Vaesen: Seasons of Mystery Review

01 July 2024
Winter is coming in Seasons Of Mystery, an atmospheric expansion for folk horror-adjacent RPG Vaesen. So, too, are spring, summer and autumn as Free League delves deeper into the spooky, quasi-steampunk world of Vaesen with four thematically linked adventures revolving around the changing of the seasons. 

Written by Ed Power

What is Vaesen?

Vaesen is a game of exploration and deduction set largely in a fantastical 19th-century Scandinavia. Here, otherworldly supernatural beings (“vaesen” – a sort of Nordic equivalent of Japanese yokai ) weave mischief on the margins of society. To these Midsommar trappings, the game adds a delicious cosy crime component. A typical scenario will require the players to unpick a tricky mystery and work out whodunit and why.  

Related article: How to play Vaesen

Content continues after advertisements

What is Vaesen: Seasons of Mystery?

Seasons of Mystery doesn’t bring anything radical to that formula. The book contains a quartet of adventures, each taking place in one of the four seasons. There is no overarching story while the pace never rises above gently ambling. In other words, an average session won’t have you at the edge of your seat so much as sitting back comfortably and soaking up the vibes (with the possible exception of scenario two, which has the potential to reach a fiery conclusion). 

But the low-stakes nature of the scenarios makes for a rewarding experience. Not every roleplaying expansion has to be a Masks of Nyarlathotep-esque tale of world-shaking events. In Vaesen, the only things shaken are small rural communities confronted by forces beyond the understanding.

That has the curious effect of making the characters feel all the more significant. In the opening scenario, A Dance With Death, springtime in Dalarna in central Sweden is overshadowed by a series of suspicious drownings. Someone – something? – is luring young women to their deaths. The authorities are powerless to do anything. In desperation, a local woman turns to the heroes, who possess the “Sight” – a rare ability to see Vaesen walking among us. 

The second adventure, Fireheart, doubles down on that sense of the PCs as a supernatural A-team coming to the rescue of bereft communities. This time, amid an unusual heatwave, they are summoned to Smolandia in southern Sweden by the owner of an ironworks. He fears for his estranged brother and his obsession with wealth. As this is Vaesen rather than an economics textbook, that fixation with finances has a supernatural origin, connected to an ancient lake.

The familiar Vaesen backdrop of Sweden is left behind in the autumnal third scenario, The Devil on the Moor. It is set on the barren “Danish heath” of  Northern Jutland. Buckle up for a trip to a wind-whipped wold of scrub brush, bog and unholy spirits from beyond the grave seeking revenge against the living who let them down. 

Finally, it’s winter. What better time for a trip to Russia’s border with Finland? A Winter’s Tale maroons the party in a remote inn for an adventure that plays out like an eerie take on the Quentin Tarantino movie The Hateful Eight

Related review: Try Vaesen: Mythic Britain and Ireland, which takes the Swedish setting to a new geography, or Vaesen: A Wicked Secret, which adds to the original game, much like Seasons of Mystery!

Should you play Vaesen: Seasons of Mystery?

Yes. These four scenarios dial up Vaesen’s signature atmosphere to spine-tingling effect.

Vaesen knows exactly what sort of roleplaying game it is. Each scenario follows the same structure. Players arrive at the scene of mystery, where they piece together clues scattered about for them to discover. All going well they will finally uncover a supernatural explanation. Obviously, there’s some dice chucking thrown in, too. The game uses a variation of Free League’s Year Zero System. Core attributes and specialist skills determine how many D6s are rolled for ability checks, with each six marking a success. 

But, really, it’s all about the atmosphere – the ambience heightened, as in other Vaesen books, by Johan Egerkrans’s beautifully unsettling illustrations. Under the covers, Vaesen is ultimately just an arty, Swedish Scooby-Doo – or a highly esoteric Cluedo. But the marriage of ambience and game structure is unsurpassed. Seasons of Mystery puts extra flesh on its wonderfully engaging universe, where a bump in the night is never just a bump in the night, and hidden forces lurk everywhere. At any time of year, it’s a worthwhile investment fans of the base game. 

Related ArticleTalking Alien: The Roleplaying Game with Free League Publishing

Try Vaesen if you liked Kult: Divinity Lost - Fourth Edition, another ambience-heavy Swedish RPG with a unique twist on horror roleplaying. 

About Vaesen

Designer: Nils Hitnze

Publisher: Free League

Pages: 104

Ages: 14+

Price: £32




HOW I WAS CURED FROM HERPES VIRUS I am writing this testimonial with immense gratitude and a renewed sense of hope in my heart. For years, I battled with the physical and emotional torment caused by the herpes virus. It felt like an unending struggle, until I discovered a remarkable solution that changed my life forever. Like many others, I had tried countless remedies, medications and therapies in search of a cure. I had lost hope, resigned to the belief that herpes was something I would have to live with indefinitely. However, fate intervened and led me to a breakthrough that altered the course of my life. Upon stumbling upon a revolutionary treatment option, my skepticism slowly transformed into a flicker of hope. The treatment was a natural remedy from Dr Awase [ HERBS ] Over time, as I followed the treatment diligently, I started noticing positive changes and I experienced a boost in my overall well-being. I am ecstatic to share that I am now herpes-free confirmed by my Dr after a test was done. The treatment I received was nothing short of miraculous and I couldn't be more grateful. I have regained my self-confidence and the burden that once weighed heavily upon me has been lifted. I was cured of my herpes virus through natural medication. If you, like me, have been struggling with herpes and searching for a way out, please know that hope exists. May my story inspire hope in the hearts of those who need it. He also specializes in getting rid of HPV, OVARIAN CYST, PCOS, HEPATITIS and a lot more. Contact on WhatsApp +2349074997110 Email:- dr.awaseherbalhome@gmail. com

Posted by LUNA BRIAN on Sat 06 Jul 21:21:49

BEYOND AVERAGE CRYPTO RECOVERY;THE SYNACK HACKERS EXPERIENCE Not a while back, I found myself in a major pickle when I realized I had lost all my precious (12 BTC) and $190K worth of Ethereum. I was devastated and had no clue what to do. I had worked my body off to achieve all that because I wanted to build up schools in Africa and do some water projects there to help people have a better life. But then, I stumbled upon Synack Hackers and let me tell you, they were a game-changer. Their team of experts not only understood the complexity of my situation but also showed genuine care and dedication in helping me out. They were like superheroes in the crypto world! From the get-go, the Synack Hackers team was extremely responsive and attentive. They patiently listened to my concerns and assured me that they would do everything in their power to recover my lost BTC. And boy, did they deliver! Their technical expertise and cutting-edge tools were truly impressive. They left no stone unturned in their quest to track down and restore my lost funds. Throughout the entire process, they kept me in the loop, providing regular updates and answering all my questions. Thanks to Synack Hackers tireless efforts, I am thrilled to say that I successfully recovered my lost BTC and Ethereum. It’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders! I can’t thank them enough for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, I highly recommend reaching out to Synack Hackers.. They are the real deal when it comes to recovering lost cryptocurrency. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Yes! Projects commencing soon in Africa. Get in touch with them via information listed: Email; S y n a c k h a c k e r s @ p r o t o n (.) m e

Posted by scott peterson on Fri 05 Jul 13:53:50

GENUINE LOANS OFFERING AND BITCOIN INVESTMENTS [email protected] Good day, I'm here to testify of how I got private health insurance hospital building completed loan funds $250,000.00USD from DR. BENJAMIN FINANCE INVESTMENTS, I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan to pay bills, start business or build a house, they offer all kinds of loan Ranging from $5,000.00USD to $1,000,000.00USD with a low interest rate of 2% and loan duration of 1 to 33 years to pay back the loan secure and unsecured. Are you losing sleep at night worrying how to get a Legit Loan Lender? DR. BENJAMIN FINANCE INVESTMENTS holds all of the information about how to obtain money quickly and painlessly without cost/stress via Contacts Email [email protected]

Posted by Pierrick Fédrigo on Wed 03 Jul 15:56:13