Actual Play

Bluebeard’s Bride

Bluebeard's Bride cover art
The cover of Bluebeard’s Bride. Did I mention the art is incredible?

I ran the game Bluebeard’s Bride (Magpie Games) for the my first time over the last two weekends. This game focuses on feminine horror. This genre focuses on terrible things that happen specifically related to feminine gender roles and biology. Think of movies like The Babadook or shows like Chambers. This is not a game where the players are empowered bad-asses. This is a game of psychological terror and powerlessness.

The setting of he game is the fairy tale Bluebeard. The titular character is constantly marrying an murdering his wives. The players take on the role of different aspects of the latest bride’s personality. Bluebeard’s bride explores the house to determine whether she believes her new husband to be guilty or innocent of the crimes he’s rumored to have committed. The house is full of horrors, servants, and mementos of previous wives. All except for one room, which is just full of previous wives.

Needless to say, this can steer the game into territory that get’s pretty grim. The game materials a good job of discussing safety in gaming. This was a good decision on the part of the authors. Much of what I blog about is playing pickup games. I’m not sure I’d want to try and run this game with people I didn’t know very well.

So, how’d it go?

The group I played with consisted of two females an two males including me as the Game Master, or Groundskeeper . I knew my players well. Even so, I still took extra care not to cross any lines that I would get too weird for anyone. As a result, I got two very satisfied female players, and one male player who was furious with their choices. A little later, I’ll say more in an upcoming post on the game play.

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