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Hidden-role RPG Kitchen Knightmares sends you searching for a smug wizard in a ‘90s diner

Server’s up!

What do medieval knights, diner placemat menus and Discord servers all have in common? They’re elements of the new hidden-role RPG Kitchen Knightmares, a Discord server-based roleplay experience full of regular diners and a temporally-displaced pair of interlopers.

Kitchen Knightmares calls for five or more people to create a dedicated Discord server wherein the participants will be assigned one of three roles - most will comprise the diner’s patrons as typical ‘90s college students, while two will be secretly designated the Knight and the Wizard. The former was transported into the most radical decade by the latter, who followed along to gloat about their mystic tomfoolery.

What follows should be, according to the Kickstarter description, “some light-hearted and very chaotic roleplay” built on a rules-light RPG system that favours collaborative storytelling with no dice rolls or maths-crunching involved. Fans of the other online cooperative game, This Discord Has Ghosts In It, will be pleased to know designers Nevyn Holmes (Gun&Slinger), Chris Bissette (The Wretched) and Julie-Anne Muñoz used the 2020 digital LARP as heavy inspiration for Kitchen Knightmares, calling it the progenitor of their newest title.

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Their title will also use Discord’s fundamental structure to allow players to create channels, voice rooms and notes to aid in creating something that feels like a physical building - quiet corners, noisy main dining areas, hidden notes stashed in drawers, and so on. The zine will include a template server, while the designers encourage groups to expand on it based on each group’s particular needs.

The three roles will have distinct abilities and limitations during the game, structuring interactions and giving both the Knight and Wizard tools for concealing their true identities for as long as possible. As for winning, Holmes told Dicebreaker via Twitter that went a different route.

“There isn't really like a ‘you won, the game is over’ state,” they said. “The Knight, after some time, takes a guess at who the wizard is. If they're right, yay! They get to ask a favor of the wizard. If they're wrong, the Wizard reveals themself and makes a demand of the Knight.”

While the two anachronistic antagonists vie to uncover each other, the rest of the diners will have distinct “goals and shenanigans to get up to”, muddying the waters and having fun in the meantime.

Kitchen Knightmare’s Kickstarter campaign is part of the ongoing Zinequest 3 initiative and will remain open until March 15th. Backers can purchase a physical copy of the 14-page zine or opt to pick it up as a diner placemat, complete with crayons. Shipping for all versions, including digital PDFs, is expected to begin in May of this year.

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