Saturday, March 7, 2020

The RPG Folder Van Damme Couldn't Spinning Roundhouse Kick

A continuation of this series, in which I clean out my "new" RPG folder and properly catalog this shit.

B.Y.O. Dungeon Rules: The Scrapbook RPG is a 15 page PDF by Jacob DC Ross, who I have never heard of. In fact I don't remember ever looking at this before.

I kind of expected to open this up and see a lot of images or pasted words, like a real scrapbook. But there are no other illustrations other than the cover and the whole thing is laid out in single column digest with a sensible sans font.

The introduction says this is a game you use for any genre and it's inspired by Troika! and, I think, the Fighting Fantasy books that inspired that game. So this is a good thing. I dig that. It also says it was designed for use with the author's line of dungeon chapbooks. Which also sounds interesting. However, if I'm being honest here, I always get a little disappointed when I see a generic system. I dig the ideas they might bring in terms of mechanics, but their universality leaves me cold and dead on the inside, like a man who's Mörk Borg has been converted to G.U.R.P.S..

So, after reading this book, I can say that this is more-or-less exactly what Troika! is, but with less style. Now, I don't mean that as an insult. This is actually a well-explained, tight little set of rules if you enjoy FF type games. It has all the standard stuff: Luck, Stamina, Skill, d6s only, etc. It has a couple of interesting rules tweaks. For example, it includes character abilities, which are slightly different from... oh wait. Now I see. Since this is a universal game, they changed the spells to abilities. But they work the same way. So instead of "I cast Mysterious Jolt" and subtract 1 Stamina you say "I'm using my Cunning Dash ability" and subtract 1 Stamina.

Abilities have levels just like skills, but are different in that they may have inherent limitations (use once per day, etc.) and they cost Stamina. These are like feats or other such game mechanics from other RPGs.

It does not have Backgrounds included. You have to invent your own. Which is fine... when I'm writing Backgrounds for something like Supercalla I'm inventing them as I go. This game just asks each player to do that on their own instead of rolling on a table.

Overall, seems solid. I could see me using this instead of Troika! if I had a really specific idea that wasn't weird enough for that game. I still don't know why it's called "the scrapbook RPG" but it's free.

Macho Women with Guns by Greg Porter with art by Darrel Midgette is a 13 pager that delivers on the title. You play the roles of tough females, usually with guns, doing adventure shit. Looks like this came out in the late 80s, according to what I read. Which is awesome... this isn't a game trying to look 80s, it is an 80s game. I also read that this doesn't have a PDF edition... but I have the PDF... oops... PIRACY!! There's also apparently a big, shiny version from Mongoose.

Chargen is point buy. Stats are things like Str, Dex, Macho, and Looks. You also have skills that add to your ability when using them. Then you roll equal to or under that number on 3d6 to do badass shit.

There are character advantages in addition to skills. So you can have stuff like teflon skin or a secret love.

You can do a Macho attack... being such a badass that you effectively diminish the Macho of your enemies and they might even just stare, stunned into submission by how fuckin' cool you look.

Apparently this was followed up by Renegade Nuns on Wheels and Batwinged Bimbos From Hell... so I want those.

Is this game sexist? I dunno. I can see an argument there, but I feel like the spirit of the game is pure and fun and any hint of sexism is relatively inconsequential and not worth whining about. Fight me if you want, I don't care.

Some funny and cool "monsters" from the book:

This is SOOOO 80s, and SOOOO cool. It needs its own RPG.


  1. The group I was with played RNoW / BBfH back in the day and had a blast but I don't recall the group ever playing them again. Although my BBfH character inspired a successful GURPS Supers character.

  2. On the "Is this game Sexist?" well IMO right now there's too much effort to push games "Social Justice" - a recent HPL based game proudly strutted how 'woke' they were "Don't play our game if you don't agree with our politics" - and another thing that claims to be 'grimdark', Zweihander - the writers have a similar stance...

    IMO there should be a backlash - lots of sexy, sexist imagery as a F--- you to those guys/gals/etc.

    Not for sexism but just that RPGs and the community has largely been progressive and liberal... So raving they need to be more 'woke' or whatever? Well - "Don't fix what is not broken" or something...

    1. Social justice and badassery are not mutually exclusive. I agree with the Zweihander folks. Fuck sexism, fuck nazis, and fuck the alt-right lamoids.

      Rock and roll, RPGs, and chainmail underwear FOREVER.