Beyond Darkness and Madness is a 296-page hardcover Gamemaster sourcebook for KULT: Divinity Lost. This supplement outlines the Gamemaster’s overall responsibilities and provides them with tools for running effective gaming sessions and presenting horrifying narratives. Additionally, the source book provides inspiration for developing compelling narratives, intriguing characters, and personalized settings.
The book is divided into three distinct sections - Storytelling, Atmosphere, and Reflections. It is written by Jason Fryer, a veteran of KULT who wrote the Purgatory source book for KULT 2nd edition in 1996. He made his debut in KULT: Divinity Lost with the quickplay scenario The Atrocity Exhibition. Additional writers include Jacqueline Bryk, Alex Obernigg, and Petter Nallo.
Part One - Storytelling discusses the various aspects and levels of plot-building, maintaining narratives at and away from the table, and upholding the game’s Agenda, Principles, Fiction, and Moves throughout the process. Additionally, techniques for utilizing and expanding the Intrigue Map, Downtime, and the Horror Contract are provided, including how to create compelling events, characters, and settings.
Part Two - Atmosphere provides an in-depth examination of various horror themes and milieus, and inspiration and techniques for utilizing them to enhance the storytelling experience. Specifically, chapters in this section explore the different aspects of body horror, extreme horror, existential dread, trauma, and the sublime.
Part Three - Reflections provides variant settings for the KULT mythos, allowing for more personalized and divergent stories. By utilizing the techniques and tools presented here, the Gamemaster can create scenarios and campaigns tailored to genres such as action horror, Asian horror, magical realism, survival horror, and the uncanny.