Inherent DiceInherent Dice

Too Deep

Beyond the boundaries of the known world, fight for your life against an ancient killing machine.


You are in deep space, beyond the boundaries of the Empire, and nearly beyond the boundaries of the known world. Your research team has found an ancient floating city in an area deemed uninhabitable by the Empire and discovered writings and technology that vastly predate all Imperial histories. Chief among your finds is an unknown artifact made of a material no one aboard recognizes. You bring it back with you, excited to have such an unprecedented find to present to the Empress, whose praise can lift your status and guarantee that your team has funding for the rest of your life. But a mysterious power surge has left your ship adrift in uncharted space, and your systems are starting to fail.

Worst of all, the nifty artifact your team discovered turns out to be a hibernating entity with immense killing potential—and it won't stop until everyone on board is dead. Without any power, you and your crew are trapped. You cannot flee to the escape pods, as doing so will put you in the direct line of the creature. You cannot ask any nearby ships for help, as you have gone beyond the protection of your Empress. And as you fight for your life, the Entity grows stronger, waiting for the moment that you make a mistake and compromise yourself. 

With your mission upended, you now have one primary objective: escape your killer, send out a distress signal, and survive long enough for your rescuers to pick you up.

Notable Features

In Too Deep, what happens to your crew is up to you. As the crew grows increasingly fearful and restless, you can choose to mediate disputes, retrieve supplies, or willfully sacrifice some of them to the Entity or the cold vacuum of space.

Sneak around the ship to uncover clues and solve the mystery of what caused the ship’s power failure, but be careful; you may be fast, but the Entity is faster.

Bond with your crew to unlock their unique expertise—which may be the difference between life and death. While Dr. Veiss is an authoritative figure that everyone listens to, the Child of the Black Sunrise is a technological savant and friend to the spirits.

The story’s setting is entirely confined to your failing research vessel, creating an atmosphere of cosmic dread and paranoia.


Too Deep Header

A fantasy archaeology team is trapped in deep space with an ancient killing machine loose on their ship. Like Alien, but with magic and politics and without the psychosexual undertones.


The Empire rules over most of known space, but despite its propaganda, it was not the first. Your team found an ancient floating city in an area deemed uninhabitable by the Empire and found writings and technology that vastly predate any Imperial histories. Chief among these finds was an unknown artifact made of a material no one aboard recognized. You brought it back with you, excited to have such an unprecedented find to present to the Empress. But a mysterious power surge has left the ship adrift in uncharted space, and the artifact turns out to be a hibernating weapon with immense killing potential—and it won't stop until everyone on board is dead.


We are in space, beyond the boundaries of the Empire, and nearly beyond the boundaries of the known world. The story is entirely confined to a single, failing research vessel with no way to get home. Escape pods are present, but reaching them is suicide. The game mostly consists of trying to sneak around the ship to find clues to what happened, searching for ways to repair necessary systems so the crew doesn't starve and suffocate, and finding any way to save yourselves from the seemingly-invincible enemy that prowls the vents and corridors of the ship.


The Ebon Empress: The ruler of the known world. Her name is spoken with awe, reverence, fear, mystique, and all four at once, if you're smart. The oldest living flesh-and-blood entity in existence, Her power is absolute and final. She is more important than any gods, because gods can be replaced—She cannot. She is not in the story directly, but her presence is felt in all things. She is both a religious and political entity, and she is quick to remind doubters that she is deserving of the praises with which her name is sung.

Dr. Veiss: An Ascended researcher in charge of the lab teams. She tries not to let her status put too much distance between herself and her staff, but she still speaks with the authority of someone born to the upper caste. Analytical and professional, she is excited about the crew’s discovery, but wishes they could have remained on-site instead of rushing home to parade it around for clout.

Dr. Cayless: The dig leader responsible for the team that found the artifact. Dr. Cayless is a mortal who loves his daughter and is well-liked by his staff, but he has difficulty standing up to his superiors and is easily walked over.

Emma: Dr. Cayless' daughter. A quiet, sweet girl with boundless curiosity. She likes touching things, especially when told not to.

Dr. Asellus: The ship's therapist, Dr. Asellus is patient, gentle, and a little aloof. She is secretly a spy from the deepest parts of the government, here to make sure nothing too world-shaking is let on or off the ship. She takes great interest in the player character's actions, trying to determine if the player is a potential recruit for—or threat to—the Empire.

Child of the Black Sunrise: Often shortened to “Sunrise” or “Sunny,” the Child of the Black Sunrise is the head technician of the ship. A mortal who suffered a near-death experience in her teens, she's glibly fatalistic about much of life, but is an under-appreciated savant when it comes to getting the altar-engines to sing. She gets along with the spirits and deities aboard the ship better than any of the people.

Conspicuous Owl: A minister of the Empire, Conspicuous Owl is here to oversee spending and make sure the expedition is worthwhile to Imperial interests. He is haughty, self-important, and a tremendous jerk. He delights in bullying the crew as an untouchable extension of the Empress herself. In reality, he's a low-level politician who's been shunted here so he won't bother anyone truly important—and part of him is subconsciously aware and afraid of this.

The Entity: The mysterious entity brought aboard the ship from the ancient city. Found in a tomb covered in untranslated glyphs, the creature resembled a strange armor chestplate made of unknown material. In its dormant state, no one knew what the artifact was, or that it housed any entity, but a mysterious power surge has awakened it from an eons-old slumber and it now seeks to fulfill its sole purpose—death, brought swiftly and efficiently to all life around it. The Entity is part biological and part mechanical, with boneless limbs that can stretch and bend with inhuman strength, making it capable of squeezing into tight spaces, with no tactical blind spots in combat. It quickly proves itself deadly, even to the Ascended on board.

Other Notable Aspects of the World
  • There are choice members among the populace known as “Ascended.” These people are long-lived, able to use self-enhancing magic, and belong to the highest social caste. The Empress herself is Ascended, and there are several aboard the ship, leading the expedition.
  • Technology and magic are not exclusive to each other. Engines are powered by earth spirits to resist gravity, with runes carved into the devices to act like code to direct the elemental entities with instructions. Air purification is powered by wind spirits, heating by fire spirits, and so on. Mortals are capable of learning and modifying runes, or communicating with spirits, but cannot use magic themselves to summon or tame entities.
  • Spirits function like programs that keep the world running. A fire spirit is like an executable that creates heat and light. More powerful spirits have more sophisticated “programming,” allowing them greater function and dominion over their element. Gods are what occur when a spirit gains enough praise and worship to become self-aware, functioning like an AI; it becomes capable of its own decisions, but is still limited to its specific parameters of control.
Plot Lines
  • The primary objective of the player is to escape: restore the ship enough to send out a distress signal, and survive long enough for a pickup.
  • The survivors are all packed into a space that is secure, but tremendously uncomfortable. The player will have to find ways to mitigate the rising unrest of the fearful crew, either by mediating disputes, retrieving supplies (at great personal risk), or willfully sacrificing more troublesome elements of the surviving populace. How many survivors make it off the ship when the credits roll is up to you.
  • As the crew gets more and more afraid of the Entity, some get desperate and seek more powerful aid. But with no gods forthcoming, they turn to demonic summoning—a practice that goes about as well as you would expect.
  • The nature of what happened aboard the ship during the dig is a mystery, one that can only be uncovered with deliberate sleuthing—a dangerous prospect, since all the answers lie squarely in the Entity's hunting grounds. Translating glyphs, hacking message terminals, and interpreting lab results can give you an edge in conversations and against the monster, who may be more vulnerable than it seems.
  • Contacting Imperial help creates a new problem: upon learning what's onboard the ship, they're ordered to destroy the entire vessel with everyone aboard, rather than risk letting the danger escape. If you want rescue, you'll need to deal with the Entity yourself, or escape and get picked up separately.

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