To the West is the Dark, swarming with Sirens and their kind.
To the East is the Light, armageddon to all that it touches.
Between them is civilization, scattered and hungry.
Welcome to the Dawnline.
Unique setting: Vampires and humans in symbiosis, hyper-tech Ruins and covered wagons, blood magic and singing predators, and an endless migration through a perpetual dusk.
Uncomplicated mechanics: Dice + Skill. If you succeed, you choose your benefits. If you fail, the GM escalates, making your life more interesting.
Build two characters: Every player creates a vampire, then the whole group creates a village. Both are vital to the story. Both can die.
Decisions over dice: Regardless of how the dice fall, the players always have options at their disposal. By bidding points from quick-to-recover willpower pools, they can tilt the odds on a check. In combat, these points are spent in blind bids, and a good bluff can be even better than a good roll.
Determine the fate of your village: In the end, the choices that the players make decides whether their community endures, whether it thrives, or whether it ends up as ash on the Dawnline.
What is The Dawnline?
The Dawnline is a tabletop roleplaying game about a group of vampires protecting a nomadic village on a world where day and night are places--and where all of society lives in the twilight in between.
The vampires depend on their village for blood and companionship. Without the humans, they would starve in the wasteland--or forget themselves as they regress into feral states.
At the same time, the village depends on the vampires. The twilight they travel through is not safe. It is filled with strange ruins, desperate raiders, feral vampires, other villages, and creatures from the Dark ahead.
Only the vampires can protect the village, and only the village can shelter the vampires.
If their alliance comes apart, there will be nothing left of either of them but ash on the Dawnline.
The Dawnline takes place in a land of deserts, steppes, and badlands, where water is scarce and food is hard to come by. Worse, every living creature must constantly migrate west to flee the obliterating Light, which lies on the other side of the Dawnline.
Pushing too far west takes a community into the Dark, where the alien Sirens dwell, but staying in the twilight is fraught with its own perils. Predatory fauna, spatial anomalies, bandits, raiders, feral vampires, and unfamiliar communities all dot the Twilight, making the same constant westward migration.
If that weren't enough, strange, arcano-science Ruins periodically come out of the Dark, crossing the twilight until they are ultimately lost to the Light. These Ruins can be explored for the unguessable treasures that they sometimes hold, but they are often death-traps, with still-functional defense systems and other, worse surprises for those who dare to set foot inside.
The Dawnline is crunchy, tactical, and easy to pick up. Decisions play a bigger role than dice, and the core rules are straightforward, but there's also a lot of room for players to get deep into the mechanics and build strategies that fit their playstyle.
Gameplay in The Dawnline is broken into two phases. In the first, the players discover an opportunity or a threat to their nomadic community (such as a swarm of predatory Sirens from the Dark or a hypertech Ruin blocking their route) and journey out to face it. In the second, the players come home and manage their village.
For dice, The Dawnline uses d6s. Outside of combat, you roll them, add them up, and compare them against a target number. If you succeed, you achieve your aim. If you fail, the GM escalates the situation and your life gets interesting. If you don't like your roll, you can spend quick-to-recover Will Points to boost it, turning a failure into a success.
In combat, you can do all of the above, but you can also activate Powers, inflict debilitating Conditions, forgo some of your damage to regain Willpower, and decide how much of your Initiative you're going to convert into Actions and how much you're going to spend on going first.
As vampires, the players are hard to kill, and they can survive attacks that would obliterate mortals, but the village is also a character in the story, and growing, upgrading, and protecting it is the point around which gameplay orbits. If the vampires die, the village searches for new protectors. If the village dies, the vampires are left on their own in the wastes, without blood and companionship to preserve their humanity.