Make No Mistake About Oops, All Draculas

Stories that put the laughter into slaughter.

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Comedy and horror seem like unlikely partners. They both can achieve a direct emotional response when properly executed. Monsters often follow a track from terrifying creature to comedic mascot and back again as a new generation refreshes what made the beast scary in the first place. Vampires are a perfect example of this cycle. Bela Lugosi’s performance as Dracula brought dread to moviegoers while also becoming the basis of everything from a Muppet character to a breakfast cereal. Oops, All Draculas, from designer Jessica Marcrum, looks to combine the horrific and the hilarious in a small indie game. She sent along a review copy for me to read. Does the game teach players to lurk, laugh and love? Let’s play to find out.

Oops, All Draculas sets players as Draculas living their lives in the modern day. The characters brush up against challenges mundane and exotic ranging from a rivalry that’s lasted for hundreds of years to an annoying neighbor who keeps letting their dog out to tear up the lawn. The game uses a simple d6 system that counts successes. It also features a team up mechanic that encourages players to take collective action. I found this an interesting choice, given the general portrayal of vampires in modern media as scheming masters of intrigue. It helps the game stand out and also reinforces the theme that the spooky house full of undead is also a found family full of weirdos who help each other out.

The most obvious touchstone for this game is What We Do In The Shadows which expertly blends big scares and fish out of water comedy. The show helped vampires out of their post-Twilight pop culture funk and this game seems like a great way to reach out to fans of the show that might not be willing to commit to a full on campaign. There’s also a bit of Addams Family DNA here showing how the weirdos have bonds stronger than normal people. The Nosferatu may be a hideous monster that feasts on the blood of humans, but they’ll be there when you hit the open mike night with your 200 year old opera.

The game assumes a familiarity with the comedy horror drama. While getting the vibe right can be as simple as firing up a few episodes during session zero, I would like to see more genre guidance within the text. There’s discussion of safety tools, of course, but I wanted to see some more examples of how powers work or situations the Draculas can get into. A page or two of story hooks stretching from the mundane to the weird could really be useful for groups who might need a little more inspiration. The key to a good story style is balancing out the spooky with the funny and that can be a tricky tightrope to walk. Having some charts that generate unusual combinations of story elements could help here. How does the one in a thousand years double blood moon connect to the local Wilderness Girls fundraiser?

Oops, All Draculas offers a way to tell stories that put the laughter in slaughter.

If you found this review helpful, please consider purchasing the product using the affiliate links in the article. Thank you for supporting your friendly local game reviewer.
 

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Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland


Legendmaker1967

First Post
I am home brewing this I liked the idea but wanted to add the element of combat rules if the situation came up this is what I developed for it.
Oops All Draculas Combat Rules”



Combat Rules:

  1. Initiative:
    • At the start of combat, each player rolls two D6 to determine their initiative order.​
    • The highest combined roll goes first, followed by the next highest, and so on.​
  2. Attack Rolls:
    • When a player character attempts to attack, they roll a D6.​
    • A roll of 5 or 6 counts as a success. If they roll less than 5, it's a failure.​
    • The GM then describes the outcome of the attack based on the number of successes rolled.​
  3. Defense Rolls:
    • When a character is attacked, they roll a D6 to defend themselves.​
    • A roll of 5 or 6 counts as a success. If they roll less than 5, it's a failure.​
    • The GM describes how much, if any, of the attack the character manages to avoid.​
  4. Health and Stamina:
    • Each character has a health or stamina pool determined by rolling two D6 at the start of the game. This pool represents their physical resilience.​
    • When this pool reaches zero, the character is incapacitated or defeated, depending on the severity of the damage.​
  5. Defeat and Transformation:
    • When a Dracula (Vampire)character's health reaches zero, they are defeated.​
    • The defeated character rolls 1d6:​
      • On a roll of 6, they transform into a gas form and retreat to their coffin or resting place.​
      • If they retreat to their coffin, they roll another 1d6 to regain health points, up to the rolled value.​
      • This regeneration is not possible if their coffin or resting place is destroyed.​
 

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