You’re a normal kid in a normal town, until things change.
Until the strangeness sets in.
Rememorex is a game of suburban horror of the mid-80’s, a tabletop RPG un-ironically set in the time period known for being the crucible in which tabletop RPGs were birthed. It is a storytelling game that takes it’s cues from Stranger Things, ET, Gremlins, Firestarter, the Last Starfighter and any number of other classic tales of suburban sci-fi and horror. Like those stories, there is a meta-level to the weirdness. Your entire group builds the story together, and thanks to an effect known as a Tracking Error, you might have the most power when your character isn’t even present.
The game is already written and has been playtested by sixty different players over the past six months. It requires only art, layout, printing, and if we’re lucky, a few stretch goals. As fans of Tempus Omni know, the Omnisystem is a super simple, deeply narrative system that gets characters made and players playing in around five minutes.
Rememorex, an RPG with a heavy emphasis on narrative and storytelling, is your childhood, or maybe the childhood you never had. The genre is nostalgia, from trapper keepers to MTV to Mr. T. Rememorex is about telling stories in an America where cynicism hadn’t yet eclipsed fantasy.
The children of the eighties played outside and pretended to be robots, ponies or soldiers. The floor was always lava. They were often left to their own devices and sometimes, just sometimes, found monsters in sewers or the woods. You’ll start in the fictional town of Clearfield, Delaware, a town of station wagons and treehouses and bikes in the woods.
It’s a town where a generation dreams in neon and chrome, but gets up every morning to learn social studies and races home to watch cartoons with sugary cereal. Everything is fine until the Strangeling comes. You might be a brain, an athlete, a princess, a criminal or a basket case, but you’re a normal kid attending school. You have normal problems: avoiding bullies and collecting stickers or GI Joe guys, or hanging out at the mall and making sure the right boy asks you to the homecoming dance. Then something strange comes into your normal suburban life, something weird, something other, that forces you to do things you didn’t think you could do. You rise to the challenge of saving the odd one who has come to you, a normal suburban kid, for salvation. Your journey begins.
Rememorex plays with the Omnisystem, a streamlined, narrative-driven game engine designed to be nearly invisible when the story gets going. Character creation is based on just three player-created stats and a simple chart of relationships that develops your own unique drama for your high-school or junior-high school clique. You roll your stats against a target number set by the GM, and that’s conflict resolution.
There are three innovative mechanics in Rememorex: The Tracking Error, the Clip Show, and the Montage. With a Montage, characters can collaborate on a massive project to achieve impossible results, like outfitting a Power Wheels car with an EMP device or rigging a stink bomb to go off in the vice-principal’s car. With the Clip-Show mechanic, players can do a short, rules-light storytelling game that explores their shared past. The place where Rememorex shines brightest, however, is the Tracking Error: a simple mechanic that lets players of characters not presently in the scene affect the story in major ways when the group splits up.
Rememorex is the brainchild of a family that shares a love of the 80’s. Created initially by Megan and Sean Jaffe on the road to Gencon 2016, Rememorex was transparently inspired by the incredible Netflix Series Stranger Things. Since then, it has become so much more thanks to a deep dive into the films and TV of the era. We exhaustively watched everything from The Last Starfighter to Gremlins to The Wraith to ET, and all the stuff in between in between to develop this world and setting.
STRETCH GOAL 1 -- At $8,000: (ACHIEVED) The Secret Locker: Equipment Section.
Flea Market Weapons and Army Navy Surplus Equipment. Plenty of games have long and involved equipment sections and weapons, but they’re assuming you’re getting the best of the best. Local kids don’t have that kind of stuff. When you’re twelve and you rode your bike to the sleazy flea market on the wrong side of town, the “best of the best” is less likely than the “most adequate of what’s available.”
The Secret Locker will be an illustrated tour of the finest (well, most attainable, anyway) weapons and equipment that can be purchased or traded for Garbage Pail Kids at swap meets, flea markets, disreputable Army/Navy stores, and with one kid who totally knows Tommy DiSanzio.
STRETCH GOAL 2 — At $10,000: (ACHIEVED) 2 New Sample Towns: Point Palisade Island, Michigan (by yours truly) and Ash Grove, California, by Jason Blair. Jason knows a little something about childhood terror, having created the award-winning RPG “Little Fears” in 2001. Since then, he’s been keeping himself busy writing for video games like Saints Row IV, Conduit 2, and Prey. He’s bringing his special brand of weirdness to a small town in southern California called Ash Grove.
STRETCH GOAL 3 — At $12,000: (ACHIEVED) Choose your own Adventure intro “Dischord and Rhyme” and another sample town: Twin Mills, Pennsylvania, by Sean Jaffe. For both newcomers to tabletop RPG’s and old verterans alike, familiarize yourself with the system and setting as you run yourself through a short adventure in the town of Clearfield Delaware. Meet the terrifying Indrid Cold and begin to unlock the dark secrets of the White Noise!
STRETCH GOAL 4 — At 14,000: (ACHIEVED) My Wet, Hot, American Summer of Arowak: Follow the High and Middle School kids of Clearfield Delaware as they spend the summer of 1985. Camp Arowak is nestled in the forests that border the far side of Lake Madeleine and it's been the summer place to go for as long as anyone can remember. While the counselors are looking for love, the campers embark to find adventure on their own and, in Clearfield, that's never a good decision.
This Novella, written by David Groveman, will give storytellers and players a wider idea of the story structure of a typical Rememorex plot arc while helping to expand the world of the standard play setting.
People who pledged $20 or more will receive a PDF copy of the book in addition to their current rewards. People who pledged $50 or more will receive a paperback copy of the book in addition to their current rewards. People who pledged $100 or more will receive a signed paperback copy of the book in addition to their current rewards. People who wish to add a copy of the book to their current rewards can pledge an additional $15. ($5 Shipping Charge)
David Groveman has had his horror fiction published by Zimbell House Publishing and Oldstyle Tales Press. He is also a playwright, screen writer and storyteller for Sacred Grounds Gaming and Nerdy City.
STRETCH GOAL 5- At $16,000 “ Is it Live?” rules for ReMemorex LARP. Going back to the 80s in your head is fun, but so is wearing too much denim and crimping your hair to head to the mall. The “Is It Live” rules allow you to move ReMemorex into live-action play, so as to focus on relationships, exploration, and big, big hair. As everyone knows, LARP requires hairspray.
STRETCH GOAL 6- At $18,000 Eastwind Point by Troy Wagner of Marble Hornets. Troy Wagner is one of the creators and stars of popular YouTube horror series Marble Hornets. His combination of sharp writing, atmospheric video, and use of social media to build an immersive experience for his audience has helped usher in a new era of horror fitting a digital age. With us, though, he’s going to go old school. In his words, “I'd like to do a town based in part on where I grew up, which was a fairly developed but still heavily wooded place. The name I'm going with is Eastwind Point. It's small enough to where a lot of the residents know each other, but only as acquaintances. It's in the midst of a bit of a growth spurt with people flocking out of the city to the suburbs, so nice houses are being built in specific areas while the older neighborhoods remain untouched. It's in these neighborhoods where the majority of the deep woods are, untouched by land development. And it's in these woods that a reclusive individual is working on something big and, in the wrong hands, very dangerous. “
STRETCH GOAL 7- At $20,000 Two additional Towns: Peter Woodworth’s Spivey Rock and Sean Jaffe’s Cape Freda, NJ. A sleepy, foggy town in Maine and a South Jersey beach resort just past it’s prime. Peter Woodworth is an award-winning writer and game designer who’s work ranges from the West End Star Wars to both versions of White Wolf’s Changeling to The Dead Heroes novels for the nationwide LARP sensation Dystopia Rising. We’re all deeply excited to see his take on a classic Steven-King-style New England town.
The initial goal of $5,000 will give us the funding we need to make this book happen. After that, we will start to reveal some of the many other awesome stretch goals for this exciting project. Please join us in the 80s that should have been!
Risks and challenges
TThis is our first crowdfunding campaign for Nerdy City but far from our first publication. Our team has worked as half of Eschaton Media for the last 5 years and has put out over a dozen of books and games in that time.
The game already exists and we feel confident that even if the world throws hiccups our way on this, we’re well equipped to handle them.
There is always the possibility of unexpected troubles like artist delays, medical issues, file submission errors, delays in shipping (especially overseas) and other unforeseeable curveballs. We’ve budgeted for a degree of unexpected costs, but it’s of course hard to predict unexpected events. In the event of something like this, we’re going to be as up-front as we can with information as it comes our way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)