A downloadable game

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Hope & Magick is a game Forged in the Dark about a group of hopeful youths in a fantastical vision of Hong Kong and Japan. Hong Kong Island is Japan’s longtime ally (along with Taiwan and Korea) and are beset on all sides by a growing number of strange omens and the mounting forces of darkness. There are school bells, cliques, gossiping, dubious moves, food fights, mistakes, and hard lessons.

We play to find out if the group of young students can grow into bunch of powerful magi and excel despite the haunted streets, their foolish pride, and the insatiable call of their own hopes and dreams.

So grab a pencil, turn back the clock, and tell us about your young character..

In this game, you'll find:

  • the same robust set of actiondowntimeflashback, and planning rules that helped win Blades in the Dark its place among the best games of 2015 and 2016. Hope & Magick places a heavy focus on the fiction first: to do it, you have to do it.
  • A new setting, filled with wonder and strangeness. The game is set in an alternate-history Hong Kong, in the East Asian Union - 
  • The world is haunted, sure - but all is not lost. What can kids do about this? Quell the darkness in the world, dream big, and fight back.
  • Much more than a reskin! This hack is becoming a new, but closely related game in its own right.

I gut some of the FitD rules staples to build something adjacent to Blades, but certainly very different in feel and tone. In this  game, you'll find numerous changes to the core rules to represent this shift in focus:

  • The addition of the unreal action and fusing of controlled with risky. To go unreal, put the world at risk or find yourself in a dire situation. Or break the laws of reality. Magic opens up some fun possibilities, sometimes totally unbelievable ones. The action only stops when things get risky, desperate, or unreal. 
  • Changes to the core: doubles are special, as well as sweeping changes to resistance,  downtime, and stress mechanics (stress is now hope, you get less of it, but each point of it is more valuable), all serving to place focus in new areas. For example: your sources of hope (not vice purveyors) tell us more about your ambitions, background, or even your flaws. What renews your hope? Why this specific person, place, or thing?
  • The introduction of the Books system. This asks players to choose their starting chapter (0: mundane, 1: magical, or 2+: powerful) in their golden book. Progress in the golden book signals an  increase in magical power level or age. The black book chapter signals how many doom lieutenants are physically present on Earth. And the progression of the black book tells the story of when those dark "riders" are actually on their metaphysical horses.
  • Undertake perilous activity (when the group gets together and faces peril in their action) to accrue pages and/or "buy" the group more time to "read" them (progressing the book). The group are the PCs, but also their associated cliques, mentors, pets, etc). Coin is replaced by time (this is the thing you get from gathering juicy deets, or doing something major). And much more, as this is a thorough reimagining of many Blades mechanics to suit a very different fiction.
  • Seven new PC playbooks for the various youthful archetypes: Bestie, Brat, Jerk, Jock, Natural, Nerd, Recluse. Plus an optional Weirdo book (of additional material, not a playbook) for bringing strange beginnings and mystical awakenings to life on-screen.
  • Seven new group playbooks for all the magical kid group you could ever dream of: Circle (house, cabal, etc), Fated, Investigators, Slayers, Trainers, Travelers, or Wardens.
  • GM advice on running the game, starting the game, and a tense starting situation to kick things off for a group of middle- or high-schoolers. Also included is a setting brief to the EAU, and describing the rest of the world. This is left ambiguous, with prompts to spur your creativity. What is special about your world?
  • Open ended setting prompts for describing the rest of the world, gameplay options to change things up (or simply play using some of the Blades rules you might already know), and advanced permissions. Stuff like the deathly Hallows, Sacred Oaks, Imaginary Friends, dimensional Balloons, otherworldly Broadcast, and much much more.


Number of players: 3-6. Age of players: 10+ Length: 2-5 hours per session. Page Count: 108. The Sheets PDF are complementary, and include the 26 pages of handouts you will absolutely need to create characters and play. However, the Core is recommended for the best experience - especially GMs planning to run the game. Either way, use the included Extra Materials linked in the download page to facilitate online play, and be sure to get community support via the fan Discord. 

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Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Hope & Magick alpha.pdf 1 MB


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Community Copies

These have been paid for by the generous overpayment of previous buyers! Wow! These are reserved for the less fortune so they can also enjoy this game - act now while supplies last (first come-first serve)!

Download demo

Hope & Magick Sheets alpha.pdf 1 MB

Development log