An all-new horror game by Zak Sabbath (and maybe some other people later, when they're finished with what they're working on now).
Donate to Patreon to help get it made here.
All the posts about the game so far are collected under the Demon City tag here.
Murder, corruption, death, whiskey, hate, night, darkness, noise, summoning, possession, car chases, claws, disorder, firearms, glass shattering, bathtubs filled with blood, devoured corpses, neon, broken men, fear.
The Demon City system is based on simulating the kinds of struggles that characters typically experience in horror movies and other horror fiction. In those struggles, it’s usually important who is better, but how much better is less important. For example, a 90-pound weakling is likely to fail to dodge a supernaturally puissant tentacle from the Ninth Archon of the Drown Dimension and be knocked off a roof into a dumpster, but they’re about equally likely to fail to dodge a punch from the school bully and end up in the same dumpster. How much better, faster, stronger, smarter matters in military simulations and superhero games, but only which side is better matters much in horror. In horror, fights are relatively quick and decisive—as are many other contests.
What’s important in Demon City is simply who has a better stat, not how much better it is. Broadly, it works like this:
Most situations are resolved via opposed rolls: each side rolls a d10 and the high roll wins.
If the opponents have different stats, the opponent with the higher stat in the relevant contest gets to roll an extra d10—and the superior side uses whichever of their d10 rolls is highest in the contest.
In certain specific contests, extra dice may be alotted based on the situation—for example, in combat: not only does the character with the highest skill get an extra die, but the character who is in the more advantageous tactical position (skill aside) gets an extra die. To take another example: If one character is looking for another in a warehouse at night, the pursuer might get an extra die if their Perception was better than their target’s Stealth, but the pursued would get an extra die if the crates were densely packed and the floor too clean to hold footprints.
No matter what, the highest die on either side is compared, and the high roll wins.
The more goes into the Patreon, the more time I spend on Demon City instead of my day job making paintings, and the faster the art and writing gets finished and shown to publishers. There are a variety of backer rewards from getting your name on the NPC list to getting original art from the game. If you've got ideas for rewards let me know.
This will be a complete game on every level you'd expect: classes, demon creatures, rituals, advice on running horror, tables and tips for running modern horror in the city, the whole nine yards.