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Heart: The City Beneath RPG

A red wet heaven slumbers fitful under the city of Spire.

Stock note: Heart is currently out of stock in most places. The fastest way to get hold of the new printing is likely to be to pre-order it through the Dagger in the Heart campaign here.

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Heart: The City Beneath is an award-winning complete tabletop roleplaying game about delving into a nightmare undercity that will give you everything you’ve ever dreamed of – or kill you in the process.

It is a dungeon-crawling, story-forward tabletop RPG from the designers of Spire that focuses on what characters have to lose in pursuit of their dreams in the chaotic darkness beneath the world.

Sharing a setting with Spire, Heart expands the unreal world beneath it. It uses an expanded and updated version of the Resistance system, the mechanics that power Spire, to help you tell stories of desperation, hubris and adventure in the City Beneath.

Stock note: Heart is currently out of stock in most places. The fastest way to get hold of the new printing is likely to be to pre-order it through the Dagger in the Heart campaign here.

WHAT’S IN THE BOOK?

  • Full rules for playing and running games of Heart
  • Nine strange character classes and five dangerous callings
  • 21 Zenith Abilities – the ultimate expressions of power – almost all of which kill the user when activated
  • Over 50 landmarks to explore such as predatory pubs, entropy machines, community centres in churches devoted to forbidden gods, cursed underground stations, vast subterranean forests and portals to multiple heavens  
  • Over 30 adversaries to avoid, put down or get killed by such as the cannibalistic Butcher, the pathetic Feral Psychopomp, mad trees, train worshippers, burnt-out occultists and Flightless Owl Hives
  • Over 40 gorgeous full-colour illustrations by Felix Miall
  • An extensive gamesmaster advice section with guidance for all experience levels

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Critical acclaim for heart

ENNIE logo

In 2021 Heart: The City Beneath won a total of seven ENnies, including golds for Best Setting, Best Writing and Best Layout. This is the highest number of ENnies for a single product in the history of the awards.

Reviews

  1. Pip Gladwin

    Heart is one of those games where you barely have to crack the spine of the book before you know you’re in for something special. Inside you’ll find a fascinating world, some of the best character classes I’ve encountered and a whole toolkit of places, monsters and cosmic weirdness to hurl lovingly at your players. The writing is chock full of what my players would call ‘chutney’, little bits of lore, fascinating concepts and unanswered questions that lead players and GMs alike to real…

    Heart is one of those games where you barely have to crack the spine of the book before you know you’re in for something special. Inside you’ll find a fascinating world, some of the best character classes I’ve encountered and a whole toolkit of places, monsters and cosmic weirdness to hurl lovingly at your players. The writing is chock full of what my players would call ‘chutney’, little bits of lore, fascinating concepts and unanswered questions that lead players and GMs alike to really make the world their own, as well as beautiful art and excellent layouts. This a book I come back to reading regularly even when I’m not running a game, it fucking rules.

  2. Ben C (verified owner)

    Gloriously unhinged, grotesquely absorbing, fascinatingly atrocious. Heart is a vile, gorgeous delve into the pulsating, fleshy underside of contemporary TTRPGs. It's awesome and awful in equal measure, and you can't stop looking, even as it does psychic damage that heals your soul.

    You WILL die in this game, and knowing that brings it's own cathartic glee to see who can suffer the most and perish in the most memorable way...

    RRD should receive ALL the awards, but then be locked away for a…

    Gloriously unhinged, grotesquely absorbing, fascinatingly atrocious. Heart is a vile, gorgeous delve into the pulsating, fleshy underside of contemporary TTRPGs. It’s awesome and awful in equal measure, and you can’t stop looking, even as it does psychic damage that heals your soul.

    You WILL die in this game, and knowing that brings it’s own cathartic glee to see who can suffer the most and perish in the most memorable way…

    RRD should receive ALL the awards, but then be locked away for all time for the good of all society.

  3. ray

    the way both beats and fallout propel the narrative in this ttrpg is astounding, and that’s even before you factor in all the body horror and the unreality of the heart itself, I’m obsessed.

  4. Naomithinksit

    Stunning game, another rowan rook and deckard triumph!

  5. Dani (verified owner)

    One of my favorite games without a doubt. A fascinating world that gives both the storyteller and the players room to expand it and create a grotesque and tense but tremendously fun story.

  6. Jamie Bernstein (verified owner)

    Heart is an incredible piece of creative work filled with fascinating locations and monters to fight. The book has really inspired me to build my own labyrinth within my house, which has now expanded beyond the property borders and begun to consume my neighbours in a creeping tide of razorwire and plywood. The game's incredibly fun, and I've been playing with my group for weeks straight, as they can't escape the cyclopean maze I've built, and have no other choice. Occasionally we get to hear the…

    Heart is an incredible piece of creative work filled with fascinating locations and monters to fight. The book has really inspired me to build my own labyrinth within my house, which has now expanded beyond the property borders and begun to consume my neighbours in a creeping tide of razorwire and plywood. The game’s incredibly fun, and I’ve been playing with my group for weeks straight, as they can’t escape the cyclopean maze I’ve built, and have no other choice. Occasionally we get to hear the bellowing of the great Minotaur in its sidereal prison, pulling its way inch by inch into our reality through the non-angles of the Labyrinth. It’s super immersive.

    Joking aside, this RPG is absolutely awesome and fascinating in equal measure. It’s messy, glorious, heroic, and humane despite being rife with inhumane weirdness. The mechanics are simple but full of flavor, and I frankly want the Beats advancement system in every other game I play.

  7. Mike Underwood (verified owner)

    Heart is an evocative, inspiring, terrifying game with innovation and vibes to spare. The Beats system for player flags and advancement is phenomenal and the resource system demands that characters scramble and scrounge to have any chance of survival. And as the cherry on top, the game led to one of my favorite Actual Play series, the weird western Sangfielle by Friends at the Table.

  8. James (verified owner)

    It lets you play as an Occult Beehive, what more could you possibly want out of an RPG? But if other stuff matters to you somehow it also has like nice easy to parse rules and layout and stunning artwork, but we both know you’re here for the bees.

  9. Marcel Martins

    Heart is simply just awesome. A very clever narrative system and a true dungeon crawling toolbox, rich in surrealism, rhyme and a bit of body horror.

  10. Drew

    Heart made my players very uncomfortable.

    But not in a bad way, not in a “No let’s play something else” kinda way… But in the way you can’t stop picking at a scab or looking at something unsettling. Heart got into my player’s skin and they found the atmosphere tense and engaging, the rules have a unique quality and delving feels like a challenge AND a struggle in the best way.

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