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Blister Critters is a Gamma World-meets-Ren & Stimpy RPG where mutated animals rule the world

You can’t spell ‘saturday morning cartoon’ without radiation!

Blister Critters key art featuring a squirrel with half a pair of scissors.
Image credit: Odd Gob Games/ Stillfleet Studio

After humanity has eradicated the ozone layer and effectively cooked the planet in radiation, we’ll be dead and gone. But the mutated fauna at the core of new tabletop RPG Bilster Critters are all too happy to fill the power vacuum, bringing cartoon mayhem and hard-PG violence to the blasted remains of society.

A joint creation between Stillfleet Studio and Odd Gob Games, Blister Critters’ visual design looks like something you’d find on a sunbaked VHS tape with no label pulled from the quarter box at a yard sale - and I say that with nothing but love. It’s the background art to every episode of Courage, the Cowardly Dog paired with Ren & Stimpy’s disgusting anthropomorphic animals, blended into D&D 3.5E’s take on Gamma World.

Players control Critters fighting for survival in the ruins of humanity’s collective sin, scrounging for Stuff that might be used as weapons or armour, or else bartered away. Blister Critters will provide a unique system for deconstructing scrap and crafting something new and deadly from the parts. It’s a dog-eat-anything world out there, and any Critter worth their grit won’t venture far without the best defence: a wickedly sharp offense.

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Scavenged steel won’t be the only weapons in the players’ arsenals. The ambient radiation bestows both strange mutations known as Blisters and Nonsense powers that fudge the laws of physics in a decidedly Looney Tunes fashion. Creating a Critter involves choosing amongst 66 different animals designed by Odd Gob Games’ Anthony Grasso, one of 10 cartoonish Roles and a Blister path that opens up a specific subset of possible mutations. Blister Critters will launch with four different paths, along with rules for developing Catchphrases, Ad-Libs and other elements that complete the RPG’s “zany, cartoon-show” vibe.

Alongside the core rulebook, Stillfleet is developing a boxed set that acts as a premium version complete with a double-sided poster featuring random tables on one side, a booster pack of 48 “poké-styled” Critters and Bliffs (Stuff that has somehow been mutated into weird sentience), a sticker sheet and dice ranging from d4 up to d12. All of the rules are the same compared to the base version, including a variant of the Grit system behind the Stillfleet RPG - the boxed set is just a nice bit of extra guff above the usual ZineQuest/ Zine Month 2024 offerings.

The Kickstarter campaign for Blister Critters will run through March 7th in order to publish both a physical and digital version of the core rulebook. Backers should get access to the PDF files by September of this year, while the book will begin shipping out in January 2025. If you want a better look at the art and design, a quickstart guide is available to download on the Blister Critter's page.

Blister Critters key art with a Bonked dog
Image credit: Odd Gob Games/ Stillfleet Studio

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