Here’s What Happened

Everyone remembers where they were when the Vatican fell. Or when the Dome of the Rock was pulled down. Or when Parliament and Congress were simultaneously invaded from the inside. During any one of the attacks, we know where we were.

But where were you when you found out about Him? When you found out that it was all connected?

So many crazy stories around before the truth came out. Honestly, if the Internet had survived, those crazy stories would have, too, I'm sure. You don't remember because you're too young, but the Internet was a place where any insanity could thrive. You could spout any story you wanted and not only be heard, but be believed. The ubiquitous "they" that said mankind never landed on the moon, that Catherine the Great died having sex with a horse, that the late President Obama was a Kenyan-born Muslim — “they” found their voice and their pulpit on the Internet.

When you think about it, what He does isn't so different than the 'net. He opens a gate, and out they come. The gates are everywhere on Earth, because they're nowhere. A server, a website, a router... Oh right, I forgot. Hell, never mind. Like I said, you're too young.

I remember where I was when I learned the truth. I was in a big box store buying supplies. No riots that day, but the police were out front watching the store; it was one of the few in the city that had anything left. I had turned off my radio. I just couldn't listen to death tolls and speculations and fanatics anymore. And then the lights flicked, and the TVs in the back of the store went dark. And I turned on my radio, and I heard what everyone else heard.

It's over. What you knew is over. Ideology is over.

Ideology is the poison at the soul of the privileged. In the First World, people talk ideology over full bellies. In the Third World, people have been trained to kill and die for ideology over and above their own survival.

Some of our greatest heroes have said this, though never in so many words. They have said that to make any meaningful change in the world, we must let go of the chains of religion, politics, economics, and all of the other systems of beliefs that interrupt the real and true cycles of life. The hungry must eat. The cold must be given shelter. The world must be saved, and as long as ideology — any ideology — festers at the heart of the leaders, no salvation is possible.

Now it is possible. Now the shadows are open. Now the world has a savior.

From this moment on, ideology is forbidden. Any idol at which you worship — be it mythical figure, figment of economics, ephemeral political position — is shattered as of now. You have seen what I can do when I open the shadows. And now you will see it again. Turn your eyes, world, to Jerusalem in three hours' time.

And we stood there, not knowing quite what to make of it. I heard people crying. I heard a man near me say that he had family in Israel. And all I could think was, "He's going to nuke it."

I wasn't wrong. The effect was much the same.
curse the darkness is game about hard choices, memory, and the end of the world. Your characters are faced with a choice — do you try to fight what the world has become? Do you try to reclaim some autonomy, some choice for your own beliefs and actions? Or do you accept that to express ideology, to express identity, is to risk calling death from the shadows, and try to make your way, quietly, in the ruins of the world?

Do you light a candle, or do you curse the darkness?

curse the darkness requires three decks of standard playing cards, jokers included. It works best if two of the decks are identical and the third is distinct from the other two. You’ll also need a way for players to keep track of Memory Points and the GM to keep track of Between Points; I recommend using beads, coins or other small objects that you can easily tell apart. Finally, the play sheets that the games uses can be downloaded from our Resources page. curse the darkness uses an original game system to allow for quick character creation and high lethality in play, but when a character dies, the survivors can use the memory of the fallen character to move the game forward.

About the Game

curse the darkness was released in 2012 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, and is presently for sale through Drive-Thru RPG (click on the Purchase link). It supports one-shot play as well as longer stories, and the scenario and situations are player-driven. The players collaboratively set the goals and the parameters of the game, but the characters cannot reach the goal until every player has made the essential choice: light a candle or curse the darkness?