A downloadable game

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You are an assistant curator of the natural history museum in the city where you live. It’s a comfortable life; your antiquities department is well-funded and you have staffed it with hard-working people that you trust. Today, a new donation has arrived. The crate has no return address, and when you open it, it contains only one strange artifact nestled in packing material, and no other information.

The artifact is mysterious - you feel uneasy keeping it in your office, but don’t want to store it anywhere until you figure out a bit more about it.

Strange things start to happen soon after you acquire this artifact, and you begin to have vivid disturbing dreams. You quickly realize that something is using this item to try and push its way through into your reality, and the strain is tearing at your physical and mental health.

Can you convince others that this threat is real before some otherworldly terror is loosed on the world? As your dreams and waking mind are corrupted by its influence, can you stave off madness long enough to find a way to destroy this accursed artifact?

You don’t know, but the consequences of failure are too terrible not to try.


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The Artifact is a downloadable PDF of all the rules and information that you need to play through this solo cosmic horror storytelling RPG experience.


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This game was inspired by Chris Bissette’s game “The Wretched” (http://loottheroom.itch.io/wretched), is based on the Wretched and Alone SRD (https://sealedlibrary.itch.io/wretched-alone-srd), and was created for the Wretched & Alone game jam. It was also inspired by works of cosmic horror including the mythos of H. P. Lovecraft and R. W. Chambers, the “Fallen London” online browser game, the TV shows “Gravity Falls” and “Twin Peaks,” and “The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All” by Laird Barron.

Purchase

Buy Now$3.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $3 USD. You will get access to the following files:

The Artifact_v1.04.pdf 4 MB

Exclusive content

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copies

Want to play the game, but cash is a little tight right now? Claim one of the community copies below. Want to help out other folks by adding more community copies?

-Every PDF purchase adds 1 more community copy.

-Every PDF purchase at or above the recommended $5 price adds 2 copies

-Every $3 tip above the recommended price adds another copy

Enjoy, and I hope you have fun with the game!

Comments

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any chance of a community copy 

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I got this game in the Racial Equality bundle but finally got around to playing it! I'd never played a solo ttrpg before but I had a lot of fun recording my rather fortunate curator's encounter with an inscribed human femur. For me, this game was a good way to develop and rp a character and scenario without the pressure of other people. The event prompts are very interesting, with enough simultaneous specificity, diversity, and vagueness to give me inspiration on where to take the story while giving me plenty of space to make it whatever I wanted. Of course, the overarching narrative is meant for cosmic horror, which I love, but the daily events also have potential for many other types of horror, especially psychological, so I found it to be a fun writing exercise. It took about an hour to play through, and I can't wait to try again! Hopefully I will die horribly next time :^)

So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for this report - a fortunate curator indeed!

Hello!

I wrote up a report of how the game went for me here: https://playingsolorpgs.wordpress.com/2020/10/27/63/

I thought it was really fun to play and the instructions were really easy to understand. It has plenty of prompts that were inspiring and formulates a good narrative. 

Thanks for the comment! Glad you enjoyed it.

The Artifact is a Hasturian mythos solo rpg in which something is wrong with your refrigerator, and you must fight back against its extraplanar influence.

The PDF is 18 pages, with clean, readable layout and a scattering of helpful graphics. The game is based on the Wretched engine, which means you'll interact with a single-player story driven by card prompts, and do your best to survive it.

Play materials include cards, dice, and a jenga tower, and the game also expects you to journal your experiences (although this is extremely optional.)

For what it's worth, it's probably best not to make your Artifact an actual object in your home, unless you want to develop an aversion to that thing. Artifact mirrors The Wretched in its severe, somber tone, and it's very much a classical horror game. You are not likely to win, and the road to your defeat is harrowing.

Admittedly, you can blunt a little of that tone by making your Artifact something extremely silly, and you'll get more of an SCP-style story as a result.

Overall, for folks who like slow-burn mythos horror and solo games, I strongly recommend this.

Thank you so much for this review, and I'm glad you enjoyed the game!

Thank you for writing it!

My artifact was a pair of Maritime Lockpick earrings. I wrote up a session report here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/274819/item/7849771#item7849771

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Thanks for posting your session report - I really enjoyed reading it!

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I enjoy'd this soloRPG.

I found myself examining a teapot. After recognizing it's weird energy I quickly found myself sleeping more, enjoying more tea, and watching my friends, family, and coworkers think I'm crazy when I was at complete peace. It was nice learning to worship Manu.

The game took about 40 minutes in total to play, and it was a fun way to create a story. After I was done, I was imagining who else was in my new cult, maybe an enemy in an upcoming DND adventure? It was fun and quick.

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Thanks for this review - I love the idea of using a teapot, lots of good possibilities there.