What if falling in love wasn’t a Happily Ever After, but a victory for the forces of Evil? That’s the question posed by upcoming RPG Rom Com Drama Bomb, which puts one player in the role of a devious villain committed to sparking romance between two people who might be better left alone.
Elliot Davis’ rom-com-inspired RPG aims to flip the arc of a classic meet-cute movie on its head, placing two players in the role of Leads - examples among five playbooks include professional rivals or a couple who are “just friends” - with a third player becoming a Villain working to wear away the resistance in the way of their budding romance.
The cinematic influence extends to Rom Com Drama Bomb’s structure, with the players playing out six scenes across three acts. Each scene is guided by rolls of four-sided ‘mood dice’ that determine whether the atmosphere is rom, com, drama or bomb.
Taking mechanical inspiration from the Belonging Outside Belonging system powering storytelling RPGs such as Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast, the players can also earn tokens spent to nudge their characters, the story and the world in a particular direction.
With Davis outlining Rom Com Drama Bomb as both playful jab at and loving tribute to rom-com cheesefests and full-throttle action flicks, aiming for both heartfelt sentimentality and knowing laughter, the game itself aims to fit each movie-like plot into the space of a 90-minute movie.
Davis will bring Rom Com Drama Bomb to Kickstarter on - when else? - Valentine’s Day this February 14th, looking to crowdfund a physical 28-page book as part of Zine Month.