Liminal Space – a new tabletop RPG that launched on Kickstarter yesterday – reportedly aims to offer TTRPG fans “an ever-changing, constantly unique nightmare” influenced by monarchs of the strange and unusual like the SCP Foundation, Junji Ito, Control, Silent Hill, and Twin Peaks: The Black Lodge. According to its Kickstarter page, LIMINAL_ (also called Liminal Space) is a “stand-alone combat-free RPG mapping game about surviving and potentially escaping an ever-expanding series of Liminal Spaces and their terrifying Entities”.
‘Liminal Space’ is an aesthetic term that refers to the ambiguous or unsettling feeling of being ‘in between’ two spaces. It makes sense, then, that the Liminal Space RPG sees you “trapped in a twisting maze beyond the fringes of reality”. Players are tasked with drawing maps on graph paper to try and escape the monstrosities that live in these in-between spaces. “The horror comes from the players playing themselves lost within an ever-expanding space that is different every time they play”, co-creator Alexei Vella told Wargamer. “If they don’t map correctly or remember where the horror is, it’ll always come back to bite them.”
The Kickstarter project asked for $2,350 / £1,765 to reach its funding target – a small sum compared to giant Kickstarter projects like Marvel Zombies – and LIMINAL_ was funded in a mere three hours. With 28 days to go, 275 people have already helped raise more than double the game’s original target.
Vella told Wargamer LIMINAL_ is unique in the horror RPG genre thanks to its “combination of map-making and combat-free roleplaying”. “There’s not a lot of other games out there like this”, he adds. He also says fans of the RPG who miss the Kickstarter can expect the rulebook to be available after the campaign – as well as expansions sometime in the future.
Backers of Liminal Space will pledge towards a set of rules for players and game masters, a list of 100 pre-made entities to populate your liminal spaces, and over 200 rooms for them to skulk about in that are reportedly “packed full of fear and crawling with creepiness”. 100+ of these rooms have been created by guest writers, who have worked on everything from popular indie horror RPG Mӧrk Borg to solo TTRPG Thousand Year Old Vampire.
$10 / £6 gets you a digital copy of the game, and you’ll need to pledge at least $30 / £18 to receive a physical edition. Stretch goals include art cards, “refined editing” – though of what is not fully clear – and stickers – though some higher rewards are mysteriously yet to be revealed. The pledge section of the Kickstarter page estimates that the physical copy will be delivered by April 2022, but the project’s description and the pledges for digital editions say that the game will arrive in Septermber 2022.
Vella and his co-creator Willow Jay / Neonrot both have experience in creating horrifying TTRPG experiences – Jay is responsible for Webworld, an indie TTRPG, set in an full-on spider apocalypse, while Vella is the illustrator and designer behind They Feed on Fear, an RPG where players become unsettling interdimensional beings that literally eat fear.
If you’re looking for more RPGs based on big-name spooky titles, you might be interested in this TTRPG inspired by Castlevania. Or perhaps our guide to the best tabletop RPGs around will better suit your tabletop tastes.