Friday 16 March 2018

The Shivering Circle: Charity Shop of the Damned

The Shivering Circle is now available to buy in digital format at (print is coming soon).

Part of the text is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. What this means is that you can use the rules for The Shivering Circle in your own horror games (or even other sorts of games if you want), and that includes games you can sell, as long as you give due credit.

You can find a beta playtest of the game here, although the rules have changed slightly, and an excerpt here. But here's one more of the more whimsical horrors the village of Hoddesford has to offer you...

The Charity Shop of the Damned

Jean and Pat are the tutelary spirits of the charity shop, which is like a cave, full of old clothes in tangled bundles, and shelves full of porcelain children and incomplete chess sets and clocks without batteries, and those little round hats that really old ladies still wear but which no one makes new, and the occasional human skull, or sacrificial dagger.

They always have a copy of The Da Vinci Code.

Jean and Pat, the Volunteers
vs Compassion 12
vs Courage 16
vs Dignity 14
vs Health 10
vs Hope 19

Something is very wrong here. It’s like the place leaches hope. You can walk in, and not find a single thing you want, and stare, faintly revolted at the deformed foetus in the jar of formaldehyde, for what seems like hours. And eternity can pass.

And those two blue-haired woollen-clad faces, pinched and twisted like wrought iron, are staring at you and smirking, and you wonder if they are laughing at you.

In the box that sits out the front on fine days, marked FREE: TAKE ONE you can always find at least one thing that is occult. Last week it was a paperback book with a plain white cover that inside detailed the ritual necessary to revenge yourself on a long-standing grudge (and the precise rules for the murder you would have to do to secure it). I don’t know who picked that up, but it wasn’t there at the end of the day.

And then we have Dennis.

Dennis, Lonely and Hungry
vs Compassion 15
vs Courage 18
vs Dignity 11
vs Health 14
vs Hope 21

Dennis is here most days, rifling through the books and the CDs. He’s small, hunched, his tightly curled hair grey at the roots. He wears a bandana around his lower face, which muffles the sort of polite, halting voice

Dennis has no hope; he was killed by it, forced into an eternity of unfinished collections and tedious unemployed days, and trapped here by the baleful wishes of those two evil old women. Dennis is hungry. And if you see beneath his bandana, see the vast lipless grin, the rows of jagged teeth like piss-streaked gravestones, you may find that you will learn exactly how hungry he is.

Jean and Pat coo and simper over him, and exchange pleasantries every morning, and offer ciups of tea he never drinks, and occasionally, when an estate kid wanders in, or a driver outside beeps their horn, they send dear Dennis on a little errand by night, and he is less hungry for a while, and they both eat very well for weeks afterwards.