06 October 2016
Crowdfunded project features connected meta-narrative and claims to be based on a real set of 19th-century letters found in a locked trunk
Arcana Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign for one of the strangest game concepts we’ve seen in a while.
The Frost Papers consists of ten live-action roleplaying games described as “occult Victorian parlour games”, which are delivered via emailed PDF transcripts of supposedly real letters first discovered in 1891.
According to a very self-serious video attached to the Kickstarter campaign, the letters – written to the titular Mr. Frost by an anonymous figure referred to as ‘A.R.’ – were found three years ago in a book stashed in a dusty locked trunk found in a university storage room.
Each letter features a separate game which will “guide you through séance-like paranormal investigations” while telling a connected story, and are said to combine “elements of live action roleplaying games, mass hypnosis as performed by stage magicians, the guided meditations of Tibetan monks and séances of turn of the century spiritual mediums”. That clears that up, then.
Questioning the validity of the letters, the star of the video (which is shot in grainy 4:3) claims to have retained the original letters and had them validated by an expert. He closes the video by warning players to watch for the ‘Shadowman’.
The project has already passed its modest goal of $1,000 on Kickstarter, with $10 signing you up to receive the full set of letters and $25 collecting them in a softcover physical book. $10,000 will nab you the original documents, if you really feel the need to put the story to the test of truth.
The video is quite silly with its spooky music and po-faced discussion of mysterious letters, dusty tomes, strange Shadowmen and study of the occult, but the concept still seems relatively interesting if you’re a horror fan after something a little different – and $10 will hardly break the bank if you’re in for the ride.
The first game is available now as a free PDF for those considering backing the project, with the remaining nine digital letters planned to arrive on October 26th - just in time for Halloween.