Silent Hill and Cronenberg haunts this horror tarot roleplaying game
The meat of the matter.
A meatpunk tabletop roleplaying game sees players constructing bodies from random parts in a dystopian hell world.
Lichoma is an upcoming roleplaying game about a doomed world populated by walking piles of meat, forced to work in machines for an oppressive class known as the Companies. Similarly to the Silent Hill video game series, Lichoma features environments that reflect the dark and difficult emotions of its characters, with the landscape being littered with hulking factories pulsing with meat and flesh.
The tabletop RPG has players building their characters using a deck of tarot cards, putting each card together to form a living creature. In a similar vein to the films of director David Cronenberg – such as Videodrome or The Fly (1986) - Lichoma readily employees body horror to explore its themes of worker oppression, ecological collapse and the threat of corporations. Rather than gaining traits from identity aspects like class or species, the stats and traits for player characters are derived from whatever body parts they currently have attached to them.
Each playable character in the horror TRPG is made up of five tarot cards representing their legs, eyes, hands, masks, limbs and torso. Lichoma features a tarot card deck that players can interpret in order to form a picture of their character. Body parts are connected to one of six factions found in the city of Wen, with players deciding on a faction whenever they construct a new character. As time passes, players will build a new character for every generation the group spends in Wen.
Whenever players encounter conflicts or challenges in the game, they roll a pool of d6s representing whichever body parts they’re employing for the current mission – as long as the player can connect them to their character action. Should a player ever fail a mission, then they’ll lose one of their body parts. However, characters can acquire new body parts by successfully killing Cunts, or the leaders of the corporations that continue to drive what’s left of the world into oblivion.
Lichoma was created by Strega Wolf van den Berg – a queer, neurodivergent writer inspired by Marxist ideas - with additional writing by Tessa Winters, Walton Wood and Michael Mars, and editing by Walton Wood, Ian Long and Ashley Kronebusch. The roleplaying game will be published by Bogfolk, an international collective focused on producing RPGs.
The Kickstarter campaign for Lichoma is live until February 8, with a pledge of $60 (£50) getting players a physical copy of the game in August. Alternatively, a digital copy of Lichoma is available for a pledge of $10 (£9).