Other Humor Games!

You may have caught Ed Grabianowski’s article on io9 about various April Fools Day tabletop games, featuring my own Katanas & Trenchcoats. I want to point out some humor games that weren’t mentioned in that article—though you should totally read the article, or at least check out K&T’s uncle-who-could-be-its-dad, Dudes of Legend. The two full games I mention share something in common: they’re humor games that secretly have amazing mechanics and processes. All three are free or pay-what-you-want!

Refuge in Audacity

RefugeCoverBoltsLogan Bonner (@loganbonner, designer at Paizo, former roomate, all around excellent human) made one of my favorite RPGs of pretty much forever, Refuge in Audacity. I wrote about Logan on my blog a couple years back, and lavished praise on Refuge in Audacity—the game that is to Synnibarr what K&T is to, well, you know.

The Karma Fates guide the fates of millions of planets. Their servants are the Hero Characters, who fight with superpowerful abilities and Cybernetix attachments normal people would not be able to handle in order to battle back the hordes of space demons, evil pirates, and Dimensions Unknown. From the gold planet Goldana to the rock spikes of Kragnarok to the human settlement on the New Peking Ark, everybody needs a hero to rescue them. The heroes can be that hero!

It’s an amazing bit of game design wrapped in humor. Really, Katanas & Trenchcoats was pretty much chomping on Refuge‘s flavor, as I used it as a reference for how to do a humor game (as opposed to a humor supplement for a game, like Dudes of Legend is). It was also a direct art reference for K&T’s character sheet. I mean, look at this beauty:

Also: Refuge in Audacity is a free download. Which is a crime in and of itself. Get you some.

Void Vultures

voidvulturesVoid Vultures is by my good friend and long-time conspirator Josh Roby (@joshroby, publisher/designer/writer/father). What K&T is to ’90s goth roleplaying and Refuge in Audacity is to Synnibarr-style of over-the-top gaming, Void Vultures is to the Warhammer 40K-vibe “space hulk” genre. It’s a fast-paced game about “killing space monsters and taking their space stuff,” powered by a thing he and I (mostly he) forged called the Rülsleit system.

Side-but-important note: If you like Katanas & Trenchcoats, you have Josh to thank. There were a number of logistics problems that came up, some that threatened the project’s cancellation. Josh was already one of my heroes on the project, writing a bulk of the rules we outlined because taking on my new job meant I didn’t have the time to do that. When he found out that K&T was in danger of being cancelled, he texted me with “I’ve got this. Tell me what I’m taking on.” People like him are always amazing to have in your corner.

I’m surprised that I haven’t done a Folks I Admire post about Josh, though in searching my blog, I found these gems:

If you like stuff like K&T, the Technocratic Convention books, Smallville, and numerous other things he doesn’t get enough credit for, check out Void Vultures. It’s Pay-What-You-Want!

World of Darkness: Gothic Icons

gothiciconsIn the interest of disclosure, I have to say that I haven’t cracked open my copy of World of Darkness: Gothic Icons, but let’s just examine this:

To highlight the new, gothtacular path they’ll be following, the company has filed a trademark for the phrase Historical AngstTM and created Gothic Icons to help shed some insight on where the line is headed.

Gothic Icons includes six characters that represent the gothiest Gothic icons, and have been drawn from several sources found in Gothic literature.

The gothtacular characters included in Gothic Icons employ the rules update to the World of Darkness rulebook using The God-Machine Chronicle. They are presented in chronological order of their Historical AngstTM appearance in the 1800s-ish timeframe, and include:

You’ll have to visit the DriveThru page to read the rest. :)

I won’t oversell this, because I haven’t read it yet, but it’s free and as many pages as K&T. So, you know, get on that. At least download it before Onyx Path comes to their senses and charges a buck for it like they do with Dudes of Legend (which is still a damn steal at that price).

Happy humor gaming, y’all!


– Ryan