Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game Rulebooks


The Four Core Rulebooks are coming along. They’ve certainly been the most challenging. I’ve written a few modules and worn a GMs cap for decades, but actually putting rules on paper is an unheralded and daunting task.

Connor has been an enormous help, and I doubt I would have ventured as far as I have without his interest. He has kept me honest, for one, and he has a keen eye for mechanics and things that are easily neglected.

I imagine the rulebooks are still a couple of months from being wrapped. Everything else is a near finish. I should have the prototype in hand within a week or so. Till then I’ll keep plugging away and then we’ll begin Phase II of playtesting.


This sheet’s got character #OccultDetectiveRPG

A day late, but I did promise my Twitter followers a look at the current status of the Occult Detective RPG Character Sheet.

Here’s the primary stat sheet. Each ‘kith’, gets an additional sheet that covers their specifics.


For a closer look, here’s a downloadable pdf odrpgcharactersheet6.

This is the current playtest version of the Preternatural kith sheet.


As I’ve said, we’re making great progress on the nuts and bolts of the game and the graphic design elements are coming together.

My son Connor has been invaluable in this beast’s creation. He’s got a lot of great ideas and a knack for spotting logistical issues. And his playtest character is pretty slick.

Anyway, I’ve begun writing the core book and hope that by this time next year we’ll be able to get a killer version of this into your hands.

Happy Hallowe’en…

To dream, perchance to game #OccultDetectiveRPG

I had an odd dream a few nights back. I was dreaming about OCCULT DETECTIVE: The Roleplaying Game. Not the first time its happened, and each time it has, a breakthrough inĀ  game design has been the result. This time is no different.

As recently revealed, we have settled on three character types, roughly akin to ‘races’ in other RPGs I suppose, but altogether different too.

lcDefining these ‘player character types’, Naturals, Preternaturals, and Supernaturals, were a real breakthrough in the game, but I knew there was something off with it, something I wasn’t seeing.

My son and I had a few talks about it and we worked on tweaking the character sheet to reflect these changes, but it just wasn’t coming together.

Then I had a dream.

In the dream I was at a horror writers convention being held in what I can only describe as an abandoned water works plant. There was lots of steam and spraying water, puddles everywhere… but I was giving an OD:TRPG character creation demonstration to these writers (I won’t name drop, but I consider most of them friends and chances are you know the majority of them) and passed out character sheets to them.

One of the authors commented that he had the wrong sheet. I went over to check and saw that it was a Natural Character Sheet. That can’t be right, I thought, but looking around, there were three separate character sheets, each geared to a specific ‘type’.

writeitWaking up, I realized, that was the trick to making the character sheets work. Three separate ones. Of course, after work, when I went to tell my son about this Morpheus inspired breakthrough, he had had a similar thought.

So anyway, we’ve thrown out the old sheets, and this week, we’re designing not one but three new character sheets.

Admittedly, I still have a mountain of text to write, but the charts, diagrams, and rules are all pretty close to being cemented. It’s now down to the polish.

The Occult Detective RPG: Aftermath


Utilizing Mansions of Madness tiles and various other cobbled together pieces from a sundry of board and roleplaying games, Connor and I took the Occult Detective RPG for a spin yesterday. I think the experience can be best summed up by my wife’s reaction when she came home and walked in on us mid-game.

“Why are you two smiling so much?”

Well, the answer, my dear, is simple, we were having a blast.

Granted, some of the unique mechanics I’d dreamed up never came into play which means they didn’t get playtested. That’s a bad thing. But for an overall gaming experience, it felt like an awesome hybrid of some of my favorite RPGs with some board game elements that already has me rethinking the overall direction I want to take this in.


I’m trying to pull off a board game that plays like an RPG. Or is it an RPG that plays like a board game?

Darn it, now I’m confused.

No matter, the right sentiment is in play.

What last night’s game session proved to me is that I’m on the right track. Sure, it’s back to the drawing board, but that’s where I’d rather be anyway.