Rivers Darkly Shining is an anthology of 3 games that explore themes such as legacy, trauma, and healing. Each game has a strong narrative component, and relies on emotive improvisation and collaborative storytelling to create compelling tales set in an infinite number of universes.

I’m proud to share an excerpt of the Introduction:

Rivers Darkly Shining can be a cathartic release for your own poignant experiences. If you are brave, willing to open yourself to vulnerable narratives, and are ready to be asked and to answer uncomfortable questions, then these games can help you craft truly unique and meaningful narratives.

If you are new to tabletop gaming, have no fear. The rules here are simple, light, and only encourage you to think in terms of – “How can I improve this story?” “What makes sense for this character?” “How can I push the momentum forward?”.

Rivers Darkly Shining contains the following games:

  • What Dust Remains. A game that tackles the high cost of legacy. Players control a singular pioneer, who sets out to make a lasting impact on the world…sacrificing resources, sources of joy, and even principles.
  • Become as Water. A game that explores life after trauma, and the many burdens and resiliences that build up as a result of it. Players control a singular protagonist, who undergoes a personal road to recovery from a seemingly-inescapable trauma.
  • Jigsaw Heroine. A game that explores transformative ways of reframing painful memories into avenues for growth. Players control a singular heroine, who recovers her memories and finds way to grow stronger through it.

What Dust Remains, Become as Water, and Jigsaw Heroine are all GM-less games that make use of a standard deck of cards and a few six-sided dice. These games run for 1-2 hours, and may even be played online through platforms such as Discord or Roll20.

What Dust Remains and Jigsaw Heroine can be downloaded today through Itch.

The anthology itself will soon be available in booklet form and in PDF beginning 4 May.