This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, November 22 2018 2:00 AM UTC +00:00.
Die Laughing is a short-play, GM-less tabletop roleplaying game where players portray characters in a horror-comedy movie. Everyone's going to die. It's just a matter of when and how funny you can make it.
Even after your character is gone, there are multiple ways for you to remain involved and influence the story right up until the bloody end.
Die Laughing requires just a couple minutes of preparation to play. Players pick their characters and make a few quick choices. You pick a monster and you're ready to go. It takes 1-2 hours to play, depending on how many player are involved.
I'll be releasing the 72-page "rough cut" of the game IMMEDIATELY after the Kickstarter ends. You'll have the game right away!
While I'm calling this the "rough cut," it is a complete game, fully laid out and illustrated. The final version of the game (102 pages; all that extra stuff added during the campaign) will come a few months later after additional artwork and layout is done.
Why is the game built around making a movie? Easy. Lots of people work on a movie.
When your character dies (and they almost certainly will), you become a producer on the movie and exert your control to help make the story better, funnier, or deadlier. Or to just screw around with things. Just like a real producer on a real movie.
And there's some other stuff in there to help keep you busy once your character is six feet under. Or chopped into little bits. Or whatever.
Characters and the Director
During each scene in Die Laughing, one of the characters is the lead character (and that changes from scene to scene). That character's player decides who will be in the scene with their character. One of the players portrays the director, setting their character aside temporarily to help set up and guide the scene (that also changes from scene to scene). Everyone in the scene plays the scene out. Sometimes the monster attacks during the scene. Sometimes it doesn't.
At the end of each scene, everyone with a character in the scene makes a trait check by rolling their dice pool to determine whether their character succeeds in the scene or not. Then everyone narrates that success or failure for their character, thus pushing the story forward.
As the game goes along, your dice pool decreases based on the results of those trait checks. This decrease is a countdown to your character's death. When you run out of dice, your character dies and you narrate their death.
Once your character is gone, you become a producer. In addition, you can still be the director. Finally, there's a unique rule for each monster that influences your involvement in the game after your character is gone.
Be a Victim
This is a very straight-forward Kickstarter.
Back at the Victim level for ten bucks and you get the complete Die Laughing game in PDF form and can buy a softcover or hardcover book for just a few dollars more (plus shipping). This includes everything we add to the game via Bonus Features described further on.
Be a Survivor
Not satisfied with just Die Laughing? We've got you covered. You can also get one or both of NerdBurger Games' previous RPGs by backing at one of the three Survivor levels.
You can get a PDF of one or both of the following:
- The Murders & Acquisitions RPG - A game of corporate espionage, subterfuge, intrigue, theft, and murder in an absurd corporate world.
- The CAPERS RPG - A game of super-powered gangsters in the Roaring Twenties.
The PDFs of these will be distributed shortly after the backer surveys are compiled very shortly after the Kickstarter concludes.
So what's in the book? Here you go:
- Complete rules
- 24 character archetype pages (pick one, make a few quick choices, give them a name, and you're ready to die)
- Act/scene guidelines (which you'll use to generate scenes and propel the story)
- 24 unique monsters (description, rules stuff, setting choices, etc.)
- Info on doing post-credits scenes and sequels
- Some alternate rules to spice things up
- Two alternate roles to play after your character is gone
- A list of common horror tropes
- Blank character archetype and monster worksheets (so you can make up your own)
- A bunch of other talky stuff that helps you understand the game
- A big thank you to all the Kickstarter backers, with your name in there
- Boring stuff like credits and an index
- Glorious black, white, and blood-n-guts red artwork
The following free PDFs will be made available alongside the final game book.
- A selection of character archetypes (for ease of printing)
- A selection of monsters (for ease of printing)
- Blank character page (so you can create your own)
- Blank monster page (so you can create your own)
- Game rules summary page
Design: Craig Campbell has freelanced for a whole bunch of RPG companies and designed two RPGs of his own, Murders & Acquisitions and CAPERS , through his NerdBurger Games imprint. His 30+ year love of horror movies is one of the few constants in his life.
Editing: Vincent Harper is a longtime gamer and editor of gaming content. He started watching horror movies when his parents let him stay up to watch Bela Lugosi in Dracula, when he was…SIX years old.
Artwork: Beth Varni is a freelance artist primarily working in indie comics and tabletop RPGs. She is a lover of horror movies and stories, her first forays into the subject being Interview with the Vampire and Evil Dead.
Graphic Design and Layout: Todd Crapper is an ENnie award winning game designer and freelance graphic designer. He feels he is, in part, defined by his love of The Changeling, Dead Alive (aka Braindead), and the Friday the 13th series.
Playtesting: Many dozens of cool people at a whole bunch of game conventions put this game through its paces.
Every backer will receive a link to purchase a softcover or hardcover book at cost from DriveThruRPG’s print on demand service. You’ll also pay shipping then. Approximate costs are provided below, based on US printing and shipping.
$4.00 USD (printing) + $4 USD (shipping) = $8.00 USD
$10.00 USD (printing) + $5 USD (shipping) = $15.00 USD
Go HERE to see estimates for shipping to other countries.
Here are some places where you can listen to me talking about Die Laughing or listen to a bunch of people playing the game.
- Actual play recording of Die Laughing on the On a Roll Podcast (approx 1:45)
- Discussion of Die Laughing on the Delve Podcast
- I talk to James Introcaso and Humza Kazmi on Table Top Babble about horror and comedy in RPGs (approx 1:00)
- Discussion of Die Laughing on the Skirmish Supremacy Podcast (approx 1:00)
- Actual play recording of Die Laughing on Twenty Sides to Every Story (approx 2:00)
- Discussion of Die Laughing, my other games, gaming in general, movies, and a few other things on The Lounge. (approx 1:00)
- Actual play recording of Die Laughing on DSPN Presents (2 parts, approx 2:00 total)
- Actual play recording of Die Laughing on Little Red Dot Channel (approx 2:00)
- Interview about Die Laughing on Fandible (approx 0:20)
The game is done. Your pledge will go toward final payments for all the people who helped make the game read well and look great.
Risks and challenges
We understand the challenges of successfully fulfilling a crowdfunding campaign. We've studied the Kickstarter process in depth. Our previous crowdfunding efforts saw fulfillment on time or early.
Here's the great part. The game is done. Fulfillment will require a little fine tuning, but should go quickly and smoothly. If delays arise, we'll let you know.
NerdBurger Games is committed to being a game company that turns around Kickstarter rewards efficiently and in a timely manner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter