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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. allie (verified owner)

    An incredibly evocative world with built-in excuses to make things up, an easy-to-referee rules system, and player-driven goals that let you know exactly what to prep, makes for one of the easiest and most rewarding systems I've ever run. It's resulted in some of the most compelling stories I've told at a table, as well as by far the funniest. They're usually both at the same time.

    Whenever I come to game night going "shit I've got no idea what to run", I've defaulted to Heart for 2 years no…

    An incredibly evocative world with built-in excuses to make things up, an easy-to-referee rules system, and player-driven goals that let you know exactly what to prep, makes for one of the easiest and most rewarding systems I’ve ever run. It’s resulted in some of the most compelling stories I’ve told at a table, as well as by far the funniest. They’re usually both at the same time.

    Whenever I come to game night going “shit I’ve got no idea what to run”, I’ve defaulted to Heart for 2 years now and never gotten a session that’s boring, or even weird in the same way as the last one.

  2. Alex

    After being taken hostage, my character convinced his captors that he needed the bathroom. After shutting the toilet stall door he immediately opened it again into a crowded bar, persuaded the bartender to lend him a shotgun, went back to the toilet stall and blasted his way out of the compound.

    A week later he got bisected by a monstrous god-entity that snuck inside his body via his nightmares. Never even got to summon the phantom train. 10/10

  3. Xavier (verified owner)

    Heart is one of my favorite games ever conceived. It takes the already fantastic bones of Spire and it makes something truly versatile and insanely flavorful

  4. Jacob Ramirez

    Heart pulls you in with the promise of dungeon-delving and labyrinthine horrors, but keeps you playing with its beautiful finality. Your travels playing Heart will end, your characters will ride off into the sunset or go down in a blaze of glory, and you will be asking to play as a living beehive next week when your group makes new characters to dive in again.

  5. Steven Koshchuk

    A dungeon crawler with unique character concepts, surreal locations, body horror and the unthinkably alien, pulsing ‘heart’ of an unknowable entity at the very centre of it? Yes please!

  6. Caleb

    Heart is one of the most gorgeously written and illustrated games I’ve ever seen. While I still have yet to get a party together to run it, I’m a huge fan of Spire, and just reading this book has been incredible. It is such an incredible expansion on the lore and people of The City Beneath and has completely transformed the way I think about Spire’s magic and locations like the Vermissian. And the artwork is simply breathtaking.

  7. Jason Brandon

    This book has catapulted to become one of my favorite games. I ran it at a con last weekend and one of the players ordered it before the game was over. It’s glorious and I can’t say enough how much I like it.
    I’ve even used the system in another setting. It works amazingly well with ther sandbox setting The Curse of BloodStone Isle by Mark Rein-Hagen (creator of Vampire: the Masquerade).

  8. Lizzie (verified owner)

    My friends and I turned HEART into a romance game. My junk mage settled down with the gnoll Vermissian Knight live of her life, complete with shape shifting “dog” Mr Danger, and semi-sentient house. The Deep Apiarist became a secret seventh God, and their ex-husband lived…which was a miracle in itself.

    10/10 would delve too deep and uncover a Moon conspiracy again.

  9. thechosenkitty

    After playing this with my group for several months now and undergoing a horrifying ritual I've become an emissary for the Heart, which I now realize may disqualify me from submitting a review? Anyway, in the weeks between sessions, this game gnaws at the corners of my psyche and enters my dreams unbidden filling me with both excitement and dread for the misadventures to come. We've truly had the best time putting ourselves into the worst situations imaginable.

    If you're interested in a TTRPG…

    After playing this with my group for several months now and undergoing a horrifying ritual I’ve become an emissary for the Heart, which I now realize may disqualify me from submitting a review? Anyway, in the weeks between sessions, this game gnaws at the corners of my psyche and enters my dreams unbidden filling me with both excitement and dread for the misadventures to come. We’ve truly had the best time putting ourselves into the worst situations imaginable.

    If you’re interested in a TTRPG that supports and encourages cool narrative choices over sterile mechanics, then developers Grant Howitt and Christopher Taylor will give you what you want. Or kill you trying.

  10. Jack

    The final session of the first campaign I played ended with what could only really be described as Reservoir Dogs by way of Neon Genesis Evangelion and a lot of Meat, Teeth and Crystal

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