Okult, a new Swedish horror RPG, is designed to bring the players somewhere eerily reminiscent of the places they grew up.
Okult is a new horror role playing game about a group of people who have recently returned to their «Hometown».
When the characters return to Hometown they realize that they have repressed the memories of something. And that something has again cast its dark shadow over the town.
– While the adult characters investigate the secrets of Hometown, the story frequently jumps back to their childhood years in flashbacks as things are revealed and events are remembered, the game’s designer, Wilhelm Person, tells Imagonem.org.
Okult is extremely rules light. The game offers some structure to the story and gives the players direction and suggestions for where to take the story next.
– In the initial stage the players collaborate to describe Hometown together, making it an amalgamation of the places where they themselves grew up. The idea is to make the game strike close to home.
– Then characters are made to be similar enough to the players themselves to always keep the nagging feeling that «it could have been me».
– It is an uncomfortable game.
The Okult PDF is just 35 pages long, with an elegant layout and some moody b/w photo’s Wilhelm has taken.
Person (36) currently lives in Luleå on the Swedish east coast. By day he’s a software engineer. By night a stick fighting instructor, game designer and amateur photographer. He is originally from Åled on the west coast.
– That little village is my basis for the fictional place Hometown where Okult is set, he says.
Person runs the site Wilhelm’s Games, which features Okult and his others designs. There’s the game of Shakespearean comedy, The Daughters of Verona, and While The World Ends, «a storygame about the lives of four ordinary people, and what they do while the world ends around them». Plus a few smaller games.
– All my games have grown out of a need or desire for a game that I wanted to play but could not find, Person says.
– They all say something about me as a person and gamer, at least about who I were when the game was conceived. I write games that I want to play, and if they find an audience that’s cool. But in a pre Internet era I would just have written for my own group or even desk drawer. These days I can add some polish, maybe buy some art and set the games free. And see what becomes of them.
– Beyond that I believe that time is more dear than money to people. I do my very best to keep the word count down and to present the material in a logical order.
Drifting away from the mainstream
– The local scene here in Luleå is vibrant and offers loads of gaming in styles that don’t interest me. There are many LARPs going, and countless groups that play what we a bit carelessly call traditional RPGs, Person says.
– I find that I drift further and further away from the mainstream. And at the same time the opportunities for gaming grow more and more scarce.
– These days I mostly play at house cons every couple of months, and then it’s usually play tests of my own designs or Old School which I can enjoy from some sort of ironical perspective.