Follow TV Tropes


Tabletop Game / Midnight

Go To

One hundred years ago, the Shadow fell.
Midnight (1st Edition)

Three times the Dark God Izrador rose against the free peoples of Aryth. The first time, he was cast back into the frozen north by an alliance of men and fey. The second time, war raged for decades before unexpected help sealed the Shadow's defeat. The third time, the fallen god sowed discord and weakness amongst men and fey. This time, Izrador succeeded.

Midnight is a tabletop RPG developed by Fantasy Flight Games. Players take the role of brave resistance fighters in the occupied lands of Eredene, waging a furtive and desperate guerrilla war against the forces of the Shadow in the North. Garrisons of orc soldiers, the undead scourge called the Fell, and the fearsome priests of the Order of the Shadow - all hunt for those who would yet defy the will of the dark god.


This tabletop RPG provides examples of:

  • Anti-Magic: The Black Mirrors suck the magic from the lands around them, reducing the power of all non-divine magic within a certain radius depending on their size.
  • Bad Boss: Virtually institutionalized amongst the forces of evil. If you screw up, the punishment starts with torture and only goes up from there.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: The Night King Ardherin was once the Demon Bane of Erethor before being Lured into a Trap and captured by the Shadow. Years of captivity eventually broke him and he was remade into what he is now.
  • Big Good: Aradil, queen of the elves, and the most powerful force yet resisting the darkness.
  • The Brute: The Night King Zardrix. She doesn't plot, scheme, or lead armies, but she's a great big draconic engine of destruction so she doesn't need to.
  • Advertisement:
  • Combat Pragmatist: Over centuries of constant mountain warfare, the dwarves have evolved some ruthless guerrilla tactics and mastered surprise underground assaults.
  • Dystopian Edict: Among other things, literacy is illegal for all not in direct service of the Shadow.
  • Enemy Civil War: Fortunately for the good guys, the forces of evil do not get along. Rivalries between the Night Kings, the schism between Devout and Cabal in the Order of the Shadow, and clashes between orc tribes serve to keep all that vast military might splintered and not as coordinated or efficient as it could be.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Theros Obsidia, raised in the ruins of the great city of Highwall, where Izrador's spirit usually dwells.
  • The Exile: Izrador was cast from heaven into the world of Midnight after losing a war with more benevolent deities. Unfortunately, he managed to corrupt the magic meant to imprison him into sealing off the entire world from all other planes. Leaving him the only divine game in town for countless thousands of years.
  • Expy: Izrador and his forces bear more than a passing resemblance to Sauron, with the whole setting being more or less "What if Sauron won?"
  • Fallen Hero: All of Izrador's four Night Kings were once great heroes on the side of righteousness, but each one fell in some way to the evil god's influence.
  • Four-Star Badass: Jahzir the Night King is the overall commander of the Shadow's military and an extremely capable personal combatant.
  • God is Dead: Technically, Izrador's fall from heaven killed him. He hasn't let it slow him down though. More practically, the Lords of Light haven't answered prayers in millennia, but as far as we know they're just cut off from the world.
  • God of Evil: Izrador isn't just Made of Evil, he literally is the very definition of evil.
  • The Good Kingdom: Eredene was one, a proud union of Dorn and Sarcosan bloodlines and traditions. It was systemically undermined throughout the Third Age by Shadow agents before eventually being conquered.
  • The High Queen: Aradil the Witch Queen fills this role, having led the elves in their fight for over 8,000 years and being the only being capable of matching a Night King one on one.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Being that none of them can match Izrador's armies in size or raw power, both the fey races and the human resistance make extensive use of these.
  • Hopeless War: For the fey races. They're terribly outnumbered by the orcs and other monsters Izrador can field, separated on opposite sides of the continent by the conquered human lands, and getting forced slowly but surely back into the deepest depths of their strongholds.
  • Honor Before Reason: The dwarves fought a near-continuous war of attrition against invading orcs from the north all throughout the Third Age, and consistently refused to seek aid from other races or even effectively unify their clans to counter the threat. They've paid a very heavy price for this by the time of the Last Age.
  • Human Sacrifice: The Black Mirrors require live sacrifices to remain functional. How often depends on their age and size, but it goes up to several daily.
  • La Résistance: The role of the player characters. It's not doing so well at the moment.
  • Les Collaborateurs: There are quite a few humans who, through greed or fear, serve Izrador as puppet leaders.
  • The Lost Woods: The Great Forest of Erethor is one, benevolent to the elves but a nightmarish deathtrap for the forces of evil.
  • Magic Eater: The Black Mirrors serve to absorb he magic of Aryth for Izrador to feed on. His ultimate goal is to drain all the magic in the world, shatter the veil, and return to heaven to pick up the war he left off.
  • The Mole: A real and constant danger for the players is being ratted out by a spy in their ranks or hidden amongst the common folk.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Izrador never gets involved personally beyond occasionally ordering his minions about or weaving a spell. This is both because he's busy absorbing Aryth's magic and because his body died a long time ago.
  • Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: In place of the traditional half-elves and half-orcs of Dungeons & Dragons, Aryth is home to Dwarrow (dwarf/gnome hybrids), Dworgs (dwarf/orc hybrids), and elflings (elf/halfling hybrids)
  • Obliviously Evil: Sunulael the Night King, head of Izrador's priesthood. He's totally at peace with himself and genuinely believes his work will make things ultimately better.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Izrador himself, mainly as symptom of not having a body anymore.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Lichdom is a form of undeath bestowed by the dark god and comes with a vulnerability to sunlight.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Descended from corrupted dwarves, resistant to the cold, tormented by Izrador-sent dreams at night, strictly matriarchal, fanatically religious, and quick to learn new languages.
  • Sinister Minister: All of Izrador's legates, obviously, though some are more subtle about it than others. Sunulael the Night King, as the head of the Order of the Shadow, is the ultimate example.
  • Tragic Villain: Zardrix. Once a good friend of Aradil, she was tricked into handing over her heart while mortally wounded and in the throes of tremendous agony. What little is left of her real self hates what she has become
  • The Undead: Since there is no way for a soul to find its way to final rest, sometimes they reanimate their former bodies as nightmarish, intelligent undead called Fell. These hunger after the flesh of the living and can be surprisingly clever in how they get it.
  • Villain World: More or less the whole point of the setting. Izrador has conquered the lands of men, and while the fey fight on their cause looks more and more doomed by the day.
  • Weakened by the Light: As servants of the Shadow in the North, many of the bad guys are irritated or pained by sunlight.
  • We Have Reserves: The casualty rates of orc armies attempting to invade Erethor or the dwarven holds in the Kaladruns are absolutely appalling by any conventional standard. Nobody in the Shadow's leadership cares.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: There's a small, secret group of orcs called the Followers of the White Mother who believe Izrador is planning to do this to them once he's won all his wars. They're right.
    • Arynix was once the chief of Izrador's dragons, and the one who delivered Zardrix to the dark god. Izrador promptly reassigned the hideously mauled dragon to lowly grunt work as living battering ram and refuses to even heal him.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: