Heart: The City Beneath RPG

Created by Grant Howitt

A game of obsession and wonder in a nightmare dungeon beneath the Spire.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

15 days ago – Fri, May 22, 2020 at 10:47:45 PM

Vermissian Black Ops is out now!

Check your email - you should have received an email alerting you to the fact that your Backerkit profile has been updated with a new download. The download in question is Vermissian Black Ops, the first sourcebook for Heart. Inside, you'll find variant rules for sending squads of up-gunned delvers through the cursed mass transit network and out into the City Above, where they'll blow stuff up and assassinate people on behalf of the Ministry of Our Hidden Mistress - the mysterious paramilitary cult at the centre of the Spire RPG.

If you'd like to enthuse publicly about Vermissian Black Ops (or V-Blops, as we've been calling it around the office) then you should share the store link too because you're nice like that.

Off to print

We've received the innards of a copy of Heart and it looks gorgeous - we went for a UV printing treatment and the colours look fantastic. (You can't really tell because, you know, this is a picture. But take it from us.) We've given our printer the go-ahead and they're firing up the presses to do us several thousand, then we'll receive delivery of them next month.

GenCon Cancelled

Due to the damned global pox, there's no GenCon this year, so there also won't be any us at GenCon this year. Rest assured however that we're all geared up to go to GenCon 2021, and we'll still have the stall and our broad array of events and shenanigans planned. It's just going to happen exactly one calendar year later. We're really sad to not be able to come. (This also means that we're not going to be able to hand over your packages at GenCon, too.)

That's all for now. Sanctum should be our next release, coming up in early June. Keep your eyes peeled!

- Grant, Chris and Mary

Mid-April Update
about 2 months ago – Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 02:20:34 AM

Quite a lot to get through, so let's keep this brief...


The digital map in action

We've made the Heart hex-map and stickers available as a pay-what-you-want download from our site, so you can use them to sketch out your own City Beneath. In addition, Jay has made a version which will work beautifully with Roll20 and we've bundled that with the basic set. 

We've also distributed them through Backerkit - you should have an email alerting you to this fact.


Just that, really - they're all in production as we speak. Here's a picture of the sample stickers that we got in the post this morning, they're very nice:

Apologies for the state of my desk surface


Due to that global pandemic that's going on, printing of the corebook has been delayed a bit - so they'll be arriving in the UK in May, not April, as previously announced. Seeing as we're not delivering books until all the sourcebooks are printed as well, this doesn't have an impact on our final schedule, but we felt it might be good to be transparent about this.


Unfortunately - that damned pandemic again - Wyvern Books have furloughed, which means that they can't do any work for a bit, and we're not sure when they're going to be able to make our Heartsblood Edition books. (The leather we purchased is safe and sound, you'll be pleased to hear.) This only affects Heartsblood Edition Backers, mind - and, to make sure that you're able to play and read the book, if they aren't back up to speed by the time we ship (which looks likely) we'll send you a free standard edition corebook along with the supplements, then deliver the fancy leather-bound one when it's good and ready.


You sure noticed a bunch of errors in the Corebook and Quickstart, didn't you? We thought we'd got 'em all but I guess nobody's perfect. We've updated the corrected books and uploaded the fresh PDFs to everywhere that Heart is available for download, so you should have access to them. 

That's all for now. More as soon as we know it!


- Grant, Chris and Mary

Heart PDF is live!
2 months ago – Wed, Apr 01, 2020 at 03:22:27 AM

Check your email inboxes - you should have received an email from Backerkit saying that there's something waiting for you. That something is the PDF edition of Heart: The City Beneath - download it and take a look!

(If you don't have an email, log in to Backerkit and check. And if that still isn't working, email us at admin@rowanrookanddecard.com and we'll do our best to sort you out.)

We're also happy to announce that you not only get access to the updated Quickstart file, but a selection of backing tracks specially made by TabletopAudio.com for Heart. (We've uploaded them as a YouTube playlist, too.)

If you'd like to share your enthusiasm for Heart (and give other people the chance to get a copy) then you can link to our Store Page here. While we aren't able to implement pre-orders at present, we will - instead - be offering anyone who buys the PDF now, and later decides to pick up a physical copy once they go on sale, a discount equal to the cost of the PDF.

We hope you enjoy it. We're so proud of what we've managed to achieve, and so thankful for the efforts of our illustrator (Felix Miall), our layout artist (Jay Iles) and our editor (Helen Gould) who've all done stellar work.

That's all for now. Go! Read the PDF! Join the Discord! Play the game! Go mad and die in the red wet heaven that slumbers fitful beneath the earth!

- Grant, Chris & Mary

Cover previews
2 months ago – Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 11:01:37 PM

Not much news this week - aside from the following exciting images of the special edition covers:

First up, here's a test print of the Special Edition cover. Looks pretty swish, no?

Secondly, here are Felix's pencils for the leatherbound Heartsblood edition. He's gone above and beyond with this one - drawing on the six damnic virtues espoused by the followers of the Moon Beneath to create something really special.

Here's a mock-up sketch of the cover...

And here's some bonus concept details, inspired by medieval marginalia.


We're closing the Backerkit and charging cards first thing on April 1st, so if you want to add anything to your order, today's the day! 

The other fun thing about April 1st is that we'll be delivering PDFs of the Heart Core Book to those entitled to one - and making it available for purchase on our website, too. Over the next few months, as and when the artwork and layout is complete, we'll be releasing the sourcebooks too.

If you're interested in running or playing a game of Heart, you're welcome (indeed, encouraged) to use our Discord as a means of finding players or a GM. You can join our Discord by following this link.

That's all for now. We find ourselves living in strange times, and perhaps the antidote for the associated stresses is to imagine even stranger times, underground, in a living nightmare city that wants to both eat and love you. 

We guess it couldn't hurt.  

- Grant, Chris and Mary 

Printing is go!
2 months ago – Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 04:13:58 AM

We got some proofs through from Livonia, our printers:

Poor old basilisk.

Everything looks pretty swish, we think you'll agree. We're going ahead with printing on our original schedule, which means that your physical books should be with you by July as originally planned.

Felix and Jay have worked together make something that looks really special

(That's a big "should," right now! We don't know what's going to happen globally over the next few months. If there are any unavoidable delays, we'll let you know as soon as we do.)

Crucial equipment for exploring the City Beneath - lanterns, guns, a cooking pot and some dude's hand

Digital distribution of the corebook is still happening on April 1st, and we're still going to charge Backerkit orders on March 31st. We'll be releasing PDFs of the supplements as and when they're complete, and aiming to deliver physical copies of everything all at the same time in the summer.

That's all for now. Stay safe, wash your hands, and don't breathe on anyone.

- Grant, Chris and Mary