Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse (HMTM) is a tabletop roleplaying game where you and your friends make your mice, found your club, and hit the streets. These are mice with the gusto to build their own motorcycles and set off into an intimidating world where they are outsized, but never outclassed.
HMTM uses the rules of Fate to tell stories about the drama of city mice and their motorcycle clubs. It's an RPG that works best with 2-5 players (plus the GM). It's fit for episodic play (sessions last about 3-4 hours) and epic campaigns!
Your stories are set in Thunder City, USA, a fictitious city of the real world. For small creatures existing in a place which doesn’t belong to them, these stories will be filled with the drama of their lives, and the trouble, both inside and outside, of a biker gang. Will your gang be Robin Hood-like doers of good, springing cheese from unwatched refrigerators and delivering it to needy widows, or will you be thugs and thieves exploiting the weak? Your mouse, your bike, and your gang all belong to you and the stories you tell at your table.
Thunder City & Its Gangs
Thunder City is home to the only mice in the world who have figured out combustion engines. Since that time they've organized themselves into clubs and gone about their business, often bumping into one another in conflicts over cheese and territory. There are:
- The Spanner Murine Motorcycle Club: The finest mechanics and the most arrogant gang in the city. They're snooty little mice but they can back it up, or so they say.
- The Asphalt Avengers: If speed had a fan club it would be these crazed rodents. Their whole club life is based around the next incredible kick, and not much else. It's a high-velocity life for them.
- The Bardlings: Not all clubs are about territory and "business"; some simply want freedom from the usual mouse's life of scrounging and fretting. So the Bardlings are just that, strumming their matchbox guitars and beating thimble-sized bongos late into the night.
- Plus the Ocho Necro, The Wailing Sisters, and more!
Besides the mice, there are territorial felines, chipmunk toughs, crabby crabs, Old Jerry (the graying German Shepherd who guards the ever-important docks), and a whole city full of colorful critters ready to add drama to your stories. With these wheels in motion there is no choice but fun and adventure and gang life.
The Rules of Fate
Mechanically, HMTM uses a slightly modified version of the rules of the Fate Core system. Aspects and fudge dice are still key here, but the character sheet has been modified to look more like a playbook that you might see in a Powered By The Apocalypse game (check out the mockup here). In addition, the rules for Factions (by Mark Diaz Truman) have been adapted to fit this murine setting and applied to tiny motorcycle clubs. The result is a game that will be totally familiar to Fate players, but with a few twists that feel fresh!
This Kickstarter is to fund the art, layout, and editing to make HMTM the best book it can be. The finished product will be a 6x9 paperback chock full of inspiring images of mice on bikes doing amazing things. I've teamed up with Jacob again to bring his unique comic style art to the project, a perfect fit for pulpy, cutesy, motorcycle action. Sam has created another excellent map, this time of Thunder City itself, to spark your imagination.
As much a piece of art as a rulebook, Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse will clock in at about 150 pages of setting information, illustrations, and all the rules you need to know to make your mice and gangs and get into the action. Moreover, there is plenty of help for you to customize the world for your table. For GMs, I've taken extra care to provide lots of hints and tips and advice to keep the game moving and the appendices are loaded with random tables, NPC blocks, media references, improv warm ups, and many other tidbits to assist you in bringing Thunder City to life.
Even if you're not a gamer, but a fan of The Mouse & The Motorcycle, and other classic mouse tales, this will be an enjoyable book to add to your collection!
In addition to the book itself, each tier contains supporting documents to help your game.
- Blank playbooks in PDF and DOC formats
- Pre-filled playbooks in PDF and DOC formats
- Random Tables using Fate/Fudge dice
- And more to be revealed!
Besides the game, you can take it to Thunder City any time with these extras. There is a corresponding reward tier for the buttons and the prints.
Button Set ("Decorated" Tier)
This is a set of four awesome, 2.25" buttons for you to represent your favorite club wherever you go!
Prints ("Treasurer" Tier)Jacob is also selling prints of the artwork featured in the book! Prints are 11x17 and will look amazing anywhere. You'll choose one of these when fulfillment happens next year.
Our base goal includes the budget for illustrations, line editing, and layout to make the core book look awesome. You can check out the 'Budget' subheading for a little more info. The current stretch goals will fund new settings by some of my favorite game writers.
Craig Campbell's Rock 'n' Roll Sock Hop Mouse: Rock ‘n’ Roll Sock Hop Mouse mashes up Grease, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Happy Days to bring high school angst, rebellion against authority figures, and malt shops to the world of HMTM. And you just might be able to sing your way out of trouble.
Elizabeth Chaipraditkul's Metal Mouse: Furry Trail: Furry Trail stretches from one side of the galaxy to the next protected by the fearsome War Horde. Each vicious hamster in the Horde proves themselves worthy by staring into the sun--staring into that 'giant wheel of beautiful' for so long it changes them, warps them, enrages them. Until all they live for is consuming one final sunflower seed stored in their cheek pouch and dying in a glaze of glory before the 'big bright'.
You've been captured by the Horde. Gather a crew, steal some space-worthy bikes, and make it across the galaxy before the Horde catches up!
Todd Crapper's Salvation: The One Land is no more, a shadow of its former self. When Chaos brought down his wrath, he almost destroyed it all before his children were able to vanquish him. All that remains is a post-apocalyptic world tainted by dark forces and mutant powers. In the centre of it all lie the Wastes, a harsh desert landscape where anthropomorphic creatures struggle to survive. Yet there is hope. A train known as the Salvation races through the Wastes offering travel, trade, and promise to the One Land. Providing safe passage are gangs of biker mice fighting off savage elements, ninja cats, and other fierce obstacles. Rev your engines because the world is counting on you in this HMTM hack of High Plains Samurai.
Steve Radabaugh's Neo-Nezumi: Neo-Nezumi takes you to the near future Neo Tokyo where gangs of biker mice fight for control over districts of the city. Fight to keep your turf in high speed motorcycle chases and games of chicken that are extra deadly when Katana are involved. Survive on the few scraps that get left by the humans who are marching to the drum of science and advancement. Just stay away from the buildings of science where the test subject mice have escaped. You don’t want to run into them.
Books and PDFs will be delivered by DriveThruRPG.com. These guys are truly the Amazon of RPGs and they make high quality books for you to enjoy. You will get a download code for your PDF, which will come in a zip file along with the support documents. You'll also get a code to purchase the softcover book at-cost! This means you will get the book for approximately $4, depending on the final page count of the book, plus shipping.
Shipping and handling are paid separately through DriveThru, not Kickstarter. Many other publishers have used this method with great success! Here's what it looks like:
If you're getting something else, like buttons or a signed book, those will be mailed separately via USPS and you, the backer, are responsible for shipping.
Learn more about the game and the team from these podcasts and media outlets.
- Derek's Blog: "Mouse Fiction"
- The Gauntlet Podcast
- Misdirected Mark Podcast
- NerdBurger Podcast
- Dog & Thimble - actual play
- Victory Condition Gaming video interview with Derek & Jacob
- RideApart magazine
- Tessera article
- Gameosity "Fav Five" Kickstarters
- Foolish Panda interview
Derek "Cheese Wheel Burnin" Kamal: The Prez is an independent writer, game designer, and musician. He also teaches middle school on occasion.
Jacob “Rebel Outlaw” Hunt is an illustrator, graphic designer, and cartoonist. His clients include mystery novelists, telecommunications conglomerates, and indie rock bands. He has contributed to numerous projects for the reThink Group, including the book, Where in the World, which he designed and fully illustrated. His graphic novel, Rumspringer, about an Amish teen’s jaunt to a parallel reality is currently in development, and his rock band, Tracer Metula, will release its debut album, prey/predator, early in 2018.
website — jacobhuntcomics.com
Sam "Whiskermoney" Cape: Sam got a job making money and keeping it real after college, but he remembers the days of playing guitar in multiple bands, headbanging, teaching calculus and doing radio. Sam currently freelances in music production, film scoring and digital artwork.
Find him @CapedSam on Twitter and Instagram
Brenda "Speedy" Terpstra: With a degree in English/Communication Arts, Brenda loves drama of all kinds. A former proofreader, teacher/accountant, she has edited copy for numerous publications over the years. Having visited all 50 states and 14 countries, she has climbed a volcano, jumped out of an airplane, ridden on an elephant, a camel, and a caribou! She resides in southern Minnesota.
Paolo "Rumple Bear" Bosi: Paolo has 5 years of experience as a designer and layout artist. His passion for games of any kind brought him to work with many well-known names in the tabletop RPG scene. He loves art in any form, and himself performs theater, improv, music, and design.
Craig "Big Cheese" Campbell: Architect by day, RPG designer by night, Craig Campbell loves creating fun worlds for people to play in. He’s super-duper happy to get the chance to create a world for mice to play in.
Craig's game design studio is NerdBurger Games.
Website: NerdBurgerGames.com Twitter:@NerdBurgerCraig
Elizabeth "Scurry" Chaipraditkul: Liz is a game developer who lives in the Netherlands. She is the owner of Angry Hamster Publishing and has written/developed for companies such as John Wick Presents, Khepera Publishing and Third Eye Games.
Website: angryhamsterpublishing.com | Twitter: @angryhamsterrpg
Todd "Whiskers" Crapper (yes, you read that right) is an multiple-ENnie nominee, recipient of the 2013 Judges Spotlight Award for Killshot: The Director’s Cut, creator of RPGs such as Killshot, ScreenPlay & others as the owner/lead designer of Broken Ruler Games. Currently living in the middle of nowhere over an hour outside of Ottawa, he’s also one of four co-hosts of the Ottawa Game Publishers podcast (https://onthecrapper.wordpress.com/ogp-podcast/) with Jason Pitre, Mark Richardson and Fraser Ronald. And he’s eager to talk about games, play games, smell games… ok, maybe just the first two.
Steve "Cinnamon" Radabaugh, first of his name, is a freelance app developer, technology consultant, and game designer. He founded Radical Bomb Games in 2012 to explore the convergence of technology with tabletop gaming. Steve lives, works, and plays games in Worland, WY with his wife, two kids, and two dogs.
- Illustration: The bulk of the Kickstarter funds are going towards the illustrations. After all, these are what bring the game world to life. They're really only secondary to the text itself!
- Layout: Professional layout makes the book look better and read easier. It includes those small art pieces, as well, to cap off chapters and add that special touch.
- Editing: Besides layout, good grammar and structure are also important to making the book as readable as can be. This is especially important when it comes to RPG rule books as you want every rule and concept to be as clear as possible.
- Map: A good map helps everyone visualize where they are and adds so very much to play. The finished book will contain the map and PDF materials will include a standalone map for reference.
Risks and challenges
I have self-published one RPG (The Dig) and one novel (Homes) successfully just last year and I know how it's done. I've assembled a great team with a lot of knowledge of how these games work and how to make them awesome, to say nothing of the tremendous artists who bring the expertise to make a great book.
If there is a risk it's things taking longer than expected, but March of next year gives us a great window to work with and any delays will be communicated appropriately!
Any unlocked settings will have a separate release date some time shortly after the core book is released.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter