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Privately held company
Industry Role-playing
Genre Fantasy Steampunk
Founder Michael G. Hurston
Headquarters San Jose, CA, USA
Products Ave Molech Gaslight Demons

Morbidgames is a publisher of role-playing games and sci-fi fiction under the Open Game License using the d20 system, the majority of which take place in a medieval world with fantasy and steampunk elements.


They originally started in 2002 creating modules for Bioware's popular game Neverwinter Nights. While the modules were based in a world referred to as Ave'Molech, their modules are completely unrelated to their current game world. Note the apostrophe, which was removed from their product branding in 2007 along with their website redesign.[1]

In 2006 the company began producing PDF short stories, which they called Journals. These Journals took place in the world of Ave Molech and are flash fiction narratives taking place in specific locations that typically end with the main character’s demise. In 2007, after a series of mixed reviews, the company reworked their product line as well as hired popular artists such as Gerald Brom and released a second edition of their Ave Molech campaign setting, also in PDF.

Eventually the company’s popularity grew and in 2007 was a runner up in the RPG-Awards Supplements of the Year.[2] Then in 2008 Morbidgames released their fantasy campaign setting in paperback version, though their Journals series and individual writings still only available as PDFs. It was also during this time that the PDF's and books became available on a number of popular web retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the OBS (One Book Shelf) network, Paizo and Your Games Now.[3]

Morbidgames has been a consistent advocate for aspiring writers, editors and artists in their local community found through Craigslist.[4] With its founding members based in California & Nevada, the majority of the company’s part-time employees are typically local college students majoring in related subjects. The students are given the chance to work on projects and receive full credit within titles and product lines Morbidgames produces.[5]

Games and supplements published[edit]

Morbidgames' main product line is the role-playing game Ave Molech.

They have produced a line of flash fiction stories and GM supplements called Journals with currently five Volumes using the OGL created by Wizards of the Coast.

In addition, an OGL 3.5 Edition[6] Steampunk Logo was created and released for use and distribution by other OGL publishers.

The last work on the series was the two Lore books published in 2009, the first a fictional story taking place prior to the events of the world setting and the second a collection of stories and adventures written entirely by fans of the setting.

Also in 2009, Morbidgames Publishing published the work of Gloria Weber, Gaslight Demons.[7] The novel is unrelated to the world of Ave Molech, and role playing in general. It features a story based in a gaslamp setting. A synopsis of the plot is: Occult Officer Sophia Nogard has a mysterious past. Her boss, Chief Wizard Unver, has been trying to unravel since before she joined the Occult Investigations Offices. Now he’s got a new plan and an ally. Will Sophia’s new partner, Mackey Stone, be able to uncover the deadly secrets of Sophia’s family? If that weren’t enough to keep a girl’s hands full, a serial magical killer is on the loose. Can she protect the secrets, the people of the city, and her friends all at the same time?"

Ave Molech Setting[edit]

The setting for Ave Molech's role playing game, supplements and fiction is based in a high fantasy, post apocalyptic world. The world is broken into many distinct areas, such as a technologically advanced goblin city and a floating city of magic users. Ave Molech has attempted to include many popular creatures and monsters, but also includes many of its own creations, often considered to be over powered.[8]

Most monsters, and even some races, in the world of Ave Molech have come through tears in ley lines and planar travel, as seen in Lore Volume 1, is a dangerous, but not uncommon occurrence. The books are careful to avoid using the term "rift", as Palladium Books is the publisher of the Rifts role-playing game.[9] Rifts is not related to the Rift MMORPG from Trion Worlds, though both games share similar many elements.[10] Some of these elements have also been compared to those found in Iron Kingdoms.

The world of Ave Molech also includes a favorable and useful outlook on body piercing and art.[11] As well as often plays up its dead gods and atheist undertones.[12]

Influences for the setting have been speculated as Dark Sun meets H.P. Lovecraft according to review articles on

Other Indie Publishers[edit]

Evil Hat Productions, makers of FATE (role-playing game system)

Louis Porter Jr. Design, Design and Publisher of RPGs


  1. ^ [1] Role Players Chronicle News
  2. ^ [2] RPG-Awards 2007 Supplement of the Year Runner Up
  3. ^ [3] July, 2009 Press Release
  4. ^ [4] Craigslist VFlyer Listing
  5. ^ [5] Official "About" page for Morbidgames and Ave Molech
  6. ^ Editions of Dungeons & Dragons Version History of D&D
  7. ^ [6] Gaslight Demons on RPGNow
  8. ^ [7] Review
  9. ^ [8] What is Rifts?
  10. ^ [9] MMO games produced by Trion Worlds, Inc. are NOT related to or affiliated with Rifts by Palladium Books, Inc.
  11. ^ [10]
  12. ^ [11]

External links[edit]