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The Whispering Vault is a horror-themed role-playing game originally published in 1993.

The Whispering Vault
RPG twv cover.jpg
Designer(s)Mike Nystul
Publisher(s)Pariah Press, Ronin Publishing
Publication date1993


At Gen Con 26 Mike Nystul self-published a limited edition of a new horror RPG called The Whispering Vault (1993); by the next year, he was ready to release an expanded and more professional version into distribution and thus Pariah Press was born.[1]:369 The Whispering Vault was primarily appreciated for its well-themed art and for its evocative background, and put story first by making combat brutal and quick and by presenting a simple target-based task resolution system.[1]:369 Nystul only managed to publish a few supplements for his game, including the Dangerous Prey sourcebook (1995) and a three-panel GM screen (1995).[1]:369 Chris Pramas decided to create a company to publish The Whispering Vault; in early 1996 he acquired The Whispering Vault rights from Mike Nystul and formed Ronin Publishing with his brother, Jason Pramas, and their mutual friend, Neal Darcy.[1]:369 The company's first publication was The Book of Hunts (1997), a book of adventures for The Whispering Vault; Ronin Publishing had plans for another Whispering Vault book called "Mortal Magic" but they were never able to print it, or anything else for the game.[1]:369 The rights for Whispering Vault thereafter went on to Pharos Press around 2000, then to Ronin Arts.[1]:369 Ronin Arts started producing new Whispering Vault material almost immediately, beginning with Ronin Publishing's previously unpublished Mortal Magic (2003); after several more PDFs in 2003, that line ended – although all the PDFs remained available.[1]:374


Characters within The Whispering Vault used to be human, but after a life dedicated to protecting humanity against supernatural beings they have been recruited into the ranks of the Stalkers, the main heroes of the game. Now armed with supernatural powers and able to summon ghostly servitors, their mission is to hunt down the Unbidden: rebellious gods who escaped into their dream, the Realm of Flesh, or what humanity calls "Reality".

The Stalkers have other enemies:

  • The Shadows are creatures who were denied existence and live in the Rift between the Realms of Flesh and Essence. Sometimes they manage to awaken into the Dream by themselves, sometimes the Unbidden bind them as Minions.
  • Mortals may also be dangerous: the use of Magic may endanger the Dream, too.

The Hunts of the Stalkers can happen in any era, and Stalkers may come from any period of History as time flows differently in the Realm of Essence and the Realm of Flesh.



  • Gamemaster Screen by Pariah Press (1995)
  • Dangerous Prey book by Pariah Press (1995)
  • The Book of Hunts book by Green Ronin Publishing (1997)
  • Dangerous Prey pdf file by Ronin Arts (2003)
  • The Book of Hunts pdf file by Ronin Arts (2003)
  • Mortal Magic pdf file by Ronin Arts (2003)
  • Smuggler's Run pdf file by Ronin Arts (2003) (previously published in the Adventures Unlimited magazine, in 1995)
  • Mastering the Vault pdf file by Ronin Arts (2003)
  • The Vault and Time pdf file by Ronin Arts (2003)
  • The Books of Shadows pdf file by Ronin Arts (2003)
  • The Ixiptla pdf file by Ronin Arts (2003)



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.

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