A downloadable game collection

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Behind the Masc is a game zine using historical and cultural archetypes to re-envision masculinity through the eyes of non-cisgender masculine creators. The creators include experienced game designers and illustrators as well as newer people to the game industry. The project hopes to draw attention to indie creators in tabletop games who are still marginalized people, but can fall into the ether when it comes to representation and people campaigning for their work to be seen.  

The included works are:

The Mabon Monastery, by Lawrence Gullo, a Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition background.
Chosen of the People Sorcerer, by Tracy Barnett, for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.
Ming Dynasty Transgender Man Illustration, by Raiden Otto.
The Minotaur, by Aven Elia McConnaughey, a Monsterhearts skin.
The Demi, by Patrick Lickman, a Monsterhearts skin.
Echoes, by Beau Jágr Sheldon, an audio-text lonely (single player) game. (complete game)
Palisade, by Adrian Heise, a Twine game. (complete game using Twine)
Harlequin Illustration, by Lemmo Pew.
The Grifter, by Eli Eaton, an Apocalypse World playbook.

Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars
(24 total ratings)
AuthorThoughty by Beau Jágr Sheldon
GenreRole Playing
TagsAudio, Gender, LGBT, LGBTQIA, Queer, rpgs, Singleplayer, Transgender, Twine


Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this game collection you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Behind the Masc 2021 PDF 2 MB
Echoes_1introduction.mp3 1 MB
Echoes_2stolen.mp3 3 MB
Echoes_DarkestPath.mp3 4 MB
Echoes_FallsPath.mp3 7 MB
Echoes_LongestPath.mp3 5 MB

Community Copy

Support this game collection at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copies

Each copy of Behind the Masc you buy helps someone else get a free copy if their budget doesn't allow them to pay the current price. If you're unable to budget for a copy of Behind the Masc priced as listed and you're queer or non-cisgender masculine, please claim one of the free community copies!

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Development log


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Behind The Masc is a series of games and gaming materials orbiting around themes of masculinity.

It's got content for 5e, Monsterhearts, and Apocalypse World, it's got two text adventure games, and it also includes designer notes from all contributors, giving some cool insight into the creation process and the way people connect to their material.

The whole book is 39 pages, with extremely readable layout and a few cool illustrations.

I think the first expectation with a work like this is that it will be ultimately scholarly and analytic, but this isn't. Masc is intuitive and playable, and the 5e, Monsterhearts, and Apocalypse World content doesn't feel like it clashes with any of those games' milieus unless you specifically set out to exclude it.

The writing throughout Masc is also really strong, and while masculinity is the central theme, it certainly isn't the only thing discussed.

Probably my favorite piece in the book is the Monsterhearts Minotaur skin, which deals primarily with the tension between getting involved, helping people, and risking yourself, or staying isolated and safe.

Overall, this is a cool project, and if you're looking for material for any of the named games that deals with, deconstructs, and re-constructs masculinity, I'd say look here first.


Thank you so much for this amazing review!😍😍


Thank you for the cool project!

(2 edits) (+11)(-2)

This is an amazing zine exploring masculinities through games. From brilliant concepts for D&D 5e, Monsterhearts and Apocalypse World to fantastic self-contained games, there's something here for everyone. Free community copies available for those who identify as queer or non-cisgender masculine. 5/5 stars - outstanding.


Thank you so much for these amazingly kind words! If you'd like to leave a rating on the ratings page, that would be well appreciated. This is just so nice to see!


Glad it made you smile :) I actually gave it a rating about a month ago :) unfortunately, itch.io doesn't really have a workable curation system at the moment - here's a quote from 2014 about ratings: "The rating data is currently only visible to yourself, but as more games are rated this data will be factored into building a system for helping uncover some of the standout games." Source: https://itch.io/updates/you-can-now-rate-games


Thanks so much!!!

Exactly my thoughts!