Vajra Game Graveyard: Housebreakers

Vajra Game Graveyard is a series of write-ups of games and game settings that we wanted to make, but that (most likely) will never be made.  If you’re reading this and have a strong desire to help one of these dead game ideas become reality, email creative [aht] vajraenterprises [dot] com.

P.S. We don’t use AI generated art in our games, but we have just for the Vajra Game Graveyard series.  You can read more about our position on AI generated art here.

Setting Concept

At some point in the past, a secret society of architects and builders in the San Francisco Bay Area discovered a way to imbue their buildings with a form of supernatural life.  A healthy building they have given life to is more resilient, needs less upkeep, stays cleaner, the people inside it are healthier and happier, and whatever activities happen inside the building are more successful.  Thus, hundreds of buildings were secretly made alive in the Bay Area over the course of more than a century.  What these occult architects and builders didn’t know was that a living building could be driven insane by the things happening within that building (e.g. mistreated workers, abused family members).  An insane building is incredibly dangerous.  To those who know about the secret of living buildings, the only option to deal with an insane building is to kill the life inside it.  To do that, they hire one of a handful of small crews of building-killers known as housebreakers.


Housebreakers take the form of small business with a tight-knit crew hired to do a dangerous (and ethically dubious) job.  Members of these crews are recruited from the ranks of architects, historians, urban explorers, burglars, interior designers and vandals.  They are skilled, well equipped, and know what they’re doing, but that doesn’t mean each building they face isn’t a dangerous challenge.


Insane living buildings, each with a unique insanity based on what drove them insane, and each with a unique set of powers.  Some buildings can recreate scenes from their pasts.  Some can manipulate the minds of the people in them.  Some can change their own internal structure, becoming large mazes that are bigger on the inside than the outside.  Each building has a heart, that the housebreakers must find and destroy to kill the building, yet the building protects its heart with various supernatural defenses.


The ethics of destroying an entity that, although dangerous, has some form of intelligence.  Gentrification.  The greed of those who gave these buildings life (and the unethical means they used to do so), and the toxic families and organizations that drive buildings mad.  The things that cause people to take on dangerous jobs for a living.


Classic haunted-house horror, but not limited to gothic Victorian buildings.  Architectural and interior decor styles will be integral to the game, because a building’s style affects its personality and powers.  There will be a visual emphasis on the grandness of the buildings, and the most imposing and ominous examples of each style of architecture.  There will be visual signifiers of a “sick” building (a sickly tint to lights, stains of strange liquids dripping down the walls, etc.)


The various possible powers and weaknesses of living buildings will be enumerated.  Since the PCs will basically be fighting one single NPC per adventure, that NPC will need a detailed writeup and unique set of abilities.

Research Needed

History of architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Various architectural styles.

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