Quietus is a one shot, prepless RPG of melancholy horror. It's a game for a GM and one or two players, and emulates tragic horror movies like Oculus, The Strangers, The Babadook, Inside and the recent Netflix version of The Haunting of Hill House. If a piece of fiction can make you cry and scream, then it's a great model for the sort of stories that you can tell with Quietus.
This is a game of slowly building dread, tension and tragedy. With only one or two main characters, there's no pressure release via a high body count.
The mechanics of Quietus are inspired by Forged in the Dark, the award winning system behind John Harper's Blades in the Dark, streamlined and repurposed for one-shot play and the horror genre.
Character and scenario creation is quick and intuitive, based around a series of leading questions that drop your characters right into the action. The small player count, minimal to no prep and short time to run the game - it usually lasts anywhere from one to two hours - makes it ideal for pickup sessions, or for horror fans who want to try roleplaying.
Players will need to build a dice pool using ordinary D6s whenever their character does something challenging - and the nightmarish situations that they're plunged into will push them towards those sorts of challenges constantly.
There are no easy choices in Quietus. You can gain dice by raising your anxiety - which comes with the chance that you might panic - by involving doomed side characters - who are certain to die because of you - or by revealing tragic details of your characters' past. It's in these Scar scenes that the melancholy aspect of the game really comes into play, as we jump back and forth between the current desperate action, and quieter moments, horrible rather than horrific, from your characters' backstory.
Quietus is a race between two competing scores, Hope and Despair. If you max out your Hope, you get away - scarred and possibly broken by the horrific events, but alive. If your Despair maxes out first, you die. No get out. No saving throw. No hope.