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HOME is a Pacific Rim and Godzilla-inspired RPG where kaiju battles are fought from a bird’s-eye view

Metal meets mettle in this collaborative struggle to protect everything you hold dear.

Home mapmaking RPG Kickstarter video screenshot
Image credit: Deep Dark Games

Mapmaking tabletop RPG HOME doesn’t stage its grand skirmishes between kaiju and mechs in the heart of a bustling metropolis such as Tokyo, relishing in the destruction of skyscrapers and fearful chorus of screams from a thousand-thousand urban onlookers. Instead, it pans the camera over to small settlements clinging to the sides of hills or rustic collections of homes and shops in a river valley. To someone’s home, far away from the blockbuster backdrops.

HOME is a new tabletop RPG currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter as part of ZineQuest/Zine Month 2024. Designed by Canadian design studio Deep Dark Games, the collaborative mapmaking title leans into the limitations of scale when you’re a zine by stripping away all of the bombast, Michael Bay-esque explosions and adrenaline-lined action shots of modern mech-versus-kaiju films. Shards of Pacific Rim, Godzilla and early Gundam have been melted down and reforged in tragic fires.

What’s left is a quietly devastating game played on a map at a distance 100 miles above everything. Towns, infrastructure sites and critical defences are nothing more than little blips on topographical lines, and the players will watch as their piloted mech marches towards the encroaching threat, two dotted lines on a collision course that are absurdly incapable of carrying the hope and fears of everyone counting on their success. Win, and the defensive lines push forward by critical map inches. Lose, and you die. Lose, and entire towns are wiped from existence.

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Players will create a pilot, construct their mech and populate the map with cultural sites, towns and desperate measures erected in the wake of the Rifts opening. Different playbooks provide storytelling hooks that tie your pilot to their Home - the Royal fights out of a sense of honour and duty to the people, while the Engineer relishes seeing their creations clash against the invaders’ weapons. The Aetherial senses a deeper meaning to the Rifts and the Kaiju homeworld, pushing ever deeper in search of truth.

Playing HOME will be split between exploration, where players will roll a six-sided dice pool to construct facilities, upgrade their towns and otherwise prepare for the next invasion, and facing off against whatever unique, deadly monstrosity emerges from the Rift. One player will then control the kaiju, forcing the mech pilot to choose where they make their stand and which parts of their home - infrastructure or communities - are left unprotected. During battle, players can roleplay flashbacks to reach for that critical determination or choose to sacrifice everything by detonating their core.

Play mockup of HOME, a mapmaking RPG
Image credit: Deep Dark Games

HOME is designed to work as a collaborative experience for up to four players or suit solo RPG lovers as a lone exploration of hope and loss. The booklet will contain everything needed for play, including oracle tables for creating mechs, pilots, kaiju, missions and the initial map of your Home. There will also be guidance for exploring the alien Kaiju Realm, if you manage to survive that long.

The Kickstarter campaign for HOME will run through March 7th and is funding the creation of a physical and digital version of the zine. Backers will get a PDF copy through in November that contains character sheets, map templates and everything else in print-friendly formats. The zine will be a 32-page, full-colour book edited by Christian Sorrell of MeatCastle Gamewares.

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