BENEATH turns all the cliche tropes of RPGs on their head and uses them as meaningful commentary to demonstrate societal disorders and alarming trends. For adult gamers only, and preferably ones that will have already experienced the tropes of the genre in other games so that they can recognize them when they are presented in subverted contexts. This is worth a read even if you really never play the adventure, just to experience the fantastic characterization of the NPCs intermixed with profane shock scenes that drive home the sometimes subtle and at other times overt social commentary about the ills of modern technological society. If you do decide to run this game, make sure all of your players are mature enough and have thick enough skin to handle the very adult content. If this were a movie it would be rated 18+ adults only. Features some unique and compelling new creatures / opponents, a deep and meaningful plot and overall theme, great NPCs that come alive on their own, random tables and dungeons to make it different each time you play, and superb black and white artwork to emphasize the demonic overtones. Designed to be easy to run under nearly any d20-based fantasy RPG, or honestly pretty much any rules system with minimal effort to convert. Would be trivial to run this on nearly any edition of D&D Pathfinder, OSR game, DCC, etc. Highly recommended for mature RPG fans who've seen it all. There is a player's guide also, you may want to get one to allow your players access to some of the lists in it and a "solo" module. -- virtuadept
Why play Beneath? Beneath is a Trap
Beneath is a series that both celebrates and criticizes the tropes and clichés of RPGs from the Satanic Panic to traditional sex/gender roles. The sexuality and Satanism in the series isn't just a plot device, it's a commentary on the genre. Therefore, it takes a mature group of players to tackle this adventure. We've seen the lowest common denominator interpret this material in a very misogynistic manner and the outcomes have been sadly cliché. Fittingly, interpreting Beneath in an immature way speaks to the very thing that the series is addressing. Beneath is a fucking trap... don't fall in it.
Both protagonists in Beneath are female: Hannah and Emily. The series, in no way, is meant for the game master to exploit these characters sexually.
Beneath begins very linearly with the intent of introducing new game masters and gamers to tabletop roleplaying. The railroading in the beginning is also a metaphor -- choices only open once the players are exposed to The Invert. In this way, book 1 is a teaser for the series and is not meant as a stand-alone adventure. Book 1 could also be a jumping off point for your own adventure if that fits your creative style.
TIPS (and spoilers via link below):
There are many secrets in Beneath that even the game master won't understand until they read both books 1 and 2. If you're running Beneath and want some tips, click here. Warning, there are spoilers.
Forgo the Black Metal this time. Beneath is ethereal. The Inverted Cupid's gifts of ingenuity and invention may be somewhat technological. Witch House might lend itself better to that vibe. Also Balam Acab, Clams Casino, and Holy Other.
VVITCH soundtrack is an easy one
Witch House Mixes
"Beneath challenges the conventional idea of the 'Dungeon crawl' in so many ways and succeeds in them all. It is radical yet well crafted, it is shocking yet thought provoking, it is familiar yet intensely Alien. If roleplaying is a Tree with all the various games and genres spreading out from it, then 'beneath' is one sick and twisted branch that waits for all brave travelers who dare to tread their foot upon." Jay of Colosseum Rex (U.K.)
In-Depth Review of Beneath, the Inverted Church
by Undead Viking
by Undead Viking
Compete and revised hardcover (Etsy)
Beneath, the Complete Series PDF (DriveThruRPG)
Right click and save and print.
Or we also have fillable PDFs on DriveThruRPG
STRESS TABLE (fillable PDF)
CHARACTER SHEET (fillable PDF)
The Beneath Black Box set, limited edition of 100