Jess Newman
United States
Colorado
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I'm trying to start a homebrew campaign based on circus freaks and the occult. Thematically, I want it to have the flavor of the HBO show Carnivale (occult magic in a traveling carnival in the Dust Bowl), the cthulhu-esque hillbilly madness of The Hills Rise Wild!, and the humorous, oddball richness of the Dark Horse comic The Goon.
I am looking for any kind of similar rpg that anyone might know of in print, or one that works well and could be converted relatively easily.
A few guidelines of what I'm hoping for:
D&D based would be good (I haven't played 4E, but I usually like WotC's mechanics)
Unisystem is also goood (haven't played it either, but I own All Flesh Must Be Eaten, so it will be easier than other systems to learn & integrate)
In print or easy/cheap to find is good too. I realize this is kind of a pipe dream in the indie RPG market, but anything less than $50 works.

My inspirations:
The album Escape from Inbred Mountain by Buckethead- a poor fellow tries to escape from evil hillbillies and cyborg slunks (a slunk is a partial-term cow fetus)
The Goon- A depression era town is beset by zombies, evil sorcerers, and warring mob factions. Very cartoonish and funny, with a very distinct tone and feel. This is a Dark Horse comic.
Carnivale- all is not what it seems in a traveling carnival. A young man has visions & encounters with the supernatural pushing him toward his destiny as an avatar of Light. A very eerie show from HBO which was canceled after its 2nd season (it was planned for 6), so there are lots of loose ends, but it's very good.


Any suggestions are welcome!

Thanks for the help, Geeks!
 
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Mike Miller
United States
Roseville
Minnesota
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I recommend Call of Cthulhu, and not just for the obvious reason. It's a solid set of rules that are easy to learn and easy to play. More importantly, the system includes rules for losing sanity and going insane. The combats tend to play out quickly and brutally, and the system is so easy to run that the game master can pay more attention to colorful descriptions.
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Edward Courtney
United States
Guilford
Connecticut
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Pagan Publishing actually sent out a playtest kit for a second THRW expansion called CIRCUS OF BLOOD, with two new clans, the CLOWNS and the FREAKS, and tiles featuring circus tents and carnival booths. Like Reanimated it never saw the light of day.
 
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