Fans of John Harper’s popular tabletop RPG Blades in the Dark are hosting their own convention this weekend and celebrating with a collection of independently designed games. The Con in the Dark Bundle, which contains over two dozen titles, will be available on Itch.io through the weekend
Con in the Dark wants to bring together players, designers and appreciators of Harper’s heisty, story-forward RPG to take part in organised sessions, watch panels of guests discussing game design and other topics and otherwise share the enjoyment of a common interest. The schedule of events kick off at 8 p.m. GMT and will include livestreamed games of the upcoming Chew RPG and cyberpunk pamphlet hack CBR+PNK, along with plenty of the classic flavour.
Those who don’t attend can still grab the bundle to add 30 Forged in the Dark tabletop RPGs from almost as many independent designers. Forged in the Dark designates a mechanical foundation using Blades’ publicly available SRD - expect flashbacks, stress and scars, downtime rules and all the other bits and bobs that exemplify its design.
Among the offerings is Austin Ramsay’s Beam Saber, a mecha war setting reminiscent of Gundam and shot through with the same themes of individuals trying to survive grueling conditions with the bodies and minds intact, to say nothing of the fraught relationships between crew members. Groups already in the thick of it or planning their foray into Beam Saber will aslo find supplements and playbooks suited to emotionally charged robot warfare.
On the complete other end of the spectrum is Mountain Home’s story of a group of dwarves embarking into the wilderness in search of a place to put down roots. Created by Karl Scheer, It reimagines the downtime portion that normally takes place between jobs in Blades in the Dark as the passing of months or even years for the settlement. By switching between that and high-stakes quests to seek treasure or supplies, groups can see the long tail of effect from their actions.
If your playgroup saw the recent news that the official Dark Souls RPG would use D&D 5E rules and decided instead to seek some Bloodborne vibes, Matteo Sciutteri’s Bloodstone could be the dark gothic ticket. It certainly wears the inspiration on its sleeve: a group of Hunters enter the accursed city of Heliwyr in search of an apostle on the night of a Blood Moon. The most interesting bit is how Sciutteri has interpreted the video game’s structure of dying and returning - the RPG supports one-shot sessions with each one hosting a different batch of Hunters as they descend into quick, deadly and stressful delves.
EPIC! #ConInTheDark2022 Bundle: 30 items for $50.00 - that's over 75% off of these awesome #TTRPG #games Forged in the Dark! https://t.co/Tv4LzJH04E #indiegames via @itchio— Hacked in the Dark (@hackedinthedark) January 27, 2022
For more info about joining the convention, visit https://t.co/VE4fdbnfgb pic.twitter.com/tYvVnFuMVT
Con in the Dark’s organisers explain on the bundle’s Itch.io page that event runners will receive 6% of the total profit from the bundle, and another 3% will be given to the contributing designers. Both groups have worked in conjunction to bring the fan convention to life, and they claim the money raised from the bundle will help make the convention an annual endeavor.