Wednesday 10 August 2022

Heart: The City Beneath, sessions 0

Previously, I attempted to square the circle between the (light) simulationist tendencies within OSR games with the (non-diegetic) narrativist elements in storygames. Owing to a paucity of a) time and b) intelligence, this objective was not achieved. Judge for yourself at the link below:

Better then to tell you how the actual session went....

Title: Heart. Image of a party of adventurers, barely discernible, stumbling upon hands reaching up from a wet red heaven or hell much bigger than them.
Heart is available from RRD now

We began with session 0...


The campaign group was created online using a discord server designed exclusively for TTRPG meet-ups in our city. We were able to do a lot of the background work online before meeting face-to-face. We'd also played a number of warm-up sessions including THE WITCH IS DEAD  and SEPULCHRE, the latter of which included friend-of-the-blog, RPG Designer and all-round good human W.H. Arthur

These session accommodated a lot of the work that goes into session 0, though it was still necessary to hold a session to put the party together.

Cast of Characters

CHUKKLZ (he/him) 

Gnoll CLEAVER, called by the HEARTSONG...
A GNOLL, taken from the book, links above and below... probably not CHUKLLZ

Which three images, symbols, people or creatures do you repeatedly see when you dream?
  1. Vines.
  2. Feeding, eating & being eaten
  3. Two hands clasped, and never the same pair of hands...
What signs do you look for to recognise where the Heart is strongest?
  • Chukklz' stomach starts to rumble
You recently witnessed an unearthly sight with another player character.
Who was it, what happened and how did they react?
  • Watched Jess unearth something unspeakable from the trash
Your connection to the Heart has touched you in some way. How does that manifest?
  • Chukklz is obsessed with eating... also, the bizarre homunculus "Furball" that he coughed up one day...

DODIN (he/they)

The human deadwalker, called by ADVENTURE...

This is the illustrations for the Call of Adventure... nothing like Dodin, in my headcanon at least

What drove you out of the City Above?

You and another player character barely escaped from a dangerous situation recently. Who was it and what happened?

Recently, you and another character returned from a delve with an item for a wealthy patron. They wouldn’t give it up – why, and what was it?

What’s the most dangerous beast or individual you’ve heard tell of, and why haven’t you defeated them yet?

JESS (she/her) 

Human JUNK MAGE, also called by the HEARTSONG... but is it the same melody she hears?

Junk Mage, a little closer to Jess

LONG-EARS (she/her) 

— Gnoll INCARNADINE, FORCED into the Heart by her masters

A sad gnoll, surrounded by artefacts of a shattered memory

NIA-WREN (she/they) 

— Human HERETIC, seeking ENLIGHTENMENT in the Heart and hoping for something impossible... 

VELRIN (they/them)


A Vermissian knight, but probably not Velrin


This game was played face-to-face in Brighton's Dice Saloon back in 2022: sadly I no longer have my campaign notes, but I'm loathe to erase this draf tpost, so I'm sharing now (though backdating to August 2022).



The Witch is Dead


Interview with Arthur. RPG Designer and friend-of-the-blog

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