Horror RPG ORPHEUS Protocol Fights Against The Darkness

May 30, 2019 by dracs

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Varcolac Press are Kickstarting a new horror RPG setting you against the forces of occult and cosmic horror that threaten to engulf us all. Welcome to The ORPHEUS Protocol.

The ORPHEUS Protocol weaves together aspects from influences such as Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Hellboy, and the Jason Bourne series, to give you a game where you take on the role of the highly-skilled, or otherwise "gifted" members of ORPHEUS.

ORPHEUS is a secret paramilitary organization who have harnessed the darker powers in order to protect humanity from what lies outside of its understanding, as well as to maintain their monopoly on paranormal power.

Their methods are ruthless, their resources bottomless, and their directive simple: Assess, Contain, Employ.

Already, the setting has me hooked. I have a real love for shadowy conspiracies and agencies focused on the paranormal, ranging from the Mike Mignola's BPRD to the community created SCP Foundation, and this game promises to tap into all the best aspects of those.

However, perhaps even more intriguing is the approach designer Rob Stith has taken with the game's mechanics.

For this horror game, Rob wanted to create a sense of mounting horror and desperation as you find yourself increasingly in over your head. To this end, the game has taken on some of the tactical elements of eurogames, with a system that focuses on resource management.

Players will have pools of Mental, Physical, Spiritual Strain, Initiative, etc. They can then choose to spend these depending on the situation they find themselves in. Spending them too quickly can leave you in a situation where you're spending your resources faster than you can regenerate them, which can mean the difference between life and death when you're unsure what situation you might face around the next corner.

Furthermore, tapping into your own supernatural powers will slowly drain away your humanity, bringing you ever closer to the very forces you are trying to combat.

The people behind The ORPHEUS Protocol took an interesting approach with the game's beta testing, running a campaign of the game over the past three years, recording the sessions and producing them as a series of podcast playthroughs.

You can also download the Playtest Document from DriveThruRPG.

The game has seven days left on Kickstarter as of me writing this and has managed to fund well over its initial goal.

If you could have any paranormal power, what would it be?

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