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"Are You Mental?" is a crazy tabletop RPG about lunatic superheroes on absurdly awesome adventures! No prep, all your dice, $1 PDF!
"Are You Mental?" is a crazy casual, no-prep, tabletop RPG about lunatic superheroes on absurdly awesome adventures!
"Are You Mental?" is a crazy casual, no-prep, tabletop RPG about lunatic superheroes on absurdly awesome adventures!
234 backers pledged $5,463 to help bring this project to life.

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Are You Mental? (a crazy casual tabletop role-playing game)

$5,463

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 Players: 3 to 8 Age: 13+ Playing Time: ~2 hours

"Are You Mental?" is a crazy, casual, silly fun, no prep role playing game where the worst possible thing that can happen to anybody... is to go stark raving sane!

Wow, what in the world does that even mean? 

For starters this game is NOT boring! It is loud, crazy, and in your face with irreverent wacky random fun! In the 90's this would have been called a "Beer and Pretzels" RPG, but in this enlightened age of 2016, I think we can do better...

This is a "Margarita and Cheese Dip" RPG!

It is a game that doesn't take itself seriously, or anyone else for that matter. And it can be played by absolutely anyone, even those people who DON'T play traditional role playing games!

If you can imagine lunatics with superpowers who escape the asylum to go on top secret and VERY IMPORTANT missions, you can play this game. Heck, that is this game!

The rules are as light as can be (without being one of those artsy free form games), with enough randomness to be totally out of control, yet enough structure to be an absolute blast to play.

"Are You Mental?" also makes for an easy pick-up game for those nights when you just don't want to invest in a serious or long-running campaign. It works great for transitioning friends from party style games to the RPG genre, and can really save your bacon if a crucial player for your dark and brooding Vampires in Space game bails unexpectedly and you still want to rock the evening without them!

No Prep? What does that mean?

It means nobody needs to do a darn thing beforehand to play this game. Well, other than buying the game, printing off some character sheets, and maybe finding a table with at least three legs to play at. 

But you certainly don't need to slave away for hours crunching numbers, looking up rules, and min/maxing stats to make a character to play. 

The game master (we call that position the Warden, just to be pretentious) also doesn't have to spend days making maps, monsters, and NPCs. Heck, all the game master has to do is show up... and maybe wear some pants.

Character Generation & Adventure Creation are done right at the table using mad-lib inspired "psychological profile" sheets. 

Two sets of questions are answered by all players, and those answers are then shuffled so that nobody knows who gave which ones. The Warden gets the first set back to craft the adventure (a single sheet from each player containing actions, animals, obstacles, etc.), and the players receive random answers from the other set to slot into the blanks on their character sheets.

 

The answers you receive are used to fill in ANY blank on the character sheet.
The answers you receive are used to fill in ANY blank on the character sheet.

What system does it use?

A totally unique, customized for craziness system that I probably should come up with a catchy name for. Here is how it works:

Risk and uncertainty (the hallmark of great games everywhere) are emulated by a dice and card mechanic. Sure we could just say, "Do whatever you want!" but that is not really a game. It is a substitute teacher saddled with an over-sugared kindergarten (surprisingly similar to our convention sessions...)

When a player wants to use a superpower or do something that could fail horribly, they draw a challenge card and attempt to do what the card commands. 

This might be to roll doubles on your dice, or to quickly eat something you find on the table, or to compose a short poem about your desired results.

Draw Challenge -> Roll Dice -> Draw "Very Bad Thing" (if you fail)
Draw Challenge -> Roll Dice -> Draw "Very Bad Thing" (if you fail)

Successfully doing the challenge means you friggen rock, and you whiz bang whatever it was you were trying to do! 

Smashing through a wall? Boom! It happens!

Making a key out of fire so you can drive the car you made out of fire to the firehouse because you should never really be allowed to play with matches, like ever. Seriously, ok? 

Shazam! Fire key achieved!

But if you fail the challenge... Awesome Sauce! Now it is the Warden's time to shine. 

She draws a card from the "Deck of Very Bad Things" and adds that to the scene instead. Ninjas might show up and steal your fire car! Or maybe you get stuck in the presidential motorcade. 

Whatever happens, failure isn't bad - because ultimately it makes the game crazier and more fun.

As if that wasn't enough, "Are You Mental?" uses any and all dice you might happen to own!

Seriously, my personal stash includes some from an early 90s dice dragon game, all shapes, sizes, and colors of polyhedrals, those crappy ones that only have pluses and minuses, and some I found in a 1980's Monopoly spin off. 

Dice not included with base game. Gather up your own, it's more fun that way!
Dice not included with base game. Gather up your own, it's more fun that way!

Use all your dice, the weirder the better, but you will need at least 6 per player. They are going to get mixed together and swapped around, so maybe the ones you had made out of grandma's bones should stay locked away in the closet. But other than that, you finally have an excuse to show off your entire collection!

Still not sure?

Listen to this guy from Gencon give his honest impression or watch a bit of character creation and some challenge resolutions from an actual session of the game!

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It isn't a joke at all, but the game is pretty silly. That said, here is where we get serious for a moment.

We really only have three options for getting this game out there.

1) We hand write it on toilet paper rolls at gaming conventions, one sheet at a time, and people have to trade around to get the complete game! (If I thought this would work, we would totally do it!) 

2) We go hog wild and have 2,000+ copies printed in China, then send them to fulfillment and ultimately distribution!

3) We create the pdfs for a minimal cost to backers and make the physical copies one small batch at a time...

The bottom line is that we are a very small company that aims to make really good games. We simply don't have the capital or the network to put a game like this into full on "Made in China" production.

We did the numbers, we made the contacts, and I spent two weeks gnashing my teeth and pulling out my hair and trying to decide where in the world we would even store 2,000 games. Ultimately, we had to go a different direction. We had to go small scale.

But we really do need backing to make even a single physical copy of this game, and the folks that are pitching at this point are getting an amazing deal. This game probably won't see distribution, being made one at a time like we are going to do, and we certainly won't see anything close to a traditional profit from it.

We could forgo the entire kickstarter, finish up the art, and offer the pdf only on DriveThruRPG. And hey, after the kickstarter is over we are going to do just that.

But by putting it out on here for just $1, you all get to help make it even better! Together we can fund the art, add cards, spread awareness, and maybe, just maybe, get enough buzz that it has a shot at one day appearing on the shelves of your favorite local gaming store. 

We don't want to start out aiming for the sky (or in this case $20,000 based on the best quotes we have received from 11 different companies) and end up falling short and disappointing everybody. We would rather start with reasonable, attainable goals, have fun spreading the word, and gradually build towards bigger things. It just makes sense. 

 

 

 

 

 

 Yes, of course we have some stretch goals! Everybody loves stretch goals and it would be silly to do a gaming kickstarter without them!

  • Accomplished! - $1500 - Fully Funded! The artist gets paid! The game gets made! And I can pay back the loan I took out for all the pizza my film team ate!
  • Smashed! - $2000 - 18 new cards added to the game! (8 Initiative cards, 5 new Challenge cards, and 5 new Bad Things.)
  • Crushed! - $2750 - Are You Brains? A zombie themed expansion pack in which you play the zombies!
  • Obliterated! - $3500 - Dice Bags + Bonus Content
  • Locked - $5500 - Are You Looney? cartoon themed expansion
  • Locked - $7000 - Are You Fhtagn? Cthulu cultist themed expansion.
  • Locked - $11,000 - Online Character Creation Website! Wouldn't it be cool to have one of those websites that people can answer questions and then it randomly takes those answers, shuffles them together, and spits out a character to play? I think so too! So let's do that thing!
  • Locked - $22,000 - Ultimate Insanity! Here is where it gets real, I go bald from stress, have to learn all about shipping overseas, and probably even take a trip to China. If we hit this goal, we will switch up production and make the darn thing with a big cardboard box, A5 sized rule sheet, and tear off pads for cgen & adventure creation. We already have it all spec'd out and quotes in hand. It will be glorious, we will be heroes, and I will have plenty of stuff to burn when the end times arrive...

Risks and challenges

This is our fifth kickstarter project, so we know what is expected of us and how to deliver. If we haven't learned how to do it by now, it might be time to move to New Zealand and become hairy footed halflings. (That's the back up plan!)

This is only our second game though, and our first to be potentially fully boxed and mass produced. It has been play tested and is ready to go, we are just waiting on the final art, and then we will put it into production. There are still a lot of places where things can slow down, or flat out go wrong.

Our biggest challenges will come if we end up needing to make many more physical units than we had initially planned. That will slow down the creation and delivery across the board. We do have a plan for that contingency and manufacturing partners in place so that we can ramp up to full scale production if need be.

However it all shakes out when the closing bell rings, we will keep you in the loop with regular updates on our progress, any changes to the timetable, and other things you might find interesting to know!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Lunatic!

    You get the game! Yeah, no kidding. The full game as a black & white, print & play pdf. Sure you have to cut out the cards yourself and put them in sleeves, but so what? It only costs a dollar!

    Includes:
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    Raver!

    You are ready for the future! You get the full game as well, but yours will be in color with an extra special cover! (Because it just looks even snazzier that way!) Plus you get a digital desktop background featuring art from the game.

    Includes:
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Print & Play PDF (B/W)
    • Desktop Background
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Maniac!

    You get a physical copy of the game, with professionally printed cards, a tiny little rules booklet, and a folded up character sheet in a snazzy metal tin. You get the PDF too, but this way you don't have to cut anything out! Which is probably safer for everyone involved...

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Desktop Background
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Free US Shipping!
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    Pledge $42 or more About $42

    Funky Maniac!

    The Maniac pledge level, plus an add-on of 8 funky dice.

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Desktop Background
    • Funky Dice Pack
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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Zombie Maniac!

    You get a physical copy of the base game, with professionally printed cards, a tiny little rules booklet, and a folded up character sheet in a snazzy metal tin. You also get a physical copy of the "Are You Brains?" expansions, and you get all of the PDF too, but this way you don't have to cut anything out! Which is probably safer for everyone involved...

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Are You Brains? Physical Copy
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Desktop Background
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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Mass Hysteria!

    Have you got a friend just as crazy as you are? You can get them a copy as well and save a couple of bucks while you are at it! You also get a crazy useless accessory to share (or not). Don't have any friends yet? That's ok too! This way you will always have a spare...

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Desktop Background
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Single Pair of 3D glasses
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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Dice Collecting Maniac!

    This pledge level includes everything in the Maniac reward level, plus a bag of 25 dice!

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Desktop Background
    • Bag of 25 dice
    • Free US Shipping!
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    Pledge $57 or more About $57

    Funky Zombie Maniac!

    This pledge level includes the Zombie Maniac rewards, plus an add-on of 8 funky dice.

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Are You Brains? Physical Copy
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Desktop Background
    • Funky Dice Pack
    • Free US Shipping!
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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Dice Collecting Zombie Maniac!

    This pledge level includes everything in the Zombie Maniac rewards, plus a bag of 25 dice!

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Are You Brains? Physical Copy
    • Bag of 25 dice
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Desktop Background
    • Free US Shipping!
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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Zombie Horde!

    Just like the mass hysteria rewards, except you get two copies of the expansion "Are You Brains?" too! And something absurd and zombie themed that you don't have to share either...

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Are You Brains? Physical Copy
    • Desktop Background
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • "Brain" Souvenir
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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Orderly!

    In addition to the physical game, you get to choose what horrible thing will be on a single card in the deck of Very Bad Things! (subject to designer approval & rated no worse than PG-13). You will also get a unique 5"x7" signed print of that card and I will hand select 5 funky dice to package with your game.

    Includes:
    • Name a Card
    • Physical Game
    • Desktop Background
    • 5 Handpicked Dice
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Free US Shipping!
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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Zombie Master!

    Do you want to be a zombie, shambling around, eating brains, moaning your monosyllabic vocabulary? We are here to make your dream come true!

    At this level you will receive a physical copy of the base game, plus a physical copy of the Are You Brains? expansion, and will be immortalized in the rulebook art as an illustrated zombie based on you! You will also receive a print of the illustration, signed by the artist. How awesome is that?

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Are You Brains? Physical Copy
    • Desktop Background
    • Zombie Art based on You!
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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Super Hero!

    Do you (or someone you love) want to be a superhero, flying through the air in your bathrobe, smiting evil where ever you find it? We are here to make your dream come true!

    At this level you will receive a physical copy of the base game, plus a physical copy of the Are You Brains? expansion, and will be immortalized in the main rulebook art as an illustrated superhero based on you (or someone you choose)! You will also receive a print of the illustration, signed by the artist. How awesome is that?

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Are You Brains? Physical Copy
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Custom Superhero Art!
    • Desktop Background
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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Cartoon Character!

    Have you (or someone you love) always wanted to be a cartoon character? We are here to make your dream come true!

    At this level you will receive a physical copy of the base game, plus a physical copy of the Are You Brains? expansion, and will be immortalized in the Are You Looney? rulebook art as an illustrated cartoon character based on you (or someone you choose)! You will also receive a print of the illustration, signed by the artist. How awesome is that?

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Are You Brains? Physical Copy
    • Custom Cartoon Character Art!
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Desktop Background
    • Free US Shipping!
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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    Game Show Host

    You get a copy, and you get a copy, and you get a copy! This pledge level includes 3 copies of the base game, 3 copies of all unlocked expansions, and a single illustration of you (or someone you tolerate) in your choice of zombie, superhero, or cartoon. Yeah, you get a copy of that art as well. And hey, you will get the full 25 pack of standard & funky dice as well.

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Are You Brains? Physical Copy
    • Zombie Art based on You!
    • Bag of 25 dice
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Desktop Background
    • Free US Shipping!
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Doctor Doctor!

    You are the boss! At this level we will send you five copies of the game, five copies of all unlocked expansions, a copy of our other game "Hogswallow" and my three currently published books. You will also get a hand selection set of 35 dice.

    Better than all that though, we will work with you to create an illustrated Doctor character featured in the rule book, and you get to name the Asylum in the game. You will receive an art print of the illustration and your name or business will also be listed on the credits page of the rule book as "Executive Producer."

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Are You Brains? Physical Copy
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Desktop Background
    • 35 hand picked dice
    • Copies of All Our Currently Published Creations
    • Custom Doctor Art!
    • Executive Producer Credit
    • Free US Shipping!
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    Pledge $2,250 or more About $2,250

    The Warden!

    The creator of "Are You Mental?" (that's me) will come to your home or an agreed upon convention (in the continental US) and run a weekend of gaming for you and up to 5 of your family members or friends. I will stay in a nearby hotel so that you don't even have to set up a guest room, and I will buy pizza for the group both nights (no anchovies.) I will also bring five (5) copies of "Are You Mental?" for you to do with as you wish, a copy of my other published game "Hogswallow", a copy of my three published books, some professionally printed play test copies of our other games in development (right now that is two top secret games), and a set of dice from my personal collection!

    (Note: This reward is subject to scheduling approval and cannot take place in a home that contains cats. But if that is you, we will work something else out.)

    Includes:
    • Physical Game
    • Are You Brains? Physical Copy
    • Weekend of Gaming!
    • Desktop Background
    • Copies of All Our Currently Published Creations
    • Print & Play PDF (Color)
    • Executive Producer Credit
    • Free US Shipping!
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Funding period

- (30 days)