“An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.”
— Charles Dickens (allegedly)
The last few days, here and on Twitter, I’ve been going on about the adventure I’m running for Halloween this year. (We’re playing it tonight.) It’s a playtest for a new game I’m designing with Fred Hicks for Evil Hat Productions. It’s a game about the fates of ghosts and the ghosts of crime—it’s called Revengers.
So, this little sketch image may not bear any resemblance to what this game ends up being or looking like, but it’s what I have right now. I like to do these little logo sketches early on in a project to make them feel real to me. It’s like figure drawing for the general tone or theme of the thing. Plus it gives me a sense of where I started from and, thus, the direction and distance I’ve traveled since I first set out with an idea.
When I set out, I wanted a funereal look—something that was classy, something recalling the classic Edward Gorey opening for Mystery! but a little less light. I was after texture, above all. Here, then, is the sketch I did for Revengers:What’s it about? You play ghosts who solve or avenge crimes, especially murders, for the sake of bringing some souls a measure of peace—or perhaps yourself a measure of power.
What is it? It’s a pretty substantial hack of the Gumshoe rules, reconfigured to do different things with narrative resources, drama, and the relationship between the player, her character, and the game world.
When’s it due out? Too soon to say. We’ve started design but we’re still in the early days, yet. We both have other projects in the pipeline alongside Revengers, but I’m about to play it for the first time, so you know I’m thinking seriously about it.
Fred and I will share more as inspiration strikes, as we seek some feedback on what would make the game stronger, and as we get a chance to refine and manifest more of our ideas. In the meantime, feel free to weigh in with your thoughts or favorite ghosts.