Annalise: Tales of Pain, Hunger & Redemption
Something is out there in the darkness, watching you. Soon, it will come for you. What will you do?
Annalise is a game for making Gothic horror stories. You and your friends take on the roles of a shadowy creatures lovers, allies and enemies. What is watching you from the darkness? Why is is attracted to you? How will the story end? Answer these questions for yourself with this game of pain, hunger and redemption.
Annalise Final Edition is available in two formats: a 9"x7" 120 page softcover book, and 122 page PDF. It was released in 2010.
print+pdf $25 | pdf only $10
- No-prep. Sit down and start playing immediately!
- GM-less. Every player has a protagonist character.
- Satisfying. The rules of the game create Gothic horror fiction.
- Annalise's Journal, a 24-page illustrated short story dripping with atmosphere.
- Six ready-to-play Guided Play Scenarios showcasing the diversity of the game.
Guided Play Scenarios
Each scenario contains four ready-to-play characters enmeshed in a volatile situation. Suitable for learning to play the game, one-shots and convention scenarios.
- The Voyage of the Auspicious
- Dracula Reloaded (written by Kat Jones)
- The Wake of Zenas Quantum (written by Jared Axelrod)
- At The Crossroads of Sanctuary and Salvation (written by Jesse Burneko)
- Download all in a ZIP file
- Download all from RPGNow
Annalise is a no-prep, GMless table-top roleplaying game for 2-4 players. Each player takes on the role of a protagonist in a Gothic horror story - a creature, whether a literal or metaphorical Vampire - is the central pivot around which your characters revolve, and the rules of the game guide you in discovering its' nature and eventually confronting it. The game is designed for short-to-medium turn play (3-6 session), but one-shot and convention play is facilitated by the included Guided Play Scenarios.
This is the Final Edition of Annalise. The entire game has been re-written, edited and expanded with additional examples and supplementary material.
At it's most basic, Annalise is a game about making Vampire stories. The rules of the game guide you and your friends in telling a story revolving around sympathetic characters of your own creation. These characters are tied together by the malevolent creature, lurking in the shadows and biding it’s time. Why is it so attracted? What does it want? How will you stop it?
To compare it to a story you probably know, in this game you would take on the roles of Mina Harker, Van Helsing and Renfield as they struggle against Dracula. Each of these characters has a unique relationship with the Vampire – Mina is the object of it’s desire, Van Helsing is hunting it, and Renfield is it’s willing servant. But Dracula is the catalyst of the story, not the center of it; the book is about these protagonists, not about the creature.
K. Wyler, Player "My weekly gaming group has played two very long Annalise campaigns...Our gaming group is dedicated to playing as many different RPGs as possible (especially indie RPGs), so please understand that it's extraordinarily rare for us to run any RPG twice, much less an ongoing campaign. We're discussing playing a third Annalise campaign this year...Since my first Annalise campaign, it's consistently been one of my top three favorite RPGs (along with Tribe 8 and Blue Planet), and it's the only one that's my favorite because of the mechanics rather than the setting."
G*M*S Magazine (4/2012) "[Innovative elements] such as claiming traits, situation, elements of a scene, emotional responses… A lot of elements that, in our routine life we don’t really notice. However, Annalise makes us think about them, and makes us use them in creative ways to develop a story. Fantastic! ... with a bit of effort (not a lot) this game could be the most incredible tool for anyone wanting to write or develop a story. Any type of story...5 Stars to this gem of a game that everyone should know about!"
Transneptune.net (11/2011) "Thursday night was Annalise, a near-perfect game of Gothic horror. This was the best game I’ve played since Apocalypse World...The game says that it’s “written in the tradition of role-playing games, but works in different ways”, and that’s true. It’s pretty deep in post-Forge indie-brain-damage land, but if you’re the audience for that—and we are—it delivers a play experience you won’t want to let stop. So, the game is good in part because, at every level, it reinforces unity of effect...The coin mechanic is, as John put it, the best coin mechanic he’s ever seen....Claims are just beautiful. Completely wonderful. I want to use them in everything now."
Geekbuffet (7/2010) "In effect, Annalise is a game about finding a response to the external demons who threaten you by coming to terms with the internal demons who haunt you. It is (in this respect) the closest gaming equivalent to the experience of reading proper literature I have ever experienced...What else can I say, other than this edition reads easily, references itself quickly and looks beautiful? Annalise exemplifies how RPGs should present themselves and how they should organize the information contained within their highly sculpted pages."