You are a creature from folklore. A supernatural being. A visitor from the stars. A monster.
Or maybe, a mortal human… but one burdened by strange powers.
You live among humanity, strange sights in a stranger world.
In the shadowy margins, you face the vile, the villainous, the unnatural…
…and the dark impulses of your own monstrous nature.
The Newest Project
I was eight or nine and running errands with my grandma. We stopped at a bookstore, where I stumbled into something unexpected and awesome: Draw 50 Monsters: The Step-by-Step Way to Draw Creeps, Superheroes, Demons, Dragons, Nerds, Ghouls, Giants, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Scary Creatures by Lee Ames.
I begged, and Grandma got me the book. Weeks of drawing later, and I was hooked.
All these years later, and I’m still a fan of the monstrous and folkloric – and have long toyed with the thought of running an RPG built around the concept of monsters and other supernatural protagonists.
The last few weeks I’ve been working on a relatively rule-light approach to doing just that.
I’ve been calling the game Haunters.
Please note the full rules are not ready for playtesting. They are still being laid out and polished. This is the information that should be needed by players to get familiar with the rules and during gameplay.
- Playtest 0.1 – Character Creation excerpt (PDF)
- Character Sheet v3.1 (PDF)
- Character Creation Guide v1 (Slide Deck in PDF Format)
Why This, and Why Now?
For a few months I’ve been working on another tabletop RPG project that was pure fan service towards my own love of history – and Renaissance-era / early modern European history at that.
It began as a retooling of OSR d20 rules with historical flavor… and then grew and mutated from there. While I’m feeling positive about the direction the rules were going, I’m also holding myself to some strange, probably unhelpful standards of “getting it just right” given my fascination with the history.
So, I’m putting that project on the shelf and pivoting.
Spooky monster PCs it is. Hard to get hung up on historical accuracy with that!
Inspirations & Rules References
Monstrous PCs fighting other monsters – and their own monstrous natures. More weird pulp action and intrigue, less out and out horror. I’m referencing a lot from the Mignolaverse, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and – of course – the wide body of work that that is the World of Darkness.
My goal with Haunters is to be relatively rules-light by adapting and streamlining some of the mechanics I’ve really been impressed by from a few others systems, namely Whitehack, Monsterhearts, City of Mist, and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.
I’ll share more about the basic mechanics in a later post.
I’m still finishing the rules text of everything, so I’m not ready for a full playtest release, but I believe the rules to be in a good enough place (and enough of it laid out) to move forward with a playtest campaign with friends online.
I’ll certainly welcome any feedback!