When I was a kid, I was infatuated with ghost stories. I read everything and anything I could find about ghosts. I didn’t discriminate between fiction and dubious nonfiction and folklore. I don’t remember all, or even most, of the stories now. Mostly I’ve retained fragments without context. I remember a Victorian child who fell down a flight of stairs, leaving a blood stain at the bottom that would return, undeterred after every cleaning day. I remember the witch’s jawbone, and how her spirit would leave fruit and toys for poor sick Mrs. Bell, even while it consumed her husband’s life. I remember the hitchhiker’s abandoned jacket, and her tombstone.
I only remember those fragments now, because I grew old enough to stop thinking about ghost stories and to start thinking about work and codependent relationship and role-playing games about post-Reconstruction racism. I also grew old enough to realize I had lost something, or many things.
Shade is a ghost story game. It’s also a game about how life diminishes us, and how death (or our ideas about it) empowers us. It’s a simple narrative role-playing game that can be played in a single sitting.
Shade uses a custom deck of personality cards to guide each character’s journey through life, and their transformation after death.
Download Shade Cards