Protect Your Community and Face Monsters of Your Own Making in Bump in the Dark: Revised Edition, Crowdfunding Now!

Build community, protect your chosen family, and beat the shit outta monsters in this Forged in the Dark game of supernatural investigations and gritty showdowns.

Protect Your Community and Face Monsters of Your Own Making in Bump in the Dark: Revised Edition, Crowdfunding Now!
This is a community submitted press release.

It's 1994 in the region of the fictional Ontonagon Peninsula known as "Iron Country," and something is very wrong.

Inspired by media like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twin Peaks, and more, Bump in the Dark: Revised Edition is a game of supernatural mystery and action-packed showdowns with regular people caught in the middle. It's a game about chosen family, protecting your community, and standing up to the forces that want to tear down all you've built.

Playbook art for The Lance by Alison Cooley (impinasweater)

Funding now on Backerkit, Bump in the Dark is a complete, standalone game using a streamlined version of the popular Forged in the Dark engine and a bespoke mystery system inspired by games like Brindlewood Bay and External Containment Bureau. The new, revised edition features updated rules to streamline play and provide support for players and GMs, almost thirty newly commissioned original illustrations, a polished downtime system designed for drama, expanded information on more than 25 factions to bring the setting to life, and more, all wrapped up in a beautiful, premium hardcover.

Mock up. Final layout and illustrations subject to change.

In the game, you are a hunter, someone who's promised to keep the regular people safe from the horrors in the darkness. You will investigate the strange happenings throughout Iron Country, attempting to put the pieces together and stop the monsters before the countdown clock fills and people start to get hurt. Will you be able to stop the malevolent forces before their power grows too strong to contain? Will you stand strong with your found family and community or will you sacrifice yourself to spare the ones you love? Will you lose yourself trying to find solace wherever you can?

Illustration by Ashley Altadonna

Designed for 2-4 players and a game master, Bump in the Dark works well for both one-shot/convention play and longer campaigns. The game is character-driven and fiction-first, using a simple d6 dice pool for action resolution. Failures and mixed successes create complications and consequences which will change your hunter and push the story forward. You can go for broke, leaning into the desperation of your action in order to accomplish more, or spend luck to add dice to your pool, help your fellow hunters, and resist dangerous consequences. You will gather clues to aid in your investigation, working with the other players to figure out what you're up against and how to put a stop to it. Then it's the inevitable showdown with the monster, followed by downtime, geared toward pushing your hunters together and tearing them apart.

The Backerkit campaign, which launched on June 4 and ends on July 7, fully funded within the first 24 hours and has already unlocked several stretch goals. The goal of the campaign is to raise funds to produce a premium hardcover edition of the game with offset printing, smyth-sewn binding, a bookmark ribbon to make the book more useful at the table, and more.


Bump in the Dark combines the monster-of-the-week format of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Supernatural, and X-Files with the small town melodrama and weirdness of shows like Twin Peaks or Riverdale. Additionally, the way movies like Matewan and Harlan County, USA represent the struggles of regular people caught up in dehumanizing systems also influences the game's central themes.

Scourge playbook art by Alison Cooley (impinasweater)

Other media inspirations are comics like Hellboy and Hellblazer, the video game Night in the Woods, and podcasts like The Unexplored Places, A Horror Borealis, and Friends at the Table: Bluff City.

Mechanically, the game is most inspired by Blades in the Dark by John Harper, Monster of the Week by Michael Sands, External Containment Bureau by Lexi Antoku, Eric Brunsell, Michael Elliott, Justin Ford, and Eli Kurtz, and Slugblaster by Mikey Hamm. There are also some helpings of Apocalypse Keys, Brindlewood Bay, Copperhead County, and The Between. These all influence Bump in the Dark while leaving plenty of room for the game to have its own unique take.

Praise for the Game

"While Forged in the Dark may have been written for heists, Bump in the Dark shows how it shines for monster hunting and investigation, and Last Pine is a place that needs monster hunters. Jex's take on Iron Country may challenge Stephen King's Maine for one of my favorite horror locales." - Richard Ruane, ENNIE-winning author of Moonlight on Roseville Beach and Sherwood

"Bump in the Dark is my go-to RPG for urban fantasy. If I ever want found family paranormal stories like Buffy, Night in the Woods, or Supernatural, I reach for this game." - Michael Elliott, Not Writing Games

"Bump in the Dark cuts right to the good stuff, never losing sight of juicy character drama amidst all the action and intrigue. The emergent mystery mechanics are a fantastically simple way for your table to engage in complex, dramatic investigations while letting the (complex, dramatic) player characters shine." - Sarah Bolling, contributing writer to Brindlewood Bay, The Between, and Public Access

 "With Bump in the Dark, Jex Thomas has bottled pristine small-town horror into a delicious, retro TTRPG. Like Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Alan Wake before it, the game isn’t actually about hunting really, really cool monsters. It’s about hanging out with the local weirdos, shining a light on the evils of late-stage capitalism, radicalizing a small community, and, ultimately, sabotaging the plans of the Reaganite elite… with the help of really, really cool monsters. Which, frankly, absolutely kicks ass." - Mynar Lenahan, cohost of Inside The Table: A Tabletop RPG Talk Show