21 October 2016
Game based on gruesome fairytale sees players play as sections of the tortured Bride’s psyche
A new RPG hopes to mix a classic horror fairytale with the scary stories of modern-day TV and film.
Bluebeard’s Bride is loosely based on the 17th-century folktale of a bride who goes to live with her new husband, only to discover that he is a murderer who has killed his former wives and hidden their bodies around their house and subsequently tries to escape from the same fate.
In the tabletop RPG, three to five players take on the role of ‘Sisters’. Interestingly, these aren’t separate characters but instead different parts of the Bride’s mind, each with their own traits and weaknesses.
Players take it in turn to control the Bride’s actions as she explores the chateau, with her discovery of various horrors causing her psyche trauma and risking the ‘shattering’ of the Sisters.
A game takes about three to four hours – the creators say that there will be a high level of replayability thanks to the variety of rooms and housekeeping servants. There is also the suggestion that actions taken by the Bride in pervious games could impact on future campaigns.
Driving the gameplay is the Apocalypse system seen in titles including Apocalypse World, Dungeon World and Monsterhearts, which utilises 2d6 to resolve events, with most moves requiring no rolling.
As well as Bluebeard’s Bride’s classic roots, creator Magpie Games lists contemporary horror from TV, film and literature as inspiring the game, naming Crimson Peak, American Horror Story and The Company of Wolves – which includes Angela Carter’s feminist take on the original Bluebeard tale – as key infleunces.
Magpie was looking for $5,000 on Kickstarter to fund the project, but has already reached close to ten times that amount with 30 days left to run. $10 nets a PDF of the core sourcebook, with $50 nabbing a hardbound copy. A number of expansions and themed components are also available.