Two games of survival horror, often without the survival.
Desperation is two small games, built on the same dark tone and mechanics, that are truly pick-up-and-play experiences for you and your friends.
Both games are designed for 1-5 players in an hour or two.
Dead Houseis set during the great blizzard of 1888, and in it you will meet the people of the tiny town of Neola, Kansas, who find themselves unprepared in the teeth of the storm. As supplies and sanity dwindle in equal measure, who will live and who will be added to the dead house?
The Isabel is set aboard a three-masted cod schooner fishing in the Gulf of Alaska in 1888. Her passengers and crew have unpalatable secrets, and they are sailing into a storm the Isabel cannot weather. A doomed ship, raging seas, and a handful of leaking dories await them—and then the hard times begin.
Gothic storytelling experiences steeped in actual history, Dead House and The Isabel are dark, lyrical games about people pushed far past their limits.
If you like card-based roleplaying games likeFor the QueenandThe Quiet Yearbut have a dark and unmerciful heart, you’ll like these Desperation games.
What is the Desperation Engine?
The Desperation engine provides a unique, card-driven play experience for one to five players, focusing on exploring a web of locations and relationships and then inexorably demolishing them.
Desperation engine games ask you to assume an unusual point of view—instead of deciding what people say and do, you decide who says and does the things that must happen. The sense of dread is palpable with each card reveal, because in these games, the things that must happen are a gradually escalating kaleidoscope of unimaginable horror.