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:

New Year Update
7 days ago – Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 01:51:43 AM

Yes - we know that we're technically two weeks into the New Year. Anyway.


Our ninth and final class is ready for its close-up - please enjoy the CLEAVER CLASS BREAKDOWN, and sing a carrion song of meat and plenty for all to hear.


We're pleased to announce that, as of Thursday last week, Chris and Grant finished the core text of Heart. Standing at just over a hundred thousand words, this beefy lad is ready for a trip to not one but two different editors to make sure it's as good as it can be. We're really proud of what we've managed to do with the book - from the nine unique character classes to the plethora of weird places to explore to the tragic, sad array of adversaries to regretfully murder. We're really excited to share it with you too.

Up next, we're going to work on the supplements that you unlocked via stretch goals, which are:

- ABSOLUTION, a guide to leading players in making their own haven, assistance on running a campaign based around a central landmark. and also five different kinds of nightmarish angel to smash things apart with

- DOORS TO ELSEWHERE, a plane-hopping handbook filled with details on peculiar otherworlds and information on Elsewhere itself, a colourful and storied nexus between multiple worlds that transforms into a maze of shifting, living shadows at night

- VERMISSIAN BLACK OPS, a guide to running special forces-style operations on behalf of the Ministry in Spire using the Vermissian as a dangerous travel network; this comes with full rules for twisting the mechanics of Heart out of the red wet heaven beneath the earth and into the ramshackle train hell that punctures the City Above

- BURNED AND BROKEN, the Spire conversion guide; instead of providing a straight by-the-numbers translation of Spire's mechanics, instead we're interested in working out why someone from the Ministry would choose to go into the Heart, and tweak the Classes and Callings rules to represent the fall into obsession and madness that's part and parcel of your standard Heart character

We've got a busy couple of months ahead of us but we're confident that we can get all of the promised supplements printed alongside the Heart core book. We'll keep you informed as and when anything exciting happens!

That's all for now. 

Speak soon,

- Grant, Chris and Mary

Art previews and the Witch class breakdown
about 2 months ago – Fri, Nov 29, 2019 at 12:24:50 AM

Hello all,

It's been a little while since we spoke, so we figured we'd give you an update to let you know that we're not dead and are, in fact, still working on the book.

We're on track to finish the first draft of the core text by early January; at present we're going over the classes and callings and tightening them up, as some of them are functional but not quite as brilliant as they could be. (We just finished overhauling the witch.)

Felix is hard at work illustrating the book - he's doing all the pencils first, and once we give him the thumbs up, he's going to get into the pen and ink versions. Below are a few scans of his pencil sketches to whet your appetite:

The Iconic Cleaver makes their first appearance, complete with devotional flensing glaive
The Temple of the Moon Beneath in all its reconstructed glory
The Cult of Knives hold court in the body and limbs of their latest unfortunate bearer

You'll also be pleased to hear that, now the witch is complete, we've uploaded the Class Breakdown that we didn't write during the campaign. We reckon you'll be pleased with her new abilities - take a look at our site for more details. She can adopt predatory buildings, now!

That's all for now. Be good to each other.

- Chris, Grant and Mary

Pledge manager and pre-order store are live
2 months ago – Fri, Nov 08, 2019 at 01:10:05 AM

Here's a link to it, if you don't have yours for some reason: https://heart-rpg.backerkit.com/

From there you can increase your pledge if you want to add some more stuff to your order (and we have a lot to choose from); we've opened the pre-order store too, so if for some reason you're reading this but didn't back the project, you can sign up there.

Some of the pledge levels on the backerkit include PDFs that already exist from Spire or our other games. However, we can't give you access to these until we charge your cards and receive payment. Therefore if you'd like to get your hands on the PDFs before we go to print next year, please send a message to admin@rowanrookanddecard.com with the email address you used on Kickstarter, and we can individually charge your card early.


... Isn't here! Okay so: we've been going back and forth on the witch for a while following your playtest reports, and after much thinking we've come to the conclusion that the class is trying to do too many jobs. We're overhauling the theme and abilities to make sure that it's as good as it can be (and that it doesn't encroach on the Cleaver, who operates around pretty similar themes). Don't worry - the witch is still a blood-disease powered occultist, and stays true to the Blood-Witch class from Spire that preceded it.

But it's not ready yet for final release, so you'll have to wait for a bit while we get everything hashed out properly.

Okay, that's all for now. Thanks again for your tremendous support throughout this whole process.

- Chris, Grant and Mary

Backerkit almost live
3 months ago – Wed, Nov 06, 2019 at 02:39:34 AM

Hi folks,

We’ve just pushed the Smoke Test button on the Backerkit pledge manager, which means that a handful of you will get an email asking you to fill it out. Assuming everything goes to plan and there aren’t any massive issues, we’ll notify the rest of you by the end of the week and you can fill out the forms to confirm your name and address as well as add stuff to your pledge. 

That’s all for now. Once the whole thing goes live we’ll post it here along with (finally!) the Witch class breakdown.

- Chris, Grant and Mary

Heart Discord
3 months ago – Fri, Oct 18, 2019 at 12:49:23 AM

Oh - and we have a Discord server where you can chat about Heart, Spire and all of our other games. Here’s a link, come along and join in: https://discord.gg/z3hwaDX