The A Town Called Malice Kickstarter campaign from the fine folks over at Monkeyfun Studios is almost at a close. It will be down to 24 hours when this post publishes. I can’t recommend enough that you go check it out for yourself and back it if you can. I’m a big fans of the games from Monkeyfun Studios, and I’d like to tell you a story about a really fun roleplaying game they make, and the time that we “broke” that game at a convention.
The game in question is Gruel Truck! Gruel Truck! has a fairly ridiculous yet wildly entertaining premise for an RPG; you and your party have grown tired of the adventuring life and decided to open a food truck. Think Jon Favreau’s Chef, but set in Middle Earth. Each player in your group picks a Placemat, which is your class for the game. You can choose from a Barbarian, Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Knight, Orc, Thief, or Wizard. The Wizard is also referred to as The Most Powerful Placemat to Vanquish Your Enemies in Competitive Play. Once everyone has picked a Placemat, you pick a Truck Job. The job determines what step in the customer service process they fit into be it Driver, Counter, Fry Cook or Cleanup. Finally, you need to build your truck by rolling three six-sided dice and assigning the results as Armor, Zoom! or Space. Armor determines how much punishment your truck can take from unsatisfied customers, Zoom! matters when you’re trying to get away from those same customers, and Space determines how big your truck is (also how many dice your crew has to roll). Very important!
The mechanics for Gruel Truck! are easy to learn. The game utilizes a deck of cards and a number of six-sided dice to reconcile the gameplay of feeding hungry customers. For each customer you flip over a card. The number on the card, e.g. eight of whatever, represents the target number you need on a roll on 2d6. Hit that number and that customer’s order moves to the next step in the process. If you don’t hit the number you can roll again by taking a Fatigue or let someone else give it a try. If you collect five Fatigue you’re out for that round and someone else has to pick up your slack. It’s fast and frantic and above all else FUN!
Unless you happened upon a game of Competitive Play Gruel Truck! a few years back at Strategicon. On that fateful day, Gruel Truck! was all about winning! For one truck. MY TRUCK!! You see, when you play the Wizard Placemat in Competitive Play you gain the move Bippity-Boppity-Boom! This allows you to send a customer to another truck with a 10 or higher on a roll +Pluck. Where they explode dealing 1d6 points of damage. You need an 11 or higher to serve a face card, so the +Pluck roll seems like a no-brainer on these customers. And it was!
We “accidentally” sent so many Bippity-Boppity Booms! over to the other trucks that we eventually destroyed them all in the process. We knocked out that Gruel Truck! tournament in less than half of the scheduled time. Sure, we didn’t win by serving superior food or by having the best trained staff or by having a better business model. But, we did win. The Lord of the Onion Rings was the last truck left standing and rolled victorious to our next conquest.