Trail of Darkness is a story roleplaying game set in Deadlands: The Weird West™. A group of men and women have recently lost their friend Caleb at the hands of a black magician and cult leader. Defying the odds and any sense of self-preservation, the group has sworn to avenge their fallen friend. Only problem is, they don’t know who the magician is or where he’s gone.

Travelling over hundreds of miles of open terrain, hunting down every clue imaginable, the group has finally secured one solid piece of information about the killer. He is now living in the small settlement of Bell Creek, on the edge of the silver mines in Northern Nevada. Apparently, he’s disguised himself as a holy man there and is living among normal folk, along with key members of his cult.

But how long will he stay there before moving on to his next con? Can the heroes track him down and exact justice? Or will it be cold hard vengeance?
The heroes who must survive the wild are lightning-fast gunfighters, card-slinging hucksters, mad scientists, or even common townsfolk. But they’d best be quick—their fate is in their hands.


Tall Tales is a narrative roleplaying game for three or more players. This zero-preparation game features enough structure to move the action along with plenty of room for creative and cooperative storytellers to spin rich and engaging yarns.

Tall Tales is based on the Protocol game series. Players take on the roles of directors outside the action and characters inside the action, using the ebb and flow of four different scene-framing styles to tell meaningful stories about characters in crisis: Vignettes, Interrogations, Interludes, and Ensembles. Each story explores unique player characters dealing with the adversity of the particular situation and their own personal issues in the best dramatic fashion.

Tall Tales requires a deck of cards (with Jokers) as well as tokens to track Drama Points and Grit. It presumes some understanding of GMless game protocol: scene-framing, shared authority, and so on. If you’ve never played a GMless game, try one of the GMZero games like Dying Memoryes, Forget-Me-Not, or Monogatari. There is also a free PDF online at

If you like this free look at the first Tall Tale, please check out our others.