Grand Guignol & Harvest

Grand Guignol & Harvest

A historical horror double-feature tabletop RPG about monstrosity, community, and the Gothic.
$46,160 🎉
of $15,000 (USD) goal
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A halloween double feature of two historical tabletop RPGs from the team behind Wanderhome and Yazeba's Bed & Breakfast, all about monstrosity, community, and the Gothic. Grand Guignol is a Victorian romance-horror RPG, built on the queer monstrosity of Frankenstein, Carmilla, and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Harvest is a folk horror RPG about a rural island off the coast of England, whose bucolic inhabitants must perform a horrific ritual every generation to preserve the comfort of their home, inspired by Midsommar and The Wicker Man. Both by Luke Jordan of Wildwood Games.


Grand Guignol

A woman mourns her lover underneath the glow of London's streetlights. But who was the one who killed them, and whose blood soaks into the cobblestones? (Art by Ver)

Grand Guignol gives us crooked alleys and foggy squares, charged touches and words left unsaid, lavish parties and faceless crowds, bloody hands and dangerous smiles, and always the darkness without and within asking "What lurks in the secret corners of your heart?"

In Grand Guignol we play as citizens of London in all its sprawling Victorian glory. Crowds pour in from the countryside as the Industrial Revolution chews through their livelihoods, while in the factories nature and time itself are brought under control. Predators party with the powerful and prey upon the poor, while whispers echo in the witching hour and unseen eyes watch from the shadow.

Amongst it all we monsters and queers hold each other close, slay our demons, and live our lives. We flirt and feud, tremble and embrace, and hurt and heal one another in turn as we cling together in the margins of this hostile world.

Our lives are shadow and mist—beautiful and ephemeral, impossible to tame. What secret histories might we write on dark streets where the gaslights don’t reach, in corners of our tender hearts that neither God nor science has caged?

Inspired by queer reads of the Victorian Gothic, Grand Guignol delves deep into the heart and soul of the period, weaving an environment both intimate and terrifying. Built on the Belonging Outside Belonging system invented by Avery Alder and Benjamin Rosenbaum, Grand Guignol presents us with a cast of tragic anti-heroes, including:

  • The Beast, a tormented soul who struggles to keep their monstrous urges in check.
  • The Gate, a once-normal individual haunted by a terrifying and incredible power.
  • The Hunter, consumed by their revenge against the monsters that destroyed their life.
  • The Patron, a wealthy and powerful individual who keeps one foot in the darkness.
  • The Scholar, a maverick philosopher obsessed with a new vision for the world.
  • The Ward, an innocent soul whose every step brings them closer to darkness.

Together, the players sculpt foggy London from the ground up, choosing the elements that speak most to them and developing the various competing interests of capitalism, tradition, religion, monstrosity, and bloodstained empire that sculpt the social landscape of the rotten city.

Grand Guignol builds on the traditional "No Dice, No Masters" GMless framework of Belonging Outside Belonging with a set of Occasions, narrative frames that recreate classic genre-defining moments from Gothic literature, including Seances, Investigations, Rendezvous, and Visitations by the darkness. Grand Guignol both indulges in and critically challenges the themes and imagery of the Gothic period.



A woman stands in the middle of a field by the sea, with a basket and berry bushes all around her. Is it red berries that stain her dress? (Art by Ver)

Harvest gives us laden orchards and barren fields; desperate fervour and doubts grown thick as weeds; calves born and pigs slaughtered; proud traditions, failing wealth, and hostile stares; juice-smeared lips and dirt under nails; and always the questions echoing down through the generations: “Whose blood must be spilled to feed the land?” and “Whose hand will hold the knife?”

In Harvest, you play the residents of a remote island community stranded somewhere off the British coast. On the mainland, old traditions are assimilated into the Empire— languages crushed and folkways flattened under the Imperial heel. Trains chew through the countryside as industry marches grimly onwards. Yet here, separated from roaring combines and towering smokestacks by the fathomless sea, we survive unchanged.

Our island is a sheltered paradise, cradled by the churning waters and blessed with potent soil and perfect weather.  We live simple and contented lives  off the fat of the land—the sea offers up teeming nets, the orchards fill our baskets in abundance, and our fields produce record yields, year after year. Life is good. And here the old rituals and stories still endure, stubborn and hardy, as full of stark beauty as the twisted willow.

But this golden haven comes at a price—the island hungers, and demands that its generosity be repaid. There must be death to pay for life, hot blood soaking into the thirsty black soil, and no-one can know until the time comes whose blood will feed the land, and whose hand will hold the knife.

Harvest is inspired by the folk horror genre, and iterates on the Belonging Outside Belonging system to go deeper into each character and the troubles that haunt them. Every role has a choice of Powers, the malicious forces that tug at them and offer them incredible strength at a monstrous cost. The choice of roles include:

  • The Stranger, who just washed ashore. Their powers are The Crown, The Holy Church, or The University.
  • The Young Blood, who stands on the precipice of adulthood. Their powers are The Storm Shepherd, Verdure, or The Sun King.
  • The Old Name, whose family have ruled here for many years. Their powers are The Deathless Wyrm, Grandmother Oak, or Crooked Hence.
  • The Dreamer, who hopes to run away from here. Their powers are The Undertow, The Barrow Queen, or The Wicker Ways.
  • The Wise One, who cares for the old ways of the island. Their powers are The Stone In The Marsh, The Ravening Wolf, or The Skinless Mare.
  • The Homecomer, who never thought they'd be here again. Their powers are The Fisher King, The Black Dog, or The Slate House.

Much like in other Belonging Outside Belonging games, whenever one acts foolishly or destructively, they take a token from the island. They can return that token through a community move, or they can invest it into their power and access more of its magic, granting it further relevance in the story and advancing its agenda.

Harvest follows a three act structure that slowly but inexorably pulls the players into a web of secrets and magic which ultimately results in the final choice: whose blood will fertilize the soil, and who will be holding the knife?


The Project

Grand Guignol
and Harvest will be published as two separate softcover books, each around 120 pages at half-letter size. Each one will be full of gorgeous illustrations by our talented team of artists. This is Possum Creek's 8th project, and we're well-experienced with what the development and release of these two books will involve. We've come to Backerkit to ensure a successful print run. Our goal is a bit higher than for other projects of this scope, but with two full print runs we'll need a bit more than we have in the past.

  • Art & Layout — 40%. This is for covers and interior illustrations for both books, and in-house layout.
  • Writing & Editing — 15%. This is both the writer's advance and the cost of editing both books.
  • Printing — 30%. This is the cost of printing and manufacturing both books and all accompanying merchandise.
  • Rainy Day — 5%. A bit of money set aside, just in case something goes wrong.
  • Fees — 10%. Backerkit and various card processing companies all collect fees, this covers that.

The number listed is the amount needed to print both books at the level we desire. We have no stretch goals planned for this project. 


The Offerings

The Books

Both Grand Guignol and Harvest are around 120 pages each, 5.5 x 8.5" (140 x 216mm) softcover books, printed in black and white and with custom illustrations throughout. We will be printing with Mixam, although we might change to a different printer if the project grows to a sufficient size.


We're offering two commemorative pins for this project, one representing Grand Guignol and one representing Harvest. We haven't yet designed either pin, and so we will reveal both designs (and give you the option to pick between them) upon the conclusion of the project. There will be an add-on option for pins when the designs are revealed.


We're offering two commemorative t-shirts for this project, one representing Grand Guignol and one representing Harvest. We haven't yet designed either t-shirt (waiting for the perfect art to be finished) and so we will reveal both designs (and give you the option to pick between them) upon the conclusion of the project. There will be an add-on option for t-shirts when the designs are revealed.

T-shirts will be available in sizes small through 5XL. 

A copy of the Hanes Authentic Sizing Chart

Character Deck + Die

Initial mockup of deck and die. Both subject to change with final manufacturing.

A deck of twelve character horoscopes along with a six-sided die. The character horoscopes can be used for making minor characters in Harvest and shaping their motivations. The deck will include a guide for interpreting the die and applying it in game.



While this is our 8th crowdfunded project, we are a small publishing company and so maintain flexible timelines to support our team. We work hard to prevent crunch at any level of our operation, and so we will often experience delays as we accommodate the needs of our multiply-disabled team. The following is a preliminary timeline based on our estimations, but it will be changed as the project continues.

  • February 2024: Final drafts of both Grand Guignol and Harvest will be submitted for editing.
  • March 2024: All art will be completed for both Harvest and Grand Guignol.
  • June 2024: Layout will finish for both Harvest and Grand Guignol.
  • July 2024: PDF editions of both games will be released to backers.
  • September 2024: Physical copies of both games will ship out of our warehouse. 

Additionally, we are currently fulfilling two other crowdfunding projects, Yazeba's Bed & Breakfast and Inscrutable Cities. While both projects are currently very nearly out the door, we cannot begin work on Harvest and Grand Guignol until those projects are in the hands of their backers. 

Boycott HP Inc.

In alignment with the BDS movement, we will not be using HP printers or inks in the production of Harvest and Grand Guignol (or any other Possum Creek projects), due to Hewlett Packard's development of the biometrics used by the Israeli military against Palestine. We support the people of Palestine and stand against HP's role in maintaining a system of Israeli apartheid. Learn more about why it's important for us to boycott HP inc. here.

The Team

Luke Jordan (they/them) — Author
Luke Jordan is a TTRPG designer, writer, and editor making games about history, folklore, community, and relationships. Their credits as a design consultant include Girl by Moonlight, Koriko, Wanderhome, and Monsterhearts 2. In their spare time, they contemplate the anthropology of food, 80s British fantasy novels, and the educational possibilities of RPGs. Their twitter is here, their tumblr is here, and their website is here.

Ruby Lavin (she/her) — Art Director, Layout Design, Project Management
Ruby Lavin is the artistic director and co-founder of Possum Creek Games and the award-winning visual mind behind everything Possum Creek Games does, including Wanderhome, Yazeba's Bed & Breakfast, Wickedness, and more — along with layout design for other successful Kickstarter-funded projects like Strong Female Protagonist and Field Guide to Memory. She likes texture, critical theory, fantasy, and weird plants. Her Twitter is here.

Melody Watson (she/her) — Editor

Melody is a specialist TTRPG editor and writer, a sometimes poet, and a maker of play experiences large and small. She's helped make words wonderful on Lancer, Thousand Year Old Vampire, Fight with Spirit, and at least one of your other favorite games. When she isn’t elbow-deep in words or thinking about communism, she parents two lovely gremlins and too many cats. Her Twitter is here, and her website is here

VER (they/them) — Cover Artist

Ver is an artist from Eastern Europe, currently residing in Edinburgh, Scotland. They are working on their debut graphic novel, The Wildercourt. Their Twitter is here, and their website is here.

Sarcoma (they/them) — Interior Artist for Harvest
Sarcoma is a nonbinary artist currently based in Siberia. They draw inspiration from folk horror and folklore of different cultures in general, frequently exploring these themes in their artworks. They try to convey the feeling of nostalgia and the feeling of inevitable passage of time by using dim autumn colors and static poses of their characters that look almost frozen in time, staring at the audience with a silent gaze. Their twitter is here.

Rowan MacColl (she/her) — Interior Artist for Grand Guignol
Rowan MacColl is a freelance comic artist and illustrator in NYC. She's done work for other TTRPGs such as "Spire" by Rowan, Rook and Decard Games and "Into The Tower" by Hari Conner. Otherwise, she's usually busy with drawing comics, such as "Who Was Accused in the Salem Witch Trials?" with Penguin Books. When she's not working (which is rare) she's probably hugging her cats, reading a romance novel, or eating fancy cheese with cheap wine. Her twitter is here, her Instagram is here, and her website is here.

Jay Dragon (no pronouns) — Project Management & Consultation
Jay Dragon is the editorial director and other half of Possum Creek Games, and co-creator of Wanderhome, Yazeba's Bed & Breakfast, and many other projects with Possum Creek Games. This is Jay's seventh crowdfunding project. 


We will be distributing both Grand Guignol and Harvest from our warehouse in York, Pennsylvania via Brandfox. Shipping estimates and rates will be provided when we get closer to the day we ship everything out, so that we can secure our backers the lowest rates possible for our fulfillment center. We don't have estimates at this time. 

If you live near Philadelphia we will be providing local pickup at the Possum Creek office for those interested. 

If you believe that this project is not in compliance with BackerKit’s Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, you can file a report by sending a message via this link: Report this project