Ghastly Affair – The Gothic Game of Romantic Horror

Ghastly Affair is a role-playing game for adults, set in the decadent and disastrous age of Marie-Antoinette, Napoleon, and Lord Byron. Experience a world of glittering beauty, terror, and the supernatural, where Love is intertwined with Death!

Ghastly Affair embraces the full spectrum of the Gothic. You can be the imperiled True Innocent bravely suffering in a wicked world, or seduce your way across salons and ballrooms as a Libertine instead. Experience the desperately romantic life of the Bandit. Live the black comedy of the Grave Robber’s outrageous occupation. Command dark sorcery as the Magician. Quest for Nature’s forbidden secrets as the Mad Scientist. Combat the horrors of the night as the Demon Hunter. Deal with the Devil, and bargain with Death. The twisted games and arcane rules of High Society can be as perilous as any werewolf, and dancing well might save your soul.

Ghastly Affair uses streamlined, easy-to-understand rules that employ the widely-understood terms and concepts of Old School role-playing games, but with a modern twist. Just roll under the rating of an Ability on a twenty-sided die, to do everything from deciphering an ancient manuscript to sneaking past a clan of hungry cannibals. Characters can be customized with free-form, player-defined Assets and Afflictions. The game is designed to support a fast-playing and immersive experience.ghastlyaffairpresentersmanualcoverpromo

The Ghastly Affair Player’s Manual contains all the information needed to be a Player. It includes complete rules for creating and advancing characters based on the classic tropes of Gothic fiction, a full treatment of Preternatural Effects (magic spells and Mad Inventions), and historical information woven throughout the text. If you’d like to run games as a Presenter, the Ghastly Affair Presenter’s Manual contains advice, adversaries, a chronology of the years 1765 to 1820, lists of genre conventions, and expanded rules.

Note that Ghastly Affair replicates the shocking world of the original Gothic Romances, and is therefore intended for mature readers.

Hardcover Print and Illustrated PDF Versions Available on RPGNow and DriveThru RPG. Softcover Print Versions available on Amazon.

If you’d like to try out the game before you purchase, FREE PDF versions of both the Ghastly Affair Player’s Manual and the Ghastly Affair Presenter’s Manual are still available in the Downloads section of this blog.

Also available for Ghastly Affair:


15 thoughts on “Ghastly Affair – The Gothic Game of Romantic Horror”

  1. Any change of you making any alternative rule to Prenatural Effects based in True20/True Sorcery?

    • Unfortunately, I’ve never read either one, and can’t offer any specific advice. However, Ghastly Affair is mostly Open Game Content, and is intended to be easily modifiable. I encourage experimentation!

  2. As one of the players in the YSDC forum game, I must congratulate you on a excellent system.
    So far our GM has done a great job, and I can’t wait to see how the story develops.

    • Thank you for the compliment! I am absolutely thrilled to see the way that Ghastly Affair has been embraced and adapted. I’ve been keeping up with your game, and its a wonderful read. Thanks to all of you for providing such a great example of play.

  3. I’m a big fan of this RPG. I was wondering were you thinking at all of ever writing a full sourcebook for Vaozum and it’s different ages, especially in the ‘Ghastly Affair’ age? I would love to get my hands on a full book of this fascinating fantasy world and I imagine other people would too.

    • It might be interesting to revisit Vaozum. I’ve been focused on Ghastly Affair, but have a good deal of unpublished Vaozum material that I’ve run with various groups. If I was to do it, I probably emphasize the multi-age aspect of the setting. Perhaps make it a conceit that players would simultaneously have PCs operating in two different time periods, and characters in later ages would be constantly encountering the effects of actions taken in previous times. If only I had unlimited time!

      • No word of a lie that sounds like a brilliant idea. I love the fact that there are different ages for swords and sorcery, dark fantasy and romantic gothic horror. It really is an original, imaginative and well-constructed world. If you do decide to do so then best of luck. Also well done for creating a fantastic blog.

      • Thank you!

  4. I have a question regarding the OGL notice in the core books. They state that “the distinctive text of the Ghastly Affair Presenter’s Manual” and “the distinctive text of the Ghastly Affair Player’s Manual” are reserved as Product Identity (among other things) – is the intention to require paraphrasing instead of copying text verbatim?

    • Yes. I only mean to discourage people from copying the exact text (particularly the “flavor” text) verbatim, and selling it as their own work. But using the “Libertine” Class, for example, is permitted under the terms of the OGL, so long as you use your own words to explain it, and properly update the License. (Please note: I am not a lawyer, or expert on international copyright law!)

  5. I’d really love a chance to play this game some day, so if anyone is looking for players, please let me know!

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