Any Experience with De Profundis?

edited November 2010 in Story Games
De Profundis has a 2nd edition now. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with it?

It strikes me as interesting if you can find the right folks to engage with it and has applications across many areas (I have the thought of correspondence among the kings who received the 9 rings from the elves in Lord of the Rings, before all fell and they became ringwraiths, for example). It does seem bang on for Call of Cthulhu fans of a certain sort, as intended. Overall, more roleplaying than gaming.

It's writing style is a bit opaque, conventions (rules) are scattered throughout the text not just in the section for them.

Aspects remind me of Universalis and the Engle Matrix rules though less mechanical in nature.


  • It's very important that it not be electronic, that's the only thing I discovered about De Profundis when I played it.
  • edited November 2010
    I buy/get the "experience/ritual" part of it about being paper etc., the forced "slow down and breath and wait for the (real not message board) post".

    I should have given a mention to Annalise as another game it reminded me of in the "creating narrative" school, I would have liked to have seen a Convention about "reincorporation" which Annalise handles and Universalis rewards.

    I like the effective subtitle, "Messages from the Abyss" more than the De Profundis title too.

  • Can anyone say, briefly, what has changed from the first edition?
  • Can't bring much info to bear at the moment, but it's in my review pile. When I get a chance to look at it I'll try remember to post a comment. Haven't seen first edition though, so I'd also like to know if anyone can ring the changes.
  • Why not electronic? I've never seen it but it seems like a fun thing to try PbP.
    It sounded like "adventures in unreliable narration" to me from the review I read.
  • edited November 2010
    Speaking having read but not played,

    It may be generational (I'm 47, own a fountain pen and write everything I care about with it, using ballpoints and pencils for the rest, have the comfy leather chair and antique light to read by), but the idea is immersive, "be the person writing the letter", "be the person reading the letter" roleplaying - since it is about exploring the mindset of author/correspondents

    That said, 2nd edition abandons 1st's reputed repudiation of internet, at least after saying "no slapdash e-mail!", it does have a section about using internet. I agree with author that that only works if you're playing in present, where the internet is part of the world and perhaps "the story". I can see room for blog versions or vlogs in vein of gunnarolla's "my internet girlfriend" series (he's part of the "so you want to be Canadian" team on youtube).
  • There actually was a really good De Profundis game that was played on interconnected blogs. But for me, I never was able to knock it out of the park unless I was sitting and writing.
  • I only ever read the first edition (In German) and never got the chance to play it, but ever since there's been this idea of a game sitting in the back of my brain. It would be a De Profundis game set in the present, aiming to combine forums, snail mail and vagely LARP-ish physical activity with a big "Breaking the border between player and character" component.

    In my mind it's weird and glorious and almost certainly destined to non-existance because I'm way too lazy to actually organize it. :/
  • A correction to something I said above about title "De Profundis" and "letters from abyss" being better one, goofy me, that's what De Profundis means (letters from the depths perhaps literally).

    As to combining the media, above, if you used the "Jewelry Box" option (don't know if that was in 1st, I think only 2nd), you could use Snail Mail to represent the earlier correspondence of those in 1920's or some earlier time whose writing and fates a group of disparate scholars in current day are discussing (each receipt of a letter by a player leads to them responding as earlier timeline character, sending their response both to another player as their correspondent and as an 'archivist's recovery' to a modern schoalr, who then posts/sends their analysis and related research - so as player you are not analysing your self, for your composition in earlier timeframe you have two inputs/influences - a player correspondent in that time, and a 2nd player future scholar's analysis).

  • Lord Minx: You should look into Alternate Reality Games. Not _quite_ the same thing, but a lot of similar ideas. I like the unforum.
  • Posted By: PeterBBLord Minx: You should look into Alternate Reality Games. Not _quite_ the same thing, but a lot of similar ideas. I like theunforum.
    Yeah, that's pretty much where this would be heading towards. Thanks for the link!
  • I'm thinking of starting a little Nephilim-inspired De Profundis experience.

    What have you guys done with De Profundis? 1st or 2nd edition doesn't matter.

    Did you keep the letters, etc?
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