Have you ever imagined how your favourite Cyberpunk, Mörk Borg or Dungeons & Dragons characters might navigate the real world, stuck in rush-hour traffic, dressing for a date or grabbing lunch from a bodega? Systems-neutral RPG Coffee & Chaos gives players that opportunity by putting adventuring groups in control of a busy café on a day when nothing seems to go right.
Coffee & Chaos, designed by Cobblepath Games, is a tabletop RPG that emphasises comedic situations and gives players as much freedom to express themselves as possible through their characters. The setup is dead simple: take your current party and put them in charge of a coffee shop, restaurant, bar or some other food service joint. Things will go very wrong, and the adventurers-turned-baristas will need to save the day.
Porting characters over to Coffee & Chaos is streamlined for maximum ease. Players will choose an approach for their erstwhile heroes that defines how they solve problems: the Knife represents direct, concise action; the Fork stands for creative solutions; and the Spoon denotes a more careful and considered course. The clever bit is that each character retains all of the abilities, skills, weapons and traits on their sheet - it’s up to the player to decide how a demonic sword or massive fireball helps them safely serve coffee.
The establishment that will be the setting of the group’s delicious derrings-do can slot neatly into their world, as the game is built as a setting-neutral RPG. The same Knife/Fork/Spoon system defines the look, size and feel of the joint, allowing players to build a snug and warm roadside tavern or a neon-lit corporate café on the 999th floor of a skyscraper with similar ease. These choices will create a communal cutlery card pool that all players will use during conflict resolution, and those traits will likely change over the course of a session or short campaign.
The game is played by confronting different kinds of problems and using both a character’s innate approach and a deck of cutlery cards to either solve the issue or work around it - sometimes a wild gryphon is a mascot instead of a health hazard. Each session will have an unsolvable Hitch that will complicate every minute of the day, along with Catastrophes that must be constantly handled (think leaky pipes or haunted mugs) and one-time Snafus that must be immediately solved on the turn they crop up.
The resulting experience is designed to evoke the atmosphere of a group in over their heads and barely keeping things together while maintaining as much professionalism as possible. You know, food service? It's also a chance to explore new aspects of an RPG character and discover a deeper connection to them as more realized personas. Or, at least watch them use Prestidigitation to pour 12 frothy pints at once.
Coffee & Chaos is currently funding a tri-fold pamphlet that contains all the information and rules needed to run a one-shot session or longer campaign. Backers can snag a digital or physical copy of the game for £12 or £15, respectively. Cobblepath Games expects PDFs to be finalised by November of this year, while physical editions will ship in December.