Kickstarting Now: Rest in Pieces

My friend Peter Petrusha (Imagining Games) has a cool new game coming out called Rest in Pieces, and it’s on Kickstarter now (but ending soon). Pete also enlisted me to write one of the game’s expansions!

Rest in Pieces is a cool roleplaying game that uses a Jenga tower as a resolution mechanic (and does some new things with this idea). Here’s a brief summary:

“You play fed-up deadbeat roommates that happen to share a “pad” with none other than the Grim Reaper! What can go wrong, does go wrong in this ridiculous game about bad days and difficult friendships. Imagine playing out dark comedy stories like in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, The Regular Show, Rick & Morty, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Rest in Pieces is a dark comedy RPG that plays with a two-color jenga tower and a unique deck of cards.”

–Rest in Pieces Kickstarter

My expansion puts you in a leaky flophouse with Great Cthulhu instead of the Grim Reaper, and includes other cards to support a Lovecraftian theme.

The Kickstarter for Rest in Pieces is fully funded and ends on October 29, 2020.

Rest in Pieces Kickstarter

Kickstarting Now: Project Infinite Hole for Paranoia

Source: Mongoose Publishing

A project I contributed to is now on Kickstarter! It’s for Paranoia, one of my favorite games ever, and this one is a full boxed set focusing on R&D. From the Kickstarter page:

Project Infinite Hole is the first service group supplement for the latest edition of Paranoia. Here, you will find three books that can make your players weep for joy, and occasionally, panicked fear.

The R&D Happy Testing Catalogue: 64 lovingly crafted pages describing 40 experimental devices fresh from the R&D labs! Fluffy Safety Armour, Jaws of Death, iEye and more are sure to delight your players! Wait, that’s not right. Oh, it will delight sadistic Paranoia GMs. That makes more sense.

The Gamemasters R&D Service Book: 80 pages that explore this service group in detail, including how R&D works, how it does not work, new locations, new NPCs and the thrilling Troubleshooter In-field R&D Adjunct system (TIRDA) that lets players combine equipment cards to create what’s sure to be a complete and utter cock-up. (That is not a dirty word! Get your mind out of the gutter, Troubleshooter!)

The R&D Mission Book: 128 pages giving a busy GM two missions that start the first ever (we think) Paranoia campaign! You also get the Top 10 Best R&D Experiments (filled with three-act structured mission hooks) and advice on adding a trip to R&D into every Troubleshooter mission. Yes, players really will be thankful for that!

You also get the R&D Deck with 120 new cards: 18 R&D-themed Action Cards, 15 Armour and Defensive Devices, 5 Bot Modules, 25 Coretech Apps, 25 Surveillance Devices and 32 Weapons. (These include the 40 devices in the R&D Happy Testing Catalogue, but also a lot more!) All equipment is experimental, meaning there are different effects depending on whether the Troubleshooter was barely competent or suspiciously incompetent. (Remember, equipment failure is a choice and will be punished accordingly.) No longer will you say, ‘Uh, you miss with laser pistol. Next!’ Instead, you can say, ‘Your Duct Tape Gun misses and hits an air duct, which is suddenly pulled down on top of you. Next!’

You can download the draft of the first mission, Filling an Infinite Hole, right HERE!

That first mission draft is one of the things I wrote for this. I got to contribute to all three books–writing missions, NPCs, gadgets, and essays.

Bucket list achieved!

See more details (and back this sucker) at the Project Infinite Hole Kickstarter page.

Game Companies Say: Black Lives Matter

I wrote the following as a guest article on Gnome Stew. I’m including it here for you regular readers!

Following the widespread protests kicked off by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by police while in their custody, a number of tabletop game companies have responded by speaking out against such injustice. In the best cases, they’ve also taken steps to help. While it’s becoming less rare for this industry to unite and stand up for a cause, this occasion feels especially noteworthy. Here are some examples of such companies rallying to support racial equality earlier this month.

Paizo made the following statement, pledging (among other things) to start a new charity to help black communities:

Wizards of the Coast donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, and Black Girls Code, and released the following statement:

Steve Jackson Games donated to four charities in Austin, Texas: Austin Area Urban League, Austin Justice Coalition, Project ROAR, and 400+1 Bail Fund. They posted this statement:

Goodman Games posted this inspirational image:

Green Ronin Publishing‘s Facebook account went silent for a day to make room for other voices.

Tomorrow, this social media account will go silent so that other voices can be heard. We support justice, equity, and human rights. #BlackLivesMatter

Posted by Green Ronin Publishing on Monday, June 1, 2020

Magpie Games posted a Tweet standing with Black Lives Matter and sharing a list of black leaders in gaming to follow.

Evil Hat Productions donated to Black Lives Matter and released the following statement:

Chaosium is donating a portion of the proceeds from their latest Call of Cthulhu book to National Bail Out.

Schwalb Entertainment donated $1,022 to the Bail Project, explaining that “saying something without doing anything is uesless.”

Arc Dream Publishing donated to the Northwest Community Bail Fund in Seattle, and the publishers of Delta Green put their extensive research into criminal justice into perspective:

Monte Cook Games has made the following offer on their recent Cypher System adventure Heist on Miracle IV: “Now through June 30th, all proceeds from sales of Heist on Miracle IV will be donated to blacklivesmatter.com. Monte Cook Games will make a matching donation for the first 500 copies sold during this period.”

Pelgrane Press donated $1,000 and 10% of their June web store sales to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. They also released a longer statement on their website.

R. Talsorian Games made $2,000 donation to the Bail Project, which provides bail assistance to protestors. The company announced this with a statement; the full version is in a blog post, but the short version fit in the Tweet below…

Did you spot any game companies speaking out (or taking action) on behalf of racial equality recently? We probably missed some, so let us know in the comments!

Renovation

Hi, all…just a quick note to mention that I’ve given the site a new look and feel. I hope you like it! Please let me know if you have any issues, or any other feedback about the design. We now have a “Contact Me” page where you can reach me by email, and of course you can still comment on individual posts. Like this one!

My Favorite RiffTrax Movies for Halloween

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of RiffTrax, the team (including some former members of Mystery Science Theater 3000) who turn bad movies good by making fun of them. I watch RiffTrax movies just about weekly. But today I want to tell you about my favorite Halloween-themed RiffTrax movies!

In no particular order, they are:

Tourist Trap. I find this one genuinely scary, and with a few actual actors, including Chuck Connors! Having said that, it definitely deserves some teasing, and RiffTrax has that covered.

Troll 2. It’s not a sequel to “Troll,” the creatures in the movie aren’t trolls (they’re goblins), and nobody in this thing is an actor. I came to appreciate this stinker after seeing Best Worst Movie, an excellent documentary about Troll 2’s cult following. Though the writing is bad and the acting is bad, Troll 2 is never boring.

Plan 9 From Outer Space. This is possibly my favorite riffed movie of all. Plan 9 is so entertainingly, over-the-top bad on its own that it’s fun to watch, but the RiffTrax crew adds another dimension. I watch this one several times a year. It’s also the first “RiffTrax Live” presentation, where the gang riffs films live in front of an audience and transmits it at the same time to theaters all over the US.

Night of the Living Dead. OK, I’ll admit it. As much of a fan as I am of the classic Night of the Living Dead, I prefer the RiffTrax Live version. I never feel that the Riffers are mean-spirited, so it doesn’t offend me when they riff actual good films like this one.

House on Haunted Hill. I love the RiffTrax Live presentation of this, the Vincent Price version of House on Haunted Hill. This, for me, is one of the things movie riffing is best at—taking a movie that on its own is charming but a little slow, and adding some more interest to it. Some of the effects in this film are amusingly bad, but Vincent Price is perfect as always.

Manos: the Hands of Fate. This was riffed before on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and then on RiffTrax, but my favorite is the RiffTrax Live presentation. I would fall asleep trying to watch this film on its own, but in the hands of RiffTrax, it’s wonderful. (Dance, Torgo, dance!)

Birdemic. This one is special in the same way Plan 9 is; it’s enjoyably horrible on its own, but the RiffTrax Live riffing takes it to a new level of fun. Bad (or should we say “non”) actors, bad story, and visual effects that will make your eyes bleed add up to a lot of laughs.

I’d love to hear YOUR favorite Halloween films, too—RiffTrax or otherwise!