A new two-player tabletop RPG looks to channel the grim fantasy and live-die-repeat gameplay of Dark Souls and Bloodborne in a modern-day setting inhabited by terrifying Attack on Titan-style monsters.
Eldritch Escape: Tokyo throws players into a twisted version of the real-life Japanese capital where the sun never rises in order to hunt gigantic creatures known as Eldritch. Unseen by most people in the game’s world, the towering monsters - who appear as a mixture of different creatures - bring to mind the unsettling titans of Attack on Titan as they wander the streets eating humans and causing destruction.
Eldritch Escape’s punishing gameplay is said to be directly inspired by the likes of the Soulsborne video games, with players’ everyday characters expected to die multiple times as they attempt to fight the Eldritch. As in the likes of Dark Souls, dying sees the character revived by a mysterious ally known as the Bellwether to try, die and try again, gradually uncovering more about the Eldritch’s weaknesses and origins.
The RPG is explicitly designed for just two players, with the GM figure controlling both the antagonistic Eldritch and their partner’s helpful Bellwether - said to be a personal being created from mental energy - with whom they will communicate regularly throughout every session.
The arc of each game tasks the players with attempting to make it out of Tokyo alive by searching for helpful tools and using their resourcefulness. While combat against the Eldritch is the focus of most sessions, the game will also present dilemmas such as the choice to rescue citizens, when to avoid direct confrontation using stealth and which route to take out of the city.
On top of the looping death-and-rebirth cycle of the core gameplay, Eldritch Escape’s rulebook will include a scenario with roguelike elements in a series of branching player choices that can lead to various different outcomes.
Eldritch Escape: Tokyo started life as a combat system created by prolific Japanese designers Fuyu Takizato - known for RPGs such as Stellar Knights - and Romero, and was originally released via a Japanese TRPG magazine. The work of design studio Draconian was subsequently picked up and turned into a full standalone game in a collaboration with LionWing Publishing, the studio behind English-releases of various Japanese RPGs and board games including the Kiki’s Delivery Service-esque Fledge Witch, Kamen Rider-inspired Convictor Drive and competitive social deduction RPG Picaresque Roman.
Eldritch Escape will see a simultaneous release in both English and Japanese - the first tabletop RPG to do so, according to its creators - following a crowdfunding campaign due to launch on October 31st.