Category Archives: Story

Gruel Truck! Brings the Monkeyfun

Zany does not begin to describe this game

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.

Check out A Town Called Malice on Kickstarter in it’s last day, And Gruel Truck! (along with many other great games) over at the Monkeyfun Studios store or at DriveThruRPG.

War of the Pirates Campaign: Character Introductions

I thought it might be interesting to detail the events of our ongoing Spelljammer campaign here on the blog. So this is that then! Today I will be sharing the character backstories as written by the players, Brandon, Nicole, Cora, Dale, and Jack, along with some of my thoughts on each character. Enjoy! Continue reading War of the Pirates Campaign: Character Introductions

The Time I Fought Myself

When I was in High School I was in a group that played D&D on a regular basis. Aside from me there was Mike who had actually introduced me to roleplaying and our friend Brett. Mike’s younger brother Pete rounded out the group most sessions. We were pretty big on 2nd Edition AD&D back then (I still am because that edition is the shit! THAC0!!) and were starting to get into some of the other worlds like Ravenloft and Spelljammer. Mike and I were so into Spelljammer that we had gone through and created a custom smuggling ship and a crew of motley pirates to play. It was Firefly but on a wooden ship and several years before Firefly came out. We had built them mid-level to play some of the higher level Spelljammer modules and picked from races not traditionally used as PCs such as the Thri Kreen. They were a bad ass crew built to kick ass, but before they got a chance to star in their own adventures they were needed to break up a fight. Continue reading The Time I Fought Myself