Kuf - Modern day Gnostic horror OSR RPG

So over in the thread on goals for 2019 I wrote that I wanted to publish my new game by Easter. The Swedish release did indeed get done in time. Translating the book into English took a bit longer than I expected, but now it is done, still 2019. :slight_smile:

Anyway, my new game Kuf is a modern day Gnostic horror RPG built on top of Ben Milton’s rules light OSR game Knave.

I have added a somewhat grittier damage and trauma system, a framework for campaigns, dangerous magic and a reworked experience/advancement mechanics a bit to go better with the setting.

In Kuf you play ordinary people who get a peek of what the world is really like, and get changed by the experience. The thirst for more knowledge drives them down a dark and dangerous path.

I’m still struggling to make a good elevator pitch of the game but in the campaign we just wrapped up the PCs:

  • Practiced ritual magic based on the things they learned by hanging out with a senile witch in a care facility.
  • Learned to fear the Firebrigade.
  • Traveled to the Heaths of Silver where they slept with a monster to learn its secrets.
  • Traveled to the places beyond the heaths.
  • Had a panic attack in the Darkest Wood which resulted in the PC nurse mowing down the PC linguist with a chainsaw.
  • Managed to rescue a journalist/sorceress who had gotten trapped beyond the barrier that defines our reality.

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/276227
POD: http://www.lulu.com/shop/wilhelm-person/kuf-english/paperback/product-24267639.html
I blabber about the game on the Nordnordost podcast: https://www.nordnordost.se/?p=1130


This sounds really interesting! I’ve never heard the term “Gnostic horror” before today; a quick Google search makes it sound a little like cosmic horror (or “Lovecraftian”, but that has all sorts of squicky-in-other-ways connotations). Is that a fair comparison?

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I would keep it apart from Lovecraft’s works. In Kuf the world we live in is actually a pretty nice place, all things considered. But story wise the characters are on a similar trajectory towards insanity and doom. Though, they are more likely to seek out monsters, because knowledge is also they way to power, not only insanity.

The Gnostics believe that our world is a prison, and that we ourselves are gods being kept in it.

There’s this old RPG called KULT which also builds upon the same idea. Though it took it in a somewhat different direction, making it into something that looked a bit like Hellrazer.