Happy 2020! It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new day! So, let’s kick things off with trying something new!
If this is your first time on this site, word of warning: my preferred roleplaying style is gonzo. As in I like to go off the rails and into absurdity. Normally, this involves taking a game’s setting and turning it on its head, such as turning a LARP about grieving for a dearly departed friend into a full-blown primetime TV supernatural drama or take a cutesy game about Imperial Japanese warships being turned into anime women and have their commander be a black market arms dealer with the aforementioned anime women being his muscle.
However, if an RPG is gonzo in of itself, like an RPG set in a fantasy version of a Wendy’s restaurant where the main villain is Night King Ronald McDonald, then that immediately piques my interests. Such as the case with this game. Just… look at the cover! You have a shirtless dinosaur human cowboy, front and center, while he’s flanked by both Bigfoot and an elf archer, all while there’s tentacles going on… What’s not to like!?
Welcome to the Tingleverse, an RPG based off some crazy novels that you can buy on Amazon! What’s it about? Well, it’s set in a universe where a variety of species have integrated themselves into society, ranging from the Bigfeet to the Dinosaurs, to even Unicorns and living objects. And thus, T-Rexes buying steaks and baseball playing motorcycles have become the norm for society.
Things are not so pleasant though, as monsters from a dark place known as the void often invade the Tingleverse. Some of these monsters were people just like us who were warped by the Void in an attempt to jump timelines while others are born right from the void itself.
Our story takes place in Billings, Montana of the good ol’ US of A, though altered to account for the Tingleverse, such as the lack of gunpowder or internet. Now, what kind of character shall I become?
Interestingly enough, the game’s system is a loose version of an OSR. It keeps the ability scores the same, but with the names altered. Constitution becomes Fortitude (ironically the name of the Saving Throw that uses Constitution in 3.5) Intelligence and Wisdom become Book/Street Smarts respectively, and Charisma becomes Charm, naturally.
Classes are easy to compare, with Bad Boys being Fighters, Charmers being Bards, Sneaks being Rogues, True Buckaroos being Clerics, and Wizards being… well… wizards. Though, this and the Alignments are where the similarities end. The races are pretty unique in terms of lore and stat distribution, while there’s a feature similar to Feats called Unique Ways that, mechanics wise, are completely different in how Feats go.
Namely, each Unique Way has an advantage and a disadvantage, with a huge stipulation to encourage roleplaying. For example, a character having Abs would help them in their Charm checks, but they need to spend some time doing sit ups to maintain them. Then, there are Cool Moves, which are special abilities that you can pick to customize your class.
Equipment gets a brief mention because not only do you start off with a bag of holding, but the selection of items mashes up an urban setting with a fantasy setting, kinda like Final Fantasy and Earthbound having a baby. The currency? US Dollars. Okay, that made me smile.
This is what I wanted out of an OSR game. A simplistic system that allows for character customization instead of having your character’s abilities and stats be fixed to a table. I really like this and now I want to roll up some characters. Let’s do it!