Have you ever wondered what happens after your tabletop roleplaying game character dies? Now, with the Ink TTRPG by Snowbright Studio, you can tell that tale – and the experience is a lesson in acceptance, healing, and community, all classic staples of Snowbright’s mission statement.
Ink is the latest game by the LGBTQA+ gaming company that seeks to answer the question: What comes next? With an innovative new combat system and the chance to play nigh-immortal Spirits on a quest to rest in peace, Ink scratches an itch not tackled in most games – it lets you play the game AFTER you die.
Every character in the Ink TTRPG is a recently departed soul who awakens in the limbo-purgatory world known as The Ink. There, they will find a common cause: rediscover your lost memories, overcome the Burden that won’t let you move on, and survive the horrifying creatures that guard your End. Oh, we didn’t mention the monsters yet? The world of Ink makes a departure from the previous games by Snowbright. In this game, you fight, live (sorta) and die (again) based upon your actions and the Powers of the Fiends – creatures that range from Wandering Souls to the dreaded Smoldering Wyvern. You’re not unarmed against these forces. However, your new form has certain gifts, which manifest in unique and powerful ways.
What makes the Ink TTRPG unique is the economic split of the two facets of your character: your Spirit and your Shadow. These two aspects are tied together yet serve opposing purposes. Your Spirit is your personality. Your memories of your departed character – your “body,” as it were, handles all of the Role-play of the game. It basically looks, walks, and talks like your living self but lacks a pulse. This Spirit rolls any action that has a risk of failure. A simple 2d6 mechanic (with bonuses or penalties based upon how harmonious your Karma is) determines all outcomes. It’s a stunningly simple-yet-comprehensive dice pool that makes resolution quick and painless.
In a direct mirror to this is your Shadow, the “unbridled emotions” of your Spirit, which is typically marred by the cause of your death and the Burden you carry. One type of Shadow might be a “hulking pool of darkness that carries a deep chill,” and another might be a “jolly, gregarious form that invites spectators.” Each form your Shadow takes (determined as creation) is granted Powers that it uses for all of the Roll-play of violent conflicts in the Journey you undergo. Combat inflicts damage on enemies as well as “Tag” modifiers that increasingly change the battle’s landscape. Enough Terror tags, for example, may cause your foes to lose Karma, fail on dice rolls, or even temporarily lose their Powers.
Combat here is fast and fierce (and, dare I say, lethal?) All players and foes act in unison, and all results are resolved at the same time. A selling point of the Ink TTRPG system is the idea that you must lay your Burden down yourself. And, if you do die, a unique mechanic allows you to “respawn” in designated areas and continue your journey. Death is a learning experience: as you are reborn, you Evolve with new Powers and abilities that may change the outcome of battling Fiends again.
The Ink TTRPG system is setting-less, and characters can come from any game world or genre. You can even play your favorite character that you already lost in a different system! My group did a playthrough. Our party was made up of a medieval court jester, a 1920’s street magician, and an anthropomorphic mouse apothecary. All worked well together because they all shared the same goal: to seek Passage into the Beyond. This adds to a very beginner-friendly experience that can be put together at a moment’s notice. Character creation was just as easy – in 5 minutes, the game was ready, and our Journey through the Ink had begun!
The tone of the Ink TTRPG is surprisingly inviting: cartoonish ghosts reminiscent of Casper are shown drinking coffee, managing aptly-named cafes such as “The Daily Grind” and “The Cold Press”, and offering acerbic anecdotes. It’s a tongue-in-cheek reference to one of Snowbright’s greatest loves: teas and brews. There’s a reason these “Boo-ristas” are here, though: these cuppas also serve a function as “Elixirs,” which can grant your living-impaired Spirit additional healing, insights, and powers. These little waystations help ease the tension of what could be a “heavy” game and lighten the mood to an experience that can be dictated by your group’s aesthetic. Ink could easily be a cute, family-friendly adventure or a somber, retrospective tale of redemption and lost hope.
With an innovative new combat system derived from playing a dual-faced character, Ink brings the tale of the Afterlife to your gaming table. Here, Death is only the beginning. Your story begins now, and it will be written in Ink.
The Ink TTRPG is currently crowdfunding on BackerKit until November 1st
Crowdfunding website: https://www.backerkit.com/c/snowbright-studio/ink
Snowbright Studio’s website: https://www.snowbrightstudio.com/