Your Favorite Weird Game- Time To Talk About the Weirdest RPGs You Know!

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Today, I learned the following bit of information ... the entry for "Ship of Theseus" was created on wikipedia in 2003. Since then, it has been edited 1792 times. At this point, none of the original phrases remain.


As we barrel into the remainder of the holiday season, I am preparing to go on a little sojourn, so I will be around a little less than usual. I haven't had a long post in a while, so I thought I'd make a post about a topic of personal interest that the rest of you might enjoy. Specifically ... WEIRD RPGs. As many of you know, I am a big fan of running FKR games and creating various rules-lite or one page adventures. More often than not, when I'm looking to run a one-shot, I like to create a bespoke game for the session. If you're not familiar with what I'm talking about, here's a few that I've posted to EnWorld in various competitions... (any weirdnesses you might see are usually due to time constraints, word constraints, and/or ingredient lists)-

A Complete Rules-Lite Game System for Players Who Can't Read Good and Wanna Learn to Play Other Stuff Good Too

YOU ARE A DISCO PARTY ANIMAL. YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE. You are navigating a complicated world of fans, drugs, and disco. The dancing lights, the blinding lights …

You don’t want trouble. You and your fellow sports-friends just want a good time after a hard day of playing your sport for fame and money. And yet … trouble always seems to find you. Aliens, animal/hybrid athletes, undead worshippers of yacht rock, robot narcs with bad blow, living nightmares summoned by cursed relics, that guy 'Chad' who only nods his head to the music, and worse … they all stand between you and your bliss- partying on the dance floor and busting out your insanely superior dancing styles. You might not have a “badge” or “official authority,” but you’re a famous person with impeccable dance moves. People know who you are. THEY KNOW WHO YOU ARE. They are looking to you to keep the party going.

You have three abilities:

FAME How recognizable you are to the commoners you sometimes have to associate with. This is not your brain, just the flame, it puts you in charge to keep you sane.

MONEY How many of your millions are left after your agent, your family, your agent’s family, your drug dealer, your dealer’s family and your entourage have taken their cut. The best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees- you have to pay to play.

DANCE You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life. Let the music take control, let the rhythm move you- everybody dance now! Just ... not as good as you.

You have-a 1, and-a 2, and-a 3. Assign one number to each ability.

1. On the field legend. It’s just about the rings.
2. In commercials for brands. What brands? All of them.
3. Social media superstar. More people watch you on TikTok than watch the World Cup.
4. Tabloid wreck. You’re shambolic, and people love to root for you falling (to get back up again).
5. You’re famous for partying with all the famous people. Every rose its thorn, and every ‘gram has its you.
6. Your golden-honeyed voice powers a singing career that has eclipsed both your on-field exploits and your off-field dancing.


1. Moon
2. Booty
3. Natural
4. Void
5. Shadow
6. Running
7. Cha-cha
8. Drunken
9. Crazy-legged
10. Robotic
1. Chicken
2. Hammer
3. Slideriffic
4. Rabbit
5. Faceplant
6. Sidelick
7. Elephant Trunk
8. Elevation
9. Vertigo
10. Shakeyshakeys

1. Path of the Racket
2. Way of the Track
3. Keeper of the Eighteen Holes
4. Baller of the Baskets
5. Oath of the Footballer
6. Art of the Rink

Narrate your actions. If you’re in doubt of the result because it’s something that will solve a major problem or provide you an advantage over an NPC, roll d6x(ability number), so an ability score of 2 lets you roll 2d6. Roll for most applicable ability; if you’re trying to score or bribe someone, roll MONEY, but if you need to intimidate the Erudite GOAT with your amazing dance moves, roll DANCE. In addition, you can trade party favors for additional dice.


4= standard

5=risky stuff

6=woah now!

If the highest dice roll>DC, you have succeeded and you get to describe what happens. If it’s the same, you succeed, you get a pooper, and the GM describes something bad that happens as well. If it’s lower, you fail, get a pooper, get a favor, and the GM describes something bad.

When you fail, if your pooper>highest dice, YOU ARE THE PARTY POOPER. You need to take a break to boot & rally, and reset your poopers and favors to zero.


Set up the first domino for the players and let them start knocking things over. If a situation can’t be resolved by dancing, partying, or asking the NPC, “Do you know who I am?” ask yourself, “Could I make this situation solvable by dancing, partying, or unthinking privilege exercised by someone famous and/or rich?”

1. Studio 54, but more gaudy and less restrained.
2. The Hacienda nightclub, but more psychedelic.
3. The Limelight, but less feel-good.
4. Le Clique, but more acrobats and less clothes.
5. Mudd Club, themed for Mother’s Day.
6. It’s a warehouse. Somewhere. Don’t tell anyone.

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE DISCOTHEQUE? (Roll 2d6 twice, nest the problems within each other)

2. A cursed dreamcatcher inside the disco ball is manifesting the nightmares of the guest into reality!
3. It’s a non-stop party, and no one can leave or stop dancing while the dancing lights play over the dance floor!
4. The kinky dungeon (INVITE ONLY) is being run by ravenous vampires!
5. The paintings in the unfinished rooms of the building begin to animate!
6. Killer robots? Killer robots!
7. Zombie rock lovers want to turn the beat around and bring the club to the soothing sounds of Michael McDonald. So smooth!
8. Aliens are taking over the bodies of the dancers and replacing them one ... at ... a time.
9. A truckload of tourists infected with a terrible plague breaks in and start line-dancing.
10. A mad scientist is going to use the disco ball as a power source for his laser to melt the polar ice caps, but first ... he must clear the dance floor.
11. The spirits and wraiths of those who have partied before begin to appear throughout the club.
12. The Fire Department has been alerted to code violations, except the Fire Department is a cult that worships a dark demon lord.


2. The Erudite GOAT. The mutated hybrid clone of Tom Brady and Albert Einstein is going to bore you to death explaining the scientific basis for great athletic performance.
3. The Destitute Dragon. The head of the Klan hates how disco music is bringing marginalized people together, and is going to destroy the dance and take your money.
4. The Thin White Dude. This cadaverous figure is going station to station and want to kill you and take your drugs.
5. Le Freak. A monstrous abomination that wishes it was chic.
6. The Woodknocker. A scary monster, but not a super creep.
7. Boogie Oogie Oogie. A ghoul with scent of carrion, the look of death, but the taste … of golden honey.
8. Sheena the Punk Rocker. She's going to carry all the kids away from the Discotheque.
9. The Chief of Police. The very very sexy Chief of Police.
10. The Unappreciated Bouncer, resentful of the party people.
11. The hot avatar of a hot god who'd rather spend quality time with you.
12. The uncaring abyss that is the over-forward march of time, and to which we all must, in the end, admit defeat.

GM NOTE- There is no GM. Or everyone is a GM. You’ll figure it out. But you need at least three people. You can have more, but you need at least three.

Every participant is a player (see below). The characters all start with two insanity points. There are no other stats.

You can choose between two “actions” on your turn.

Option 1- On your turn, declare and write down a basic principle of play (e.g., the game has magic/no magic, or the game has hit points).

Describe a challenge for your character. This can involve creating some new fiction in the game.

The player to your left explains and writes down a simple rule that determines the success/failure of the challenge. If there is an already-existing rule for the challenge, the player may add a detail relevant to the situation.

Resolve the challenge.

Then the player to your right will narrate the outcome based on the success/failure.

Option 2- You can eat the orc meat (see below). Eating meat increases your insanity by one. In addition, you can disbelieve the fiction. Successfully rolling at, or under, your insanity score with 2d6 means that you can eliminate any single (1) principle (and associated rules). Failure to roll under means that you can eliminate any single (1) rule and that you acquire two additional insanity points. Accumulating 11 insanity points turns you forevermore into a nonplayable NPC, and your turn ends immediately and forever.

And then…

Play passes in a counterclockwise direction. Play continues until (1) the Trial is concluded (see below), or (2) every player but one has been driven insane, leaving one character, alone, forever, externally validating the loneliness that was already inside; or (3) everyone stops playing because the rules have overwhelmed the game, finally signifying the utter futility of running after marks and prizes and accomplishments.

Rule Zero- At no point can a new principle or rule contradict the fiction or rules already established in the written rules.

Rule Zero and a Half- At no point can a new principle or rule contradict Rule Zero, or an existing principle or rule created by a player.

Rule Zero and Three-Quarters- At no point can a new principle or rule result in an “instant-win” or “instant-lose” for a character.

You have been hard at work with your fellow designers creating the upcoming changes to The World’s Most Popular Roleplaying Game. You know that you must finish this work as your employer, the World’s Most Semi-Successful Toy Company, keeps you working with the alluring promise of meager pay, expensive and complicated health care benefits, and, if you make your deadlines with uncompensated overtime, Taco Tuesday.

But the constant toil is tiring, and you’re feeling the crunch. The latest, greatest, but certainly not new, edition will be released soon. You only need to get a few more tweaks in, and you and your friends can leave and go to the Earth, Wind & Fire Concert that you’ve been waiting for.

…but as you put in the finishing touches to the improved, but not new, Monk, you feel this strange surge of energy shoot through you. You’re no longer in the spacious yet sterile conference room, far removed from your usual cubicle.

Instead, you’re in a tavern. But not a sports bar. You’re in THE TAVERN, where adventurers congregate to go out on adventures. Except you’re not an adventurer, you’re just an NPC. And not even an important NPC.

The Tavern
You’re in The Tavern. It’s a legendary tavern known to all who have played The World’s Most Popular Roleplaying Game, but not so legendary that the name matters. It’s called the Smiling Drake. Or The Salted Goblin. Or the Dragon’s Breath. Something that was probably generated from a random table. And it’s filled with several interesting people. A merchant who is a little tipsy and is, perhaps too loudly, describing the route of his caravan. A shadowy figure in the back who might be a member of the assassin’s guild. A haughty elven warrior who looks strangely out of place. A pirate with a parrot and a peg leg talking about buried treasure. A bartender who keeps saying, “No, I am not a dragon pretending to be a human, why do you ask?” A board with a list of bounties that you can’t quite read.

Periodically, a group of adventurers barge through the legendary entrance to this tavern, make some small talk with the interesting people in The Tavern, throw around some gold, quaff some ale or mead, and then depart.

… and everything in The Tavern resets. Waiting for the next group of adventurers to come through.

You’re trapped in the generic starting tavern for a D&D game. But you’re not an adventurer. You’re not even a colorful NPC that the adventurers talk to. No, you’re one of the faceless background people who doesn’t have a name, a class, or even a stat block.

You quickly get your bearings. You discover the following immutable facts about The Tavern-

  • No Exit. The doors to The Tavern are legendary to adventurers, swinging open to call them to adventure. To you, they are distasteful, imprisoning you as cannot fathom pulling or pushing on them.
  • Beyond Good and Evil. There is a giant, angry goose that is just outside the heralded swinging doors to The Tavern. The goose allows adventurers in and out of The Tavern and appears to them as nothing more than a charming waterfowl, but viciously attacks and chases back any of the NPCs that try to leave. Who do you suppose the Goose is? Why, the torturer, of course. The Goose is not good, the Goose is not evil, but the Goose always is and always will keep you inside.
  • The Tunnel. In the basement of The Tavern is only one tunnel, dark and lonely, yours.
  • The Cave. At the end of the tunnel is a strange scene; a flooded cave bereft of light and hope, and you are the strange prisoners. Is there something under the water? Perhaps another tunnel, or a device, or a tentacled beast? Or is the dank water just a manifestation of the omnipresent despair that you feel lapping at the remains of your sanity?
  • The Metamorphosis. While the adventurers that walk through those doors are plied with flagons of ale and obscenely large succulent turkey legs, you are an NPC, moving toward the unknown nourishment you crave. There is only one food you may be served: the preserved meat of orcs. You notice that the other NPCs seem to enjoy this strange flavor, chewing methodically on it; after you have eaten two slices of it, you begin to feel as if your life as a designer of this game was more of a troubled dream. You know that this orc charcuterie tethers you to this world, but you cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside of you. You cannot even explain it to yourself.
  • Steppenwolf. The pirate, in truth, calls himself Steppenwolf. He is aware of the unreality of all that is around him and finds neither home nor joy nor nourishment in The Tavern which is strange and incomprehensible to him. His hollow peg leg contains a map to a treasure in the hills outside of The Tavern that he has refused to give to any adventurers because, after all, what’s the point? It all just resets again.
But just as all hope seems lost, you remember something … something fleeting. Something ephemeral. You’re not just NPCs. You are GAME DESIGNERS. Maybe, just maybe, you can design your way out of this problem.

You realize that you can create the rules that affect this world. But at the same time, the more tasty orc prosciutto you consume, the more this world seems real to you, and the less you can remember that this is just a game.

Character Motivations
There are three motivations for characters.

1. The character wants to escape the nameless life of the NPC and become a full adventurer. The character desires to replace this banal existence with an existence of chasing gold and adventure, anything that will distract the character from the utter meaninglessness of existence.

2. The character wants to return to the sweet, sweet embrace of The Toy Company. The character is looking for any possible way to rend a hole in the fabric of space and time to escape The Tavern and return to the decadent escapism of modern life.

3. The character has embraced The Tavern. In despair, there are the most intense enjoyments, especially when you are aware of your hopelessness.

Assign the motivations in order. If there are more than three players, continue assigning them in order starting again with the first motivation.

The Trial
Players have three hours before the Earth, Wind & Fire concert begins in the material world. After one hour and fifty minutes of play, put on Greatest Hits by Earth, Wind & Fire. At the end of the album, it will be too late to go to the concert, and the characters will be stuck in The Tavern forever. This is a victory for any Player whose character has a motivation to stay in The Tavern unless that character is already insane.

Players who are trying to adventure will succeed if they manage to get past the hallowed doors of The Tavern that have seen so many adventurers pass through them, get past the wicked giant goose that keeps them in place, and go forth on an adventure. Maybe they might find a way through the despair of the Cave or drown in the process. But if they can recover the buried treasure that Steppenwolf has on his map located in his peg leg, they win. What do they win? Maybe stop making up your own games, and just play D&D at that point. Go back to the tavern and read the board. Find your next adventure.

Players who are trying to blow a hole in space and time and return to the sweet capitalist embrace of The World’s Most Semi-Successful Toy Company might also learn something from Steppenwolf about the unreality of this existence, and a way to end it. Or find something in the flooded cave beneath The Tavern. Or double-cross their adventuring comrades and find that the treasure is not gold that glitters, but instead explodes them back to their own time and space. The important thing is that these players find their escape in returning to the Toy Company, finishing their work on the game, and getting to hear the sweet dulcet sounds of Earth, Wind & Fire in concert.

Players who are resigned to the true futility of existence will do everything they can to keep their friends with them in The Tavern. Work to remove the narrative tension. Remind the other players that other people can sort out problems. Adventuring is a lot of work… better leave that to the adventurers. And why get recaptured by the allure of the constant treadmill of a capitalist toy company; after all, isn’t work just the same as entering a pie-eating contest where the prize is … more pie? You can never change your life, and you aren’t dissatisfied with what you have here. Orc salami isn’t as bad as Taco Tuesday. Nothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. But you will always find something to give you the impression that you exist.


Every player gets 8 sticks of bubblegum. This is their only stat. If they want to do anything that is contested, they must roll a d10. If it involves asskicking, then they must roll greater than their stat. If they want to do anything that does not involve asskicking, they must roll under their stat. Players lose a stick of bubblegum under four circumstances- (1) after every twenty-four hours outside of the City, (2) if they fail a non-combat roll, (3) if they sacrifice a stick to ensure success on any roll (prior to the roll), or (4) if they chew the bubblegum.

Players with zero bubblegum have succumbed to “background radiation” and can no longer succeed at any non-asskicking activities, no matter how simple. They are filled with rage but are able to asskick with alacrity. If all players have 0 bubblegum, then the game ends with them wandering around attacking everything in sight.

Players can stabilize their stat by putting on rad shades (see below), in which case they can no longer lose points over time or by missing rolls. They also cannot sacrifice gum for automatic success.

But they might still eat the gum.

Background for Players
It’s sometime far in the future. No one knows the exact date. There was a terrible nuclear holocaust that destroyed most of the earth. You are sheltered in a small city, surrounded by a forceshield, that keeps out the harmful radiation and the howling desert that encompasses everything as far as knowledge and memory extend.

Outside, in the desert, there are monstrosities. Rage-filled mutants. Voiceless killer dogs and bloodthirsty worms. The desert is death. But life in the confines of the City is not much better; constant toil to keep things working and the numbing loss of people … due to the raids of the mutant hunting parties or the accidents of the machinery that keeps this beacon of humanity safe and fed. Life for most is an endless drudgery of work and procreation, to keep the faint embers of humanity alive.

You have been summoned by the leaders of the City, the aristocracy called the Sleuth, who have a life of uncaring luxury because only they have the knowledge to keep the City functioning. A recent raid has stolen valuable copper reserves needed to keep the electric generators that power the forceshield operational. You’ve been told that this raid was orchestrated by the bandit mutant Grizzlyhoot, an intelligent rage-filled owl/bear hybrid mutant that wants to destroy this last refuge. The Sleuth provides a map to his lair, 20 klicks out, and gives you crude weapons and supplies to survive the trek. Finally, you receive an injection that temporarily protects you from the radiation outside of the City.

You must go out into the desert, find the lair, kill Grizzlyhoot, and retrieve the copper … if humanity is to survive.

The Desert
The map provides directions to the lair’s location. However, within the desert are two challenges that the players will encounter in addition to rage-filled mutants, the constant windstorms, the heat, and the pressure of time.

Roaming the desert are sonic dogs. The dogs scout solo, but if they spot people, they emit yelps in a frequency that cannot be heard, summoning all the dogs in the area. If allowed to, sonic dogs will form into a group and begin silently howling at people in a targeted frequency too high to hear, which, within three minutes, will liquify the internal organs of the target and cause death.

The desert also contains sand leeches. These terrifying four-foot-long critters live under the sand and will burst forth in a furious spray of sand and attach themselves to any exposed flesh… although they prefer the face. If there is no exposed flesh, they will burrow through any material softer than metal in under 10 seconds. Within one minute of attachment, the leeches will have sucked enough blood that even removal after that point will result in the death of the player.

The Lair
Rising out of the desert is a large hill, and the lair is a series of catacombs and rooms that were made in the hill long ago as a government fallout shelter. As the players approach, if they look closely through the swirling sands, they might be able to make out something resembling a tall sword pointing out of the top of the hill.

Within the lair are numerous rooms containing food and various forms of equipment. There will be several bear/owl hybrid mutants, dressed as humans. Some will have weapons, patrolling as guards, and others will be going about doing various tasks. Everyone in the bunker, including Grizzlyhoot, is wearing goggles as part of their uniform (rad shades).

At the center of the lair is a large laboratory with a large copper cauldron, various electronics, manufacturing presses, and some control panels. Grizzlyhoot spends all his time either working in the laboratory or sleeping in a small room off to the side. The copper cauldron is filled with a heated liquid slurry that Grizzlyhoot is working with. If the players empty the cauldron and return it to the City, they will have accomplished their mission.

However, Grizzlyhoot is determined to destroy the City. He has also found and reprogrammed the Sword (Strategic Weapon Ordinance Rig – Doomsday), one of the before-times tactical nuclear missiles that had been used to destroy the world. The Sword is currently on top of the hill and pointed at the City. If Grizzlyhoot is alive when the players leave with the copper, or if he believes that his cause is lost, he will access the control panel and fire the missile at the City, destroying it and everything within 20 klicks.

The Twist
There is no background radiation.

The City is a prison. After the war, the local bears got smart. Real smart. They enslaved the local humans and took over the City. There is no longer even a hint of a memory of this time. The Bears now use humans for labor and food.

The forceshield is part of the Sleuth’s elaborate scheme. There is an energy field that extends from the City and for hundreds of klicks that affects the retinas of humans and distorts human perception. Other humans appear as monstrosities, while the bears appear to be humans. Exposure to the field causes humans to become angrier and bloodthirsty, and eventually so filled with rage that they are unable to think or communicate.

The sonic dogs and sand leeches were seeded throughout the desert by the Sleuth to keep humans in the City, and the other “monstrosities” are just humans who have been in the desert too long. All the forceshield does is provide protection from the windstorms of the desert that the Sleuth created to keep the humans in. Instead, it’s the electric lights within the City that afford some protection; allowing humans to continue to see each other correctly, while the Sleuth remains hidden in plain sight, all while affording respite from the rage. The only protection for humans outside of the City is either the Sleuth’s injection, engineered to wear off over a short span of time, or the rad shades, which will shield the eyes from the radiation and reveal things for what they are.

Grizzlyhoot and the others within the lair are humans, sent from an enclave far beyond the desert to liberate the City. Grizzlyhoot needs the copper cauldron’s specific chemical properties to make more rad shades and start a revolution within the City to overthrow the Sleuth and destroy their machine; the Sleuth uncovered this plan and sent the players to kill Grizzlyhoot under the ruse of recovering the copper. But bears, even smart bears, don’t care about the copper or the humans.

The Believer
One player is (secretly) given the role of the Believer. This player will know the truth, but for reasons (up to the player) the player has decided to support the Sleuth, even knowing that they do not care about the player or humanity and will sacrifice themselves or other players to support the mission.

Notes for Running the Game
The mechanics of the game mean that groups that go combat-first may never learn the truth; on the other hand, do not drop hints about the goggles. The players will be viewed as hostile agents of the City when they enter the lair but they can change that perception. Grizzlyhoot will fire the Sword, but it will be a last resort; the scars of the sins of our forefathers will likely cause him to hesitate.

If the players learn the truth and join Grizzlyhoot, then they can attempt to overthrow the Sleuth and smash the control images, smash the control machine.

Also? Make sure it’s good bubblegum. Temptation is a heckuva thing.


You have two loves in life; the thrill of lucha libre in front of scores of adoring fans, and the sweet, sweet taste of horchata. But recently, your post-match horchata has been replaced by something new; an iced pumpkin spice latte.

This aggression will not stand. You and your fellow luchadores have uncovered the existence of a vast pumpkin spice conspiracy to replace all of our beverages, even the sacred horchata, with pumpkin spice. And behind it is one person- Melon Tusk. You know that if only you and your fellow luchadores use your awesome wrestling skills and amazing presence to break into the fortified headquarters of Big Spice, you can kill Melon Tusk and end the reign of pumpkin spice. And even if it doesn't end pumpkin spice, it will end Melon Tusk.

As a luchador, you have three abilities:

RASSLIN' From piledrivers to climbing to sneaking around so referees and security guards don't see you and your amazing cape, rasslin' is all your physical abilities.

DRAMA Your ability to command the attention of crowds, to distract people from your tag-team partner sneaking up on them, or to intimidate people by force of personality and a penetrating stare.

KAYFABE You can briefly suspend reality and force others into a script of your design.

Uno. Dos. Tres. Assign one number to each ability.

In addition, roll a d10.
If you roll 1-5, your luchador is a Technico (a face, or a "good guy").
If you roll a 6-10, your luchador is a Rudo (a heel, or a "bad guy").

1. Solid black.
2. Chupacabra.
3. My Little Pony.
4. Aztec gods.
5. Deadpool.
6. Sparkly.
7. Chicano art.
8. Flamin' Cheetos.
9. A Coca Cola bottle, but with real sugar.
10. The letter H (for Horchata).

1. Choke
2. Gorilla
3. Atomic
4. Tombstone
5. Black Mamba
6. Grim Reaper
7. Mariachi
8. Barbenheimer
9. Texting and Driving
10. High falutin'
1. Slammer
2. Leveler
3. Wedgie
4. Submission
5. Sharpshooter
6. Bomb
7. Slaughter
8. Compound Fracture
9. Piledriver
10. Spleen 'Splosion.

Narrate your actions. If you’re in doubt of the result because it’s something that will solve a major problem or provide you an advantage over an NPC, roll d10 and add the ability score of your most relevant trait, so an ability score of 2 is d10+2. In addition, if you are acting in accordance with your role as a RUDO or a TECHNICO, you can add 1 to the roll, if you are acting in opposition to that role, you subtract 1. The GM will tell you the number to beat. If what you are doing is really dangerous, then you will get an UNMASKING point if you fail your roll. UNMASKING is very very bad, and you don't want to be unmasked.

The GM's characters will never be rolling dice- instead, they will force you to roll them.


Set up the first domino for the players and let them start knocking things over. If a situation can’t be resolved by rasslin', drama, or kayfabe ask yourself, “Could I make this situation solvable by rasslin', force of personality, or with the luchador ludicrously staying in character?"

Note that if a luchador ever rolls a number equal to their UNMASKING score, then the luchador is unmasked. They no longer have any honor and cannot continue. If this would result in an excess of "nonfun," you can alternately decide that they suffer a great penalty, such as a reduction of one point to all their abilities.

Task DC are as follows:
5- So simple.
6- Ya basic.
7- Challenging.
8- Difficult.
9- Real difficult.
10- Nope.

1. The new Apple HQ, but filled with fall spices and good cheer instead of iPhones and NDAs.
2. The Pentagon, but with each side containing, respectively, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.
3. The MI6 building in London, but much more terrifying.
4. The Volcano lair from You Only Live Twice, but with soothing light jazz pumped in everywhere.
5. The compound from Ex Machina; getting there is only half the battle.
6. A warehouse. From any one of a million Arrowverse shows.
7. Hashima Island (used in Skyfall).
8. The MGM Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.
9. A retro-futuristic building in the Hollywood Hills.
10. Neuschwanstein Castle.

1. Sharks with friggin' laser beams on their heads.
2. Rasslin' referees that don't look the other way.
3. Gaggles of rabid Swifties, looking for Pumpkin Spice Lattes and arguing about who Taylor Swift is currently dating.
4. The Great Pumpkin. It's why he never visited Linus's pumpkin patch.
5. Security guards cloned from Vince McMahon.
6. The Spice Girls. They tell you what they want, what they really really want ... and it's pumpkin spice.
7. An advanced, and crazy, AI. "I'm sorry, El Scorpio, I'm afraid I can't do that."
8. Hordes of winged howler monkeys / BigLaw associates.
9. Hired mercenaries from the WWE that want to show you the superiority of 'Murikan 'rasslin'.
10. Starbucks baristas using made-up Italian words and imaginary Italian weapons.

1. A flesh-suit controlled by an alien.
2. A RUDO!
3. A drug dealer trying to get the world hooked on addictive pumpkin spice.
4. An emotional vampire that exists by feeding off the energy of people deprived of joy through the homogeneity of pumpkin spice.
5. Leader of a cult of pumpkin worshippers.
6. Three forest critters in a suit.
7. Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
8. Using pumpkin spice as a cover to build a doomsday device, and cover the world in a pumpkin-spice scented nuclear winter.
9. A time traveler using advanced technology to "pumpkin spice-ify" every possible product, from lattes to unleaded gas.
10. Just your usual corporate a*h***.

That said, I always find my inspiration in the numerous awesome games out there that provide something new ... some kind of weird mechanic or setting that provides inspiration. While many of us are familiar with a game like Dread, I think it would be great to start a conversation about games that are so profoundly weird that they inspire you- whether its through the setting or the mechanics or both.

I'll start by listing some of the games that have truly inspired me to want to create my own systems.

1. Ten Candles. With the right group, possibly the best zero-prep tragic horror game I've played. A quick description won't do it justice, but the basic mechanic involves tea candles and it uses fire as a game mechanic.

2. The Witch is Dead. I could list any number of rules-lite games by Grant Howitt, but I'll use this one as an example. In this one pages, you play a woodland critter seeking revenge on the person who killed your witch. Yeah.

3. The Shab Al-Hiri Roach. Hard to explain, but its a game that explores the delicate balance between academic pursuits and letting roaches crawl into your head and control your body to do stuff.

4. Wisher, Theurgist, Fatalist (aka, WTF). Is it a game? Is it a game about games? Is it even playable (yes)? What are rules, anyway?

5. Dialect: A Game About Language and how it Dies. A game about language, and ... well, how languages die.

I could go on forever, because there are so many amazing games out there, but I'm afraid that if I do, I will deprive the amazing commenters of EnWorld the opportunity to share their own great experiences. So, what weirdnesses have you loved? What games (or settings) were so memorable that you still think about them constantly? When you think of RPGs that have really pushed the bounds of what is even possible, what games do you want to talk about?

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I'll have to search for more, but "weird" mechanics immediately reminded me of LIFTS: Ultimate Pump Edition and its successor LIFTS: Powered by Your ABpocalypse. In both games the core idea is that all your checks get replaced by physical exercise - sometimes against a fixed threshold, sometimes as opposed tests against the Muscle Master (exact name varies depending on the specific variant of which there are multiple in each booklet). There is also a large number of great and terrible RPG puns (I guess, good puns are always great and terrible at the same time ;) ).


Getting lost in fantasy maps
I’ve hard a soft spot for Rune, by Robin D. Laws. A ttrpg of the video game Rune, a video game about Viking mayhem. It seems that the Ars Magica system was adjusted for a pure melee-focused game.

I had a long period of grabbing all Viking-themed material and I played (and loved!) the video game so I had to get that ttrpg of it. Still have a soft spot for it as it was the first rpg to give me a taste of non-D20 mechanics at work.

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I'll have to search for more, but "weird" mechanics immediately reminded me of LIFTS: Ultimate Pump Edition and its successor LIFTS: Powered by Your ABpocalypse. In both games the core idea is that all your checks get replaced by physical exercise - sometimes against a fixed threshold, sometimes as opposed tests against the Muscle Master (exact name varies depending on the specific variant of which there are multiple in each booklet). There is also a large number of great and terrible RPG puns (I guess, good puns are always great and terrible at the same time ;) ).

.....I can't believe I didn't know about that one. Okay, I'm going to add that to my research list.


B/X Known World
Cool topic. I love weirdness in games.

The standout example for weird setting, I think, is Over the Edge 3E. All editions of OtE have weirdness baked into their settings, of course, but it's ramped up as the editions go and 3E has the weirdest of the lot. Every conspiracy theory you can imagine and hundreds that are too weird to imagine are all real and true and inhabit the small Atlantic island of Al Amarja. One way I've described the setting is if every other weird setting or conspiracy theory RPG were rated and your characters leveled up through those other settings, Al Amarja would be the last level with all the weirdness from every other setting/level in there rubbing shoulders, getting coffee together, and trying to sell you drugs. It's like Planescape's Sigil but for weird fiction and conspiracy theories.

The rules are also kinda weird, according to most traditional gamers. They would easily fit on one side of one page with room to spare. The core mechanic is roll 2d6. If you're actively doing something, you succeed on 7+. If you're reacting against something, you succeed on 8+. You get dis/advantage based on skill and circumstances. Roll extra d6s and take the lowest/highest two. Narrative twists happen if your final result includes any 3s or 4s. You get negative twists from 3s and positive twists from 4s. Health is three strikes and you're out. There's a little more to it than that, but that's the system in a nutshell. Character creation is effectively freeform with a few specific, leading questions to answer.

My other go to is Shock: Social Science Fiction. It's designed to do what it says on the tin, create social science fiction in the vein of Philip K Dick and other New Wave sci-fi authors. It's a game where you create the setting during session 0 and come up with the theme(s) you're going to play through. You also pick your stat pairs based on the theme(s). Say this game will be about violence vs negotiation so that is one stat pair. You then pick a number 1-10 for that pair and which side of that number each stat is. Say you picked a 7 and want to be better at violence than negotiations, so to successfully commit violence you want to roll successfully negotiate you want to roll 8-10. This over-under mechanic showed up later in a more refined state in Lasers & Feelings, but it's the same idea. Take that, expand it to 4-5 pairs of stats centered around a few opposing themes, focus on making it New Wave social science fiction and you've got Shock.

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