Powered by the Apocalypse
The DriveThruRPG Halloween Sale is in its last days, and we’ve dug through to find some gems that might appeal to you. This post will cover some classic and less-well-known games powered by the Apocalypse World Engine.
Monster of the Week
Monster of the Week is a game that will let you play through stories reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer if you’re in a high-school mood, or travel the country fighting ghosts and beasties if you’re feeling more like the Winchester Brothers from Supernatural. If Mulder and Scully are more your bag, X-Files is doable, too! This is a well-known monster-hunting game that gives reliably fun play with flexible rules for magic and extensive GM advice.
This updated version of Avery Alder’s classic game of sexy teenage monsters caught up in love triangles, high-school angst, and dangerously fraught decisions is inspired by Buffy, Twilight, Ginger Snaps, The Vampire Diaries and The Craft. It’s also simply one of the clearest and most expressive Powered by the Apocalypse texts to date.
Urban Shadows is a game of urban politics and supernatural drama that pits factions of vampires, wizards, mortals, faeries and more against each other, vying for control of the city. It draws inspiration as much from The Wire as from classic touchstones like The Dresden Files. This sale also includes the Urban Shadows supplement Dark Streets and Los Cazados, a minigame set in the world of Urban Shadows that allows players to portray werewolves hiding among the human populace in a modern city while fighting an ancient enemy.
In Bluebeard’s Bride, players collaborate to create a unique version of the dark fairy tale. Room by room, you discover the nightmares and horrors and truths of the place, meet Bluebeard’s servants, and eventually decide if your Bride is faithful or disloyal. This is a truly creepy game of feminine horror that will remind you of the best of American Horror Story. Also in the sale are the Book of Rooms, with rooms, resources and nightmares aplenty for the Bride; and the Book of Lore, a fiction supplement that tells one possible story of the Bride, but leaves it to the reader to make the final, fateful choice.
In Bedlam Hall, you play servants of an insane upper-crust family, living in a cursed house, in the near-constant drizzle of the gothic landscape. Attempting to manage the house (which may not want to be managed), avoid the… quirks… of the family members, and all the while maintain your own sanity (and your references) is quite a challenge! The sale also includes three scenarios: A Terrible Tale of an Unsettling Tradition, A Terrible Tale of Pride and Prescience, and A Terrible Tale of a Continuation of Horrible Events.
Blackout: A Game of Civil Defence
Blackout is a game about female Civil Defence volunteers during the London Blitz. As air wardens, rescue workers, fire guards, first aid responders, and welfare services, you venture forth from the bomb shelters to confront the horrors being unleashed from above, fighting fires, saving lives, and trying to piece back together your fair city even as the enemy tries to blow it to pieces! Designed for one-shot play, Blackout is quick to set up and get going.
The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth
In The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth, players take on the role of guests or staff in a theme park that barely masks a terrible horror lurking beneath. The game is a blend of satiric commentary and gut-curdling horror in a place that’s just a bit too shiny not to cast the darkest of shadows.
Learn More about these Games!
You will find interviews with the creators of most of these games, along with some great one-on-one actual play, on the Ennie-nominated podcast +1 Forward, co-hosted by our own Rich Rogers.