Explore an old boarding school and do some colouring-in with Deimos Academy, an upcoming roleplaying game inspired by the works of Stephen King.
A horror RPG which takes place at the boarding school that all the player characters attended when they were children, Deimos Academy sees players moving from room to room in an attempt to uncover the memories that they’ve lost. Although they all hold fears surrounding the old building, the player characters have no clear recollection of their time at school - and gradually realise that there may be a monster lurking inside there. The player characters must explore the school and escape before their fears can consume them.
Dicebreaker reached out to Banana Chan - one of the co-creators behind the game and a founder of its publishing studio, Game and a Curry - for further details on Deimos Academy. Chan explained that players will use a paper doll to represent their characters in the game and will be able to colour it in to give them a distinct look. The colouring-in element of Deimos Academy also comes into play during the game, as players will be able to colour in items as their characters remember them. Finally, colouring-in is used to indicate that a player character’s fear has manifested within one of the map’s rooms.
As the player characters make their way through the boarding school, they’ll have to roll for certain fears whenever they enter particular rooms. Whoever rolled the lowest result will have to describe the fear that has manifested within the room. “Tonally, the game will have some Stephen King vibes (IT or The Mist - kind of feeling). The horror elements are dependent on what the players want them to be,” Chan explained. Should players ever feel uncomfortable during the game, they will be able to use the safety tools provided - including lines and veils, as well as the X and O cards - to let the other players know.
There is no games master in Deimos Academy, instead, players work together to tell the story in the GM-less roleplaying game. Chan confirmed that there are two sensitivity consultants working to ensure that the game approaches certain difficult subjects in a careful and considerate way. “Some of the items do deal with alcohol and drug use, gender dysphoria and sex,” said Chan, “so we’re including a sheet of other items that players can cut and stick over existing items in the room to replace them with something else.”
Besides Chan, Deimos Academy was co-designed by Austin Knight, a games writer and co-host of the podcast Secret Histories of Nerd Mysteries. The artwork for the game was created by Amanda Khal, an illustrator who has created a webcomic series called Age of Night.
Apart from Deimos Academy, Game and a Curry is also responsible for creating Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall - a horror TRPG that has players taking the role of a family of Chinese-American immigrants who are being haunted by hopping vampires - Battle of the Boybands and the Questlings roleplaying game for children.
The Kickstarter campaign for Deimos Academy is set to be launched this September, with pledge amounts and estimated delivery dates yet to be confirmed.