, that forces enemies to make Willpower check or be lured towards him.
We had a lot if ideas for new equipment, especially the occult oddments that your hunter can collect as they adventure around Harrowmire, but the When the Moon Hangs Low mechanic we most wanted to play with was that of weapon customisations. These allow you to make your signature weapons into the perfect tool for the hunt, so we felt we wanted to add a selection of new options, again to help broaden out the utility available to characters.
One example is the Elegant customisation. Instead of providing a direct combat boost, elegant weapons just look impressive, even in their scabbards, and as such provide you with a bonus to Charm skill checks.
When we came to designing antagonists, we wanted to both expand out the options available within the existed categories of enemies, but also to add our own unique whole new group of creatures for your hunters to take on.
As such, we expanded out the options in the People of Harrowmire, Animals, and Supernatural Threats sections, but also added an entirely new section: The Flock.
The Flock an alliance of extra-demensional bird-like beings that have some plan for Harrowmire as arcane as it is nefarious.
I'd like to go into more detail than that, but I don't want to provide any spoilers. However, I will give you a hint by a sample of the art I have been able to source for this mysterious new threat to Harrowmire.
We've also added a new section of expanded combat options for using skills in combat. This is aimed more at the GM than player, providing discussion of options and ideas to allow them to mechanically represent the weird and wacky plans their players come up with.
Overall, our vision for the product has been inspired by playing the game, and by getting to play in sessions run by the game designer, Rob. These games gave us a great handle on his vision for the game, and it was important for us that we were able to keep to that vision, whilst also adding our own unique stamp on the game.
With much of the work already complete, we hope to release this product within a few short months, but watch this space and all the usual social media for more news!
And I thought I'd leave you with a sample of some of the fiction I've written for the supplement. I hope it gets you in the mood for more!
Rain dripped from the brim of Jeremiah's hat. His coat, too, was soaked with rainwater. It hung from his shoulders heavy and cold, chilling him to the bone in the frigid night air. Not that any of that bothered him. His mind was focused with grim intent on the task at hand: a task that required him to wait here in the rain, silently, patiently, poised for his chance to strike.
The events that had brought him here were far from typical. There was no contact, no payment due, no investigation or delving into dark corners of the Catacombs. Just a lone little girl and her fears. An orphan from the shambles, twelve years old and left to care for her younger brothers and sisters. She had come to the Bastion out of desperation, but none had been willing to respond without guarantee of payment. But for Jeremiah, knowing that he would strike another blow against the Dark was payment enough. And so here he was, outside in the minacious Harrowmire night, waiting for… something to come knocking. Something that has been plaguing this family for months, taking a life every new moon.
A muffled cry from inside the ramshackle tenement and he sprang into action, shouldering through the rotten doorway and taking the heavily creaking stairs three at a time. Whatever it was that was stalking this family was a canny beast if it had managed to sneak past his vigil.
His heart was beating ten-to-the-dozen as he smashed through the bedroom door, his blood surging in anticipation of the blue he would strike in tonight, against the Dark. But the sight that greeted him stored him in his tracks.
The youngest of the family, a boy of three or maybe four summers, lay on the bed, his blood soaking the rough sackcloth of the makeshift mattress, staring up eyeless at his murderer as a bloody froth gurgled from his throat. Perched above him was a slight figure, shrouded in black feathers. He raised his sword, ready to strike down the foul creature. Its head whipped round like lightning as he crashed into the room, observing him from an angle in a curiously avian manner for its humanoid form, despite the feathers, with solid black eyes. One of the boy's eyeballs was held between its teeth and popped and spurted black ichor down its chin as it bit down. But it was not that horrific scene, nor even the unnatural beast that caused him to pause. Staring back at him with those blackened eyes was her, the girl who had found him in the Bastion.
It was only a moment's pause, however. Jeremiah was not stirred by sentiment or sympathy, but by the blood he would strike to the heart of evil in the city. Coldly, he drove his blade into the creature's heart, revealing its crow-like death cry, and left.
The family would mourn, but that was their business, not his.