Jump in your meatmech and prepare to bash the fash around a tabletop: cult indie video game Extreme Meatpunks Forever has an RPG adaptation coming to Kickstarter in June.
Led by designer Oli Jeffery (Quietus, Night Reign), Extreme Meatpunks Forever: The Roleplaying Game aims to translate the razor wit, grimy aesthetic and hardluck, righteous anger of the visual novel about a band of misfit outsiders fighting fascists in mechs constructed from the dross of a dead god whose body is also the entire planet. Dicebreaker sister site RockPaperShotgun described the source material as “doing punk better than any other video game”.
Meatworld has a nazi problem, and the player characters must suit up in their gory machines and struggle against the seemingly non-stop flood of hatemongers while still finding time to navigate the messy, beautiful relationships amongst each other. The setting and rules come from Heather Flowers, co-creator of the video game, and Aura Bell, with the unapologetically queer and antifascist core of the experience shining through in sneak peeks. Jeffery outlines the other artists, editors and team members currently working on the RPG adaptation in a Twitter thread.
The quickplay rules, available now at a pay-what-you-want price point, describe the game as a conversation between a GM and at least two players who will endeavour to “fight fash, explore the weirdness that is Meatworld, attack and dethrone god, solve mysteries like a gore dripping Scooby Gang, deal with trauma, and if you’re lucky, make out with your friends”. It details a few pre-generated characters and locations to ease playtest preparation.
Moves function as narrative-pushing mechanics that empower characters to action and leave consequences in their wake. Basic moves cover the breadth of interactions and allow the character-specific moves to further define a preferred playstyle. Hits and misses follow the popular trend of making room for what the rules call “weak” and “strong” hits, and control of the narrative will be wrested between GM and players depending on the results of rolls.
There’s also a pages-long section detailing a player’s bespoke meatmech, a “viscera engine” cobbled together from bits of the dead god-planet and tailored to exact specifications. When mechs invariably clash, the Meatpunks RPG keeps the conversation-style flow of play going and simply swaps out moves and stats. Fighting is just a more deadly form of communication, after all.
The aptly - if disgustingly - named Meatworld takes every opportunity to beat the player characters down into the dirt. The sun disappeared, the wildlife is always hungry and smaller gods vie constantly for domination of a damned land. The designers say in the rules they wanted players to feel as if pushing up a massive boot and taking a sweet breath of freedom before lashing out at those who would crush you.