From publisher blurb:
In 2012, a mysterious, unnamed individual conquered the world, leveling cities and destroying institutions of finance, religion, nationality and other ideology. He demanded that the people of the world take care of each other, with no promise of reward in the afterlife and no monetary compensation. Anyone who dissented and tried to hold on to their ideological identity was executed. The man wielded a force that no one on Earth could match - the creatures from the Between.
The Between is the place behind shadows, and it connects every shadow on the planet. While the man who destroyed the world isn't the only one capable of accessing the Between (in fact, your character can be an Opener if you'd like!), He does seem to be the only one with the ability to control the monsters therein. He sent these monsters out after anyone still clinging to religion, national identity, politics or economics, and those people were either killed on the spot or dragged into the Between, never to be seen again.
It's been 10 years. Over the ensuing decade, His oversight has grown less stringent, to the point that expressing one's faith or beliefs isn't quite so dangerous anymore. The people living in this world gather together in small, often mobile communities, doing their best to take care of themselves and each other. But some people just aren't interested in helping, and seek to take what they need. Some people tempt fate by trying to bring back religious worship or commerce, or other overt forms of ideology.
And some people still feel, even after so much death and destruction, that it's possible to win back the world.
curse the darkness uses an original game system based around playing cards. Unlike many RPGs, it doesn't have a skill list or a complicated system for resolving combat and other situations. Instead, players undertake two kinds of Challenge: Character and Removal.
A Character Challenge helps define the character, and resolves an action that doesn't carry a risk of death or removal from the story. Character Challenges are based on one of four Attributes, each corresponding to a suit of cards: Focus (Diamonds), Stability (Clubs), Stamina (Spades) and Humanity (Hearts).
A Removal Challenge happens when the characters enter a situation that might lead to one or more of them being taken out of the game. Removal Challenges aren't based on the four Attributes, but on the characters' actions within the context of the situation. Characters in curse the darkness can and do die, much more easily than in many other RPGs.
The death of a character, however, can spur the survivors on to accomplishing their goal. When a character dies or leaves play, the others can gain Memory Points from that loss, and use those to find the inner fire to finish the scenario. Of course, the players also each have the option to refuse to fight, to be simply swept along by events.
Everything in the game, then, comes down to this essential choice: light a candle, or curse the darkness?