Playing Around – The Pleasure of Purgatory

Who doesn’t love a good scare? (Ok, so there are some people who can be complete wusses about that kind of thing, but bare with me.) And we all know some of the best scares are ones we have an active role in creating. So what better way to get the most fun out of a scare than playing a spooky RPG? You can do that very soon with Purgatory House: A Casual Horror Role-Playing Game, now on kickstarter

What exactly is a “casual” RPG? First of all, no convoluted set of rules to memorize – Purgatory House bases its gameplay on a good plot and the mechanics of blackjack. (Yes, the card game!) And that’s another great thing about this game – no dice! You need just two decks of standard playing cards. Plus, there are pre-generated characters, so you don’t even need to get into creating characters if you don’t want to. You can also play an entire game in just one session of about 2-4 hours.

You’re probably wondering now just what this game is about and how to play. Here’s a brief description directly from the beta version of the game mechanics:

In this game, one of the players will take on the role of an evil haunted house, building the maze of rooms, interpreting the obstacles, running the monsters, and moderating the success and failures of the rest of the players. This player is known as the Dealer. Everyone else will play as people who have become trapped while exploring the house and are now trying to defeat the horrors they uncover and escape.

Unlike many traditional role-playing games, when played as a one session game there is a definite end and clear winners. There are also strict guidelines on what the House player can and cannot do. If the players can escape the House alive, they win the game. If everyone dies, the House wins.

So there you have it: haunted house survival blackjack!

Intended for 3 or more players, Purgatory House comes with a brilliantly illustrated book, “Toe Tag” character sheets, 4 starting scenarios and 24 pre-generated characters. The House has 46 unique rooms and 52 deadly obstacles! Members of the Geek Watch One crew have already enjoyed the game in play testing and we give it a 5 on our Brownie Meter! Appropriately, the kickstarter runs until October 31 – you can get a PDF version for only $10, but you’re really going to want to go for at least the $30 level to get a hardback copy of the book. And there’s a cool $75 level that includes the book with a glow in the dark cover, plus custom Joker cards and reproduction photos of haunted houses!

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