Maybe not your thing . . .

On New Year's Eve I released Opening the Dark in several forms. Here's the blurb:

Opening the Dark is a tribute to the classic horror and dark fantasy RPGs of the 1990s. This game uses the signature d10 dice pool mechanic from that era, priority-based character design and traits related to ethics, beliefs -- and sanity.

Play investigators in search of dark mysteries or the monsters from which those secrets spring. Systems for magic and supernatural powers provide the framework to stock your world with unique, disturbing denizens. Guidelines for set powers, freeform magic and spirits cover an array of threats.

Furthermore, *you* can add to the system. Opening the Dark is a full System Reference Document under the Open Game License, and even includes a new license that allows you to identify your work as part of its family.

You can get it in several forms:

1) A System Reference Document at

2) As a hardcover, softcover or PDF from Mob United Media's Lulu storefront

Of interest to the S-G crowd would be the Ethos, Being and Emotional Traits systems, which are not *exactly* like their inspirations. There's a bit of FATE and a lot of the d20SRD in its design genetics.

The SRD includes a separate trademark/logo license for those who'd like to identify their work as being a part of OtD's family. This is not necessary to use the document.


  • There was an announcement thread on in which I expressed kudos, I do the same here. This is a badass idea.
  • Cool, Malcolm. I applaud your publishing efforts. Sincerely. Aeternal Legends isn't my thing. This one sounds very intriguing. Good luck with it!

    This is your work, or are others involved? Just curious, not vetting as "indie" or any such noise.
  • It's me with assistance from the D20SRD (general task resolution) and FATE (magic system). It was fairly simple to apply conversions to most of the SRD tasks. Much of it is derived from house rules I've developed over time. In truth, I wouldn't use the detailed resolution systems unless it would be more fun; simple opposed rolls and straight diffs are good enough for me.
  • edited January 2008
    "Much of it is derived from house rules I've developed over time."

    Nice -- that kind of thing tends to produce most interesting design ideas. I'll check out the SRD link. Thanks.
  • That's actually a pretty cool deal (I was a big fan of the core system in general from way back in Vampire 1e days, when knives were deadlier than machine guns). I'm surprised no one thought of it earlier. Slick job!

    Plus, with it OGL, I'm assuming you can add more as you see fit and all (ex: to hippy-fy it etc). It's not exactly CC, but it's along the same lines.

  • Good luck with it. It does look like my sort of thing.

  • I'm now considering using it for one of my projects (Catgirl: The Storytelling Game). It'll probably be a while before I really get into it, but this'll save me the trouble of inventing a WW-ish Fudge variant if nothing else.
  • Shouldn't it be Catgirl: The Clawening?

  • I thought it should be "Catgirl: The Napping".
  • Sorry to disappoint, but the game wound up being a relatively serious mashup of anime tropes with bits of Night Watch, Neil Gaiman, Beast Bind, Kelly Link, Bleach, etc. (Details are scattered on my RPG blog for those who care).

    So, before the thread derails any further I have a quick question for Malcolm:
    What the difference between the SRD and the versions on lulu? It is just nicer formatting (and where applicable the convenience of a printed copy), or does the pay version have more material to it?
  • Nicer formatting, mostly. There's some intro material and some subjects are treated with less brevity. I am in the process of adding some martial arts rules that will *not* be in the SRD, however. For now there are a few typos that only came up recently, so it's not for sale for the next day or so (the book is still useable and saleable, but I want to fine tune it). Generally, the pay versions will get more attention from me in all respects.
  • I've made corrections to the SRD. If you purchased a version of it please contact me and I'll see about getting an updated PDF to you.
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