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EPOCH is a game of character-driven survival horror. The goal is to deliver a tense and scary experience in a single game session.ENnies Nominee

“I have been enthralled by EPOCH.  This is a totally new way to run roleplaying games and is extremely satisfying... EPOCH has already improved the quality of my roleplaying and storytelling.  I have complete confidence that it can do the same for you.  Give it a try.” - Roleplayers Chronicle

“It will make you uncomfortable at times and force you to make the hard decisions. In the end, it delivers what it promises. You will get a unique horror experience that you will remember, and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.” - MadMindGamer

There will be blood…  EPOCH is a game of survival horror, and much like a movie, not all of the characters can expect to survive until the final scene.  Unlike many other games, EPOCH players have complete control over the fate of the characters.  They may know the rules of the horror genre, but who becomes a victim, and how, is different every time.

There will be drama…  EPOCH rewards interesting character play with increased chances of character survival.  Players are not just the protagonists, but also act as the audience who hold the fate of all the characters in their hands.  Using a simple, flexible, character creation method, players shape their back story to reveal interesting facts and surprising twists.

There will be a reckoning… EPOCH assumes a high level of character competence.  Skills and abilities are streamlined, placing the focus back on the characters’ story and the personal impact of the horror.  But victory is never assured; evil may prevail, and the true cost of the horror is never fully revealed until the final credits roll.


  • Strategies and techniques to overcome main challenges of running a genuinely tense and suspenseful horror game.
  • Simple, card-based mechanics that let the players make the crucial decisions about the fate of the characters.
  • Three complete scenarios, each reflecting a different style of horror movie, intended to be run in a single session of play.
  • All of the cards you need to create characters and run the game, laid out, and ready to print.

Nominated for 3 ENnie Awards including Best Rules, Best Electronic Book and Product of the Year.  [Check out the review below by Abraham Zetina for RPG Geek]

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Reviews (5)
Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
Neil S May 26, 2021 4:51 am UTC
Does this have a bestiary
Customer avatar
Dale E May 26, 2021 5:49 am UTC
Hi Neil, thanks for the question. The short answer is no, because this game doesn't use traditional statistic blocks or variables to describe monsters. The elimination of characters is baked into the game system, and the players (individually) decide how this effects their characters and (collectively) which of them will be eliminated. It's a different dynamic than a traditional game, so if you're not familiar with it, you might want to check out some reviews before purchasing.
Customer avatar
Eric A February 12, 2018 3:55 am UTC
So I'm planning to run this soon and looking over the rules... am I wrong in thinking it's impossible for more than 2 people to survive a 6 round game with standard rules? Like... with everyone but 1 player essentially 1 of 4 cards every round, then even with no Hero/Zero cards played, I'm not seeing how the math can work out for a better outcome than that regardless of total players. This fits with the theme of the game presented but a lot of the scenarios in the book seem to be written in a way that implies a larger body of PCs for the final round than only 1 or 2.
Customer avatar
Dale E February 12, 2018 5:21 am UTC
Hi Eric, thanks for the question. EPOCH works best for 4-6 players. The Experiment Continues (the EPOCH companion) offers some suggestions for running with 3 and 2 players - instead of using the Ballot the players might be awarded an extra card based on how many points they uncover on the Horror Track in a given Tension Phase, with the GM splitting any ties. Another option might be for each player to operate two characters, and run a separate card hand for each character. If you drop me a line to I'll send you a complimentary copy.
Customer avatar
Y.Y. Y August 19, 2017 2:53 am UTC
Referring to page 75 "Source of the horror", Should it be the devil instead of terminator virus from Fever Pitch?
Customer avatar
Dale E August 19, 2017 9:11 am UTC
Good point. It should be the Devil (and is correct in the PoD version). I'll update the file shortly to fix this. Thanks for spotting it!
Customer avatar
Y.Y. Y August 19, 2017 7:34 pm UTC
Thanks for your quick response.
Customer avatar
Dale E August 31, 2017 7:54 am UTC
The file has now been updated.
Customer avatar
Chris C October 13, 2016 7:44 am UTC
If I order the POD option is the deck of cards included?
Customer avatar
Dale E October 13, 2016 8:03 am UTC
At this time OneBookShelf doesn't allow publishers to bundle PoD cards and books as they are produced by different companies. So if you pick the "PDF + softcover book" option you will get the printed book and digital PDFs of the book and all the cards (both full colour and printer friendly versions) but not the PoD cards - these have to be ordered separately.
Customer avatar
Chris C October 13, 2016 10:09 am UTC
Thanks for the reply.
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File Last Updated:
April 25, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on October 22, 2012.