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I just learned about... Hell Night

Christian Heckmann
Rheinland Pfalz
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I don't want to say that my Kickstarter-backing-habits have shifted from board games to RPGs in recent times, but... the quota of my last ten backed projects speaks a relatively unambiguous language. Seven of those have been RPG-projects. Sure, some Mörk Borg-stuff sneaked in, but there were also some full systems that I did (Survival Of The Able) or didn't (Moonlight On Roseville Beach... "A Queer Game of Disco & Cosmic Horror!"... shut up and take my money!) tell you about. The latest in that line (and as you might have noticed one that I AM gonna tell you about):

From gallery of Harblnger

Hell Night by designer Gavriel Quiroga is (and I quote the project-description) a "doom biker RPG rule-artbook inspired by badass metal covers and the spirit of a strange decade". If that's not already enough to make you want to get your hands on a copy, I don't know what the fuck is wrong with you. But okay, maybe I can delve a bit deeper and convince you to check this one out more thoroughly (even though sadly there isn't too much to check out available yet...).

In the world of Hell Night, there has been an insurrection in Hell, because too long has its ruler lain dormant. A bunch of Archons, powerful demons, have decided that enough is enough and escaped the confines of their respective circles to Earth - specifically the eighties of the twentieth century - to wreak havoc and generally have a good time. That shit doesn't fly with the forces of Heaven who sends a celestial herald that knocks on the doors of Hell and goes "Listen up motherfuckers, you send some folks up there to drag those Archons back before dawn or we're gonna invade your shitty place down here". Or something to that effect. So a bunch of lesser demons are outfitted with infernal arms and armor and cool hellbikes or something like that and are sent to Earth to bring back those fugitives. And those hellbikers are the players, in case you hadn't figured that out yet.

Visually, Hell Night is inspired by stuff like Heavy Metal album covers, Spawn, Ghostrider and the (I'm heartbroken to tell you not very good) movie "Mandy". It's an agnostic setting but it also comes with an optional system based on Quiroga's very own designs Neurocity/Warpland. Those are relatively rule-light/narrative-based systems with a 2D6-mechanism where you have five attributes that range from 5 (bad) to 10 (great) and you try to roll equal to or under your attribute-value to pull off whatever you're trying to do, but you don't necessarily want to roll too low, because every one that you roll (on a complex action, which is determined at the GM's discretion) introduces a complication into the narrative that the players will have to deal with. There's also a "Tension"-system where players "get" tension either by failing tests or adding it to reroll dice and then, if the tension hits a certain threshold, bad things start to happen. I don't know whether all of this will be in place for Hell Night. Quiroga said in the comments that there are some changes, for example the attributes have been reduced from five to three and the classes have been changed (there's a total of five with special powers and stuff), also there's apparently quite a few Edges, quirks that can be used to individualize your character further, but the whole thing should be rules-light and intuitive enough to make character creation a simple thing.

Which is good, because by necessity (the characters have only a single night to complete their task), the game will probably be mostly geared towards one-shot or short-campaign-style gameplay. Which is fine by me, if the whole thing turns out to be good, you can probably expand on it yourself. I for one am mightily sold on this thing. Quiroga promises deep lore and 65 to 70 pages of awesome artwork. The images that you can already see on the Kickstarter-page (like the one above) are really cool and as a RPG/artbook-hybrid, this will probably be worth it to own even if the gameplay doesn't hold up that well. Although, the jaded old RPG-curmudgeon in me is pretty confident that I'll once again play it despite the rules instead of because of the rules anyway. But that's just me.

Bottom line, Hell Night looks and sounds really cool. It's already funded and live for another... what? 57 days? What the fuck? Well okay then, this thing will run into January, I guess. So you've got plenty of time to check it out. Here's the link to the project page.

Also here's the link to my Bandcamp-page. Christmas-song incoming. In... I don't know, the next month or so? Check out everything else I have to offer until then. Today is Black Friday or something like that. My discography isn't cheaper than any day else, but you can get my stuff for next to nothing anyway, so just buy it, okay?

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