19th century London: city of industry, affluence and discovery. The British Empire’s finest gather, their conversation giddy and feverish with talk of scientific wonders, mysteries of the ‘dark continent’, and the latest engineering marvels. Yet outside these prestigious halls, the London’s streets and slums wallow, overcrowded, in disease, crime and death.
These contrasts attract many visitors, and not all harbour wholesome intent. There are creatures in this world, beasts unexplained by Victorian science, and they are legion. Be they supernatural beings, or mere humans whose chests cage the blackest of hearts, they skulk among the populace, their own twisted ambitions their sole company, and woe betide anybody who interferes.
Some call them ‘monster’; others ‘villain’, but whatever the moniker bestowed upon them, these entities are the engines of evil, their machinery that of murder and mayhem.
In Gothic Tales, 1 to 4 players assume the mantle of a powerful villain – known as protagonists – from literature. The Vampire, The Werewolf, The Monster and The Pharaoh are newly arrived in London and have their sights set on enacting something quiet terrible. These protagonists travel around London performing acts of Murder or Mayhem, each aligned to their unique story and set across three distinct ‘acts’. These foul creatures are single-minded and ruthless, and so to combat these villains and save the populace from their predations, each player will also play one of four Investigators (Antagonists). These antagonists will examine every scene in the hope to find clues to a protagonist’s identity, and eventually equip themselves, along with the people of London, with the knowledge to put an end to the evil schemes of the monsters.
The villains know, however, that with each and every step taken in achieving their goals, they leave behind them a trail to be followed, one that may promise their downfall.