What Lies Beneath
Design by Chris Scaffidi
Art by Jason Glover
Published by Fervent Workshop
A solo dungeon-crawler of dice, decisions and death
1 player / Ages 14+ / 1-2 hours
You dream you’re in a chapel. Small, high-pitched voices sing an ancient song. Yet a sense of unease washes through you. The core is more macabre. Dream yields to waking confusion. Dust, bones and dried death. A flickering torch. Underground. A crypt.
You catch a wisp of a breeze, heavy with the stench of rot. You gag. Yet a breeze suggests a way out. You take the torch, determined to get out of here alive.
Structured as a branching narrative, What Lies Beneath invites you to direct the plot – but only if you master a unique combination of game mechanisms. Enjoy all the challenges of solo roleplay:
- Buffing your character: Gain items that unlock new powers
- Classic skill checks: Roll against thresholds to hit enemies
- Intellectual puzzles: Manipulate dice using limited actions
- Dexterity tests (optional): Flick dice at specified targets
And when (not if) you die, you can spend experience points to boost your next character. Perhaps, this time, you will survive.
Note: In the PNP edition, you only need to print 1 page (your character sheet). The rest of this game is a hyperlinked PDF.
“The story is captivating, and the combination of wit, dexterity and fight tests in ‘What Lies Beneath’ is fresh.”
“The rules are simple and the writing is exceptionally well done.”
“It’s essentially a dark, dungeon-diving ‘choose your own adventure’ game with unique, applicable mechanics.”
“I liked the sense of discovery and exploration as I moved through the book.”
“I had a great time playing it.”
“I died in many different and somehow funny ways.”
“I liked how easy it was to get started because of how the instructions were written, laid out and with the reference aid.”
“The flow of the storyline worked really well in the choose your own adventure style.”
“Completing this game is not trivial, and I like it.”
“It is a fun solo adventure where you explore a branching storyline to find out your own identity.”
“Dice mechanisms help mitigate luck so that you can focus on the story while still enjoying the challenge.”
“Congratulations for an outstanding work that I am not going to put away soon!”
- Over 200 pages of content — only 1 page must be printed out
- You supply: 6 dice, pencil and eraser
Reviews and other videos
RnC Games initiated the project in 2022 but has assigned all rights to Fervent Workshop, which Kickstarted it in October-November 2023.
Just a few of the many dangerous and rewarding encounters that await you…
Thank you to Jason Glover for his awesome art! Thank you to the dozens of people who playtested What Lies Beneath in 2022-2023. Special thanks to those who played many times, including Patrizio, Jacob, Josiah, Sam, Federico, and Trevor.