About Demongate High

The Origins of Demongate High

Demongate High began its life many years ago, around 2003, as an idea for a tabletop role-playing game setting inspired by an obscure anime called "Combustible Campus Guardress," and further heavily influenced by "Ushio and Tora" and a variety of other supernatural shonen series from the late 90's. When I founded Tremorworks, the completed first edition of the Demongate High role-playing game became one of our launch products alongside the HDL Universal Role-playing System. Now, under the banner of the second edition of the system, Paragon, Demongate High is undergoing a significant overhaul and expansion.

As I continued development and began playtesting for the first version, the world and its characters began taking shape. The "beta test" adventures evolved into an ongoing campaign, running pretty regularly since 2005, with great characters and intricate, interweaving stories. This campaign has driven my writing of the game setting, and has ultimately become canon for the entire universe.

I was so pleased with the progress and characters of the game, which was very character-driven rather than littered with endless combat and resource-acquisition, that I made the decision to novelize the adventures. However, I eventually realized that novels wouldn't be a suitable medium for very lengthy, interwoven stories sprinkled with "random" elements. Thinking of it like Harry Potter, where each year was its own novel, resulted in massive and somewhat disjointed books, despite each "year" of schooling having its own self-contained plot.

Then, as my interest and enthusiasm for DoormaNt began to wane, it occurred to me that the Webcomic medium would be absolutely perfect for the ongoing, canonical stories of the game universe. The story is written, the characters exist, and I know exactly where it all needs to go, and the visual nature of comics lends to even more exciting and engaging stories than mere text.

So, hopefully you will find Demongate High as deep and interesting as I have over the years. The characters are partially mine, and partially developed by their creators and players, making them deeper and more real than anything I could have come up with on my own. My hope with Demongate High is to continue as long as, if not longer than, Darkbolt, and create a world and characters that pull in you, the reader, even more than Darkbolt ever did.

This entire story wouldn't have been possible without my diligent and thoroughly invested players: Michelle (Rosalee), Neil Weber (Ewan), and Robert Ziefel (Carlita). They really are the driving force behind the plot, the characters, and just about everything, so thanks guys! I hope I'm able to stay true to the wonderful characters you created and developed over so many years. Creative license and liberties due to the story format will always need to be taken, of course, but I'll do my best!

So what is it?

Demongate High is set at the titular school, run by a secret society that has overseen world affairs (primarily protecting it from the influence of omnipresent demons) for centuries. The school is home to hundreds of students from all over the world, each with special supernatural gifts. The school aims to teach them to use these powers responsibly, and also to train them as soldiers against the demonic threat.

While the story bears the title of the setting, it really is about the characters, and their lives both within and beyond the school walls. It's about more than daily school life; it's about struggling against temptation, learning control, and overcoming nearly overwhelming, inhuman threats. At this point, my intention is for the comic to span the careers of several generations of students, starting with the primary overarching protagonists, Ewan McRae and Rosalee Siverly.