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Evolution of an idea: The story of “Beyond the Veil” TTRPG

Sometimes things change…

In today’s blog we are going to discuss the evolution of our initial idea for Haunted: Beyond the Veil and its follow ups. Originally our plan was to release 3 games based in the same universe that could be combined and played together. These games were Haunted: Beyond the Veil, Fabled: Lifting the Veil and Existence: Piercing the Veil. The 3 games aka “The Veil Trilogy” would cover the Paranormal, Supernatural and the Unknown (Extraterrestrial). Each adding different elements of gameplay to the universe with the key focus of Haunted being Investigation and resolution, Fabled would add exploration, hunting, trapping, survival and combat and Existence would add new features to all of these.

So what has changed?

We have now decided in the interest of creating the best gaming experience and to help cut costs to players to combine all 3 games into 1 game called “Beyond the Veil”… but with the sub-headers of Haunted, Fabled and Existence.

What does this mean for players?

Under the original release format for the 3 games, players would have had to buy each game’s core rule books separately. These books would have taken time to write and publish and would have maybe added a 2 year gap between the publication of each ruleset. Each game would have also required separate books for GMs and players as well as a book for all the different beings you may encounter. That would have been 9 books overall just to play the game in its entirety with a wait of at least 4-5 years to get your hands on all the necessary books.

So why is the new format for the game better?

“Beyond the Veil” will allow you to play the entire game using just 2 books! 

The “Game Master’s” guide and the “Investigators Handbook” will include everything you need to create and play an Investigation; Whether you want to investigate the paranormal, supernatural, unknown or a combination of all 3.

There will also be separate books to add to the list of beings you may encounter during your investigations.

“Beyond the Veil” aims to allow you to build any character you wish and be fully flexible in your options.

Under the old system when creating your character you would be building them for the sole purpose of investigating the paranormal at least until the new ruleset was released and then when you wished to carry your character over to Fabled or Existence you would have to rework them with the new added feats, specialisations and talents to be of any use.

Also to add to this, your team would have focused solely on equipment needed to investigate the paranormal and now need to purchase all brand new equipment to investigate the supernatural and the unknown. Now the equipment list will be much more extensive and incorporate everything you need for these investigations from the start.

This new combined system will give you more choices and allow you to decide where to focus your character from the start based on the outline brief given by your GM on where they want to focus. Some players and GMs may have no interest in exploring all 3 areas of the game and, for example, want to leave out the paranormal and focus on the supernatural and unknown only, others may wish to only focus on the paranormal. This new system allows you to focus your game on your group’s interests and create a world to suit.

Overall changes to the way the new combined books will work

  1. You will have a choice of what you wish to investigate from the start, Whether that be the paranormal, supernatural or the unknown.

  2. Campaign games will now be able to take the players on a journey rather than hitting individual investigations.

  3. The need for vehicles and bases of operations become more important.

  4. Inventory management will also become more important.

  5. New feats, Specialisations and talents will be introduced from the start giving more complexity to your build. Now you will have to choose whether to build your character targeted at being proficient at investigating the paranormal, supernatural, the unknown or a combination.

  6. Combat, Survival, hunting and trapping will all be introduced straight away.

So can I now trap & kill ghosts?

Yes and no, originally the idea for “Haunted” was to introduce combat into a paranormal investigation via the expansion “The Otherside”. This expansion would have given players the ability to “cross over” and take on entities in combat on their own plane. The Otherside expansion would have also added the idea of combat and how it worked ready for the release of the 2nd game “Fabled” which would have had to include combat based on the nature of the creatures and cryptids players would be investigating. As “Haunted” is still a realistic paranormal investigation game with the focus being on investigating the paranormal and finding resolutions, when needed, for the clients or entities, combat against the paranormal will be now added as a skill in the epic level expansion “Legacy”. But why can’t I just kill paranormal entities from the start? There are a few reasons; with the main one being that they are already dead. The 2nd reason is the concept of the “Haunted” part of “Beyond the Veil” is to recreate a realistic paranormal investigation in the form of a TTRPG with the emphasis being on the investigation.

So Beyond the Veil isn’t a hack and slash?

There is no simple answer to this. Beyond the Veil is whatever you want it to be… but… the idea behind the game is to investigate Entities, Cryptids and Extraterrestrials and take whatever action your party of players deems necessary to achieve the best outcome for yourselves, your clients and also whatever it is you are investigating. Whether that be resolving an issue, cleansing an environment, trapping and in some cases engaging in combat. But remember your reward and reputation is calculated by your ability to perform the tasks laid out in your investigation brief so unless your investigation goal was to kill and dispose of a cryptid or extraterrestrial you will not progress as quickly. Yet another ‘but’, this doesn’t stop you creating a game with the emphasis fully based on killing everything you come into contact with. In other popular RPGs that you may have played how many times have you burst into an area and decimated a room full of supposed bad guys? and never given thought to the fact they may have been harmlessly minding their own business only to be confronted by weapon wielding strangers who gave them no choice but to fight for their own lives!

In “Beyond the Veil” you may be hunting a cryptid but maybe that cryptid needs your help and the best action to take is to trap it and help resolve its issues rather than kill it, The paranormal entity you are investigating is completely benevolent and just wants to be listened to or that extraterrestrial is in need of resources to complete its harmless mission before heading back to the stars.

Long story short… Maybe violence isn’t always the answer!

This being said, certain situations are going to call for you to defend yourselves or engage in combat.

What else do you need to know?

Combining all 3 games into 1 will reduce the overall resources needed to play the game which will work out much cheaper for you to get started.

The time frame for playing the game in its entirety is vastly reduced and will allow us to concentrate our efforts into producing game expansions to add to your experience. 

The pre-planned  “Legacy” – epic levels, “Hidden Vaults” – bizarre and unusual items and “Phantasmagorical” – historical settings, expansions will still be going ahead.

The system we are creating can also be used in other settings and we have plans to introduce these at a later date. The combination of these core rulebooks will allow us to do this sooner rather than later.

To keep up to date with all our latest news and updates; including community playtests, events we are attending, polls that will affect the outcome of the final game and release dates please sign up to our newsletter and show your support.

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