About this project
MASHED is a tabletop roleplaying game that explores the value of human life and the stresses that war imposes on the people who live through it—but it’s also about relationships. And courage. And laughter. And love. Although your characters spend long hours performing surgery, MASHED compresses these into short events to focus on the most dramatic moments. Most of the game actually occurs outside of the operating tent, at times when the flow of casualties has ebbed. Here you may fall in or out of love, fight the orders of ineffective top brass, set up pranks, help your South Korean allies, pick fights, seduce your way through the unit, pull rank, and much more. Can you find ways to relieve the mental stresses brought on by the war, and make it home with your sanity intact?
+ Support MASHED at any level to get the full 200-page draft immediately! See the first backer-only update for the download link! +
"Part game, part history lesson, MASHED captures the human drama of battlefield medicine within the context of the Korean War." - Marshall Miller, creator of The Warren
When complete, MASHED will be a full-color 6" x 9" book with 200+ pages of content and illustrations. You also get digital copies of: seven character playbooks, multiple field guides and playsheets, and a 38-page calendar that covers June 1950 to July 1953 (the course of the war).
Support MASHED at any level to get the full 200-page draft immediately! (Go to the first backer-only update to see the download link.) This 'beta' version is already more than 90% complete in an attractive layout, but it can still be improved, and I encourage you to give your feedback and make it even better!
"MASHED weaves history and military procedures through the game in a totally fitting way, doesn't dwell on or ignore the challenges of the era for modern eyes, and features a brilliant use of countdown clocks and wounds. I cannot wait to see this finished and on the table." - Meguey Baker, creator of 1001 Nights, co-designer of Apocalypse World
MASHED is a tabletop roleplaying game for 3+ players, one of whom serves as the Commanding Officer (CO). A single game session can be as short as two hours, or extended into longer multiple sessions to eventually cover all three years of the Korean War.
MASHED informs and educates through play, helping the reader learn more about the Korean War and the costs that war imposes on those who live through it. However, as Joss Whedon once said "Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke." With that in mind, the book covers the entire war in seven phases, with 30+ threats, 80+ events, and dozens of story questions featuring light comedy, gallows humor, and mature situations, all of which can be combined in new ways to create a multitude of scenarios.
"MASHED uses a system that beats down the characters so they find solace in each other, places it into historical fictional context in which you're all the foreigners, and primes you for dramatic and challenging play." - Fraser Simons, creator of The Veil
The rules are based on Vincent and Meguey Baker’s innovative Apocalypse World game engine and inspired by other Powered by the Apocalypse games such as Night Witches, Blades in the Dark, Monsterhearts, tremulus, and The Warren. The core mechanic involves rolling two 6-sided dice and adding a single character stat number against results of 10 (success), 7-9 (success with complications), or 6 (things get worse).
Major mechanical additions and differences include: Roles (personalities with unique moves), Stress points to affect personalities and change Roles during play, and medical moves with triggers that reinforce the need for teamwork during operating room events.
When an Operating Room event occurs, you and your surgical team use medical moves (Assist, Diagnose, Prescribe, and Treat) in conjunction with a special patient playsheet. You use moves to try and stabilize the patient before the countdown runs out, but failed moves can impose consequences and complications that you'll have to work together to resolve.
When you create your character, you use one of seven included Playbooks that provide a template for your character. Each playbook covers one of the MASH's medical or other Army personnel types, and includes a variety of options for you to customize your character. Playbooks include:
The Angel - A surgical nurse, general duty nurse, or nurse-anesthetist.
The Corpsman - A medical orderly or technician.
The Cowboy - An aviation specialist (pilot) or motor pool head (driver).
The Cutter - A surgeon.
The Doc - A physician treating illnesses or mental traumas.
The Grunt - An enlisted soldier without medical training.
The Padre - An ordained Army chaplain of any faith.
Characters also choose from one of eight character Roles that represent their personality, each of which contain unique moves (actions). Your playbook stays the same throughout the game, but accumulating Stress points can change your role, thus representing how the war affects your personality. You can embrace the transition to a new role or try to relieve this stress by taking actions appropriate for your current role. Your Role also affects your interactions with other players and how well you're able to connect with them. Roles include:
The Bully - People annoy you. You're all about intimidation and fighting.
The Casanova - You love sex. You're all about influence and casual love.
The Clown - You're the class clown. Laughter is your best medicine.
The Gray - You blend in. You're all about knowledge and avoidance.
The Misanthrope - You hate people. You're all about manipulation.
The Operator - You scrounge. You're all about deals and schemes.
The Sky Pilot - You pray. You're all about morals and temptation.
The Stickler - You want it done right. You're all about rules and regs.
If you want to add more books, or the optional card decks, to your pledge, it's easy! Just select the appropriate pledge level, then manually increase the dollar amount to cover any combination of add-ons. For example, if you want the limited $99 vintage signed edition as well as a standard softcover and the card decks, select the $99 pledge level to reserve your limited edition and add +$37 (+$28 softcover and +$9 cards) for a total of $136. I'll also ask you to confirm your order (via the Kickstarter pledge manager) before I ship.
Add More Books
+1 Softcover: Add $28 to your base pledge to add one (more) softcover to your rewards.
+1 Hardcover: Add $38 to your base pledge to add one (more) hardcover to your rewards. (You can't add the signed edition. If you want it, you'll need to select that pledge level.)
Add the Card Decks
Adding $9 to your base pledge lets you order all three MASHED card decks at print cost from a Print On Demand supplier. These cards are optional and are not required to play the game. When I finish card production, I'll provide online discount codes so you can order any or all of the decks you want, in any quantity. The supplier will print and ship the cards directly to you (you pay print cost and shipping at that time).The print cost for Kickstarter backers will be around $5 for each full-color card deck (poker size; 2.5" x 3.5") printed on premium stock.
You'll also get the PDF deck files (featuring a single card per page). This format should work best for anyone who wants to use the cards with Roll20 or other similar virtual tabletop programs.
Offering the cards as separate add-ons, instead of part of the base pledge, is actually better for everyone. Even with the small $9 add-on to help pay for the card art and creative design work, you're saving about $6 or more by getting the decks at print cost instead of waiting until after the Kickstarter, when they'll be released at a higher price. It also lessens my workload so I can focus on production, and I won't have to 'hold' your book to ship with the cards.
Camp Card Deck
As you play, you'll be introducing new camp locations into the game. Rather than hand-drawing a map of your MASH compound, simply place the appropriate location card (Hospital Tent, Mess Hall, Nurse Quarters, Latrines, Minefield, etc.) on the table in relation to the others. It's a fun and easy way to generate your own unique camp layout! Includes 52-64 cards (est).
Casualty Card Deck
Draw a random civilian or soldier card (U.S., U.N., South Korean, North Korean, and Chinese) to generate random patients or non-player character (NPC) encounters. Includes 52 cards (est).
Wound Card Deck
Draw a random wound card (like a 4-harm bullet wound with a compound fracture), then pair it with a casualty card to rapidly generate surgical patients. Includes 44-52 cards (est).
...there are no 'stretch goals'.
Why? Because I want to complete the game and get it to you as soon as I can. As a one-man company, I can best do that by avoiding complicated reward tiers and stretch goals that would extend the distribution process and increase costs. This lets me keep this project running as smoothly as possible.
New backer rewards and new backer-only previews will be revealed as we move ahead, but these won't be tied to artificial stretch goal amounts. You'll get them no matter what funding goal we reach together!
+ Thank our Troops: Backers have the option to also include the name of a relative who served/is serving in the armed forces, to go in a special thank-you section separate from the backer names. See the October 1st update for more information.
+ Field Guide Preview: See the October 3rd update for a download link to a Commanding Officer 'field guide' that lets you keep track of all the player - and dozens of NPC - positions in your MASH camp.
+ Print-On-Demand Extras (NEW!): Backers will receive discount codes to order printed compilations of the playbooks, field guides, calendar, and other digital extras! See the October 10th update for more information.
+ Calendar Preview: See the October 18th update for a download link to the draft of the 1950-1953 calendar. This is a great way to track the events happening in your unit!
Mature Content Warning. MASHED contains mature content, including but not limited to: explicit language and discussions of sex, gender, racism, addiction, courage, cowardice, propaganda, and suicide.
This is Historical Fiction. Your 8099th MASH unit is fictional, but the phases of the war and many of the possible threats, events, and questions are historically inspired. MASHED includes a detailed bibliography of over 60 non-fiction books, interviews, medical journals, and other publications that provided information and inspiration in equal measures.
MASH is the acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. MASHED is not based on or derived from, and should not be implied as being an official or authorized part of, the M*A*S*H media franchise. M*A*S*H is a registered trademark of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation.
Worldwide Shipping Notice. Some countries have a duty on imported products – assessed on products of any value without exclusion. If that applies to you, then the carrier who delivers your package may charge you an import duty plus any customs processing fees. These costs are not part of your pledge; you are responsible for any import-related costs you may face upon delivery.
Books are scheduled to start shipping no later than March 2017.
MASHED does not use a pledge manager for post-Kickstarter pledges, so be sure to get your pledge in before the funding period ends!
Risks and challenges
MASHED is already over 90% complete, and I'm allowing two months or so for backers to play and comment on the game while I work on polishing the text and graphic design, then I'll move into final production. I'm a one-man operation, so I'm offering a straightforward number of reward tiers without complicated stretch goals that would delay the game's distribution.
I have 15+ years of professional experience producing hundreds of role-playing game products and comic books. I have a proven Kickstarter history with my Corporia RPG, which met its goal and had all rewards and stretch goals delivered on time. I also learned a lot from that experience.
If I encounter any unexpected delays or obstacles, like the printer unexpectedly going out of business or a severe family crisis, I'll use the backer updates to keep you informed - and I'll do my best to keep the distribution process moving.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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