It’s been an eventful week here at Black Hat Writing! We have cover art and we’ve been talking about what makes us special as a game, specifically because our system is so customizable, without the core world set such as World of Darkness or Shadowrun.
1. We really like how Theatre Noir is customizable. You can do anything with the system and it’ll make sense. You could put Harry Potter on a spaceship with Theatre Noir rules, and it wouldn’t feel out of place or out of left field. We think a big part of this is the themes. You can add whatever elements you want to the game: whether it be comedy, drama, grit, action, or horror.
2. The Theatre Noir system creates real people, not just caricatures or templates. All the characters can be multi-faceted, which we think in mostly due to the Seven Intelligences aspect of the system. It creates people who have real world skills and abilities, even if they end up being used in a supernatural way.
4. However, speaking of the supernatural, you never know what’s going to happen in a Theatre Noir game. What the players encounter can be supernatural, with zombies or space pirates or changelings, or it can be mundane such as corporations or a creepy circus.
3. No one feels overpowered compared to another. One of our staff members who tends to play more reserved characters brought this up, saying that she’s never felt overshadowed or underpowered in a Theatre Noir game. Theatre Noir allows even the more mundane characters, perhaps the one with music skills, charisma, or academics to shine.
5. The system approaches RP in a very realistic way. The rolls make sense, mostly due to how the Seven Intelligences and the skills work together. You can attempt anything but doing the improbable is extremely hard. You have actual drawbacks for encountering hard situations, such as damage and sanity rules. Actually, the system suggests you have a backup character, mostly because humans are fragile.
6. Finally, the theatre influence on the system is new and different. Theatre Noir shapes tabletop RPG as a improvisational experience, with the GM being called the Director and a lot of the core rules coming from theatre. It makes the game new, interesting, and fun. As someone with a background in theatre, I find it new and refreshing.
More updates to look forward to in the future: highlights from a coming staff game and probably art!
Interested in becoming a playtest GM for Theatre Noir?
If you have any questions or would like to help us in any way, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.