Shadows of Esteren: Introduction for a Horrific and Gothic RPG
Shadows of Esteren is a medieval role-playing game, with an emphasis on the horrific and the gothic. Drawing inspiration from Celtic myths, this universe has a discreetly fantastic side hidden under a bleak, realistic surface. This world is populated with humans who have to cope with tough daily lives, and face a supernatural threat lurking in the dark. With the focus of its adventures being investigation and survival, Shadows of Esteren is a game that favors an immersive mood and interactions among the Players.
This particular atmosphere is drawn from several sources of inspiration: the harshness and romanticism of Mel Gibson’s Braveheart; the universes of Tim Burton, particularly the one of Sleepy Hollow; Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke; as well as Berserk, the manga by Kentaro Miura.
Here is more about the four main themes of the game:
o A Dark Universe. Esteren is a harsh, medieval world where the Characters will be confronted with horror and multi-faced threats. However, this does not imply they are doomed to perish; their survival will depend on their ingenuity and bravery. Gothic tradition can be found in awe-inspiring landscapes where the forces of nature rage, a perfect setting for tragic and passionate stories.
o Low Fantasy. In Esteren, there are no fantasy peoples such as elves or dwarves, nor are there fireball-casting wizards. Although supernatural elements are far from absent, they manifest in a subtle manner, giving way to a gritty, realistic universe.
o An Intuitive Game System. Shadows of Esteren is a game of atmosphere, where immersion and interactions among the Players have priority over any kind of simulative gameplay. This is why the game system was designed to be intuitive and easy to become familiar with.