A First Glimpse of Revengers

“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:

Click for a closer look

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.

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  1. Fred Hicks, 31. October 2011, 11:39
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  2. Will, 31. October 2011, 11:53
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    Me, too!

    Tonight’s game of Revengers uses a lot of established Gumshoe tech (it’s more of a setting exploration than a rules test), but I’m planning on deploying some mechanical twists during play to try out things like the ethereal/psychic/astral (sic) and physical ramifications of ghostly actions. Other aspects will be tested based on what players do—I don’t want to push too hard on the mechanics tonight—’cause part of what I’m doing is checking to see what grabs people about the setting. How do they go about doing what revengers do? Can’t wait to see!

  3. Guilherme Moraes, 31. October 2011, 11:54
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    looks pretty interesting.

  4. Darrell Hardy, 31. October 2011, 12:50
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    I’m looking forward to hearing more about it. Keep us posted!

  5. Jeremy Morgan, 31. October 2011, 14:42
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    Color me intrigued. Seems like a nice twist on the supernatural detective front.

  6. John Harper, 31. October 2011, 14:53
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    Cool! This is really interesting stuff. Maybe it will finally win me over to Gumshoe. :)

  7. Will, 1. November 2011, 18:50
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    Thanks, y’all. I’ve come out the other side of the first playtest, now, and lots of new ideas are percolating. Let’s see where they lead!

  8. Wordstudio: The Gist (Pingback), 1. November 2011, 19:13

    [...] art directing and writing my apocalyptic tabletop RPG, Razed. My game of detective ghosts, Revengers, lurks beyond that. I co-wrote the Eternal Lies campaign for Pelgrane Press’s Trail of [...]

  9. John Taber, 2. November 2011, 11:54
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    Looks very cool. :)

  10. Evil Hat and Gumshoe » Deadly Fredly (Pingback), 2. November 2011, 20:28

    [...] person and already following Will Hindmarch‘s blog, this part will be old news: Evil Hat is working with Will to produce a new game titled Revengers, and it’s going to be based on the Gumshoe engine created by Robin Laws, [...]

  11. Rickard, 3. November 2011, 10:30
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    The thing that first sprung into mind when I read this was The Crow. Will be interesting to see how the game will turn out.


    [...] on Halloween, Revengers will be a game where you play as a ghost who solves or avenges crimes. According to the site, the [...]

  13. Simon Rogers, 23. November 2011, 11:11
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    I’m looking forward to this. Shouldn’t it be Rvngrs, anyway?

  14. Will, 23. November 2011, 11:26
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    Revengers is too old-school for that new fangled vowel-dropping stuff (but not so old-fashioned that it enjoys the Egyptian-era vowel-dropping stuff).


    [...] The first is Revengers, a Gumshoe game of ghostly investigators to be penned by Will Hindmarch. [...]


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