A downloadable Tabletop Action-RPG

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A Fast-Paced Game of Blood & Skulls for 2-6 Slayers

Our world is rotting. The countryside is littered with festering corpses and unholy abominations. Our moon glows a crimson red. Our church has all but abandoned us.

While the Angels bring forth the Final Woe in their immaculate choir,  there are still those who stand in the face of the apocalypse. Brave warriors from kingdoms across the land. Slayers, who through their bravery or foolishness, stand against the endless spawn of Hell itself.

Demon Crawl - A Tabletop Action-RPG

Inspired by games of visceral combat and kinetic action like Diablo and Doom, Alessandro (@sandromaycry) and Duffy (@orxalot) set out to design an Action-RPG for the Tabletop space. Demon Crawl - Gothic (Penned by Alessandro) is its first fantasy-oriented incarnation (with a star-hopping sci-fi setting in development by Duffy). Both games pull from the same core Demon Crawl system and philosophy:

  • D6 Only System: In Demon Crawl the Slayers are playing a 2D6 Hack n' Slash while the GM is playing an all-out wargame with a mountain of 12mm D6s. 
  • Blood: Slayers taking DMG and tearing through enemies, will generate Blood for themselves. This Blood is spent to unleash crazy abilities, act on enemy turns, empower attacks and even heal the Slayer at the last second.
  • No Roll To Hit: Every Slayer and Enemy Solo hit connects. Every turn brings all parties closer to death and ramps up the game's tension.
  • Hordes of Enemies: Enemies in Demon Crawl spawn in swarms of countless units that all occupy a single space, but each only have 1 HP. This system distills crowd combat into a satisfying Rip-and-Tear-fest that's easy for GMs to manage and Slayers to wrap their heads around.
  • It Is Always the Slayers' Turn: No matter what is happening, the Slayer always has options to act using Blood or Items. This recontextualizes the GM's turn as kinetic frenzy of healing, dashing and even attacking.
  • Combat That Prioritizes Speed: Action RPGs are all about speed and style, so combat in Demon Crawl is fluid, crunchy and above all fast to run.
  • Roleplaying That Prioritizes Stakes: When rolling Failure always has consequence but success has the possibility to roll into even greater rewards. Slayers are encouraged to leverage their heroic strengths and creativity while Overlords are encouraged to pull at their mortal weaknesses and recklessness.
  • Fast to Learn, Fast to Play, Fast to Hack: Speed was the biggest priority in Demon Crawl's design, and the system aims to provide GMs and Slayers with a combat experience unlike anything else. I've also aimed to make the game easy to learn with Slayers having all the relevant combat info on their Slayer Sheet. This all culminates in a modular system that's incredibly fast to hack and build your own content for.

Gothic - A Grim and Fantastical Setting

Demon Crawl - Gothic is the first pre-built setting for this system, with its own unique systems and horrors. The setting pulls from the Romantic Gothic Horror movement as much as it does from Pulp Horror and modern Dark Fantasy. It is a setting that lives in the shadow of an eccentric church and on the bones of horrors that best left forgotten. Fans of settings like those found in Diablo, Bloodborne, Castlevania and Nier will feel right at home in this macabre land of deceit and cosmic magicks.

What's Included?

  • Basic Rules for the Demon Crawl - Gothic System
  • 6 Unique Slayer Classes to choose from, each with their own distinct flavor and playstyle (The Ragged Warrior, Seasoned Rogue, Wayward Sorcerer, Vermin Shepherd, Grim Archivist and War Machine) as well as one bonus class for early adopters (The Regal Attendant)
  • 3 Encounters featuring 3 intense bosses (From The Fugue of the Heretic King Dungeon)
  • Print-and-Hack materials for rapid dungeon building 

What's Needed?

  • 2-6 Participants (Plays best with one Overlord and 2-4 Slayers)
  • Ample paper, pencils and unique tokens
  • A mountain of D6s (Preferably 12mm)
  • An 8x8 Grid Board (Chess Board works great!)
  • A love for the macabre and a yearning for fast-paced combat

What's Next for Demon Crawl?

Right now Demon Crawl - Gothic Quickstart Edition serves as a first taste of both the Demon Crawl system and Gothic's macabre world. The next thing you might see from Demon Crawl is Duffy's sci-fi setting (Currently codenamed Demon Crawl - 6666). Eventually Demon Crawl - Gothic will get its own fully fleshed out hex-crawl, featuring a variety of unlockable Slayers, diverse locales, fishing mechanics, expanded progression rules and more! However currently I'm hard at work hammering out the Quickstart rules for my similarly fast, but certainly more complex Mecha Tactics game Mobile Engagement Chassis: Steel Hearts (It features a system that was a spiritual precursor to Blood and served as an inspiration for a lot of other narrative systems in Demon Crawl) so be sure to keep an eye on this page for whenever in the nebulous future the grim world of Woleria is expanded!

!!   Content Warning   !!

Be aware that Demon Crawl - Gothic includes copious references to Blood, Viscera, Bones and Body-horror. It is a game where life is fleeting and death abounds at every corner.

StatusReleased
CategoryPhysical game
Release date Jun 06, 2021
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(8)
AuthorAlessandroAD
GenreRole Playing
TagsAction RPG, Board Game, d6, Dark Fantasy, Fast-Paced, Gothic, Hack and Slash, Skeletons
Average sessionAbout an hour
LanguagesEnglish
MultiplayerLocal multiplayer

Purchase

Buy Now$6.00 USD or more

In order to download this Tabletop Action-RPG you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $6 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Demon Crawl - Gothic (Quickstart Edition) Zipped Tome 2 MB

Eldritch Bounty

Support this Tabletop Action-RPG at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Manuscripts for the Faithful (Community Copies)

While the world may be bleak, the Church of the Holy Hymn still offers alms to new Slayers. Feel no guilt claiming these free copies, as every Slayer forged is another spark that may save these dying lands.

((Presently all the money made from Demon Crawl sales are going towards a little fund to commission more art! So truly, feel no pressure to pay for this game and feel no guilt taking a copy and sharing it freely.))

Comments

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Hello! Is there any review copies or community copies?

I completely forgot to add them when I set a minimum price for the Quick Start Rules! There are now 666 Community Copies available!

Thanks a lot!

(+1)

Awesomely inspiring game! I only played it a couple times, but it's been exhilarating. The characters are a bit unbalanced, but the dynamics and strategic approach are spot on!

Keep up the good work!

Thank you so much for the kind words! I'm glad you've enjoyed it so far and that the pacing has felt dynamic!

I'm looking to give Demon Crawl a bit of a makeover with some new Slayers at some point in the vague future, so if you have any balance suggestions or observations from what you've played I'd love to hear them and keep them in mind going forward! 

(+1)

The Vermin Druid relies too heavily on luck for his powers to be effective, and that made it next to useless in my games.
While the War Machine, on the other hand, could almost single-handedly slay everything in the rooms. It makes sense, in a way, but relying so much less on chance makes it OP in the hands of a tactically minded player.
The Maid is great for support, but a bit weaker on her own, though it makes sense with her theme.
The Sorcerer's Research feature should be addressed in the rules to clarify it can be used before the first encounter as well, prompting characters to better investigate what waits for them and take full advantage of it. It would be interesting if it applied to Chain Lightning as well.

If I get the chance to play it again, I'll give some more feedback.

Thank you so much for the feedback! As someone who can only playtest this so much, this is invaluable!

The Vermin Shepherd has been a tricky one to balance, but I think (especially in the healing department) it'll end up having more fixed values in the future. Additionally the rules could be a bit cleaner on how managing Creeps works on the Player Side. 

War Machine is bonkers and was somewhat envisioned as a Doomguy-esc Solo-able class. Unrelenting may be the single strongest Talent in the game so that may get reworked. I am also curious if the rules for Rip & Tear were clear? (Specifically that it did not apply to Solos / Bosses).

An early build of the Sorcerer actually did let you change Chain Lightning! ... And it was super broken haha. In a far future reworking of the Rules though it may be more feasible (Elements are changing slightly, as a result of playtesting with another (much slower) tactics system I'm working on.

Thank you again so much for this feedback! I'm not entirely sure when I'll get the chance to work on this system more, but Demon Crawl 2.0 will be a vast improvement over the original. 

(+1)

Fixed values would help the Shepherd a great deal, making it as tactically-minded as the rest of the characters.
Well, the War Machine is a Doomguy-esque Solo-able slayer, I'll give you that. Rip & Tear wasn't immediately clear, I admit, but after looking up Creeps in the rules we got it right.
About the Sorcerer, maybe letting them change Chain Lightning or Fireball with each Rest, or putting up a limit where they can't deal the same damage type would enhance flexibility without breaking balance.
I'm looking forward to Demon Crawl future developments, and I can tell you I'm not the only one. If I manage other sessions, I'll get back to you.