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Tabletop Game / Beyond the Pale

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Modern Monsters, Magic and Mystery

Beyond the Pale is an independent Tabletop RPG currently in development. In it, folklore, religion, mythology all had elements of truth but humanity rarely saw things for what they truly are. Now, in the modern age, the supernatural world thrives, hidden from view. Elves and trolls live in cities, out of sight, vampires stalk alleyways and even worse things linger in the dark, on the edges of human perception. Humans that see past the glamour and become aware of the supernatural are said to be "Beyond The Pale".

Beyond the Pale’s creator is also publishing a series, set in the same universe, about Ellie Nott and her dealings with the hidden world. The first complete story, The Girl, can be read here.

The game's official blog can be found here.

Tropes within the general setting include:

  • Cold Iron: Many fey, and some other creatures in the setting, are vulnerable to cold iron.
    • Notably, the raw material affects them the most. Treated iron like steel may not even affect them.
  • Creepy Child: Frightlings are children that became aberrations. They stalk their prey while innocently babbling nonsense, and singing.
  • Dream Walker: Utilizing the metaphysical Dreamtime, skinwalkers can travel great distances to hunt their favorite prey - humans.
  • Emotion Eater: Skinwalkers sustain themselves on the terror their actions produce.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: In the nightmarish lairs of skinwalkers, there is a blazing, blood red bonfire that is impossible to extinguish without suffocating it with dirt outside the lair. This bonfire is also how skinwalkers can enter the material plane.
  • Evil Tainted Place: Wherever a skinwalker takes residence in the physical plane, the nearby area becomes uncanny and hostile-feeling.
  • Exploring the Evil Lair: A human should never go into a skinwalker's lair without the proper equipment and people lest they want to become prey.
  • Genuine Human Hide: To magically remove any evidence they are skinwalkers while transformed, skinwalkers cut off the faces of people and turn them into wearable masks.
  • The Hedonist: Ba'alah, the demon prince of gluttony. For her, debauchery, indulgence and vice is the norm.
  • Hell Hound: Barghests are shades that resemble dogs. They drain positive emotions from people they haunt and attract other shades.
  • Killing Intent: The dark, hateful aura of skinwalkers is even felt by those without supernatural empathy.
  • Made of Evil: Not only do they practice both, but skinwalkers are literally made of sadism and spite.
  • Marked to Die: Even if somebody did escape a near-lethal encounter with a skinwalker, they are still marked with a spiritual taint that allows the skinwalker to easily find them through the Dreamtime next time. In short, those attacked by skinwalkers usually end up living on borrowed time.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Demon Princes, Archangels, and some higher ranking angels and demons, if you're unfortunate enough to encounter them, would take a lot of force to damage.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Most of an angel's body is made from inorganic materials except for their wings, which are formed from the energy of their soul.
  • Our Demons Are Different:
    • Qarinah can drain a person’s mana through physical touch or intimate acts, fitting seeing as their servants to Lilith the demon prince of lust.
    • Kitsune are different enough that they're not considered demons in the setting, and are actually a strain of werewolves
    • Lilitus are Otherwordly And Sexually Ambiguous demons that embody domination.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: While not fully fleshed out, the author has said that they're a neutral force that maintains the mortal world.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Dokkalfar are a race of elves that have historically had close ties to humans. It’s also easier for them to tell lies compared to other elves.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Ghosts are unaware of their surroundings, unless they absorb energy such as electricity or mana. If a ghost and a shade (see Our Spirits Are Different below) fuse together, they become an Ankou.
  • Our Spirits Are Different: Shades are specters that are born from and embody negative emotions.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Gravewalkers are the products of several shades inhabiting a corpse.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Even when a skinwalker is in the skin of a human they stole, they are unkempt, filthy-looking, and still emit an aura of predatory aggression. Then again, this can be averted if a skinwalker makes a magical mask made of human skin that removes any telltales signs.
  • Primal Fear: Judging by their many monstrous traits and behaviors like lurking in dark places, stalking humans, sometimes replacing them, and having animalistic teeth and claws, skinwalkers seem to have all the hallmarks of being based on the worst primeval fears.
  • Planimal: Leshaks are plant creatures that resemble apes in appearance and intelligence
  • Plant Person: Dryads, and Hanadryads, are plant-like humanoid fey. Sprigs are also human-like.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Skinwalkers are described as having red, smoldering eyes full of pure malice and hatred.
  • Spare a Messenger: To facilitate the spread of more terror and panic, skinwalkers always leave one grotesquely mutilated person after a rampage.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Skinwalkers tend to decorate their filthy hair with bones most likely gained from their victims.
  • Switched at Birth: Changelings will swap out their own children with a human's.
  • Undeathly Pallor: Skinwalkers have corpse-like skin to go well with their burning, blood red eyes.

Tropes within the Ellie Nott series include:

  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: The Troll Bazaar in Courting Trouble is an underground market populated by supernatural folk.
  • Clear Their Name: Courting Trouble begins with an Elf named Nemue asking Ellie to prove that she's innocent of murdering Dokkalfar (Dark Elves).
  • Detective Drama: The stories follow Ellie solving mysteries.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The thugs Ellie encounters Little Tokyo are concerned about the missing children, mainly because they don’t want more police looking around the area.