Bluebeard’s Bride is an investigatory horror tabletop roleplaying game, written and designed by Whitney “Strix” Beltrán, Marissa Kelly, and Sarah Richardson, and published by Magpie Games. It is based on the Bluebeard fairy tale.
The Bluebeard fairy tale is simple enough: A young bride is wed to an ugly, but powerful man with a blue beard. On their wedding night he must attend to other urgent matters. He gives her the keys to every room, inviting her to explore… but one room in his house is forbidden. The bride eventually falls prey to her curiosity and opens it, discovering the gruesome sight of former brides who had been murdered… evidence that revealed her husband to be a killer of women.
When you play Bluebeard’s Bride, you aren’t repeating the dark events of that morbid tale. You and your friends play aspects of the Bride’s mind, following the skeleton of that story to tell a new one covered in your own bloody fingerprints. The Bride’s story is unpredictable and engaging, leading her down a dark path to an unknown fate. Your future may not yet be fixed, but every step you take moves you closer to your doom, the final room—and sealing the Bride’s fate forever. And along the way, questions arise…
What will you find in your new husband’s house?
What horrors will haunt you?
What darkness will you find within yourself?
Bluebeard’s Bride grew out of the Hacking as Women workshop at Gen Con 2014, where Marissa was assigned as Strix and Sarah’s coach. The idea spoke to all three of us, and so we continued working on it on our own time. Magpie Games was brought on board as publisher in 2015, and Bluebeard’s Bride completed a successful Kickstarter in November 2016.
There is a connection between the feminine experience and horror that we, the designers, wanted to tap. We hope that you find that rich, horrible environment in which to base your game. There is a wide range of possibility embedded in both the fairy tale and the game, and some of that will speak to both traditional horror literature and real life situations.
Published by Magpie Games
Lead Developer Sarah Richardson
Project Manager & System Lead Marissa Kelly
Writing by Whitney “Strix” Beltrán, Marissa Kelly, and Sarah Richardson
Developmental Editing by Mark Diaz Truman and Sarah Richardson
Additional Rules Editing by Brendan Conway
Copy Editing by Amanda Valentine
Proofing by Shelley Harlan
Indexing by J. Derrick Kapchinsky
Art Direction by Marissa Kelly
Art by Rebecca Yanovskaya and Kring
Additional art by Juan Ochoa, Miguel Ángel Espinoza, Mirco Paganessi, and Tawny Fritz
Graphic Design and Layout by Sarah Richardson, Thomas Deeny and Miguel Ángel Espinoza
Cover Layout and Design by Miguel Ángel Espinoza