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Three 80's Glam Metal Horror RPG Zines with chilling adventures and Quick-Play rules based on Blades in the Dark by John Harper.
126 backers pledged $1,667 to help bring this project to life.
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 A new, optional rule has been included in the zines to make the game even more challenging. Using a smartspeaker channel, old cd's and tapes, or one of our three Spotify playlists, the GM will tick a four segment clock each time a song ends during play. Once the clock is filled, things get worse for the characters, and the clock resets!

Hair Metal Horror#1 playlist is linked to the image below:

After finishing the first set, Lola looked up from her bass at the crowd gathered around the makeshift stage. Strange, where did all the kids go? When she started there were at least couple dozen metalheads up front. Now it's all middle-aged farmers. Her band has been stuck in this town for three days leading up to the "Corn-Fest", and it's been a real drag, but it really seems to have sucked the life right out of this miserable lot.  Now they are helping a man in his sixties up on the stage, what the heck? He's wearing a military uniform from like, forever ago. Lola reminds herself to play it cool, and to slap on her thickest fake German accent as it occurs to her that he might actually speak the language. "This might not end well," she thinks to herself.

Hair Metal Horror (HMH) is a narrative pulp horror RPG game for two to five players, set in an alternative version of the 1980's at the height of Glam Metal glory. 

Inspired by terror comics such as Creepy, Tales from the Crypt, and Vault of Horror, each zine contains quick-play rules, a chilling scenario, maps, illustrations, pregenerated characters... everything you need to play for a night aside from writing instruments and some six sided dice.

Hair Metal Horror's mechanics are based on Blades in the Dark (found at https://www.bladesinthedark.com/), product of One Seven Design, developed and authored by John Harper, and licensed for our use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). 

"Blades in the Dark and its hacks, labeled as Forged in the Dark, are taking the narration first principle up front. The incredible streamlined rules are putting the characters in the spotlight and keeping the tension high in an ever escalating spiral of actions and consequences. The system focus around creating dynamic stories and the situation changes after each roll of the dice."  -TechRadar.net

The narrative quick-play game system throws the characters (and players) into the action from the start. They must use teamwork, their meager resources, environments, actions and abilities, and the judicious use of flashbacks to fight their way from location to location and escape before they run out of stress points or sustain too many injuries to survive. Each action spawns a multitude of consequences as various "clocks" are ticked down heralding the characters' impending doom.  

  Each issue of Hair Metal Horror comes with four pregenerated characters (unless more are unlocked through stretch goals) connected by the story and designed to work well together. Each character has different Action points preselected, and a unique combination of special abilities to choose from.

Aside from broad strokes (Member of the band Luftkuss/ Teenage Metalhead/ Die-hard BonPyre fan) and clues gleaned from points assigned to Actions, each character's backstory is written by the players. While the game is set in the 1980's, players are in no way expected or encouraged to create characters that are limited to, or conform with cultural norms, bigotry, or prejudices of that time. 

Once a character's backstory is complete, the player then uses details from it to justify adding an additional point to one of the Actions listed on the pregen character sheet, as featured below.        

Backers at all levels ("Righteous!", "Wicked!", and "Deadly") will get the PDF and access to the Print on Demand edition of Hair Metal Horror #1. The book starts out at around roughly 28 pages, with quick-play rules based on Blades in the Dark, and features four pregenerated characters who star in the first chilling adventure. (With stretch goals, this issue could grow to 40+ pages!)

In the adventure "Fooling", the characters are struggling rockers from New Jersey that have reinvented themselves as the German Glam Metal band LuftKuss. After booking a headlining gig a the "Corn-Fest" in rural Liberty Grove, it seems their luck is finally changing. Aside from the fact that the locals are were-lizard cultists lead by a WWII hero harboring a grudge against Germany, what could go wrong?

  • Play one of four band members with different strengths and special abilities.
  • Write a custom background for each character and assign a bonus Action Point that reflects their personal history.
  • Unlock a sixth Action Point and second Special Ability once the "fog of war" clock is completed for each character. 
  • Escape the rain drenched fairgrounds and sparse town or get devoured trying!
  • Stretch Goals can unlock a bonus pregen character (The Roadie), a new location in the story (Bubb's Diner), and even a flashback mini-adventure (Operation Eidechsen) where the players take on the role of WWII commandos storming a Thule research bunker to recover a profane artifact that will eventually end up in Liberty Grove. 

Backers at the "Wicked!" or "Deadly!" levels will get the PDF and access to the Print on Demand edition of Hair Metal Horror #2 (as well as #1). The book starts out at around roughly 28 pages, with quick-play rules based on Blades in the Dark, and features four pregenerated characters who are featured in the second terrifying adventure. (With stretch goals, this issue could grow to 40+ pages!)

"Rot You Like A Hurricane" places the characters in Citrus Bend, Florida with backstage passes to a WolfThrower concert, after staying up half the night playing "Creepers and Caverns". A rapidly strengthening tropical storm threatens to cancel the show, and the contents of an overturned tanker truck from Fort Barret are wreaking havoc on the residents.

  • Play one of four teen metal heads, each with different strengths and special abilities.
  • Write a custom background for each character and assign a bonus Action Point that reflects their personal history.
  • Storm, Contagion, and Military clocks are ticked down as the situation grows increasingly perilous for the characters. 
  • Ride out the storm while hordes of mutated locals kill everything with a pulse and hardhearted soldiers shoot anything that moves.  
  • Stretch Goals can unlock a bonus pregen character (The Dexter), a new location in the story (Funcoast Video), 
Poor Kristi escaped from the were-lizard cult in Hair Metal Horror #1 only to be done in by murderous soldiers in this bonus location.
Poor Kristi escaped from the were-lizard cult in Hair Metal Horror #1 only to be done in by murderous soldiers in this bonus location.

Backers at the "Deadly!" level will get the PDF and access to the Print on Demand edition of Hair Metal Horror #3 (as well as #1 and #2). The book starts out at around roughly 28 pages, with quick-play rules based on Blades in the Dark, and features four pregenerated characters who are plunged into the dark heart of the third haunting adventure. (With stretch goals, this issue could grow to 40+ pages!)

In "BonCrosse", the characters follow a rumor to a small and forgotten town in the Louisiana Black Bay area, somewhere between the rotting marsh and vast bayous. The secluded musical genius Wolfgang von Diesel, former front-man of the band BonPyre has left the spotlight after a tragic fire during their last concert resulted in the death of all other band members as well as most of the audience.  The few remaining survivors speak with awe and feverish words of an unreleased album performed that fateful night. 

The Characters are a group of die-hard fans, who now seek out Mr. von Diesel to recover the only known copy of the album. Leaving the last road from the fishing community of Delacroix behind them, the group enters a time forgotten place of spreading madness and strange murders.   

  • Play one of four die-hard metal fans, each with different strengths and special abilities.
  • Write a custom background for each character and assign a bonus Action Point that reflects their personal history.
  • Flood, Madness, and Danger clocks are ticked down as the situation grows increasingly weird and surreal for the characters.
  • Seek out the home of the secluded genius and reveal the hidden truth about the terrible fire that destroyed so many lives. 
  • Stretch Goals can unlock a bonus pregen character (The Sleuth), a new location in the story (Hangman's Knot), and a mini-adventure (A Maiden's Tears) where a failed levee and a drowned community are somehow connected to a forlorn power ballad.
The Black Bay Area
The Black Bay Area

All of the rewards (in either PDF or print format) are delivered through DriveThruRPG. Backers will receive the PDF(s) and stretch goal rewards (if reached) corresponding to their pledge level as well as access to the matching print on demand copy or copies at cost (plus shipping and handling). 

Aaron Frost

Aaron Frost rolled through the rural South of the late 80's in his candy apple red 1975 Chevrolet Camaro (with a 350 V8 and doors so heavy they warped the hinges), the wind and bugs whipping through his glorious mullet as "love is like a bomb, baby, c'mon get it on" blared through the stock speakers. Little did he know that he would go on to dangle from a crane in a nuclear missile silo, jury rig a broken clutch with his shoelaces, get held at gunpoint in a one-room airport during a military coup (even if his wife won't believe it), nearly die of thirst in the Sahara Desert twice, get married in West Africa to a girl from Italy (that he first met in San Francisco), survive having two kids under the age of two at the same time, and teach kindergarten in an urban school in New England,

He is the writer and Illustrator of The Wasted Hack, Waste-Land Beasts and How to Kill Them, Miserable Wrecking Wreckers, and Beginner's Luck.  

Aaron has served as the coordinator for the One Page Dungeon Contest since 2017, and has published nine compendia covering the contest years from 2010-2018 in both PDF and Print on Demand formats through One Book Shelf (RPGNow/ DriveThruRPG). 


Vandel J. Arden

Born into the brimming 80's next to the Iron Curtain of divided Germany, Vandel has lurked the dark corners of that country ever since. His nightmare infested mind stumbled through the fall of the Berlin Wall, growing up in the mega-city of the Ruhrpott to slowly awaken to the dark machinations of the world while attending Art University in Braunschweig and London. 

As reality hit him in his ephemeral orbit after graduation, he found himself becoming a cartographer of fictional worlds and amateur scribe of the darkest lore. Little did the small boy know of his future odysseys, while drawing his first monster manuals with crayons under the shadows of an all engulfing ideological war. It is no wonder that he has developed a love for dark and morbid settings and narrative driven games.

Vandel is an artist for the current edition of Call of Cthulhu, Runequest, Skies of Fire and has contributed to the original Blades in the Dark core rule book by John Harper. He worked in  collaboration with Andrew Shields on Black Space, a game which brings The Black Hack into a grim future. He has done countless maps for different publishers over the last decade. Hair Metal Horror contains his first ever published writing, and we shall see what else will spill from the shadows of his mind. 

Risks and challenges

The stories for each issue have been drafted, the rules have been adapted from Blades in the Dark, and layout has begun for Hair Metal Horror #1, which will serve as a template for the remaining titles. Many of the illustrations have already been completed, and it looks as though we are well on track to deliver at least the first issue well ahead of schedule.

The Backers will receive the PDFs from DriveThruRPG and will also receive a print on demand coupon code to order the print versions at cost plus shipping. Therefore it is completely the obligation of the backers to use this to receive any print copies and this process of the project is entirely in your hands.

Considering that we both have already worked on more than a few projects, we realize there can always be unforeseen misfortunes which can cause delays to the project. By working small (a two person crew) we hope to eliminate much of this uncertainty, as we do not depend or rely on any outside sources or individuals aside from DriveThruRPG.

If one of the creators should be abducted by lizard cultists or swamp dwellers, the other is fully capable of soldiering on with the existing layout, illustrations, and framework for each issue to complete the project!

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    Righteous!

    PDF copy of "Hair Metal Horror #1" fulfilled by DriveThruRPG, all stretch goals for this issue, and access to "print at cost" edition.

    ***Print on Demand and shipping costs are the sole responsibility of the backer.***

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    Wicked!

    This pledge level gets you the previous rewards, and a PDF copy of "Hair Metal Horror #2" fulfilled by DriveThruRPG, all stretch goals for this issue, and access to "print at cost" edition.

    ***Print on Demand and shipping costs are the sole responsibility of the backer.***

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    Pledge US$ 13 or more About US$ 13

    Deadly!

    This pledge level gives you all the previous rewards, plus a PDF copy of "Hair Metal Horror #3" fulfilled by DriveThruRPG, all stretch goals for this issue, and access to "print at cost" edition.

    ***Print on Demand and shipping costs are the sole responsibility of the backer.***

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