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Within the multiverse are a few places of great power called Vergences. They are ruled by families bred for the ability to open portals between worlds.

You play a member of one of these empowered bloodlines. Your birthright gives you the capacity to travel across infinite dimensions and manipulate reality.

But you’ll need to deal with conflicts involving your own powerful and manipulative family, secret conspiracies, mystical enemies, moldering gods, terrifying monsters, ancient artifacts, and existential threats with the potential to affect all the worlds of the Umbra. And possibly your annoying little sister…

You might…

  • Lead a fleet of skyships in rebellion against the Sovran of All Skies.
  • Set off on a quest through the Umbra, traversing from one world to the next, on the trail of an ancient Beast that predates the existence of the multiverse.
  • Rescue a small(ish) dragon from the Royal Menagerie.
  • Broker peace between two clans at war within the Blood of the Serpent.
  • Prevent your cousin, the heir to the throne of Agoros, from gambling away his regalia.
  • Explore the remains of a broken Vergence that once ruled ten thousand worlds.
  • Find a way to get Morgaine, Dominus of the Empyrean Knights, to challenge you to a duel.

The Game

This tabletop roleplaying game uses the Forged in the Dark engine by John Harper, first introduced in the award-winning Blades in the Dark. While based on that system, Vergence is a complete game (you don't need any other ruleset to play).

When you make a character, you’ll start by picking a playbook. There are twelve to choose from.

  • Play a Shapeshifter, using the power you draw from the Blood of the Serpent to control your own physical form.
  • Or a Stormcaster, channeling the power of the Maelstrom to summon storms that can consume whole worlds.
  • Or a Trickster, not knowing your bloodline parentage but having discovered how to use your power to your advantage anyway.
  • Or an Adept, attuned to the Orb of Agoros and able to make use of occult powers to manipulate the deep structure of reality.
  • Or an Heir, Explorer, Beast Rider, Aeronaut, Storm Knight, Shaman, Oracle, or Conqueror.

Your playbook establishes your bloodline, which tells you where you’re from and who you’re related to. You’ll identify who your parents are and decide on an ally and a rival from a list of NPCs you know closely, along with bonds between you and other characters within your alliance. You’ll choose your looks and the Mark that was placed upon you when you attuned to the power source of your Vergence. You will also pick three mystical and personal abilities that set you apart and give you power within the Umbra.

Once you’ve made a character, you’ll check in with the other players to decide what bonds you have with their characters. Together you will choose a challenge that your alliance will face. There are eight of these to pick from. Each challenge forms the basis of a short, medium, or long-term campaign.

Will you…

  • Gather as a group of friends hoping to manage the complex and deadly politics of the Royal Masked Ball?
  • Join an expedition to explore the ruins of a forbidden world that was once a Vergence?
  • Face an insidious conspiracy that strikes each your homelands from the shadows?
  • Pursue an enemy who has committed a terrible crime?
  • Find yourself trapped in a world under siege?
  • Align yourself with the house of a Vergence bloodline and do what you can to advance their interests?
  • Embark upon a grand tour of locations throughout the multiverse, sampling the best food and drink while becoming embroiled in a few adventures?
  • Become involved in deciding the outcome of a succession crisis for the throne of a Vergence?

The challenge sets up the campaign and provides milestones for group advancement. There is clear guidance for the GM on how to play through each challenge without forcing the group into a predetermined plot.


Here are a few of the books, comics, and games that have inspired Vergence.

  • Chronicles of Amber (story series by Roger Zelazny).
  • Eternal Champion Sequence (story series by Michael Moorcock).
  • Everway (roleplaying game by Jonathan Tweet).
  • His Dark Materials (story series by Phillip Pullman).
  • Kill 6 Billion Demons (web comic by Tom Parkinson-Morgan).
  • Myst (video game series by Robyn and Rand Miller).
  • Nobilis (roleplaying game by Jenna Katerin Moran).


There are several supplements available for Vergence.

  • The Prosperity Engine is a guide to the Construct, a realm of technological and economic supremacy, It includes three new playbooks as well as factions and locations. Written by Shawn and Navi Drake of A Couple of Drakes Design Studio.
  • Journey to Hel is a guide to the dimensions of Hel, a horrifying place of demons and monsters. It includes a new playbook and a new challenge.
  • The Tome of Greater Beasts presents six ancient creatures to incorporate into any Vergence campaign.

You can purchase Vergence plus all published supplements in a discounted bundle at this link.

If you've already purchased Vergence, you can purchase a bundle of all published supplements in a discounted bundle at this link.


Interested? Come join the Small Cool Games Discord Server! You can chat with other players, ask questions, learn more about the game, or find a player or GM.


Project Status

After a successful open development period followed by a crowdfunding campaign, the Vergence core book was released in April 2024. A discount intro price is in effect.

  • Number of players: 3-6.
  • Age of players: 13+.
  • Length: 2-5 hours per game session.
  • Pages: 256 (121k words in the main book, plus handouts and playbooks).
  • Cross-referenced up the wazoo: Are you annoyed when games make it hard to find stuff when you need it? Wow, us too! Vergence has a hyperlinked table of contents, index, page references throughout, and reference handouts that tell you where to go in the main book to find more info. We don't know how to make it any easier to find the rule or reference you need, when you need it.
  • Format: Game book, handouts, and printable playsheets in digital PDF format, online playsheets in Google Sheets at this link.

Feedback is welcome and much appreciated! Contact Small Cool Games on Twitter or by email at smallcoolgames@gmail.com.


Actual Play

Watch an Actual Play of Vergence on the Hacked in the Dark Youtube Channel! (Note that this is an earlier playtest version of the game; there have been a few rules changes since then.)


You can click here to listen to a podcast interview with the game designer (who is still working up the gumption to listen to it himself).


If you'd like to feature Vergence in your podcast, actual play, review site, stream, or other format, please contact me at smallcoolgames@gmail.com. I can provide you with play materials, answer questions, or schedule a time for discussion.

Short of Funds?

Been there. If you want this game but you can’t afford it, or you've been spending your extra income on donations to worthy causes or helping people out, please contact me and I’ll send you a free download code, no questions asked.

Updated 10 days ago
StatusIn development
CategoryPhysical game
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(7 total ratings)
AuthorSmall Cool Games
GenreAdventure, Role Playing
Made withAdobe Photoshop
Tagsblades-in-the-dark, Fantasy, Forged in the Dark, interdimensional, intrigue, Tabletop
Average sessionA few hours


Buy Now
On Sale!
13% Off
$23.00 $20.01 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $20.01 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Vergence core book.pdf 30 MB
Vergence playbooks.pdf 2 MB
Vergence handouts.pdf 4.2 MB
Online playbooks (copy to your Google account)

Download demo

Vergence preview.pdf 38 MB

Development log

View all posts


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How can I ask for a free copy? Im experiencing some serious economic problems.

Hi Seeru. I am sorry to hear that you are having difficulty. Please send an email to smallcoolgames@gmail.com and I will get right back to you. 

You just sent it 16 minutes ago. I was very happy with your promptness and speed. Sorry for the inconvenience. I'm creating my own hack and I'll send you a copy if I get my own spot in the sun too.

Many many thanks!!!


I don't seem to have received your email. Could you send again and make sure it's to smallcoolgames@gmail.com? Thanks. 

is there something off with the pdf 

Hi rmik,

What issues are you having with the PDF?

it doesn't finish the download  

Hmm. I just tried downloading from itch.io and it worked for me. Would you like to send an email to smallcoolgames@gmail.com using the email address associated with your itch account? I could send it to you using a separate link that doesn't use itch. 

Is it just the game book or have you had trouble with other files?

Are there any plans for this to be a physical release at any point?

Yes, we're working on plans for a physical game book. Thanks for your interest!


Oooo, Kill Six Billion Demons *and* Chronicles of Amber? Now that sounds *very* interesting!

Also your discord invite seems to have expired

Sorry about that. This one should work:



Digging the intro flavor. Would this be compatible with the Planescape setting? Been toying with how to adapt BitD to the plane-hopping, faction-centric, mind-bending intrigue and action

I appreciate the interest. You could certainly adapt elements of that setting to this one. 

Hopefully you have already purchased this, but there is another FitD game that might be relevant.
Sig, City of Blades, a city based game (so, not so much plane hoping) but the city is very much inspired by Sigil.

Thanks! Funnily enough, I already have that in hardback from the KS. Haven’t had a chance to run it, but looks good.


Oh, I can feel a Chronicles of Amber influence in this game. And it sounds very, very appealing.


Amber is definitely one of the touchstones for this game.