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Bump in the Dark


NOTE: Bump in the Dark will be crowdfunding in June 2024 for a deluxe hardcover edition!

Monster-hunting, Forged in the Dark

It's 1994 in the region of the fictional Ontonagon Peninsula known as "Iron Country," a belt of mining towns barely clinging to life. These towns are surrounded on all sides by the Sylvan Wilds, a forest known for old-growth pines and strange happenings. All of Iron Country seems to be teeming with the supernatural, a fact those in power would like to conceal.

You are a hunter, and you’ve promised to keep regular people safe from the horrors in the darkness. You will investigate the strange happenings going on throughout Iron Country, attempting to put the pieces together and stop the monsters before people get hurt. Will you be able to stop the malevolent forces before their power grows too strong to contain? Will you stand strong with your found family and community or will you sacrifice yourself to spare the ones you love? Will you be lost trying to find solace wherever you can?

Road leading to Last Pine

Thrilling, gritty, and utterly human, Bump in the Dark is a tabletop roleplaying game about a group of people who’ve dedicated their lives to hunting and dealing with monsters. There are gruesome attacks, tense investigations, nasty cryptids, nefarious factions, powerful demons, action-packed showdowns, and regular folk caught in the middle.

Inside, you’ll find

  • Fully illustrated, hyperlinked, and indexed 140-page PDF with everything you need to play the game.
  • Rules to create your own hunter, combining a custom background with powerful abilities to create a unique character with beliefs, drive, and connections to Iron Country.
  • Luck, doom, and advancement systems that balance the cost of power and proximity to darkness hunters face.
  • A lightweight, low-prep investigation system that will keep everyone, even the keeper, on their toes while pushing toward an exciting showdown with the monster.
  • An evocative setting guide detailing the major locations and factions of Iron Country. 
  • Guidelines and support for framing compelling scenes during downtime.
  • Advice for creating your own hunts and running full-length campaigns.

The Hunters

There are seven character types to choose from, each representing a different style of hunter:

  • Shields are headstrong fighters and protectors.
  • Icons are calculating liaisons and agents.
  • Scourges are formidable spell-slingers and magic-users.
  • Ravens are adept thinkers and watchers.
  • Staves are sneaky scoundrels and crooks.
  • Lances are passionate occultists and zealots.
  • Unshaped are plucky novices and innocents.

The Pact

In addition to creating hunters, you'll also create the "team" they are a part of. This is called the pact, and it represents the promise they've made, whether implicitly or explicitly, to the people of Last Pine, and the promises they've made to each other. You'll define what type of group you're interested in exploring, but also create connections to Last Pine. The approach you take when creating your pact will determine the kinds of hunts you'll go on, which factions you'll likely interact with, and the NPCs who need your help.

The Mechanics

Bump in the Dark is character-driven and fiction-first, using a streamlined version of the Forged in the Dark Engine and the Redacted Materials investigation system (from External Containment Bureau). The game uses a simple d6 dice pool for action resolution. Failures and mixed successes create complications and consequences which will challenge your hunter and push the story forward. You spend luck to add dice to your pool or resist dangerous consequences and gather clues to aid in your investigation, leading to the inevitable showdown with the monster. Then it's downtime, geared toward pushing your hunters together and tearing them apart. 

Play Information

  • Recommended Number of Players: 2-5 (including GM)
  • Recommended Age: 16+
  •  Playtime: 2-5 hours
  •  Campaign Length: 4-12+ sessions
  •  Languages Available: English
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Ryan D January 11, 2024 5:32 am UTC
Any news on the updated version?
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Silver seller
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92.74 MB
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File Last Updated:
September 22, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on April 24, 2023.
Jex Thomas
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