Be Vanessa Ives, Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray or Ethan Chandler and embark on a journey into the world of gothic horror with our Penny Dreadful game in your own home!.
After our Game of Thrones fan game this time we have taken another of our favourite series as the starting point for a game of our own invention: Penny Dreadful – an ingeniously directed gothic horror series with a star-studded cast, which thrilled us for 3 seasons and is recommended if you haven’t seen it yet.
Even if you haven’t seen a single episode of Penny Dreadful yet, you can play our Penny Dreadful game. Some of the characters will certainly look familiar to you…
Because in the series Penny Dreadful some of the most famous characters of the classic horror literature of the 19th century meet: Dracula, Victor Frankenstein and his monster, Dorian Gray and Dr. Jekyll. They engage in a trial of strength in Victorian-era London. And witches, werewolves and the devil himself are also involved….
This concept could certainly quickly become quite trashy in the wrong hands. But Penny Dreadful is far, far from that! This is certainly due to the star cast but also to the great script by John Logan (who also wrote the last two Bond films Skyfall and Spectre) and good directors like Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage).
Enough gushing! You can see from this game how much Penny Dreadful excited us. 🙂 We played The Penny Dreadful game as a foursome – each playing a character from the series. You can easily expand the game with more characters from Penny Dreadful.
Spoiler warning: Since our Penny Dreadful game is based on many motifs from the series Penny Dreadful, you will learn some secrets of the characters. However, the end of the series will not be revealed at all! Rather, there are several different endings to the game, all of which are different from the series!
The main character of Penny Dreadful is the seductively beautiful but mentally broken Vanessa Ives (played in the series by the magnificent Eva Green). Suffice it to know for now that Vanessa also has occult abilities and a very dark side. Not only mortals court her favour, supernatural beings also want to make her their bride….
Sir Malcolm Murray (played in the series by James Bond actor Timothy Dalton) is something of a surrogate father to Vanessa. His biological daughter Minah is Vanessa’s best friend and they grew up together. But then Minah fell under the influence of a creature of the night…. Although Vanessa and Sir Malcolm would have reasons to hate each other, their relationship is very close and friendly.
An American showman and crack shot who has made his way to London, on the run from his father and perhaps from himself. Ethan Chandler is also hiding a terrible secret that weighs heavily on him.
Based closely on the literary model, Dr. Frankenstein in Penny Dreadful is a young, ambitious doctor who wants to defeat death. However, he continually struggles with two major problems: his morphine addiction and his creatures, who are not always grateful to their creator….
Dorian Gray is, like his literary model, a dandy and a man of pleasure. He is elegant and sexy and both men and women succumb to his charm. He is also immortal, but he pays a high price for it. Although he is a good man at heart, his excesses make him act ever more ruthlessly.
It is gradually revealed in Penny Dreadful that there are two major antagonists in the series: a brother pair of fallen angels, one banished to Hell and one banished to Earth. And both want to make Vanessa their bride…
The biggest difference between Dracula in Penny Dreadful and the vampire from Bram Stoker’s novel is that Dracula in the series is a fallen angel. As such, he is also referred to as the Lord of Decaying Flesh and Creatures of the Night. He wants to make Vanessa his bride, thereby fulfilling an ancient Egyptian prophecy. His servants and henchmen are – how could it be otherwise – vampires.
The Prince of Darkness really needs no more introduction than Dracula. In the world of Penny Dreadful, Lucifer has no form of his own, but always appears in the guise of someone else. His servants are witches, also called nightwalkers in the series, who have devoted themselves to him and receive great power in exchange. However, there are also good witches who do not serve Lucifer.
As usual in black romance, there are no pure heroes and villains in Penny Dreadful. Every hero has a dark side and must face it. This dark side is the real and true enemy, for whoever surrenders to it makes Dracula’s or Lucifer’s victory possible.
The Penny Dreadful play begins in 1891 London. Vanessa Ives has just been released from a mental institution and returns to her foster father’s house. But Sir Malcolm is not present. Instead, he has left her a letter (page 2 – 5 of the linked PDF).
Vanessa is alarmed and immediately rounds up her friends to rescue Minah. Dr Frankenstein, Ethan Chandler and the self-centred Dorian Gray drop everything to rush to her aid and join her on a mission to confront the forces of darkness.
Minah is in the grip of vampires hiding in the docks of London. At night you creep around there and discover the nest of these terrible bloodsuckers. But the escape route is cut off, so you have to fight!
The bloodsuckers are camped in the gloomy harbour,
They prey on innocent citizens asleep
So kill the ghastly children of the night
with a crunchy bulb you fight the battle!
Blindfolded (as it is night!) you may take turns throwing garlic bulbs at vampires. The vampires are represented by 15 cones or bottles.
Congratulations! You have freed Minah from the clutches of the vampires, unfortunately you also had to kill her in the process, as she had already become one of them. At least you were able to save her soul. Maybe…
The grief of Minah’s death and Vanessa’s reproaches lead her to relapse into madness. She spends this round in the asylum. Since her friends have made fools of themselves in everyone’s eyes in an effort to warn the public about vampires, they are interned there as well. Because of the drugs you are forced to swallow, your senses are confused, especially your sense of direction. Can you find your way out of the labyrinth of your confused thoughts?
Forward becomes backward and back becomes front,
But right remains right and left remains left?
Drive over the paper with the sharp pencil
and break through the wall of the magic ring.
Print out the template of the labyrinth (p. 8 of the linked PDF)for each player (or copy it as many times). Now you put a mirror behind the maze and a screen in front of the maze so that the player whose turn it is can only see the reflection. Then he gets a pencil and has to draw a line from the middle of the maze to the outside. If you want, you can also time the game to see which of you solves the task the fastest.
Freshly escaped from the asylum, you seek refuge in Murray Manor, Sir Malcolm’s house. But a nasty surprise awaits you there. Your friend, the archaeologist Ferdinand Lyle, lies murdered in the midst of his notes on strange hyroglyphs.
The hieroglyphics were copied and mostly translated by Ferdinand Lyle. You read something about a threat, but from whom? Unfortunately, Ferdinand Lyle was stabbed to death before he could translate the last four lines…. Before you can complete his work, you must first learn to read hieroglyphics.
Reading the ancient glyphs must be learned,
That is why each of you draw heroes.
first his heart’s desire in pictorial writing.
Together you interpret the meaning.
Which is to be announced aloud.
Inspiration guides your pen!
Everyone thinks of a term and draws a picture puzzle. It is allowed to use numbers, but not letters. Everyone else has to guess the term.
Suggestions for terms: bat, snake pit, witch’s shot, flash of genius, monster, spirit world, death knell.
Now that you can read hieroglyphics, you effortlessly decipher the following text, which Dorian, being a compulsive aesthete, of course immediately translated into verse.
The following warning is at the end of the prophecy:
The liar calls himself Lord of Light,
but he blinds and plunges into darkness!
Fear the servants of this evil wretch:
the brood of witches! Be you a nuisance
and banish them with the knowledge
of their true form.
Paint them, draw them, name them:
so you make them cold!
A witch has placed her curse on each of you. Witches derive their power from the art of deception, for their master Lucifer is the lord of lies and illusions. But if you recognise their true form and name, the curse is broken. However, these can only be unmasked in a joint séance:
First, everyone draws the head of the witch who is chasing you on a sheet of paper, folds it over and passes it to the left. On the sheet you now receive, draw the torso and arms of the witch, fold it over and pass it on. Then come the legs, which you fold over and pass on, and on the last pass on, the feet. Then together you reveal the astral photographs you have taken of the witches. Their names will be revealed to you together as you look at them. Put them under the respective picture and you are freed from the curse.
Miraculously, the witches are defeated for the time being, but unfortunately their master is far from it. In revenge for the destruction of his servants, Lucifer drives in Vanessa and takes possession of her.
Vanessa needs an exorcism or Lucifer will hold her soul forever. Anyone who thinks a priest can do anything about it is sorely mistaken! Vanessa’s body and spirit can only be cleansed by an elaborate ritual and a crystal-clear liquid. To prevent Lucifer from easily jumping over to one of the other heroes, they must of course also purify themselves spiritually.
Is it a lie, is it a deception?
Which number? Show, once!
Oh I am mistaken, I am confused:
Must now drink, dice tine….
But if I am right, drink, drink, drink!
Clear spirit, be bold,
cast him out, out of us:
This devil, with booze!
Play Mexican Dice until you feel spiritually cleansed and all evil spirits are cast out.
The devil is banished for the time being, but you are worn out from the many battles. Temptations are reaching for your souls?
How nice it would be now to just take refuge in the gentle arms of Morpheus, Victor thinks. What refined pleasures await me tonight in the city’s establishments, Dorian wonders. By then the full moon is rising and Ethan is suddenly overcome with anxiety. Vanessa looks at her friends one by one. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to surrender to the darkness. How sweet it was to pay homage to evil and seduce her best friend’s fiancé? How sweet is revenge and power and the ability to instil fear? – But then she comes to her senses! We are all ripe for a session with Dr Seward! she says.
The previous battles have taken a heavy toll on the heroes and left them psychologically shattered to the point where they are in danger of succumbing to their darker personality traits. Psychologist and hypnotherapist Dr Seward holds a group session with the heroes.
Your heart: what moves it?
What tears it apart? What saws it apart?
What does it delight in? What does it long for?
The hidden – friends see it!
Show who awakens thy desire?
Who your tears and who your frustration?
Love, marriage or stone-cold murder – .
You decide: Your word is your bond.
To resist your inner demons, you must not only face them, you must own up to them. At the very least, your friends need to know what is troubling your hearts. Can you possibly be right? Everyone writes 3 names of people on small pieces of paper and folds the pieces of paper together. Then you mix all the slips of paper in a bowl and everyone draws 3 of them.
Everyone must now think about who of the 3 drawn people they would sleep with, who they would spend the rest of their life with together and who they would kill. Double entries are not allowed. (The game is known in English under the significant title Fuck-Marry-Kill…). You write down your answers and read out the people’s names in turn. The others must now guess what you have decided.
Despite all precautions, disaster has befallen your friends. Lucifer has taken possession of Dorian’s soul and driven into him.Victor has been lured into a trap by Dracula with the promise of knotty morphine. And Vanessa’s beloved Mr. Chandler could no longer resist the dark forces: he has become a ravening beast. Vanessa must now face all three in the game of fate! If even one of her friends defeats her, she belongs to Dracula!
The die is not yet cast,
but what future does this game hold?
Will you slur in devilish tongues?
Will eternal darkness fall on earth?
Will the god-wolf reach his goal?
Your fate is in your hand,
Your luck of the dice will tell!
You play a round of Yatzy and roll the dice to determine the fate of Vanessa Ives! If there is a tie between two winners, they fight for her soul with their bare hands (namely through 3 rounds of scissors-stone-paper).
You have defeated everyone? Now you are delivered from the powers of darkness! You find your way back to God and live a long and contemplative life as a nun of a Franciscan convent. Your special domain is the herb garden and your cooking skills make you rise in the favour of your sisters, so that you are elected the new abbess. Only at night do you sometimes sneak into the deepest cellar of the convent and feast on the darkness, laughing and speaking in tongues. But no one knows about this. Only a few decades after your death you are canonised and become the patron saint of all confused souls.
Lucifer won Vanessa’s soul? At the side of the Prince of Hell, she wages eternal war against God and the angels. Vanessa takes the name Lilith, the soul hunter, and is restless in her hunt for souls that you can give to your spouse. She seductively haunts the sinful dreams of men of all ages and sucks the life force out of them night after night, giggling teasingly.
Vanessa has succumbed to the dragon? As Dracula’s bride, she rules the entire globe, which is now plunged into eternal night. Ghouls and scavengers roam the dark winding alleys of undead cities. Maggots, rats, crows and all other creatures of the night, feast on the great banquet of the dead and the macabre glory of pestilence reigns eternal on earth.
The dog of God has conquered Vanessa? Together he runs away with her and experiences many adventures. The only thing that bothers Vanessa is his wolfish appetite for fresh, bloody meat and she is worried that the trail of blood and destruction will soon lead the police to you. But thanks to her occult skills, Vanessa always manages to mislead law enforcement in time. At some point, Vanessa and Ethan decide to avoid humans and retreat to a cave in Mexico, where they raise their litter of puppies.
No matter how the Penny Dreadful game turns out: Vanessa is the Mother of Darkness and gets to rule the realm of darkness for an entire evening….
You can also print out all the tasks of our Penny Dreadful game as a PDF: Penny Dreadful – Tasks (PDF)
By the way, for series fans we also have a Game of Thrones fan game. On Abenteuer Freundschaft you will find many more board game tips and general ideas for activities with friends, activities for two or activities with children .
Image Source Cover: Penny Dreadful © Paramount (Universal Pictures).
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