Tag Archives: richard kreutz-landry

Metatopia 2018 Report – Part 9: Descent Into Midnight

Per usual with all Metatopia recaps, everything presented here is based on playtest material and not final published versions.

Day 3, continued

Descent Into Midnight by Rich Howard, Richard Kreutz-Landry, and Taylor LaBresh

Presented by Taylor LaBresh

Descent Into Midnight playtesters
Around the table: Rob, Elizabeth, Amber, Taylor, Ron, Dave, Neal, and Josh

I've been hearing about Descent Into Midnight for quite some time now, but this is the first chance I've had to play it, and honestly it feels like the game is pretty mature to me. This is a Powered by the Apocalypse game about undersea alien civilizations. There are no humans in this game, which I appreciate; it's a totally alien environment, and you can go wild with the character creation. Owing to the PbtA nature of the system, the mechanics are heavily about narrative, so the...physics, let's say...of the individual characters aren't so much a big deal. You can really let your imagination roam when designing your character's species. One of our characters (mine) was basically a featureless sea slug, while another was pretty much a miles-long tentacle anchored in the space where the rest of us lived.

Taylor standing and grimacing, waggling his fingers on either side of his face
Taylor portraying a grumpy talking crab

The game is highly focused on the emotional experiences of the characters and the community they are a part of. It promotes a lot of problem-solving and caring during play. The pregame includes collaborative worldbuilding (and mapbuilding!) which you know I enjoy. This particular playtest also featured an eye-popping seven players, which I think pushed the limits of things a little, but it was still a good time.

Taylor himself is an excellent guy, a tremendous GM, and also a vocal proponent of all things queer in tabletop. I encourage you to explore his many fine works over at Riverhouse Games, including his excellent interview podcast Game Closet. Plus keep an eye out for his upcoming game Thirteen Demon Princes, to which I am also a proud contributor!

I'm looking forward to seeing Descent Into Midnight get completed, of course, and have been for a while. You can find a bunch more information about the game (including free downloads of the playtest materials) at the Descent Into Midnight website.