What is Heroes of a Dark City?
Heroes of a Dark City (HoaDC) is a combined pen-and-paper role-playing game and serial short story project. I’ve played role-playing games (RPGs) since I was fifteen, and they’ve had a large impact on both my personal development and on how I approach storytelling in my writing. My life and my stories would have been poorer without my many years of adventures in RPGs.
It was a foregone conclusion that I would end up working on a project that involves both of my biggest interests. I’m developing an original set of RPG mechanics I call the Attitude System. The focus is story and flexibility. I want a fail forward, story-driven, and open-ended system – but it’s also important that the players feel agency. I am designing the mechanics from the ground up with a dynamic chronicle in mind. That means that it can include a larger group of players, not all of whom have to be there for every session. Instead, sessions are tailored after who has time to play. This to accommodate the fact that many of my players have been sucked into the alternate dimension of “Adulting”.
Heroes of a Dark City is about the rise of superheroes, and I am also constructing an optional setting for it, a fictional American city called New Providence. It’s modern noir, and the heroes aren’t insanely powerful like Superman or the Guardians of the Galaxy, but darker and more human, somewhat like DCs Batman and Watchmen, or Marvel’s the Defenders. The stories are human, dark, and often tragic. There’s a hint of Hammett, a dash of Chandler, and a dollop of Lovecraft, but all brought into a dystopic present-day America.
Heroes of a Dark City has a separate section here on my homepage where you will find lore tidbits, newspaper clippings, posts on mechanics, etc. Short stories and major pieces of narrative lore will be posted for early access ($5+ patrons) on my Patreon, but all digital material will eventually be released to the public, free of charge (the delay is a week or two). I want people to play my game and read my stories.
To find out more, check out the List of Resources for Heroes of a Dark City.