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Bluebeard's Bride: A Horror Tabletop RPG

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WILL YOU OPEN THE FINAL DOOR? A young bride is wed to an ugly, but powerful man with a blue beard. He invites her to explore the house...but one room is forbidden. Eventually, the young bride falls prey to her curiosity and opens it, discovering the gruesome display of former brides murdered... Explore Bluebeard's mansion and create your own beautifully tragic version of th WILL YOU OPEN THE FINAL DOOR? A young bride is wed to an ugly, but powerful man with a blue beard. He invites her to explore the house...but one room is forbidden. Eventually, the young bride falls prey to her curiosity and opens it, discovering the gruesome display of former brides murdered... Explore Bluebeard's mansion and create your own beautifully tragic version of the dark fairy tale with Bluebeard's Bride. Experience the nightmarish memories that haunt the rooms of this broken place and discover the truth of what happened here. But it is up to you and your friends to decide whether or not you are a faithful or disloyal bride. In this book, you get: •Five playbooks, each representing a different aspect of the Brides personality •Detailed instructions for running the game and playing to find out what happens •Tools for creating your own custom servants, rooms, and horors for Bluebeard's Bride •Tips and tricks for managing horror at your table, including safety mechanisms Bluebeard's Bride is an investigatory horror tabletop roleplaying game that makes use of the same rules-light engine as Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, and Urban Shadows to create stories of feminine horror in the vein of Crimson Peak, American Horror Story, and The Company of Wolves.


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WILL YOU OPEN THE FINAL DOOR? A young bride is wed to an ugly, but powerful man with a blue beard. He invites her to explore the house...but one room is forbidden. Eventually, the young bride falls prey to her curiosity and opens it, discovering the gruesome display of former brides murdered... Explore Bluebeard's mansion and create your own beautifully tragic version of th WILL YOU OPEN THE FINAL DOOR? A young bride is wed to an ugly, but powerful man with a blue beard. He invites her to explore the house...but one room is forbidden. Eventually, the young bride falls prey to her curiosity and opens it, discovering the gruesome display of former brides murdered... Explore Bluebeard's mansion and create your own beautifully tragic version of the dark fairy tale with Bluebeard's Bride. Experience the nightmarish memories that haunt the rooms of this broken place and discover the truth of what happened here. But it is up to you and your friends to decide whether or not you are a faithful or disloyal bride. In this book, you get: •Five playbooks, each representing a different aspect of the Brides personality •Detailed instructions for running the game and playing to find out what happens •Tools for creating your own custom servants, rooms, and horors for Bluebeard's Bride •Tips and tricks for managing horror at your table, including safety mechanisms Bluebeard's Bride is an investigatory horror tabletop roleplaying game that makes use of the same rules-light engine as Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts, and Urban Shadows to create stories of feminine horror in the vein of Crimson Peak, American Horror Story, and The Company of Wolves.

30 review for Bluebeard's Bride: A Horror Tabletop RPG

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    I wanted to read Bluebeard’s Bride before there was anything to read, when it was in its early stages of development and one of the designers mentioned it on a podcast. Bluebeard’s Bride is a pbta game in which the players play different psychological aspects of the Bride, newly married to Bluebeard, who wander through the endless rooms of their new home armed only with a ring of mysterious keys. Bluebeard’s Bride is a game of feminine horror, meaning horror concerned with the social construct o I wanted to read Bluebeard’s Bride before there was anything to read, when it was in its early stages of development and one of the designers mentioned it on a podcast. Bluebeard’s Bride is a pbta game in which the players play different psychological aspects of the Bride, newly married to Bluebeard, who wander through the endless rooms of their new home armed only with a ring of mysterious keys. Bluebeard’s Bride is a game of feminine horror, meaning horror concerned with the social construct of and demands on femininity. The moves of both the PCs and the Groundskeeper (Bluebeard’s Bride’s name for the GM) work together to reinforce the powerlessness of the Bride in an impossible and frightening situation. That’s awesome. As a physical object, the book itself is gorgeous. The artwork by Rebecca Yanovskaya and Kring is stunning. The embossed and gilded covers are beautiful. I was nervous taking the book out to the house (I read a lot while waiting for jobs to start, etc.) because I didn’t want anything to happen to something so lovely. The writing and examples are solid, and reading through the first half of the book, I was interested and intrigued, but not especially blown away by what I found. The method for allowing four players to play a single character is inspired, and the way moves are constructed to allow players who don’t have immediate control over the Bride to still partake in the exploration of rooms is clever. The limiting of dice rolls to three of all the moves in the book is bold. The faithfulness and disloyalty tracks that trigger the end game is elegant. Making a move that triggers off a player’s actions is unexpected. Every part of the game is well-conceived and carefully constructed. For me, the game’s potential took off in the final quarter of the book, when the Groundskeeper is given the tools to construct rooms, objects, and servants, via lists the way Apocalypse World-inspired games do. I could see in this portion how the game ticked and tocked and got very excited about running it. In the end, the game creates a surrealist horror with each room being a mini-adventure with different horrors. It is unclear to me how interconnected the rooms can be and how skilled the GM has to be to keep the game from feeling merely episodic rather than as a cohesive tale. How much work is it to make NPCs recurring, or to tie the rooms explicitly to the fears and insecurities of the bride? The game gives you the tools and encouragement to do these things, but I will be nervous as a first-time Groundskeeper, since there are so many places to, if not fail, fall short of making the game amazing. Can you keep the horror visceral, the story cohesive, the theme focused, the threats real and present, and the outcome both expected and surprising? We shall see what that is actually like when I get around to playing it. In the meantime, the book is a great read, and the GM material is complete and helpful.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tommaso De

    Exceptionally pretty and dark rpg, with an original, well exposed theme. This is also a difficult game to play, and requires either extremely creative or experienced players. Some mechanics are a bit unsatisfactory, such as those related to the ending room, or the “room crawler” nature of the progression, which doesn’t fully take advantage of the potential of the setting. Some things could have been a bit subtler. I also have the feeling most games will lean towards “bride disloyalty”, which mig Exceptionally pretty and dark rpg, with an original, well exposed theme. This is also a difficult game to play, and requires either extremely creative or experienced players. Some mechanics are a bit unsatisfactory, such as those related to the ending room, or the “room crawler” nature of the progression, which doesn’t fully take advantage of the potential of the setting. Some things could have been a bit subtler. I also have the feeling most games will lean towards “bride disloyalty”, which might have been the intention because of the topics explored, but seems a curios choice for gameplay balance.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stuart

    Bluebeard's Bride is a tabletop RPG that uses the Apocalypse World system to create a tale of claustrophobic, gendered horror. The rules are concise and allow a lot of story-based game moves, but the drawback to such a system is always that it requires a very serious group of players. The subject matter doubly demands it. I'm not sure I could find a group willing to play this, largely due to the gendered and deeply psychological nature of the subject matter--in short, the people who probably shou Bluebeard's Bride is a tabletop RPG that uses the Apocalypse World system to create a tale of claustrophobic, gendered horror. The rules are concise and allow a lot of story-based game moves, but the drawback to such a system is always that it requires a very serious group of players. The subject matter doubly demands it. I'm not sure I could find a group willing to play this, largely due to the gendered and deeply psychological nature of the subject matter--in short, the people who probably should play it would entirely miss the lesson the game tries to impart. The book itself is beautifully constructed, lavishly illustrated, and the writing is excellent. My only quibble is the rather Victorian nature of the gendered horror--it feels more limiting than liberatory, more masochistic than expiatory. Perhaps that's the point?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steven Lee

    I am reviewing this RPG before I've had an opportunity to use it as either a player or a game master. I would probably prefer to give it a 4.5, but rounded up given my general feelings about the product. Bluebeard's Bride fascinates me in a way that few games (video, tabletop, or otherwise) have. It came to my attention at precisely the right moment. I have been trying to become more aware and cognizant of the differences between genders in our society and historically. Moreover, I try to be awa I am reviewing this RPG before I've had an opportunity to use it as either a player or a game master. I would probably prefer to give it a 4.5, but rounded up given my general feelings about the product. Bluebeard's Bride fascinates me in a way that few games (video, tabletop, or otherwise) have. It came to my attention at precisely the right moment. I have been trying to become more aware and cognizant of the differences between genders in our society and historically. Moreover, I try to be aware of how broader society imposes itself upon women and how dangerous that can be. Bluebeard's Bride with its unique presentation of feminine horror packaged a lot of anxieties and issues together into something that was fascinating to explore. The game itself is quite simple. It does not rely on excessive mechanics. The game is in the narrative style in which the players take on aspects of a single person - the Bride. The Bride is newly married to her husband, Bluebeard, and is free to explore his house. The setting offers a great deal of flexibility, but the art and the language would incline people towards the Gothic, I believe. The players explore rooms filled with ghosts and horrors and must piece together their opinion about the man they have married. Is he a monster, or merely misunderstood? The text of the game expressly supports forms of deception, manipulation, and violence that women experience. The Bride cannot truly fight back. The Bride can be gaslit, deceived, or dismissed. The fears and expressions of dread in the house take on the form peculiar to women. It's incredible to listen to how these things can come together into gripping, tense moments. This brings up a problem with Bluebeard's Bride, but it not truly a fault of the game. It's very difficult to play with people. A good player and game master needs to be secure in their group. They have to be respectful and sensitive to they emotions of the players. This is a game that traffics in things like domestic violence and threats of rape, just to name a few. Treating the topics with insensitivity would be devastating. This is part of the reason that this game is difficult to play. That said, the game has provided enough in my imagination to drive me to make notes, think of rooms and horrors that haunt them. The art goes a long way in helping that along. The art is stunning. It blends the beautiful and the grotesque in a fascinating way. Flipping through the art and picking out favourites is an easy way to get dark thoughts moving. A final problem with Bluebeard's Bride is that the game is a bit of a railroad. Anyone familiar with the game knows precisely how the story will end. There are a number of conclusions and there is room for detailing the ending, but ultimately the broad strokes are identical. A creative GM and engaged players could make the journey fantastic, but it is a bit disappointing to find the path ending at a handful of destinations. I feel it limits replayability to a certain degree. As a person considering running the game the onus it places on the GM is quite heavy. The GM could do planning in advance, but the players choose a lot of the decisions in the moment, but then the GM must create a space relatively quickly to submerge them in horror. These transitions can cause problems, I believe. It certainly makes such a emotional game more daunting for someone to run. If nothing else Bluebeard's Bride is a fascinating examination of what tabletop RPGs can be. It is worthy of consideration and should be read by those who enjoy horror games and mined for material if not explored directly.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Malcolm

    Based on the fairy tale of the same game. This RPG casts the players as the different aspects of the psyche of Bluebeard's latest wife. As though familiar with the story could probably guess, this is a horror rpg. And not just the visceral horrors one might expect. This is a game of psychological and feminine horror. The sources of the scares are about the often mutually exclusive pressures society puts on women. The pressure to be beautiful but modest. The pressure to be submissive but interesti Based on the fairy tale of the same game. This RPG casts the players as the different aspects of the psyche of Bluebeard's latest wife. As though familiar with the story could probably guess, this is a horror rpg. And not just the visceral horrors one might expect. This is a game of psychological and feminine horror. The sources of the scares are about the often mutually exclusive pressures society puts on women. The pressure to be beautiful but modest. The pressure to be submissive but interesting. And there's a lot of conventional body horror. Bluebeard's house is inhabited by horrors many with the goal of transforming the bride into Bluebeard's ideal mate. With blades if necessary. The bride must explore the mansion and uncover clues as to her husband's nature. These experiences will drive her to be loyal or disloyal and she will always be placed face to face with that faithful door.. This is an amazing game and the cover shows it. The gorgeous cover art shows Bluebeard dominant over his wife. She is on her back. He's huge. There's no way she can escape and her expression shows how trapped she feels. The front and back concert are beautifully embossed making it a joy just to hold. The mechanics are solid. Both the GM and the players have their own set of moves designed to allow them to steer the narrative. But the GM, called a groundskeeper, has final say and it encourages you to drop the bride into worse circumstances just as she thinks she's won some sort of victory. While the game does pit the Groundskeeper and players against each other, it's best not to view it as competitive. You are discovering, together, the story of Bluebeard's latest bride. I also love how it encourages you to include rooms of previous player brides. The interior art is wonderful. Beautifully produced and designed to include maximum discomfort. This is a game that gets to the true root of horror media. Not just jump scares but prolonged constant dread. The bride can't leave without certainty about her suspicions and so most continue through room after room. Horror after horror.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kate (yorick)

    From the Game Master's Principles: "Root the story in the tales these women have to tell. Bluebeard is not a protagonist or sympathetic character, and should never, ever be stylized as such. There is a place and a time for pathos with this kind of villain. This is expressly not one of them. " An incredible, innovative tabletop game. Given that it's a horror game about gender, the authors went out of their way to discuss safety at the table and boundaries. There are so many lessons to be learned fr From the Game Master's Principles: "Root the story in the tales these women have to tell. Bluebeard is not a protagonist or sympathetic character, and should never, ever be stylized as such. There is a place and a time for pathos with this kind of villain. This is expressly not one of them. " An incredible, innovative tabletop game. Given that it's a horror game about gender, the authors went out of their way to discuss safety at the table and boundaries. There are so many lessons to be learned from this game, to remember even as I continue running 5e. I can't wait to give this game a try.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vicka

    I. Absolutely. Love. This. The way it's written, the art, the graphic design, the stories it generates. It gets everything so weird and so creepy so fast. And your players react in unimaginable ways, I love how it pushes everything to the limit. Not for the faint of heart. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and run/play/read this.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David Rojas

    Un juego angustiante en su crueldad, que logra su objetivo de aportar algo más que una experiencia lúdica: ponerse en el lugar de una pobre muchacha acosada por Barbazul y todo lo que representa -violencia hacia la mujer, pero no sólo familiar, sino de todo el sistema. Es el único juego de rol de horror que ha logrado ponerme incómodo incluso como narrador.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Al Tarancón

    Un juego de rol que realmente captura una atmosfera de terror e intranquilidad. Leerlo es una delicia, y te hace darle vueltas a las posibilidades de los juegos de rol para tratar temas adultos y quizas incomodos. Una joya.

  10. 4 out of 5

    A'Llyn Ettien

    Creative, creepy RPG, beautifully designed. Will probably never actually play it because I don't play tabletop games anymore, but a cool addition to the field.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sandokas

    great game. very well constructed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paul Kirsch

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leandro Pondoc

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nis

  15. 5 out of 5

    Javier

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brent

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  18. 4 out of 5

    Satyros Brucato

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mira

  21. 5 out of 5

    Henrik Dithmer

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andy Olson

  23. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ana Van straaten

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ladyadree

  26. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  27. 4 out of 5

    Devinne W.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dana Cameron

  29. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jess

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