Belly of the Beast is a tabletop roleplaying game that focuses on grim scavengers living in the vast innards of the Great Devourer, salvaging and scraping through the swallowed ruins of a bygone age.
The game uses the Ethos Engine (Vow of Honor, Hunt the Wicked), but has been rebuilt to model the incredibly difficult and terrifying lives of scavengers in the belly of the Beast. You can read the alpha working draft (about 30,000 words) or the quick start rules (a few pages).
Characters are driven by their Instincts, and improve their skills after successfully completing more and more valuable pulls – scavenging missions. They have to work together with their company, try to barter off their salvaged goods, and survive amid caustic acid, bloodthirsty reavers, and hungry cannibals.
What others are saying
“Belly of the Beast is a grim and literally visceral horror game. It’s a game of scarcity and desperation, where innocent people are forced to terrible deeds by circumstance. It’s a game of fragile people and vulnerable people, oppressed by a massive and uncaring force that seeks only to consume them whole.” – Jason Pitre, designer of Spark RPG
“Dark Fantasy is a term that gets used quite a lot, but is there anywhere darker than the insides of a gigantic monster? The setting is as grim as can be, and Ben has the writing prowess to bring it to life. While the setting is both original and disturbing, it is matched with an equally powerful system. The characters’ motivations drive the game, which never fails to create an involving and exciting experience.” – Karl Larsson, designer of Scavengers RPG
“Belly of the Beast is unique in that its setting is at once original and also thoroughly horrifying. You can take it [in] any direction of horror, from the gory to the grimdark to the post-apocalyptic, and the tools included within will provide plenty of hooks for a long-term campaign in such a terrifying place, or a great one-shot that feels like nothing else on your game shelf.” – Tim Bannock, neuronphaser.com
“Everything about Belly of the Beast makes sense, and that’s an impressive feat. This is a Bronze Age fantasy that somehow also feels like hard sci-fi—just as colonists on Venus would adapt to the planet’s harsh realities, so do the inhabitants of the Evergut. The Beast’s bowels not only inform the lives, cultures, and practices of the Swallowed, but also incite exploration of gender, class, and family. Ben’s created an authentic sense of time and place in nearly unthinkable conditions. Fantastic.” – Joshua Yearsley, editor, Evil Hat Productions