I've been not-so-secretly working on a tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the 8, 16, and 32-bit action-horror games of yesteryear: Vampyrvania. The game is primarily designed for people who like to play tabletop games but don't have a lot of time (or money!) to memorize expansive rule sets, and would prefer to get into the action with very little prep.
Players assume the role of Slayer, Scoundrel, Magician, or Dhampir and battle monstrous enemies straight out of the classic Gothic horror platformers. They will rescue villages besieged by zombies, investigate cursed ruins, explore haunted clock towers, commandeer ghost ships, discover holy relics, wield legendary weapons, cast powerful spells, and more in their quest to defeat the ultimate evil: the resurrected Vampire Lord.
The rules are designed to make exploration, movement, and combat fast-paced, utilizing a very simple "meet or exceed 13" d20 system that is both familiar and streamlined. Players make the vast majority of rolls and are constantly making decisions to give their party the edge in battle against skeletons, gorgon heads, poltergeists, and more. And if a character falls in battle, fear not—rolling up a new one only takes a couple of minutes.
If you're interested, you can download the beta test rules here. There's also a feedback form if you read or play the game and want to provide some constructive comments. The full game will be released with an adventure supplement later this year and will feature artwork by Peter Lazarski of Imaginary Monsters.
Go ahead. Give the game a try. If you dare...
Image by Freepik.