The Core Assumptions
Bloodlines & Black Magic takes place on an alternate Earth, very similar to the one you and I know. It has much of the same history (with only slight variations), the same level of technology, the same social and political problems, and nearly all of the population believes everything is as it should be.
This world, however, is wrong.
Instead, the world of Bloodlines & Black Magic divides itself into three worlds, only two of which the PCs can work in (at least initially); the Mundane World, the Secret World, and the Invisible World.
As these heroes explore the Mundane and Secret Worlds, they begin to discover clues - physical and social - that lead them deeper into the dark, forgotten, and secret places of the world. Over time, and after great effort, some of these heroes discover the Invisible World. Characters able to Pierce the Veil and those who step directly into the Invisible World learn to collect psychic clues - bits of critical data stored only in this world.
As player characters complete episodes of Bloodlines & Black Magic, they slowly gain levels and with those, the power needed to survive in the Secret and Invisible Worlds, both of which hold terrible secrets and the monsters who guard them.
Set in a Dark, Modern World
Bloodlines & Black Magic is a modern setting with modern problems. While we do not direct many current events directly (something we feel is better discussed at the table between consenting players), some designers and GMs may reference them in the background. If these issues bother you, we strongly encourage you to discuss them during your Session Zero (or before play with a new GM) to ensure everyone at the table is on the same page.
Storm Bunny Studios proudly supports diversity and equality. We believe #BlackLivesMatter.
Each season of Bloodlines & Black Magic tackles a new mystery, a new location, and a new set of problems for heroes exploring our dark world. While we do explore darker themes, we do so responsibly - we avoid themes that champion or exploit the abuse of animals or children. Likewise, when covering the themes of murder, missing persons, suicide, trauma, and mental illness, we include content warnings; when and where possible, we also include links to nationally recognized and trusted resources for these topics.
Bloodlines & Black Magic does not encourage or use a "sanity slippage mechanic" that "punishes" player characters for exploring or interacting with the supernatural, nor do we choose to marginalize or other those struggling with mental illness. By choice, we have designed our game to approach a hero's immersion into the Invisible World much differently.
Instead of gradually "going crazy", heroes earn oddities - marks on their auras that resemble the scars deep cuts leave on our flesh.
Different Monsters, Different Stories
A Game for Mature Audiences
As a rule, Bloodlines & Black Magic avoids the low-hanging fruit upon which some horror relies; this game trades eldrich, but otherwise well-known horrors, and for the obscure and strange that haunts our dreams. Exploring Neo-Noir spaces that embrace cryptids, government conspiracies, and supernatural beings from other realms, Bloodlines & Black Magic works in a gaming space heavily inspired by the works of Thomas Ligotti, David Lynch, and Trent Reznor.
Designed for gamers looking to explore the game world's larger narrative through the subjective lens of their hero's perspective, Bloodlines & Black Magic encourages player characters to develop stories, ideas, and relationships for their heroes - this is a game that aims to do more than just "kill monsters and take their stuff."
Working and playing in this space can be dangerous, especially in environments where real-life is already fairly volatile; although we produce content safe for young adults, we strongly encourage gamers to be 17 or older.
Gamers familiar with the traditional, largely Western approach to fantasy will find quite a few of their favorite foes reimagined in Bloodlines & Black Magic. Likewise, Game Masters and players looking for a different approach to the modern, supernatural world will find that Bloodlines & Black Magic has its own, uniquely developed lore; you cannot play a vampire in this game, nor will you become a reality-altering mage capable of destroying entire city blocks with the wave of a hand.
In turn, your characters do learn to develop and master their skills, including those that give them access to magic. Moreover, using your powers and fighting monsters will not drive your character insane by design; Bloodlines & Black Magic expects player characters will develop and use their powers to overcome their supernatural enemies - many of whom look just like you or me.