Descent into Midnight

Created by Richard Kreutz-Landry

A roleplaying game about community, family, and hope on an aquatic world. Descent into Midnight is a Powered by the Apocalypse game where the players take on the role of psionic alien sea creatures who are defending their home from an otherworldly Corruption.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Quick update and Fantastic Lairs
over 1 year ago – Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 08:42:07 PM

Just two quick things for today (there will be a more comprehensive update shortly, but one of these is time-sensitive):

First, friend of the team James Introcaso along with Scott Fitzgerald Grey and Michael E. Shea (SlyFlourish) are in the final 48 hours of funding Fantastic Lairs: Boss Battles & Final Encounters for D&D 5e. When I get the itch to play D&D, my usual tactic these days is to grab something pre-made and reskin it as underwater content (Looking at you, Lost Mines of Fin-delver). For this, they basically came up with 20 epic locations and boss battles and got all the stuff you'd expect to go with it (maps, artwork, advice on how to slot it into your game, tactics advice for how to run it, etc). James has been a great friend to the Descent into Midnight team for years (you can check out some of the aquatic-themed games Rich has run on the Don't Split the Podcast Network feed) and is a fantastic game designer who has successfully Kickstarted and delivered rad TTRPG projects in the past. If D&D is your thing, definitely grab this.

Second, progress on writing has been a lot slower than I'd like. I'll be blunt and say that I'm primarily in charge of that piece and I've had a really hard time getting in the right headspace to write. Writing a game about bringing a community together to combat a powerful Corruption that seeks to tear it apart feels more important than ever at the moment. But it's also more emotionally draining than I'd anticipated. To put it another way, writing about psionic sea creatures with powers feels so small compared to the very real worries I have about the safety of my Black and Japanese family members.

But, it's something I can do, along with all the other tangible ways to help in the real world (see this Black Lives Matter list of resources). By Friday, I'll have another post up with the deadlines for the various first draft writing sections to keep you all up to date on where we're at with it, and as a bonus, it will have a little detail about the proposed structure of the book by its very nature. If we have new final pieces from the art team by then, I'll also include those.

Thanks to everyone for your patience, and for supporting this game. We can make our community better together, even though we're not psionic sea creatures (well, most of us).

- Richard

Artwork & Electropunk
over 1 year ago – Fri, May 22, 2020 at 12:42:04 AM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

New art! New Corruption moves!
over 1 year ago – Thu, May 07, 2020 at 08:20:50 PM

And we're back! Thanks for your patience, everyone. It's been a bit longer than I'd anticipated between updates but we've got some really exciting artwork from Devon for two of the backer-inspired cityscapes. Check them out at the end of the post!

Writing

I've been doing substantial revisions of the playbooks. We're cutting down on the length of the text for many of the moves to help keep the playbook layout from being overcrowded. Balancing that with getting across the unique flavor of the game has been a challenge. During playtests, we had to get all of that across in just the space of the playbook, but with the book, we'll be able to discuss the moves and how they might be used in depth in the book text instead.

Additionally, looking at the Corruption moves across playbooks has revealed how our thoughts about them have changed through the development cycle, so I'm going through and balancing against the other playbooks. Some playbooks currently have a three double-edged swords, while others have three unequivocally horrifying moves. Right now, if you have any Corruption moves you have unlocked but haven't triggered, you have a permanently marked box of Corruption on your Corruption track. That's the mechanical incentive to use the move, aside from making the story more interesting. But several of the moves have other mechanical incentives built in, and we want to reinforce the theme that the power of the Corruption can be hard to resist.

Surveys

We're at 90% completion on the BackerKit surveys, so there's only about 100 folks who haven't responded. That's pretty good for where we're at in the process. If you're having any trouble with it, feel free to contact us here, on Twitter, or via BackerKit.

Artwork

Devon George has brought two of the cityscapes submitted by our backers to life in stunning detail here. We're excited to use these in the book but wanted to share them as soon as they were done with all of you.

Crabs with sword-like legs stalking below enormous hexagonal arches.
A circular ball of water casting light into a columned pit with a sea urchin and octopode inhabitant.

Words of Encouragement

Today my wife and I are having a Good Omens remote watch party with some friends. I'm grateful that we have the technology to be able to reach out and have these shared experiences. So my thought to everyone today is this: what are you grateful for? I've been finding it hard some days to find that thing, but it's been extremely helpful.

Lots of love and gratitude,

- Richard and the Descent into Midnight team 

More cityscape art and week 5 update
over 1 year ago – Tue, Apr 21, 2020 at 10:14:41 PM

We've got a writing/personal update plus some new art!

On the personal and writing fronts, things continued to be tough this week. Thursday in particular was a hard day, but it's done now and I was able to take the weekend to recharge and I'm ready to jump back in. I'm setting a goal of at least one hour of writing/work on the game per day. I'm incredibly grateful to be able to work full time from home right now, and the time that would have gone into my commute I can now translate directly into work on the game.

On a lighter note, I got the pleasure of running Lobsters & F-eel-ings for the Dugongs and Seadragons crew and it got absolutely buck wild. Sea cucumber bazookas, an evil underwater restaurant run by Gordon Ramsay and Paul Hollywood, a sea urchin impersonating Jennifer Lopez doing a Cher song and dance number, and that's all before Cthulhu showed up! They'll be featuring the recording on their podcast feed at some point, but (as they say) if nautical nonsense be something ye wish, I'd highly recommend checking the game out for yourself.

We've also been slowly refining the Playbook layouts. We're taking all the things we've learned over three years of development of the game and getting everything just right.

Also, Devon has continued to wow us with the cityscape art. This piece is still in progress but we couldn't resist showing it off. Almost all of these cityscapes are coming directly from requirements submitted by our high level backers, and we're thrilled to see your ideas coming to life!

Octopus-humanoid hybrid raising their arms in the shadow of a giant sea urchin toward a swirling mass of water and light surrounded by undersea columns.

Finally, I want to thank all of you again. Every time I get an art update, or a message that something is ready to look over, or a new idea from the design team, I'm grateful all over again that this is becoming a reality.

Health and safety to all of you

- Richard and the Descent into Midnight team

Lobsters & F-eel-ings and Week 4 Update
over 1 year ago – Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 11:53:11 PM

This will be a short update. The update is coming a day late because I was exhausted last night when I would normally have written this. I'll be honest, it's been a rough week personally. I won't go into too many details, but it has made it difficult to write for the game. I needed a break, so I spent a little time doing something very silly just for fun:

Lobsters & F-eel-ings, a silly game about sea creatures that could fit on one page if we decide to hand it off to one of our layout folks. It's a light-hearted hack of John Harper's Lasers & Feelings that is as goofy as the puns are bad. So... very.

With regard to Descent into Midnight, we have, however, continued to make forward progress. We have continued to send regular payments for the work the team is doing, including completing two backer character illustrations by Taylor Livingston (shown below), and an update on one of the backer city scape illustrations (to be shown in a future update)!

G'joob, an ancient walrus with scrimshawed tusks, a monocle, a water cape, and a pierced tail with many rings.
Mirra, a faceless octopoid mer-creature with a set of dramatic pointed pauldrons and collar formed from her own body.

This week, I'll be setting aside some structured time to write that should allow me to finish off the drafts of the playbooks.

This week's words of encouragement are simple: rest if you need to and you can. All the hard stuff is magnified right now, so those things that you enjoy are more precious than ever. I needed a laugh this week, so I made one of the silliest things I've ever made, and it helped.

Love and well wishes from all of us,

-Richard and the Descent into Midnight team