WHAT IS: is our series of posts highlighting games and what makes them unique. You might have heard about these games but are not sure what exactly they are, that’s where WHAT IS comes in.
What the publisher says:
Years fly by like dead leaves. Everything is darkness. Everything is silence. You stand vigilant before the sarcophagus without thought or breath-such is your compulsion. You do not remember your name and still you watch. The flesh has fallen off your bones and still you watch.
And then one day there is light and motion and you weigh your bearded axe and raise your shield, lusting for the fray, eager to measure your skill against these tomb-robbing children so full of blood. You’ll never be alive again, but in this moment-in the chaos between violation and destruction-you truly live, and you remember what you once were, and you taste the sun.
The Skeletons flips the script on the classic dungeon crawl— here you play not the intruders, but the guardians, cursed to spend all of eternity defending a tomb. As time passes, both the tomb and its guardians will change. Ferocious battles are fought and won, and the skeletons slowly remember who and what they once were. Melancholy, introspective and spanning epochs, The Skeletons is unlike anything you’ve ever played.
Why it’s awesome:
In The Skeletons, you take on the role of skeletons, infused by magic to guard a tomb. You’ve probably encountered hundreds of skeletons in RPG’s and never given much thought to who they were when they were alive, hacking and slashing away at them until they were piles of dust. Here you will BE the skeletons, you awake after the passage of time to fight off those pesky adventures. The actual battles don’t really matter as you will by default win them all except for the last battle, where you will fall. What is important in this game is that while you are animated for a short time so that you may do your duty and guard an area, you are slowly remembering who you were in life. This introspective journey is done by answering a series of questions during play and by drawing out your skeletons on your character sheet. Much like The Quiet Year, you will also tell the story by drawing out a map of the tomb you are guarding as you play the game. The stories of your life unfold slowly over the course of an hour to two-hour game. I’ve played this game several times and each time is uniquely different, and it’s always compelling. This is a perfect one shot game, and is very easy to run on the fly with zero prep.