Heart of Darkness

Updated August 2022




          Recall now an ancient world which has been lost save those few fragments that live in legend. A forgotten time when all the lands of Earth stood together as one. The great continent of Pangaea, covered in wild forests and shrouded in mists, the air so thick it practically burns in your lungs, the sky so clear that you can see neighboring worlds with the naked eye amidst an endless sea of stars. It was a time when the world of spirits stood as close as the other side of the mirror, and gods and devils watched over mortal destiny, and those with the will to harness the godsí sacred fire could forge their own fate. An era before the great beasts had gone extinct, a dangerous land inhabited by savages and dragons as well as the men and women with the strength to stand against them. Amongst the greatest of men were the scions of lost Atlantis, who would brand the wild face of Pangaea with a mighty Imperium that ruled from the frigid glaciers of the north to the uncharted southern seas.

        The Imperium is no more. Brought to its knees by sudden cataclysm and then ground to dust by decades of corruption and conquest. The blood of Atlantis now flows freely through the veins of all people, and each is possessed with the strength to make their own mark upon the world if only they have the will to use it. Small war bands struggle constantly where vast legions once battled, each serving a city-state built from the ruins of the Old Empire. This is a dark time, a time of danger and despair, but also a time of opportunity. Opportunity to rise above the ruins of civilization like a phoenix and win fame and glory rivaling the heroes of old, or to give in to the darkness in your own heart and seize your deepest desires.


Heart of Darkness is a tabletop role-playing game of Gothic Fantasy in a vast world that lies somewhere between Weird Western and Arthurian Romance. Set in a forgotten era of human history, the players will try and carve a place for themselves in the dark age that followed the collapse of the Empire that once maintained the pretext of order across all of Pangaea.        

Heart of Darkness is traditional role-playing game which emphasizes player freedom in characters and in actions. Character creation is detailed and allows for in-depth character customization, with no preset roles or restrictions. You can be exactly who you want to be and do exactly what you want to do.

A full copy of the play test rules is available here. Keep in mind that this is a play test version. It is still a complete game, but most of the formatting and artwork is missing, and much of what is present serves as placeholders. This is a draft, please  don't be discouraged by the occasional typographical or grammatical error.

I am looking to distribute these play test rules and encourage you to share them, and hopefully play them, with your friends. I welcome questions and feedback of all types, and want to hear what you think so that I can make this the best game it can be. I am still commissioning artwork, so if you can produce illustrations of a similar style and quality to those found in the book please let me know.

Complete Playtest Rules

Character Sheet

Design Philosophy

Email:  admin@heartofdarknessrpg.com