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Welcome to the Secret World...

Esoterica is a game about conflicts between mystics, magicians and occultists in the modern day world. Called Adepts, these people have come to understand that the mundane world is just a facet of the true, greater reality, hidden by a barrier called the Veil. They seek to Ascend through the Veil to a better life beyond, and to this end have learnt to master some of the energies that permeate through the barrier. But power comes at a great cost - a corruption of the mortal form. Only Soul Jars, mystical objects imbued with power, can keep this corruption at bay. But the secret of their construction is lost, so they must either be recovered from the past or stolen from those that hoard them.

Do have what it takes to Ascend?

Esoterica is about action, conflict and greed in a morally bankrupt world of modern occultism.

The Game

Esoterica is a tabletop roleplaying game of mystery, intrigue and action. In the game Players take of the roles of Adepts seeking to increase their power. This thrusts them into conflict with other Adepts also seeking to ascend and therefore hunting Soul Jars to contain their corruption, government agents who seek to either crush or control true occultists, and Hungers, beings from beyond the Veil who feed on corruption. Adepts spend their time trying to acquire Soul Jars by stealing them from those that hold them, or searching out lost Soul Jars from ancient ruins across the globe.

Adepts have access to occult powers that they may use to further their aims. Arts encompass the ability to manipulate others, push their bodies beyond normal limits and gain mystical insight. Mysteries are supernatural powers such as manipulating objects with the mind, setting objects on fire and astral projection, and Rituals are magical formulae that allow magical powers to be harnessed.

Drive Chain of Play

Esoterica, like all our games, features a unique drive chain of play to push the game forward and create dramatic tension. This outlined below:

  • Adepts wish to ascend.
  • To do this they must use their abilities to gain Power...
  • ...this generates Corruption.
  • The Adept requires Soul Jars to remove this Corruption...
  • ...putting them in conflict with other Adepts.
  • So they need to use their abilities to overcome their rivals, generating more Power...
  • ...but also generating more corruption...
  • ...requiring more Soul Jars, etc.

This drive chain pushes the game forward and gives Players a clear picture of what they are trying to achieve during play, making the Narrator's job all the easier.

Open D6

The Open D6 game system is extremely versatile, and can be implemented in various degrees of detail for games that are light to heavy in style. Esoterica is relatively rules light, but that doesn't mean you couldn't bolt on things you like from the free to download Open D6 rule books. It's a great, simple versatile system, so that's why we use it in our games.

The mechanics of Esoterica are rooted in the same drive chain concept as our previous games, Exilium and Summerland, but have been adapted to fit the unique needs of Esoterica. Rules for the special abilities of Adepts - Arts, Mysteries and Rituals - are all included, as is extensive background on the Secret World of Adepts.

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Reviews (2)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Sean P March 15, 2021 2:13 am UTC
Say, the "Full-size Preview" link seems to be broken.
Customer avatar
Joe C November 02, 2020 12:03 pm UTC
After the disappointing Kult Divinity Lost
This looks like a viable alternative.
The price is definitely right.
Customer avatar
Anthony A August 07, 2019 7:43 pm UTC
I backed the kickstarter at the PDF level but so liked what I read, I bought print versions of both books here. Good job and thanks.

Full disclosure, I'm in the reading/contemplating phase of this system not the I've-Ascended-multiple-parties or even the played-a-few-sessions stage.

Trivial question: There are three Arts giving six permutations but only five Archetypes. There isn't one for Domination 2, Mastery 3, Insight 1. Sure, I can make one but I was wondering if this was a production oversight and there is an official one.

System question:

I'm a narrative-first style ref/player (so Mini Six, et al work for me) and don't particularly enjoy groups that favor min/maxing the system over narration, but nor do I like being in complete ignorance of the system's math since, to me, the math crystallizes what the system encourages and discourages. The Esoterica (not the Mini Six) part of this system mandates that each character's primary goal be Ascension. Ascension...See more
Customer avatar
Greg S August 13, 2019 8:57 am UTC
Hi There, Anthony, thanks for the question. No I don't think you do have to worry. The use of Arts. Mysteries and Rituals is supposed to be a bit of an agonizing choice - roll more dice increases the chance of success, but at the cost of corruption. The idea is to make the use of magic a meaningful choice and and active decision, thereby making magic a focus in the thoughts of those playing the game if that makes sense. So the use of magic is all handled in a intertwining set of systems which are (hopefully) easy to understand, but which make that choice an active one of the part of the player. But, importantly, as the GM, have the complete ability to determine the pacing of your play though the use of Soul Jars. Make them large (in terms of the Corruption they can hold) and relatively easy to come by, and magic is something that the players will use frequently (you could then if you choose extend the amount of Power needed to ascend for example to slow advancement in the game). Make Soul Jars smaller in capacity...See more
Customer avatar
Patrick S September 16, 2018 9:24 am UTC
Unfortunately, i missed the Kickstarter. Really looking forward to this as PoD.
Customer avatar
Greg S September 27, 2018 3:13 pm UTC
Won't be long...
Customer avatar
Greg S October 23, 2018 8:11 pm UTC
POD now available!
Customer avatar
thomas G September 07, 2018 11:08 am UTC
Fixed...thank you.
Customer avatar
thomas G September 07, 2018 10:46 am UTC
Download does not seem to be working.
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File Last Updated:
September 17, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on September 07, 2018.