Dark Places & Demogorgons
A retroclone by Bloat Games, Dark Places & Demogorgons is heavily inspired by the series Stranger Things, as the cover blatantly hints. It is based on older versions of D&D (basic D&D in particular) but makes several major adjustments.
- There is a new seventh ability attribute, Survival, which is a pool of luck points you can burn to do rerolls.
- There are no races, everyone is human. This makes sense because...
- The game is set in the 1980's in a small town outside of Louisville, Kentucky.
- Classes are based on classic 80's high schooler tropes such as Bully, School Princess, Geek, Rocker, and Jock.
The leveling scale is rather small, the absolute level cap being 7 (but that is optional, core rules say 5 should realistically be what you cap the players at and levels 6 and 7 are found in one of the splats). Healing magic (and magic in general) is incredibly rare since all of the magic and psionic classes are at the GM's discretion.
While the game does push a lot of supernatural monsters for the players to try and take down (in either a "monster-of-the-week" fashion or as a campaign-long enemy to stop) there are also plenty of mundane enemies ranging from the school bully to corrupt police, quirky neighborhood watch mothers to secret Men in Black types.
The setting is based on a real town in Kentucky but heavily modified to fit the "teens versus monsters" gameplay such as plenty of creepy woodland, lots of abandoned buildings and unique businesses that deal in less-than-normal wares. The town is also fairly small so that a kid or teen on a bike can go from one end of the town to the other in roughly an hour on foot if they are being somewhat slow. In every book there are details on quite a few areas and buildings with specific plot hooks like the roller rink with a harpy skater, a video rental store with cursed tapes and a campground near filled to bursting with creatures ordinary or otherwise.
All of them are fairly cheap and easy to get off of DriveThruRPG. They are:
- Core Rulebook - Gives the majority of the rules and some adventure hooks, pretty much standard fare.
- Player Options and GM Guide - More classes, rules for higher level play, guidelines for the GM and a lot of 80's schlock to flesh out characters and NPCs.
- Jeffersontown Setting Guide - Lots of information about the setting as well as a shit ton more adventure hooks, all based on key locations from the setting. NOTE: This is based on a real life town from real life but heavily altered for 80's horror-comedy goodness.
- Vampire Sourcebook - Extra rules for vampires and how to run the different varieties.
- Werewolf Sourcebook - How best to get your furry on.
- UFO Investigator's Handbook - Has some silly shit in it about UFOs, including new classes so you can be a horny teenage alien.
- Ghost Hunter's Handbook - Sort of like the UFO handbook but all about ghosts. No rules for properly bustin' them though...
- Cryptid Manual - While every book gives stats for numerous monsters, aliens, and general villains like bullies, cops and others, this is a book dedicated to monster cryptids like Bigfoot and goblins. Provides lore for them in a faux government file style complete with blacked out text.
- Martial Arts Mayhem - Rules, adventures and more for how to be the next Bruce Lee.