The small town of Heart sits amid mountains and ancient pine forests. It remains a lumber town to this day, even if ecological laws stifle the mill to near bankruptcy – the local mines already went belly up. A small landing strip ferries rich people to the nearby Pine View Hotel, or to the Clearbrook sanatorium to recuperate in the fresh mountain air.
An alien entity hailing from beyond the stars crashed in this place, which would later be Hearth, long before the first humans walked the land. It still remains, slipping into dreams as it dies – and its dreams reshape Hearth into its nightmarish home. Now, this eldritch being requires six sacrifices to enter the Dreamland – and remain there forever.
We Die Here is the upcoming indie game from Steffie de Vaan, freelance author and developer for gamelines such as Vampire the Masquerade Twentieth Anniversary Edition and Fifth Edition, Changeling the Lost Second Edition, and the upcoming Legendlore RPG. It releases this Friday, through the combined Patreon of Steffie and Elizabeth Chaipraditkul at https://www.patreon.com/lizandsteffie, if you pledge $5 or more.
We Die Here is a toolbox game, exploring the claustrophobia of living in a small, isolated town. The game comes with a free mini-scenario set in the fictional town of Hearth, and We Die Here helps gaming groups to come up with their own sleepy, creepy places. The game draws wider inspiration from Twin Peaks, Stephen King’s It, and Netflix’ Dark, where the town is as much a character in the story as its inhabitants.
Every character, including the town and its inhabitants, is governed by a Need, a Want, and a Secret. A Need is something they have and cannot bear to lose, a Want is something they do not currently possess but would give anything to, and a Secret is something dark and best kept hidden. Only the Town has an extra trait, named You Cannot Leave Because – this is the way by which it traps its inhabitants. The game uses these traits, and the resulting social and psychological conflicts, to resolve in-game actions.
In a twist on most horror games, We Die Here does not support traditional combat – characters can’t defeat monsters by simply hitting them. Instead, they need to be resourceful and clever, and know when to cut their losses and run. The game’s easy D6-based mechanics have a high lethality to further support the sensation of being trapped. The town won’t let them leave, the monster is coming – and they might die here.
We Die Here goes out to Patrons supporting $5 or more on https://www.patreon.com/lizandsteffie this Friday.