FAQ: What Makes In Dark Alleys Different From Other Horror RPGs?

Cosmology– IDA has a unique cosmology, terrible secrets of the nature of the universe, that players will have to discover during game play. You won’t find much about this cosmology on the website, because we want to keep it truly secret. The cosmology was created by taking pieces of every philosophy that has been discredited or suppressed because it has unpleasant things to say about the nature of the universe, from Gnosticism to Freudian Psychoanalysis to Paglian Feminism. Not only are secrets of the world revealed through gameplay, the GM section of the book has several ‘documents,’ all suitable for copying and giving to players, each of which helps unravel a small piece of the mystery of the game world.
Player Characters– Players are not ordinary people, they are people with supernatural powers, yet they don’t start off understanding what’s happening to them. The bizarre and terrible things that have given them powers have left them with more questions than answers about the nature of the universe. Each type of the Touched knows a little about what’s going on, but each holds only one piece of the puzzle. Each type of the Touched has a different experience of the supernatural and different types of powers. Character types are not just frameworks for buying powers, they are a complete experience.
Style– Like Cthulhu, IDA doesn’t have ‘traditional’ monsters (e.g. vampires, werewolves, typical western-style ghosts). Unlike Cthulhu, we tried to borrow from the aesthetic of recent Japanese horror films in building the terrors of the IDA universe. At no point will PCs find themselves confronted with traditional monsters that they are sure they know how to defeat. Some monsters will attack as physical beings, some will be invisible and intangible and will manipulate the world around the PCs, some will attack via the PCs’ own minds. IDA monsters are not goblins that you kill twenty of for XP. Figuring out how to defeat or escape a monster will take up an entire IDA adventure.

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