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December 2, 2009 / jadettman

The Whispering Vault

The Whispering Vault is a roleplaying game that was published in the early 90s. I first encountered it just prior to the Gamicon gaming convention in Iowa City, probably in 1993 or 1994.

Gamicon that year was meeting at the National Guard Armory and I was the convention’s designated Game Slut (at least, I recall that being the title given me) which meant that publishers who sent us games would have them run at Gamicon by me. This program was so successful, IIRC, that I was scheduled to run ten games during the eight available slots during the convention. Luckily, not all of the games filled.I ended up running The Whispering Vault for two players, one of whom had originally signed up for something completely different.

The game, itself, is a weird indie thing best described as horrific metaphysical superheroes keeping the world safe from more horrific metaphysical villains. It was designed as a pick-up and play game that a group could run as one-shots, either as something to do when a player doesn’t show up or as something to do in a pinch.

The setup of the game is that the Higher Powers (kind of like Ur-gods) would call the Stalkers (the PCs) for a hunt when an Unbidden (the bad guys) escaped into the world, threatening to damage reality. The Stalkers would then cross over the planar boundary and hunt down the Unbidden, eventually capturing the Unbidden or failing. It’s a formulaic design but one that I think has a lot of potential for horror, drama, and adventure.

Despite the number of new games that come out every year, I keep looking at my collection of games and there are many in there that I would still love to run. The Whispering Vault is one of those games.

There are, of course, others. I’m sure I’ll tell you about them sometime. Until then, here’s a review of The Whispering Vault from Pyramid circa 1993, if you’re interested in reading more about it.

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