Three decades ago Will McLean brought us many laughs with the "Papers & Paychecks" illustration in the 'Dungeon Masters Guide' for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. A cursory search will reveal that on more than one occasion the thought has entered the heads of others that "Papers and Paychecks" would make a great roleplaying game.
But this is the first time that the idea has seen completion. With assistance by the RPG Review Cooperative, Inc., a non-profit body who will be receiving the proceeds of this Kickstarter, designer Lev Lafayette has brought the idea to fruition in a 128 page book with cover art from Dan 'Smif' Smith, famous for his illustrations from the GURPS line of books.
"Papers & Paychecks" posits a world that is downright hostile to the player characters using the metaphysical foundation of resistentialism. This is a supposedly joke philosophy based around the widespread anecdotal evidence of an apparent malice of inanimate objects against people: "Les choses sont contre nous" ("Things are against us").
Add this to a regular mix of cringeworthy managers, bumbling technicians, mad scientists, scheming administrators, wacky researchers, dodgy tradies, and brutish labourers, and you have the ingredients of the tragi-comedy that is "Papers and Paychecks", inspired by such TV shows as 'Drop The Dead Donkey', 'Corner Gas', 'The IT Crowd', 'The Office', 'Utopia', and Interns.
The game system uses many traditional features - it has the historic characteristics, Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma - they are even rolled on 3d6. But there is also a metagame characteristic, Luck, which allows the player to determine the results of any roll.
As with other classic games, "Papers and Paychecks" is a "gold piece system", but in reverse. Whereas in traditional RPGs one received "experience points" for acquiring treasure, in "Papers and Paychecks" your character will receive "treasure" (i.e., a paycheck) for having experience. "Papers and Paychecks" is also a "class and level" game however the classes are not a straight-jacket which restricts the character but rather is a set of abilities which can be changed regularly.
Like the original cartoon, task resolution in "Papers & Paycheck" is carried out with a 2d6 roll against a target number with modifiers from the characteristics, situation, etc.
Will McLean passed away a year ago on the day this Kickstarter is being launched. There is no easier way to support the humour he provided than by contributing to this Kickstarter and receiving the funniest roleplaying game ever written.
Cartoon image (c) Wizards of the Coast. Dungeons & Dragons, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and Dungeon Master's Guide are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast LLC in the USA and other countries. Used with permission.
Risks and challenges
This project has extremely low risks. Publication of a book, printing, publication, and distribution has extremely well-known supply chain management with minimal dependencies.
The RPG Review Cooperative has already been responsible for over thirty publications over several years and is well aware of the time and effort involved.
Some of the major risks which could delay the project include:
* Author, editor, or illustrator is unable to complete publication in time due to illness, etc. This is a low risk, which would lead to the project being delayed, or canceled in extremis.
* Printing delayed due to errors, omissions, etc. Risk is mitigated by selecting reputable printers. This is low risk, which would lead to the project being delayed.
* Distribution delayed. Extremely unlikely; would require massive failure in the postal network.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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