A downloadable game

Buy Now$15.00 USD or more

One day, the dead started returning to haunt the living. This was, as you would expect, somewhat disruptive to society. People started looking for ways to get rid of the ghost nuisance in their lives. Requests for paranomal investigators sky-rocketed. 

But times change. People adapt. Now, you are a struggling paranormal investigator with Paranormal Inc. doing your best to keep the equipment working, the lights on, and your belly full.  

Paranormal Inc. is a gm-less tabletop roleplaying game for 2-5 players. It uses a standard deck of cards and some 6-sided dice to generate a world for you to explore and solve mysteries in. 

Paranormal Inc. is a game about solving mysteriesstruggling under capitalism, and making connections with living and dead alike. It's a game about pushing through your own personal hauntings to help others. 

Paranomal Inc. is a Carved from Brindlewood game. Brindlewood Bay is a cozy mystery game by Jason Cordova. Think Murder She Wrotes meets eldritch horrors. Paranormal Inc. takes the base engine of Brindlewood Bay, and turns it into a game that doesn't require a Game Master. Gather your friends and your supplies, and start telling your story together. 

Paranormal Inc. uses a standard deck of cards to generate locations, paranormal events, NPCs, and clues for a scene. This allows players to create a world together without the need for a GM. Players can choose from 1 of 6 playbooks to give their Investigator a unique feel: the Scientist, the Skeptic, the Medium, the Intern, the Bookworm, or the Ghost. 

Paranormal Inc. takes it inspiration from a host of ghost themed media like Scooby-Doo, The Haunting of Hill House, and Ghost Hunters. Mysteries provided for Paranormal Inc. cover a variety of themes and tones, so there is something for every taste! Additionally, the game includes guidance for creating your own mysteries to play through! 

Paranormal Inc. includes a core rulebook, 5 mysteries, and both printable and form fillable playbooks. The game is screen reader friendly!

If you are looking for a physical copy of Paranormal Inc., you can find them here.

Purchase

Buy Now$15.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $15 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Paranormal_Inc_Layout_Digital-2.pdf 5 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Antenna 8.pdf 994 kB
Paranormal_Inc_AnotherNightAtTheWhalingMuseum.pdf 990 kB
Paranormal_Inc_PhantomOfThePhantomOfTheOpera.pdf 987 kB
Paranormal_Inc_TheHauntingAtHaverdashHotel.pdf 975 kB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheBookworm_Interactive.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheBookworm.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheGhost_Interactive.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheGhost.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheIntern_Interactive.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheSceptic.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheSceptic_Interactive.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheMedium.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheMedium_Interactive.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheIntern.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheScientist_Interactive.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_Playbook_TheScientist.pdf 1 MB
Paranormal_Inc_MidnightFeast-2.pdf 1,003 kB
PI General Moves Reference Sheet.pdf 1 MB

Community Copies

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

Community Copies

These are free copies that are available to people experiencing financial difficulty, generously donated by Kickstarter backers and through tips when the game is purchased!

If you believe you qualify for a copy, then you do! Please enjoy and spread the word about the game!

Copies for Paranormal Inc. Jam

These are free copies of the game available to people participating in the Paranormal Inc. Mystery Jam!

Development log

Comments

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

 ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ 

There is a good game somewhere inside. But you have to find it yourself.

I played the game this weekend with a couple of experienced players. Overall the experience was okayish. Some of the rules we just didn't understand.

Backpack and character introduction

How do you get things into the backpack? Some characters have moves that generate backpack items but some not.

There is no phase where you establish the background of the characters before the first scene.

In the actual play you have a phase where everyone introduces their character and you create backpack items. I think this phase is missing in the rules.

The ghostly encounter

We didn't geht this move. In the scenario Antenna 8 there are no encounters with actual ghosts. Meaning a ghost of a human that you talk to. Only events like "Time stops for everyone but you, then slowly creeps back to a normal pace." The same for other scenarios. So normally this move will not be triggered. Do the players have to introduce the ghosts themselves? Or is every paranormal event an "interaction with a ghost"? 

And how do you handle the question about another character? Is the ghost expected to answer the question? For us the questions didn't feel very natural und didn't fit into the narrative. How is a scene with a ghostly encounter supposed to be played?

(+1)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Yes, we missed the set up for backpack and characters. There is no hard and fast rule for introducing the characters, but as you do it, each other player adds an item into the character's backpack. We created an FAQ/Errata which you can find here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15PzBY3WpMc6vzCh_SMtV9Lvk9f-DMIejJMApszZ62No/...

Regarding the ghostly encounter, some mysteries have explicit ghosts in either the paranormal events or as NPCs, and some are more vague. As the game is designed to have prompts that are a bit less specific, most groups will choose when a paranormal event is a "ghost" and when it's not. Regarding information about the other character, the player in question would answer the question (so as not to step on any player's agency) but you can think about the ghost as acting as a conduit/accessing their memories/etc. 

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Thanks for your answer. I think I got it now. An example for the Ghostly Encounter in your FAQ would probably be helpful.

 ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 

A deceptively simple, truly inspiring game! 

My partner and I expected a fun little mystery, but we were pleasantly surprised. By the time we reached the climax of Midnight Feast, the story resolved beautifully and we were both deeply moved by the ghosts' fate. Trading off on GM-less prompts allowed us to mutually create, discover, and form connections with each scene, culminating in an affecting, profound, and memorable experience. 

Some of the rules can be a little unclear, or rely on assumptions that aren't fully explained anywhere in the text. However, if you're comfortable with improvising and arbitrating rulings as you go, you'll do just fine! The simplicity of the game means it's very flexible, and we quickly reached consensus on a few house rules that rounded off the rough edges (especially when it came to the Backpack and Conditions). 

We're both looking forward to playing through more mysteries, and collaborating on writing our own—and I'm even inspired to hack the game for other settings! I appreciate that the author has provided an SRD and open licensing, continuing the legacy of Brindlewood Bay and other indie RPGs. 

(+1)

so glad to hear you are enjoying the game!!!

(-2)

As I mentioned, I was inspired to create my own game Haunted by Paranormal Inc: 

In Junk Noir, you are the voices in the head of a malfunctioning robot detective solving mysteries in a noir retro-future. 

It's currently being playtested here: https://jaderavens.itch.io/junk-noir-playtest

Thanks again for your inspiring work! Anyone who hasn't played Paranormal Inc. should check it out. 

Junk Noir is now live! Thank you so much for providing the SRD and encouraging aspiring designers like myself. I hope you'll check it out, I'd love to know what you think!

You can find it here: https://jaderavens.itch.io/junk-noir

(+1)(-1)

I’m not sure I quite get “backpack”. Are the things you can have there the stuff on the playbook moves? 

(+1)

Paranormal Inc. is actually my favorite Carved From Brindlewood game and the one that makes me totally get the investigation mechanic.

Checks this one out you guys. It's a real great game.

Go for it! it's a very cool game !! :D

Hi, when rolling on the Theorize move it says "roll plus the number of Clues found, minus the mystery’s complexity". Does that mean that if the complexity is 4, and we found 3 clues, we add +1 to the roll because the 3 of the clues gets subtracted from the 4 of the complexity?

(+1)

No, in this case you would roll -1. Because it’s the number of clues (3) - the complexity (4). 

In order to gain a positive on the theorize roll you must always find more clues than the complexity 

Ok, I see. Thanks!

that sounded very confusing and made no sense. would probably help if i played lol

is “taking” a personal haunting different from “marking” one? 

(+1)

No, they mean the same thing. 

Marvelous! Thank you! I’m very excited to play this :)

(1 edit)

Great game. Love it.

So glad you are enjoying it! Thank you!

(+1)

Is there a superfluous box in front of the miss result on The Scientist playbook (pg. 39)?

Yes. You can ignore it for now, it will be addressed in the next update!

One of the intern's moves refers to being able to use it "once per turn." Do you mean scene or session, instead? I couldn't find a mention of turns anywhere else in the book.

(+1)

yes. It means once per scene.