Fancy snagging nearly two dozen creepy tabletop RPGs whilst supporting creators from across the globe? The 2023 Queer Halloween Stories Bundle is doing just that - nestled amongst a gaggle of video games, books, comics and audio dramas are 22 tabletop titles ripe for the spooky season.
Organised by independent creator Project Ensō, with tabletop peers offering grassroots support, the $60 bundle offers nearly 120 original works with all proceeds split evenly amongst participating designers. This mutual aid holiday sale ran a similar campaign last year, and they are once again spotlighting queer artists and their work with this bundle.
The organisers encourage those interested to purchase the full-price “Fright” version, but a reduced-cost “Treat” bundle is also available for those in a restricted financial situation - it will contribute to the same mutual aid fund pot, regardless. Both versions are hosted through Itch.io and will remain available through Halloween, October 31st.
Many of the tabletop titles on offer fit an appropriately sinister vibe, such as Armanda Haller’s Alone Among Trees. Designed for solo players as many of Haller’s RPGs are, this game hacks Takuma Okada’s acclaimed Alone Among the Stars to tell the story of a wanderer lost in a dark, oppressive forest where death haunts their very stops.
Alternatively, those who like their Halloween mixed with a bit of romance can opt for Thinly Veiled, which hacks Storybrewers’ Jane Austen RPG Good Society to introduce the possibility of romancing lovers who were once dead and buried. Whether exhuming hearts in the Regency or Victorian eras, this title falls squarely in the long tradition of gothic horror storytelling and is a perfect fit for more refined, buttoned-up spooks.
Some people prefer cutting the frights and gore with an ample dose of outright silly, and boy, does this bundle deliver on that front. Two standout titles are Oops, All Draculas and (ahem) TOMBS: Toot on My Balls, Skeleton. The former is a What We Do in the Shadows-esque scenario where players all embody different Draculas who live in a creepy, abandoned house together, attempting to manage constant hijinks with their unholy powers.
The latter is a queer sex roleplay game where two or more consenting partners play skeletons who, thanks to the interminable passage of time, have forgotten how to bone down (I’m so sorry). TOMBS uses the arresting and deflating power of humour to allow players to safely approach some of the sensitive, scary and plain weird concepts around sex and intimacy. It uses a collection of minigames in the style of Mobile Suit Zero: Firebrands and Stewpot to flesh out (again, I’m extremely sorry) your skeletons’ past life, lost desire and how they relearn to rattle them sexy bones.
Both versions of the Queer Halloween Bundle 2023 can be found on its Itch.io fundraising page and will remain open through October 31st. All of the tabletop RPGs come as digital downloads that should work on most screen readers, while the other media can be downloaded or installed via Itch.io platform.