What's the Story?

By Rookery Publications
Art by Mark Gibbons


What good would our game be without a compelling backdrop for events to unfold against? How much fun could be had were it not for the motley collection of citizens, criminals, and citizen/criminals arrayed in opposition to every player’s best laid plans? Although a rich and flavorful setting is not a mandatory component for building a great game, Dark Deeds’ creators have spent decades crafting such worlds, so for them there was never a question of skimping on the story.  

Anthrand, that great port-city, teeming with life in much the same way a particularly ripe cow pat does on a sweaty summer’s night, is often described as ‘sprawling’, but Dark Deeds focuses its attention upon a single grime-spattered street and its adjacent stinking tavern. Along this busy thoroughfare the daily tableau of survival plays out for a few miserable (yet fiendishly ambitious) minions, locked in the service of a dreadful, shadowy Patron.    

For Anthrand’s citizenry, little, beyond whispered rumour is known about the Patron. Some say they are a singular, all-powerful entity, others say they are but one of many petty tyrants constantly squabbling over the city’s contested turf. Whatever the truth of it, one thing is certain – our Patron looms over this grimy corner of Anthrand like a noxious cloud. Their motives are a mystery, their plans byzantine, and all the unfortunates in their service can hope to do is save themselves from one of countless horrible fates by earning a sliver of the Patron’s grudgingly-dispensed favour. 

If there is a lower rung than ‘minion’ on the ladder of power and influence within Anthrand society it is not described here. However, the great port-city is ripe with opportunity and even the humblest of aspirants may rise through the ranks if they prove themselves cunning and unscrupulous. The Patron encourages healthy (and more often than not, unhealthy) competition between those in their service, believing it forces the eminently-employable scum to rise to the top.

Life in the Patron’s employ is full of challenges. The titular dark deeds are, of course, their most significant manifestation but few can be completed without exploiting Anthrand’s hapless inhabitants – Citizens, Guards, and Nemeses – along the way.

Citizens are grouped into three distinct types for a minion’s robbing convenience - Artisans, Clerics, and Merchants. Individuals within each group will present varying degrees of challenge but a beady-eyed minion will select their target wisely, hoping to lift a particularly valuable item of loot from the victim least-prepared to defend themselves. Once acquired, loot is often the key to a minion’s evolving story, and fiendish plots may be hatched around a particular weapon, disguise, or one-shot item.

Guards patrol the street in an effort to confound the best (and worst) laid plans, but can also find themselves the witless pawns within a greater scheme, particularly one that requires a minion to wreak a little institutional havoc.

Nemeses are every aspiring minion’s ultimate target and take centre stage where dark deeds themselves are concerned. Most greasy notes slipped across a tavern’s table will demand the destruction of one or more individuals deemed a threat to the Patron’s inevitable and dreadful victory. Minions may speculate what chain of events led to a particular nemesis earning themselves such an unenviable spot, but never would they dare to question it.    

Every game of Dark Deeds unfolds in fiendishly unpredictable fashion. A minion’s meticulously-tuned plans are not immune to a rival’s impulsive act of treachery or long-plotted revenge. Gameplay designed to provoke moustache-twirling acts of villainry (and fist-shaking responses), combine with the luck of the draw and the roll of the dice to craft a unique adventure each time the box’s horned seal is cracked open.

Our next blog takes us out of the shadows and onto the street, where we’ll get up close and personal with Anthrand’s Citizens, Guards, and all-important Nemeses. Strategies for dealing with each will be discussed, along with the consequences for failing to do so successfully. Until then, watch yer back!

But why wait when you can pre-order Dark Deeds now!


If you want to keep up-to-date on all the latest news concerning Dark Deeds, including future blog posts, you can subscribe to the mailing list here. You can also uncover more about Dark Deeds at Rookery Publications’ website. Share your excitement for the game on social media using the hashtag #DarkDeedsGame to connect with fellow minions in the service of our cruel but glorious Patron worldwide!

Dark deeds