Set in an uncanny, creature-infested version of 1890s Louisiana, Gravemire uses an original D12-based system of mechanics and a deliberate focus on character relationships to help players tell meaningful stories of fallible people coping with unfathomable odds.
Gravemire is a tabletop roleplaying game about death, growth, horror, and survival, based in an original mechanical framework and set in the churning waters of the Louisiana bayou circa 1894. Players slip into the roles of outsiders arriving in the town of Scarstone, a rural outpost that has been warped by a terrible transformation known as the Convulsion. Once, Scarstone was surrounded by similar towns. The Bayou once had an end. Now, unknowable numbers of horrors seep through the uncharted backwaters, strange magic contorts reality to its whims, and the settlements that called Scarstone their neighbor jut half-ruined from the mire like bones from a wound. Times have changed.
Protecting Scarstone from this shifting threat is the Border, a magical barrier visible to the naked eye as a ring of constant fireflies. Nothing gets past the Border into the town proper, except perhaps for the smell. And since those who wanted—and could afford—to get away from the town have done so, all that is left are townsfolk who’ve put down roots too deep to move, the ones who have nothing left to lose… and you.
Folk like you drift into Scarstone in a steady trickle. Maybe you’re a researcher, or a monster hunter. Maybe you’re just on the run. Whoever you are, the good people of Scarstone will not open their hearts to you easily; they’ve grown used to the stream of hopefuls, all trying to make their mark on the shifting mud. One day soon, they expect you will find your place there, buried under that mud that sucks at your shoes even now, and they’ll never see you again.
They’re right, too.
See, Gravemire is a game about surviving the Bayou, but it’s also a game about not surviving the Bayou. Every time you push your way through the Border, you gamble with the life of the character you play. It is a gamble that you are likely to lose sooner or later. When you do, the waters will be waiting to claim you, and the boatman on the other side will be waiting to help you pick up the pieces, escort a new soul into the light of the boarding house, and try again. This, then, is the driving crux of Gravemire: how do you try again? How do you commit to a character you expect to lose? We leave it up to you to decide; all we can provide you is the tools to make your journey. Welcome, friend. Here— we saved a ticket just for you.