Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying, hardback roleplaying game
“In dark forests, beyond the mountains, by black lakes in hidden groves. At your doorstep. In the shadows, something stirs. Strange beings. Twisted creatures, lurking at the edge of vision. Watching. Waiting. Unseen by most, but not by you. You see them for what they really are.
Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying is a brand new RPG line from Free League Publishing. Written by award-winning author Nils Hintze (Tales From the Loop RPG) and based on the work of Swedish illustrator and author Johan Egerkrans, Vaesen presents a dark Gothic setting steeped in Nordic folklore and old myths of Scandinavia. The game mechanics use an adapted version of the award-winning Year Zero Engine.
Welcome to the Mythic North – northern Europe of the nineteenth century, but not as we know it today. A land where the myths are real. A cold reach covered by vast forests, its few cities lonely beacons of industry and enlightenment – a new civilisation dawning. But in the countryside, the old ways still hold sway. There, people know what lurks in the dark.
They know to fear it.
The dark forests, deep lakes and vast mountain ranges of Scandinavia are home to a multitude of supernatural beings. They are known as the little people, the invisibles, or simply the fair folk. When someone vanishes in the woods, when the milk curdles over night, when strange noises are heard in the loft or when an unexplained ailment strikes, it is said to be the work of such entities.
Some of these creatures appear all over Europe: ghosts, giants, dragons, trolls, werewolves and faeries. Others are endemic to Scandinavia, such as the Neck who rules the rivers, the Huldra who guards the forest, tomtar, mylings and many others.
You and your companions in the Society were born different. You have the Sight – the ability to see what ordinary people cannot. You know that vaesen have lived beside humanity for untold centuries, in an uneasy peace. Not anymore. Rumours spread of kittens born with two heads, streams red from blood, groves lulling children into eternal sleep, fairies dancing through villages, luring the young into the woods to be forever enthralled.
Embarking on journeys to remote villages in the wilderness, you will uncover the secrets of the Mythic North. Armed with nothing but your courage, conviction, and ability to see the supernatural, you will face the creatures of the forest. Neither bullets nor blades can stop them. To drive them off, you must understand them. Find their weakness.
Yet even if you prevail, facing the vaesen will leave you with scars that never heal.
The setting of Vaesen is called The Mythic North, loosely based on Scandinavia in the middle of the 19th century. A desolate area on the northernmost fringes of Europe, it is covered with vast forests broken by craggy hills and lonely mountains. It is a wild place, where a few developed cities in the south are the few beacons of civilisation.
In the countryside, the old ways rule. Peasants work the land as they always have done, workers toil in the dark woods and on the mighty rivers, often paying the ultimate price while doing so. A few rail lines connect the important cities, otherwise you need to travel by horse, coach, or foot.
This core rulebook contains all you need to roleplay in the Mythic North: rules, setting and an introductory scenario.
The game rules of Vaesen are based on the award-winning Year Zero Engine, also used in Tales From the Loop, Forbidden Lands, Mutant: Year Zero and the upcoming ALIEN RPG.
The core mechanic is straight-forward: To make a skill roll, you simply grab a number of dice for your attribute score, skill level and gear, and roll them all together. You need at least one six to succeed, and extra sixes can give you stunts and other bonus effects.
In Vaesen, you will find fast and flavorful rules for horror and the scars that will permanently change your player characters. Encountering vaesen will change you forever, in one way or another. In addition, there are fast rules for managing and developing your group’s headquarter – Castle Gyllencreutz in the city of Upsala. Expand your library, build a laboratory or hire staff to help you. Together you will expand your abilities to confront and fight your enemies and solve mysteries.”