Published by Good Luck Press
Distributed by Deernicorn Distro
They are alone, seeking a secret place. They are dead set on getting there.
Black Mass is a tarot-based tabletop roleplaying game about two people leaving a community that doesn’t want them, to the woods that calls for them. Those travelers, Lydia and Catherine, confront their pasts to seek their own black mass, a moment of transformation, to put the tools of change into their own hands. It is designed over the course of two to three hours with four to eight players, including a proctor, who facilitates the game.
Black Mass is a pointillistic tarot-based roleplaying game where players share responsibility over two travelers, Catherine and Lydia. Players take on portions of their personalities, called personas. Personas revolve around relationships, emotional experiences, discovery, and growth. Each one is different and sketches out a different piece of each character. Each player gets two: one for Lydia and one for Catherine.
Black Mass is a game about discovery: through play we learn about Catherine and Lydia, informed by the in-play personas. No two games are similar, and no two Catherine’s and Lydia’s are the same between playthroughs. There are ten personas for both Catherine and Lydia, resulting in many unique combinations at the table. We play to find out who they are, why they left Salem, and what they find in the woods. Once we know that, we’ll find out what they do after their black mass.
Throughout the game, players draw tarot cards to overcome obstacles and to add to the spread, two rows of cards in the center of the playspace. The spread represents the lives of Catherine and Lydia, each card symbolizing a moment in their past, present, and future. Tarot cards act as action resolution and oracles. When a persona begins inhabiting Catherine or Lydia, the player draws cards from the central pile and adds those card to their personal stack of cards, called the cairn. Players spend cards out of their cairn to move silently, shrug off spectral voices, bear the cold, and negotiate their path through the woods. Only one player may act as Lydia and Catherine at a time, and when they’re out of cards, they’re no longer in control. At the end of these turns, players may add a card to the spread, narrating a scene from their present or past.
COMPONENTS AND DETAILS
- Softcover perfect bound book, 56-pages, black and white
- Tarot not included. The Enchanted Tarot is shown above.
Number of players: 4-8, including a facilitator
Style: GM Required, Tarot-based storytelling
Creator: Will Jobst
- Writing by Will Jobst
- Illustration by Kate Liset
- Photography by Kara Kokinos
- Design by Shannon McLean
- Editing by Colleen Riley
- Black Mass Suite by Jack Jobst