Spire: The City Must Fall – Tabletop Role Playing Game of Resistance

“You are a dark elf. Your home, the towering city of Spire, was occupied by the high elves two hundred years ago. Now, you have joined a secret organisation known as the Ministry, a paramilitary cult with a single aim to overthrow the cruel high elves and restore the drow as the rightful rulers of the city. What or who will you sacrifice to achieve your aims? Will you evade the attention of the authorities, or end up shot in the street like so many before you?”

Spire The City Must Fall

Spire: The City Must Fall

Spire: The City Must Fall is a moody and thematic tabletop RPG game created by Grant Howitt and Christopher Taylor. The game is set in a city called Spire, a towering metropolis ruled by the Aelfir, an elf-like race who enslave the city’s other inhabitants. Spire puts players in a tense world of rebellion, intrigue, and supernatural forces. 2-6 players take on the roles of characters who are part of a resistance movement fighting against the Aelfir. Players can choose from ten different character classes such as knights, changelings, priests, mages, and spies.

Spire RPG Mechanics

Spire uses a system of rolling dice to determine the outcomes of actions. Players roll a number of six-sided dice (d6) based on their character’s relevant stat or skill, and the GM assigns a difficulty level for the action being attempted.

If the total rolled by the player’s dice meets or exceeds the difficulty level set by the GM, the action is successful. If the total is lower than the difficulty level, the action fails, and the player may suffer consequences. Players can also choose to push themselves, which means they roll additional dice at the cost of taking stress, a resource that can lead to negative consequences if depleted.

A Game of Resistance

At its core, Spire is a game of resistance. The city is ruled by a powerful and oppressive regime, the Aelfir, who have enslaved the native drow population and suppress any form of dissent. The players take on the roles of members of the resistance, working to undermine the Aelfir’s grip on power and ultimately bring down the city’s rulers.

The city of Spire is a character in its own right, with its towering spires and hidden enclaves creating a rich and immersive setting. The world is steeped in history and lore. A complex hierarchy of factions and organizations are vying for power and influence in this setting. From the Church of the Gun to the Ministry of Our Hidden Mistress, each faction has its own agenda and secrets which adds intrigue and mystery to the game.

The characters themselves are also richly developed, with each player choosing from one of ten different character classes, ranging from the spell-casting Apostate to the shape-shifting Changeling. Each class has its own unique abilities and play style.

Spire The City Must Fall

Spire Character Classes

Spire features ten different character classes, each with its own unique abilities and playstyle. Here’s a brief overview of each class:


The Bound is a mage who has made a pact with a demon. They can cast spells and summon demons to do their bidding.


The Carrion-Priest is a member of a cult that worships death. They can heal their allies and harm their enemies using their connection to the afterlife.


The Changeling is a shapeshifter who can change their appearance and abilities at will. They are masters of deception and espionage.


The Drow is a member of an underground society that is reviled by the ruling Aelfir. They are skilled in combat and have a deep knowledge of the city’s hidden passages.


The Knight is a noble warrior who serves the resistance. They are experts in combat and can inspire their allies to fight harder.


The Midwife is a healer who uses their knowledge of medicine and biology to support the resistance. They can cure diseases and poisons and can even create new life.


The Poisoner is a master of toxins and chemicals. They can create deadly poisons and use them to incapacitate their enemies.


The Revolutionary is a charismatic leader who inspires the people to rise up against their oppressors. They are skilled in persuasion and can sway the opinions of NPCs.

Shadow Agent

The Shadow Agent is a spy and assassin who operates in the shadows. They are masters of stealth and can infiltrate even the most secure locations.


The Vessel is a conduit for the power of the forgotten gods. They can summon otherworldly creatures to aid them in combat and can even control the minds of their enemies.

Spire RPG

Spire RPG Politics and Humor

Spire features bold and unapologetic political commentary. The game tackles issues of oppression, exploitation, and resistance head-on, exploring themes of power, corruption, and the struggle for freedom. In a world where real-life politics can often feel overwhelming and hopeless, Spire offers a cathartic escape, allowing players to explore and confront these issues in a safe and controlled environment.

Despite its dark and heavy themes, Spire is also a game full of humor and whimsy. The writing is sharp and witty, with clever puns and pop culture references scattered throughout. The artwork is equally impressive with vivid and detailed illustrations bringing the world to life.


What are the Domains in Spire: The City Must Fall RPG?

In Spire RPG, domains are different areas or sectors of the city of Spire, each with its own distinct characteristics, challenges, and NPCs (non-player characters). The game features several different domains that players can explore, including:

The High City – This is the wealthy and opulent upper level of Spire, where the ruling Aelfir live in luxury.

The Midwife – The Midwife is a sprawling market district in the heart of the city, where players can buy and sell goods, meet NPCs, and gather information.

The Pilgrim’s Walk – The Pilgrim’s Walk is a dangerous and mysterious section of the city that leads up to the Spire’s peak, where the Aelfir hold their most sacred rituals.

Red Row – Red Row is a slum district on the outskirts of the city, where the marginalized struggle to survive amidst crime and corruption.

The Stacks – The Stacks is a massive network of tunnels and caverns beneath the city, home to criminals, rebels, and other outcasts.

How many Spire levels are there?

Spire has several levels or tiers of the city of Spire that players can explore. The game’s lore describes the city as a towering metropolis that extends both above and below ground.

There are five main levels or tiers of Spire, each with its own distinct characteristics and challenges. These tiers are:

  1. The Heart – This is the center of the city, where the Spire’s power and control are concentrated. The Heart is home to the ruling Aelfir, as well as their religious institutions and other centers of power.
  2. The Mid-City – The Mid-City is the bustling commercial district of Spire, where merchants, artisans, and other skilled workers ply their trades.
  3. The Lower-City – The Lower-City is home to the city’s working-class and poor residents, who struggle to make a living in the face of poverty, crime, and oppression.
  4. The Docks – The Docks are Spire’s main port, where goods and people arrive from other parts of the world. The Docks are also home to a thriving black market and other illicit activities.
  5. The Underspire – The Underspire is the dark and dangerous network of tunnels and caverns that lies beneath the city. It is home to rebels, criminals, and other outcasts who seek to challenge the Aelfir’s rule.

Each of these levels presents its own challenges and opportunities for players to explore and interact with the game’s world and characters. The game’s mechanics and narrative structure encourage players to delve deeper into Spire’s levels, uncovering its secrets and fighting for justice and freedom.

strata spire RPG sourcebook

Spire RPG Expansion Books

There are several expansion books available for Spire RPG, each adding new mechanics, characters, and settings to the game. Some of the Spire RPG expansion books include:


Strata is a supplement that adds new character classes, equipment, and rules for building your own custom characters. It also includes new domains and NPCs to explore, as well as new lore and background information about the city of Spire.

Black Magic

Black Magic is a supplement that introduces a new faction to the game, the Ministry of Our Hidden Mistress. This faction specializes in dark magic and shadowy deals, and players can ally with them or oppose them as they see fit. The book also includes new spells, enemies, and locations to explore.

Eidolon Sky

Eidolon Sky is a supplement that introduces a new domain to the game, the floating city of Eidolon Sky. This city is home to powerful sorcerers and other magical creatures, and players can explore its mysteries and uncover its secrets. The book also includes new character classes, enemies, and equipment to use in the game.

Book of Masks

The Book of Masks is a supplement that adds new character classes and equipment, as well as rules for creating and using masks in the game. Masks are powerful artifacts that grant their wearers special abilities and magical powers, but also come with a price. The book also includes new domains and NPCs to explore.

Shadow Operations

Shadow Operations is a supplement that focuses on espionage and covert operations in the city of Spire. Players take on the roles of spies and assassins, working behind the scenes to influence the city’s politics and eliminate their enemies. The book includes new character classes, enemies, and equipment, as well as rules for running stealthy missions and heists.

Grant Howitt and Chris Taylor

Grant Howitt is a writer, game designer, and podcaster who has worked on several popular RPGs, including The Spire, Honey Heist, and Goblin Quest. He is known for his quirky, off-beat humor and his ability to create engaging and memorable game worlds. Chris Taylor is a game designer and writer who has worked on several RPGs, board games, and video games. He is known for his ability to create complex and nuanced game worlds, as well as his talent for crafting engaging stories and characters.

Together, Howitt and Taylor created the world of Spire, a dark and dystopian city ruled by a corrupt and oppressive government. They drew inspiration from real-world political and social movements, as well as from classic works of science fiction and fantasy. Their collaborative writing style is evident in the game’s narrative, which is richly detailed and full of unexpected twists and turns.

Illustrator Adrian Stone

The artist responsible for the design and illustration of Spire RPG is British illustrator Adrian Stone. Stone has worked on several RPG projects and has gained recognition for his unique art style that blends detailed linework with vivid colors and striking compositions.

Stone’s artwork for Spire RPG is notable for its dark tone which perfectly captures the game’s themes of rebellion and political intrigue. His illustrations depict the twisted and corrupt city of Spire, with its towering spires, dank alleyways, and shadowy corners, in stunning detail.

In addition to his work on Spire RPG, Stone has also contributed art to other RPG projects, including the sci-fi horror game Mothership and the fantasy game Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. His art has been featured in several publications, including the British magazine ImagineFX and the art book Spectrum 22.

Stone’s unique art style has made him a popular and sought-after artist in the RPG community, and his work on Spire RPG has helped to make it one of the most visually striking and memorable RPGs in recent years.

Read more about Spire on Rowan, Rook, and Decard

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