A downloadable game

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more
Note: You can now preorder physical copies from Leisure Games in the UK! They’ll be shipping them out once I’ve got the copies from the printers, hopefully in the next month or two. You’ll get the digital files in the meantime. If you want to keep informed about physical copies in the US & the rest of the world, you can sign up to this mailing list and I'll send you a single beautiful email when I've sorted something out. 

WHAT IS THIS?

ARTEFACT is a story game for one player, designed for contemplative solo play.

In the classic dungeon crawl, you follow the lives of adventurers as they overcome challenges to gain prestige and, most importantly, magical treasures. But what were those treasures doing before the adventurers came along? How many aeons have passed, in silent darkness, since they were last used?

ARTEFACT shifts the focus to the perspective of a single magical item, and its history as it passes through the hands of many different keepers. You’ll feel the weight of time as the item is lost or abandoned again and again, the dust & decay piling around it until it’s found again by someone new.

It's a great way to spend an hour; sketching, world-building and storytelling in your own company. It's also a fantastic way to generate really unique items for tabletop games like D&D, with detailed histories far more vivid than any you'd typically find in a compendium. 

OKAY, TELL ME MORE

Okay, here goes.

ARTEFACTS

First, you choose your Artefact from nine different archetypes. Give it life by sketching it and naming its properties. Who was its maker? What were they like?

The available Artefacts are:

  • The Weapon - A tool of war: a blade, axe, or something stranger.
  • The Shield - A bulwark of protection: from towering scuta to deft bucklers.
  • The Instrument - Produces musical sounds, conventionally or otherwise.
  • The Ornament - Jewellery, charms and trinkets: small but potent.
  • The Deck - A collection of worn cards, an oracle or something stranger.
  • The Footwear - Shoes: they are for going places, conventionally or otherwise.
  • The Staff - A conduit for magic: a focus for arcane power.
  • The Tome - A receptacle of knowledge, lost or forbidden.
  • The Automaton - A self-operating machine, responsive to orders. 

KEEPERS & TIME


An item cannot act alone—a Keeper must seize it. Only then can it travel around, seeing wondrous places and having grand adventures. Its agency is limited, shackled to its Keeper, but it can influence its situation through magic, communication and force of will. You'll answer questions about your Keeper and consider what kind of mark they left on the world—with your help. 

However, magical items outlive even the most venerable Keepers

Through death, bestowal or carelessness, a Keeper relinquishes the item and your stint with them ends. The sun turns, seasons pass and flesh & blood return to the earth. The item is at Rest—inert and waiting. You always choose how much Time passes as well as the myriad events and developments that occur while you wait.


Eventually, a new Keeper will arrive—until they don't, and the item is left broken beyond repair or abandoned in a cold, dark place forever.

You'll always have your story, though.


If the price of this game is a hardship to you, please DM me on Twitter @mouseholepress and I'll get you a download key, no questions asked.

Purchase

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Artefact.pdf 9 MB
Artefact (Print Friendly).pdf 2 MB
Artefact Playkit.pdf 3 MB
Soundtrack & Audiobook Rules (.m4a) 163 MB
Soundtrack (.wav) 337 MB
The Artefact (old).zip 32 MB

Community Copies

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copy

Claim a free copy of ARTEFACT if you are marginalised/in need. Copies will be limited but I'll be adding more here as people donate.

If there are no community copies available, please DM me on Twitter (@mouseholepress) or drop me an email to jack@mousehole.press and I'll get you a download key, no questions asked.

Donate a Community Copy

For $20 you'll get a copy of ARTEFACT and donate a copy of the game for others to claim. 

Development log

Comments

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

Howdy, I was a late baker via backer kit... does that entitle me to the updated files, (the audio rules, etc)?
If not, no biggie, if so, how might I get those?

(+1)

Hey! I set things up this morning to send a itch.io key out to all the preorder backers. So you should be able to access all the files here now :)

Let me know if you run into any issues!

(1 edit)

Oh, so you have! You are a saint and a star.

Thanks again for making a wonderful and thoughtful work of art... super useful right now :)

Peace!

No worries! Thanks 😊