Perhaps Columbo is your all-time favorite detective. Maybe Agatha Christie‘s wily Miss Marple kept you company during more than a few sleepless nights. Or maybe you simply love a good mystery. If you dream of becoming an amateur detective during your golden years, Gauntlet Publishing has the cozy role-playing game just for you. Brindlewood Bay, described as a combination of Murder, She Wrote and H.P. Lovecraft, is an indie tabletop role-playing game that puts you in the orthotic shoes of a grandma gumshoe. You’re probably sold on the concept already, but let’s explore the unique TTRPG before the Kickstarter campaign launches on April 26, 2022.
The scene opens on a quaint New England town. It’s home to the Murder Mavens Mystery Book Club, a group of elderly women who help out the local authorities with crime-solving and bake sales. You’re one of the mystery-solving Mavens. As the murders keep stacking up, you can’t help but notice their creepy connections to the supernatural…
Character creation is relatively simple. Choose your Maven’s name, fashion style, and cozy hobby. The game master, called a Keeper, works with you and the other players to finish making your Maven with stat and ability bonuses. The game is then played like an episode of your favorite television mystery series. Gameplay features vignettes of life in the sleepy town, backstory flashbacks, and scenes following the Mavens on their hunt for the culprit. Snooping, interviewing suspects, and outsmarting the murderer are all part of a regular day for the Murder Mavens.
Brindlewood Bay uses character attributes like vitality, composure, and reason. These are paired with rolls of two six-sided dice to execute successful actions. Gathering clues, confronting suspects, and the resolution of the mystery at hand—unknown even to the Keeper—are all determined by dice rolls.
Hyped up and ready to get cozy? We absolutely are! Put some cookies in the oven and sign up for a notification for when the Brindlewood Bay Kickstarter campaign goes live at the end of April.
Kelly Knox is a pop culture and entertainment writer in the Seattle area. Her next book, Be More Obi-Wan, says “hello there” in July 2022. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk Star Wars, pop culture, and bad dad jokes.