Fringe/Weird RPGs

  • Sorry for this almost-double-post (good to know, @Alamias), but in going through my DTRPG downloads I forgot one.

    The big one.

    The best one.

    A Dirty World, by Greg Stolze.

    People probably know him better because of Reign, Unknown Armies, Wild Talents/Godlike, Better Angels (mentioned previously).

    A Dirty World is a game about living in the the 1940s and uses a system that I desperately want to make work elsewhere wherein you can do pretty much anything that doesn't take a lot of skill as long as your personality says you're confident in doing so.

    If you want to deflect a scum mobster, you need to be confident in your righteousness. If you want to hit harder, you need to give up some innocence to throw your anger behind your punch.

    These personality traits aren't just whatever number you want, but they come in pairs, and at a level they're mutually exclusive. You don't have "slight of hand", but if you're more sleazy than innocent your character is more likely to pick that lock no matter how much "skill" your character might have.

    And the system is tiny. My explanation of why I like the system is about as deep as the system goes, and follows up with many specific examples because the idea of rolling "Persuasion + Purity" doesn't come naturally.

    It is not a game of high worldly stakes. It's noir, through-and-through, and as part of a larger system I could take to it even faster than Apocalypse World for a new way of playing RPGs.

  • Going to chip in here, too! I've got some weird ones on my shelf.

    BATTLELORDS OF THE 23RD CENTURY - Basically just reads like a weird WH40k ripoff, but I never looked to into it beyond buying it for the name alone.

    Brave New World - an archetype-based superhero game in which JFK was transdimensionally assassinated by dinos in mechs and replaced with a shapeshifting reptoid. There's a lot of other weird AUness but that's the part that always stuck out to me the most.

    Retail Magic - an ashcan production from the same guy who translated the MAID RPG, where you roleplay as store clerks selling magical items to adventuring parties.

    And a recent buy from just the other day: TINGLEVERSE - Roleplaying in the Hugo Award Nominee Chuck Tingle' Mythos of bigfeet, unicorns, dinos, humans, and living objects. It is a trip.

    Edit: Totally forgot to mention:

    • Bath Salts - roleplaying as telemarketers in a cubicle just trying to survive the week
    • MYFAROG - the ludicrously racist Nordic Fantasy RPG written by black metal famous vocalist and murderer Varg Vikernes. (that I bought years ago out of dreadful curiosity and it was worse than I ever imagined)
    • Suzerain - a card-based RPG that I've never been able to figure out what it's about from a Google search and just don't have the energy to read, but it just all seems too incredibly abstract

  • Pitcrew

    People have mentioned Apocalypse World, but no mention so far of the first(?) PbtA game:

    Monster Hearts
    A supernatural teenage romance RPG about the messy lives of teenage monsters. I love this game.

    Also have a few super-short pay what you want games like

    Let The Bodies Hit the Floor
    Where the players are a group of parasitic mind-controlling worms. When you try to act, you flip a coin; heads are good, tails mark the counter. The first four are manageable ("nothing wrong with me"), the next four are worse ("something's got to give"), and then the bodies hit the floor.

    Barbarians of Academia
    The PCs are barbarians from the sunken continent of Lemuria, cast through time and space to modern-day US, employed as professors of Lemurian Studies. The Dean is holding a party, and at the end of the night, only one of the barbarians... can receive tenure.

    A tie-in to Kieron Gillen's comic book of the same name. The PCs are players in a role-playing campaign. They're sucked into the world of the game, and need to escape home... or, y'know, not.

  • Pitcrew

    Bunnies and Burrows. Thematically it's set in a world like Watership Down; where you're playing... bunnies. Not anthro bunnies; just bunnies. Enemies are things like dogs and foxes and whatnot. It's contemporary to original D&D, but has a far more detailed mechanic in terms of it's own skill system, and even it's own martial arts system (Bun-fu. I shit you not)

  • @Killer-Klown

    I liked B&B. I also liked Wabbit Wampage.

    Although not really a fringe game, I adore Earthdawn.

  • @Ganymede said in Fringe/Weird RPGs:


    I liked B&B. I also liked Wabbit Wampage.

    Although not really a fringe game, I adore Earthdawn.

    Some day I will be able to get through any printing without feeling like the layout artist wants to stab my eyes out with the text.

  • @Tyche Yup! I own a physical copy of it. It's a delightful read.

  • Pitcrew

    @Joyeuse said in Fringe/Weird RPGs:

    @Tyche Yup! I own a physical copy of it. It's a delightful read.

    Love is real.

    Lessee, what else... I have Little Fears, a seriously disturbing horror game. The PCs are children menaced by the denizens of Closetland that want to drag them away. It's kind of a weird mash-up of the childish (you can fight off the monsters with the plastic ray gun!) and the really, really adult (thinly-veiled, or not at all veiled, references to abduction and abuse). The second edition ("Nightmare Edition") tones this down. It's a really well-written game I'm not sure I'd ever play, even if I found a group.

    Cat: a Little Game About Little Heroes, by John Wick. You are a cat. The monsters are coming for your person. They can't see the monsters, but you can. (What did you think the cat was freaking out over?)

    Kagematsu, a really short, structured samurai RPG. One person is playing the titular ronan, the rest of the players are village women trying to convince him to stop his wandering and defend them from the inevitable doom that threatens their village.

    Sorcerer: probably the best-known RPG I'd still comfortably count as "fringe." The players are sorcerers who get power from bound demons. It comes at a price.

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