#RPG – Actual Fucking Monsters Preview for Supporters

Actual Fucking Monsters – the RPG of unrepentant, monstrous transgression (the cover is a fake-out) – is now finished as a rough draft, and that first draft is available to people who back me on Patreon or Subscribestar (along with a whole host of other things like disount codes).

You can back me for as little as $1 US a month, or more, and this helps give me the space and funds to pursue better games, better art, more video creation and the possibility of podcasts in the future. You get access to me for support, questions, suggestions, video topic suggestions and more.

If at all possible, please back me on Subscribestar as I need a certain amount of subscribers and a certain amount of cash to be able to cash-out from there.

#RPG – Actual Fucking Monsters – Example Character and Combat

‘Malkash’ – Jack Cohen

‘Malkash’ was serving his conscription duties in the IDF as part of the border patrol when they were ambushed in an IED explosion and a fusilade of gunfire. Malkash lay dying of his wounds when something crawled out of the darkness and began to feast on his fallen squadmates. It began to rip at his flesh as well when a backup patrol finally arrived, scaring the creature away. Recovering from his wounds Malkash found that he, now, was hungering for human flesh and went AWOL to understand his new nature.

Nature: Predator d6 – Cannibalistic
Creation: Those Who Are Made (Twist of the Nephilim)
Trio: Mind: d6, Body: d10, Spirit: d6
Mask: Soldier D4
Skills: Athletics D8, Rifle D8, Krav Maga D8
Initiative: 14

Trio: Mind: d6, Body: d10, Spirit: d6
Mask: Soldier D4
Skills: Athletics D8, Rifle D8, Krav Maga D8
Initiative: 14

Satiation: d12 – d10 – d8 – d6 – d4
Health: d12 – d10 – d8 – d6 – d4

Monstrous Powers:
Argot d4: You can communicate in any language that is spoken or known. Forgotten languages, runes, codes or symbols require a Mind/Mask/Argot roll to decipher, depending how ancient or obscure they are. This power even extends to encrypted files, which you can understand simply by viewing the raw data (with a roll).

Camouflage d4: You can alter your skin, hair, nails and other aspects of yourself, even your clothing, to match the colours and texture of your surroundings and hide. You add your Camouflage dice to any attempts at stealth, hiding or sneaking. This is powerful enough to render you almost invisible.

Claws and Teeth d6: You have natural weapons, long razored claws, sharp fangs, an armoured tail, spines or quills, body nodules, whatever they are you roll your Claws and Teeth as damage, just like a weapon.

d8 Constant Babbling
d6 Rippling, shifting flesh.
d4 Permanently showing claws and fangs.

Bane: Stone weapons and strikes do an additional d8 damage to you.

Armour: Leather jacket and heavy duty work trousers: 1

Bug-Out Bag
Cash: $400 in notes, change and gold.
Clothing: Spare socks and underwear, poncho.
Cooking: Hexamine stove with mess tins and spork.
Firestarter: waterproof case of twenty-five, strike-anywhere matches.
Food: Tinned food, enough for nine meals as well as three chocolate bars.
Light: LED torch.
Map: Book map of the country (low detail), compass.
Medicine: First aid kit, superglue, one-hundred strong painkiller tablets. Power: Solar phone-charger.
Sleeping Gear: Sleeping bag and small tarp.
Storage: Twenty fifty-litre heavy duty bin bags, thirty zip-lock freezer bags.
Toiletries: A roll of toilet paper, a bar of soap, toothbrush and toothpaste.
Tools: Lock knife, multitool, duct tape, paracord.
Water: Three two-litre bottles.

Example of Combat

Malkash is feasting on a fresh kill, deep in the occupied territories. Word of this monster preying upon the people has spread, however, and as he feasts a pair of impromptu beast-hunters burst into the house, shouting β€œAllahu akbar!”

Malkash has an Initiative of 14, while these men have an Initiative of 14 as well. Because Malkash is a player character, he gets to go first.

Turn One
Malkash moves quickly to attack the first man, moving in and attacking them twice.

His first attack rolls 8, the second 6. The man he’s attacking hasn’t taken a turn yet, so only gets their basic defense. They roll 14 and 11, dodging both attacks as Malkash’s claws rip the air close to them.

The first man is hemmed in, in the doorway, and struggles to defend himself, letting off a couple of shots. While his pistol is a ranged weapon, he’s using it in melee combat, and so the difficulty to avoid the shots is not increased. The first man rolls 6 and 11 for his attacks and notes he has +2 defense until his next turn. Malkash rolls 6 and 11 to dodge, which means these blows actually hit, but with no additional damage. The pistols are medium calibre doing d6 damage, which, when added to 0 results in two hits for 5 damage each.

Malkash rolls his Body to reduce the damage, with an additional +1 from his battered leather jacket. He rolls a 1 (2) and a 5 (6). One shot passes through the sleeve of his jacket and the other grazes him. After reduction it does 3 damage, which amounts to a single Health level, reducing his Health die from d12, to d10 – which is now the maximum die type he can roll.

The second man daren’t fire into the melee without taking aim, he stands in the back door and spends two actions aiming, giving him a +2 to hit, which offsets the -2 penalty for firing into melee. For his attack he rolls 11.

Malkash rolls 9, -2 for trying to dodge bullets, which puts him at 7.

The attack hits by 4 and rolls 1 damage for a total of 5.

Malkash rolls 3+1 for 4 to reduce the damage, leaving 1 – which doesn’t harm him.

Turn Two
Another turn rolls around, Malkash concentrates all his effort into a single, aimed attack against the man he is engaged with. Malkash rolls 8+2 for his extra actions for a total of 10.

The first man rolls 8 in defense, and is struck for 2 damage.

Malkash adds his Claws Monster Power, rolling a 6 for a total of 8.

The man rolls 3 on his body, reducing this damage to 5.

He drops two die types of health from the attack, down to d8. This first man is terrified, not having truly anticipated a monster. He tries to break off from melee, spending two additional actions for defense. He rolls 7+2, for a total of 9.

Malkash ‘defends’ himself from this with a roll of 13, getting a vicious attack of opportunity as the first man tries to break free. There’s a difference of 4 to which Malkash adds a roll of 6 damage for a total of 10.

The first man rolls 2 for his body, reducing this to 8 damage. That’s still enough for his health to drop four die types from its current d8, enough to kill him, tearing his throat out.

The second man panics, seeing his friend drop and lets fly with three shots. He scores 8, 11 and 7 to hit.

Malkash scores 12, 5 and 6 to dodge.

This means that the first shot misses, and the other two hit for 6 and 1 damage respectfully. Adding the damage die for the gun raises this to 10 and 6.

Malkash rolls his body to reduce the damage, scoring 10+1 (11) and 7+1 (8). The shots go wide, ripping more holes in his jacket.

Turn Three
He snarls and leaps over the table, to negate the cover the second man has. He uses his remaining two actions for two claw attacks, rolling 7 and 14 respectively.

The second man defends himself, scoring 12 and 7. He ducks under the first claw but gets hit by the second.

The claw rolls to add damage onto the existing 7, raising it to 12. The second man reduces the damage by 1 with his Body roll, reducing it to 11. As a result he takes 5 die type levels of damage, knocking him unconscious. Malkash spends a level of satiation to heal the harm he has taken, and feeds on all three bodies to replenish his satiation.

#RPG #AprilTTRPGmaker – Spelunking in an Ideological Septic Tank

Introduce Yourself
Hi, I’m Grim. I’m an ageing gothabilly, a 20 year veteran of the RPG Industry and I freelance and self-publish. My company is Postmortem Studios.

Describe your work
Stylised and exploratory games that are focussed mostly on genre emulation. I’m neither entirely in the storygame camp nor the traditional game camp. System matters and I like to either choose or create a system best suited to the game in question.

Key to your making process?
Inspiration, whatever grabs my attention at the time. The things that interest me. That can come from films, television, comics, politics, conversation.

Favourite type of game scenario
Dramatic, high stakes, slow build up.

Character or Worldbuilding?
If I’m creating games, then obviously worldbuilding is the primary focus. Characters are for players.

Long or Short RPG texts?
Whatever’s appropriate. I tend to think these unnecessarily huge books are unnecessary. Efficient text, appropriate to what’s required, seems like the best way to go.

How to increase accessibility?
Profit margins are so low that there isn’t really a way to increase accessibility. I am currently recording an audiobook of the 5e SRD, but it’s not exactly setting the world on fire. Generally speaking RPGs are already massively accessible. They’re cost-effective as a form of entertainment, so long as you can read and do basic mathematics you can play and they’re customisable by default.

Favourite Collaberators
I prefer to do everything myself. I’ve had bad experiences with collaberations. Diluted vision, over-enthusiastic editing and being overridden by another participant.

How do your games distribute power amongst the players?
I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.

How are your games dismantling colonialism?
The colonial era ended in the mid-to-late 20th century, depending how you define it and what you consider a colony. My games can’t dismantle something that no longer exists, plus – they’re games. They couldn’t anyway. Colonial era fiction and tropes are excellent sources of inspiration for games though, conflict, adventure, exploration. I wouldn’t want to cut myself off from such a rich source of storytelling.

Shoutout an underloved Creator
Venger Satanis has an outlook to games that’s somewhat similar to mine and he gets a lot of unnecessary hate for being such a chill dude.

How to make a work inclusive?
I don’t think a work has to be inclusive, the focus should be on maing a good story. In trying to make games appeal to everyone, or include everyone, you can get a lack of focus and games can become homeogenous, interchangable and dull. Ironically the indie games scene which is often thought of as more inclusive, often has very tightly focussed games that aren’t at all inclusive. Night Witches, for example, is only women. Only soviet women. Only WWII. As mentioned earlier, RPGs are – by their very nature – inclusive and customisable, which is why they’ve always had a very diverse fanbase, albeit with a predominance of nerdy men.

TL;DR – RPG design doesn’t have to be inclusive, it doesn’t necessarily make for better games. People can play things other than themselves – and should. That’s the whole point.

Participate in Streamed Games?
It can be difficult due to timezones and commitment issues, but I do run them. WFRP at the moment.

How are your game mechanics and characters intersectional?
They’re not? Intersectionality descends into oppression olympics and I can’t see how game mechanics or character generation would have any crossover with intersectionality. Intersectionality would inevitably mean a dilution and dispersal of story tropes, and if I wanted to make a political point it would undermine it. The closest I get is Privilege Check, which is designed to demonstrate the flaws in intersectionality.

Favourite Tropes to Subvert?
My work’s mostly more about expressing those tropes. They’re a powerful set of storytelling tools and undermining them all the time can backfire (see The Last Jedi). The closest I get is, I suppose, trying to challenge people to examine their presuppositions, as in The Little Grey Book.

How does your environment inform your work?
I live in an idyllic countryside setting, close to the landscapes that inspired Tolkien, Lewis and Adams (Watership Down). So my work rebels as a reaction to that by tending to the post-apocalyptic, the urban, the horrific. I don’t tend to like traditional fantasy or the glamourisation of the agrarian life.

How does your identity inform your work?
I don’t really know what’s meant here. ‘Identity’ seems to mean something different to me than it would seem to to the author of this challenge. Sexuality, gender, race, these aren’t things I regard as identity. Identity – to me – is more what you do than who you are. I find the other approach rather bigoted and judgemental. My work is influenced by some of my innate traits, but that’s different to identity. I self-identify as a rebel, a libertine and a challenger of orthodoxy and that influences much more.

What are some underlying messages in your work?
Individualism, cooperation, mutualism, voluntarism, anti-identitarianism, creativity, sexuality, freedom, free-thinking.

Favourite themes to explore?
Sexuality, ethics, alternative cultures and assumptions, the primacy of fun.

A game you want to make that you think no-one would play?
Well I thought that about Gor, but it has been rather popular. I kind of think nobody will want to play Actual Fucking Monsters when it comes out, because it’s a game you always lose, but we’ll see.

What external factors do you struggle with to create?
An increasingly intolerant, authoritarian and censorious social atmosphere that insists on everything being ‘woke’, and the constant attacks, lies and misrepresentations from that sphere. I mean, just look at these questions!

How are you working to improve the RPG industry?
Resisting the incursions of censorious authoritarians, just as I did during the Satanic and Vampire Panics.

Mentoring/Being Mentored by?
I mentor a few people, I offer paid consultations for new indie RPG makers.

Favourite RPG thing to create?
The setting.

A rad diversity consultant?
No such animal. Pointless parasites.

Favourite Online Community?
My Discord.

How do you market your work?
Who on Earth has a marketing budget in this industry? Blog posts, social media, word of mouth and obliging moral entrepreneurs.

What tools help you create?
Critics πŸ˜›

Exciting 2019 RPG trends?
Boutique games perhaps? I’m not sure exactly in what way that’s exciting, it could be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s interesting at least.

If you were in charge of the RPG industry, what would you change?
Even more robust pushback against the moral entrepreneurs and their gatekeeping. RPGs should be open and available to everyone, but no individual game has to be for everyone.