A downloadable game

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

“Reality” is a rotting fruit, and the tiny creatures that crawl across its surface doomed. The dreadful ancient things that lurk beneath its skin have but one demand in return for a living being’s continued existence: obedience. Across all worlds, all space and time, all must bow. 

As the decay of the universe accelerates, more and more cultures under the ancients’ dominion have realized what is coming. Some have panicked, and in their fear of this great entropy, they have forgotten their tributes to the eldritch powers that still watch from secluded places. This will end - they will be reminded. You will remind them.

Inspired by classic written works of sci-fi horror, as well as space horror films of the '70s, '80s, and '90s, ALL MUST BOW is a TTRPG setting designed not from the perspective of the triumphant investigator or hapless stumbler turned hero, but from the view of the villain. As champions and scions of ageless god-monsters that exist behind the curtain of space and time, the player-characters suborn, consume, pollute, and bring ruin to worlds across the unfortunate universe. Bloated with unclean power, yet faced with the dissolution of all existence, will you continue to serve as everything falls apart? Or will you perish in a futile attempt to defy your masters?

We present a game for players and storytellers who want to explode the old familiar sci-fi tropes and explore villainy on a cosmic scale at the same time. Designed with rules-light systems in mind but adaptable to crunchier rulesets, AMB attempts to blur the line between player and Storyteller by creating a group-built universe with narrative-focused play. 

In other words...

  • Play as the champion of an ancient evil presence from beyond time and space!
  • Fight against an entropic universe as you attempt to spread your cosmic overlord's will!
  • Form tentative alliances with the scions of other alien horrors to complete your dreadful work!
  • Set yourself adrift in a limitless space opera landscape or narrow your focus to a single alien planet or space station!
  • You design your Dreadful Ancient Thing, your species, your homeworld, and your champion in vivid detail!

ALL MUST BOW is a 70 page system-agnostic ttrpg setting meant to be used as an overlay for your favorite ruleset. In addition to the story-forward character creation and play guides, each chapter is embellished with rich prose and evocative illustrations detailing foul ascendancies, forbidden histories, and foreboding artifacts aimed at reinforcing the feel of the setting as well as providing inspiration to both Storytellers and players alike. We like to think it evokes the feel of those dark, early '90s monster-focused games without all of the crunch and metaplot.

In other words...

  • 70 page, black and white (save for the cover) 5.5" X 8.5" zine
  • Full-page chapter illustrations with additional spot illustrations throughout
  • Story-forward character creation process - Help build the world you play in from the start!
  • Three fully fleshed out example species and six Dreadful Ancient Things to use as you wish
  • Guidance on how to partner AMB with many popular rules systems including Fate CoreMothershipGenesys5th Edition D&DPbtA, and more!
  • Structures for both solo-play and single-storyteller-single-player play

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(19 total ratings)
AuthorBleak Horizons Press
TagsHorror, roleplaying-game, Sci-fi, system-agnostic, Tabletop role-playing game
Average sessionDays or more
LinksHomepage, Kickstarter


Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

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

ALL MUST BOW (Half-Letter Spreads).pdf 104 MB
ALL MUST BOW (Plain Text).pdf 734 kB
ALL MUST BOW (Half-Letter Pages).pdf 105 MB
ALL MUST BOW - Atmospheres from Between Worlds.zip 270 MB

Community Copies

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

Community Copy

Thanks to the generosity of our Kickstarter backers, we're starting out with a total of 36 free community copies of ALL MUST BOW! Community copies are for supporters from marginalized communities and/or those experiencing financial hardship. If you self-identify in either or both of those categories, feel free to grab one.

Development log