Okay, so playing a Cthulhu mythos RPG is one thing. Playing in front of people online? TOOOOOTALLY different. You’d think I’d be used to this by now. Haha.
Anyway, the news is this: after several months of planning and prep, we finally launched our Yukon Dark live play stream! Yukon Dark is a 12-episode live play stream of Gallant Knight Games‘ amazing new title Tiny Cthulhu, a minimalist roleplaying game that hits all the dissonant chords and aligns all the wrong stars. I act as the game master for a cast of wonderfully talented and creative tabletop gaming pros: Alan Bahr, Gina Ricker, Ryan Schoon, and Ashley Smith. Our campaign takes place in the 1890s Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush, and our players have come up with the most colorful cast of character archetypes for the occasion.
The year is 1898, and the Yukon is home to North America’s last mass trek for gold: the Klondike Gold Rush. Stories of instant fortune and frontier adventure have lured people from all over, many of whom are ill-prepared to face the dangers of the north. However, even more threatening forces lurk in the isolated wilderness.
The citizens of the dwindling boomtown of Porte Blanche struggle to eke out a living from the rough terrain and miserly gold mine. Yet, as the harsh arctic winter looms ever closer, no one seems able to leave, suggesting that there may be a more sinister purpose for the town and perhaps the promise of gold was only a ploy.
Our band of investigators must discover who trapped them here and why.
- Alan – Jameson Moore, the Musher.
- Gina – Katie McGraw, the Fur Trapper
- Ryan – “Blue-Eyed” Bailey, the Financier
- Ashley – Molly McGee, the New Money Dilettante
Tiny Cthulhu, written by the infinitely talented Alan, is a truly exceptional cosmic horror game that adopts the view that humans have corrupted their sense of reality through their insignificant perspectives and laws of nature, safe little lies that help us sleep at night. However, as player characters come face-to-face with the eldritch horrors of the cosmos, some of that corruption wears off. With each corruption point lost, eventually that mind shield between them and that which is incomprehensible to the human mind falls away, and therebeyond lies ultimate truth… and perhaps madness.
Last week, we streamed Episode 1 (which we are now lovingly calling “Cliffinger”) on Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube—a great pilot that involved an “accidental” drowning and some mild cannibalism. I’ll have to admit that I was nervous the whole day last Thursday, even though I’ve been involved in the TypeCast RPG live play for 2+ years now! There’s just something different about being in charge of the story, the pacing, the mystery, the horror. Ah! It took me lots of yerba mate and chocolate to get through that night. Haha.
In reflection, I suppose the stakes, for players and player characters, are so much higher in a game like this. It’s live, it’s horror, it’s supposed to be indescribable, etc. So much could go wrong or fall flat. It seems as if only a deft hand can make such a game work well, especially as entertainment for an online audience. Luckily, the cast Alan put together is phenomenal. We played a few practice sessions beforehand to get everyone to gel as a team, and now, we just have so much fun playing together. Also, GKG fans are ever so nice and patient. I’ve read so many wonderful comments on the video and on the GKG Discord, which was so encouraging to her.
I’ve also noticed that the Tiny Cthulhu system itself makes this stream work so well: the minimalistic nature of the Tiny D6 rules Alan applied to cosmic horror helps me focus on story rather than mechanics, smoothing out gameplay, so I don’t have as much to remember or worry about. Plus, the player characters’ archetypes and traits prompt interesting decision making and only enhance the experience. I’m just loving the system, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who loves the cosmic mythos genre. Plus, there’s extras in the book in case you’re looking to play something pulpy, noir, or even steampunk. (All the best things.)
Anyway, Episode 2 streams tonight! I can’t wait to see what the players make happen!