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Endless Descent: a game of Secrets and Hope • 2017 rpg

Kevin Kulp • https://twitter.com/KevinKulp

“Bring a guide,” cautioned the innkeep, but you knew better. A one-way door, a bad choice – and you became trapped in this endless dungeon, staggering onwards as you hope to escape. Has it been months? Years? Who even built this? With every room you’ll face monsters, traps, long-kept secrets, and your desperate dwindling hope.

Describe your adventurer to the group: your capabilities, appearance, personality, needs, and flaws.

As a group, name and describe one party member who has died. Why did they matter?

Determine one secret about yourself and one about the adventurer on your right. Write them down, keep them secret.

Take turns. Choose to reveal a secret or have a secret revealed about you; then jump forwards or backwards in time to describe a new dungeon room to explore. Describe combat, traps, temptations, supplies, or clues, but focus on party dynamics. End each scene after the secret is revealed and its ramifications roleplayed. What changed?

The game lasts 2 scenes per player.

Reveal the final secret to end your explorations – whether through death, rescue, escape, or something else. If appropriate, go around the table one final time to describe your hero’s epilogue. 

Author Comments

I’m fascinated by the concept of adventurers who head down into a massive mega-dungeon but who never emerge… not because they die, but because they have the accursed bad luck to keep heading in the wrong direction. What happens over time when friendships break down and long-kept secrets (and resentments) emerge? Who stays friends, and who doesn’t? This game owes a great debt to Jason Morningstar and to games like Fiasco and Durance.

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