The Drow are one of the most well-known villains in tabletop roleplaying – but what if they were the protagonists of a setting? Still villainous in their own way, but a downtrodden minority trying to strike back against their High Elf oppressors, and save what they can of their dark culture?
That’s the story of a new RPG Spire, just a few days away from being funded on Kickstarter.
Spire is the brainchild of indie games writers Mary Hamilton, Grant Howitt, and Chris Taylor, who have already worked together on well-regarded games like Goblin Quest, One Last Job, and even the latest edition of the classic RPG Paranoia.
Spire takes a lot of the tropes of classic Dungeons and Dragons, but gives it a unique twist to match the dark setting of the game. Character classes are a perfect case in point.
You don’t just play a Ranger: you play a Carrion-Priest, a hyena-worshipping death cultist. You’re not a Rogue: you’re a Bound, and you pray to the small gods in your ropes to stop you from falling off the side of the city. You don’t just play a Fighter: you play a Knight of the North Docks, a member of a long-fallen order of nobles who once upon a time defended the honour of traders and travellers, but who now swagger about in flashy quarter-plate and operate an alarmingly wide variety of bars.
The rules are based on a simple D10 system, where the better you are at something, the more dice you roll, taking the highest die rolled for your result. Failure may result in your character becoming stressed – the game uses a unified damage system that doesn’t differentiate physical or mental trauma.
The Spire looks to be a dangerous place for a rebellious Dark Elf, but we’re keen to see what stories the game will tell. You can support the game’s crowdfunding campaign here.
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