The Yellow King RPG Quarterly (July)

This is the start of what I plan as a series of 12 sessions of the Yellow King RPG. Players who sign up for this game will have a right of first refusal for sessions at the same time in August and September. Signing up for this doesn’t commit you to those games, and you are welcome to sign up if you can’t make all sessions, but the overall experience should be richer for players who stick around for the whole run.

Belle Époque Paris is 1890s Europe’s foremost centre of arts, learning and luxury. Players portray American art students in its absinthe-soaked world, navigating the Parisian demimonde when rumours of a new play of unsurpassed artistry and genius draw them into the most deucedly peculiar business…

While these four sessions will focus on Paris, TYKRPG also incorporates three other settings: a terrifying and arcane European war; a fledgling republic after the fall of an authoritarian regime; and the so-called real world of 2021. The quarterly will include games in all four, with characters oddly connected across the settings, linked by the power of a banned play that destroys minds and warps reality: The King In Yellow.

The tone and pace of the game will vary significantly across the series: gothic horror in Paris, pulpy action for the Wars, a more modern thriller style in Aftermath, and who even knows what for This Is Normal Now. Overall, I expect more of an eerie slow-burn style where many of the game’s mysteries remain uncanny and inexplicable.

The game uses a version of the Gumshoe rules, but players don’t need to know the system and rules will be taught in play. I think it’s a pretty streamlined version, including less of a focus on investigation than other Gumshoe games.

Subject matter: This is a horror game and includes violence, gore, the dissolution of reality, and some body horror. The Paris section includes references to alcohol and heavy drinking, and to far-right political violence of the era. The third setting, Aftermath, includes references to suicide and euthanasia and some questionable political stuff, but I also find this the least compelling setting overall and may switch it out for something else after a discussion in the first session.

We’ll be using Lines and Veils, the X Card, and the Open Door as safety tools, and the game will run under the Gauntlet Community Code of Conduct:

We’ll be playing over StreamYard, with short breaks on the hour. The sessions will be recorded and posted only by consent of the players. Players should sign up for all sessions they wish to attend. I’ll send a group email about a week before our first session to confirm interest, share play materials, etc.

Open access time for sign-ups is 10pm 5/5/21 AEST.

Session one:
Session two:
Session three:
Session four:
Session five:

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Bumping this as a spot has opened up for another player - if you’re interested in experiencing the terrifying realisation that nothing is real while sipping absinthe in Belle Epoque Paris, please sign up!