Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Burn Rubber with Greasers & Ghouls

Greasers & Ghouls is a b-movie horror rpg by Bloat Games. It was written by Josh Palmer. The cover was done by Phil Stone, while the interior features art from Christopher Torres, Bradley K. McDevitt, and Rich Hershey. You can get it as a pdf and/or as a gorgeous 137 page hardcover. Like many Bloat Games releases, this uses their SURVIVE THIS!! osr rules set. I've talked about ST rules many times on here so I'll be brief. It uses familiar D&D attributes and a basic roll a d20 and add relevant bonuses system. As far as classes for G&G we've got the following:

All-American Kid, Badger Scout, Beatnik, Biker, Bully, Cheerleader, Farm Kid, Greaser, Letterman, Soc, Square. Sweet Baby, Teen Idol, Thorned Roses

The skill section has everything you'd expect. A few new ones I don't remember seeing in previous ST books are Fighting: ROTC/Military and Homebrewing (aka bootlegging and recreational chemistry).  The equipment section has everything you'd expect. Since cars were such a big deal in the 50's, there's a more time spent discussing them. In addition to the standard equipment chart for vehicles, there's also charts for upgrades. Additionally we get some chase and vehicle rules.  This is a handy addition to the system (though variations have been seen in a few ST games). Most of the play rules are the same as other ST games, though there is a section for new horsemanship rules. This may seem a bit out of place, but considering the game takes place in Kentucky horse country, it shouldn't. 

I've previously mentioned We Die Young is the spiritual sequel to Dark Places & DemogorgonsGreasers & Ghouls is the literal prequel to that DP&D, with a default setting of Jeffersontown, KY. That's right, Greasers & Ghouls gives us a look J'town's past. Instead of the standard ST list of generic npcs and such, we're presented with more detailed 22 Advanced Story Hooks. Nearly every one of these includes stats for a new menace for your party to encounter. They are all fun and iconic. I think the one that really stands out is Drive-In Mayhem/ Giant Radioactive Critters Attack!!. Giant animals are such an iconic 50's monster trope. The section includes 37 different animal statblocks and 4 templates to make them creepier! I think I should also point out there are some familiar faces for DP&D loves. Tara the Clawed Menace is a new urban legend in J'Town in the 50's. We get the origins of the little green men (long before they fell in love with Conway Twitty). Finally you know the Pope Lick Monster has to make an appearance. Following the hooks, we get a map of Jeffersontown in the 50's and some locations within the town (including a list of the best places to drag race). 

The book ends with an index and a bunch of useful information about the 50's: slang, what kids were into, fashion, things that were common then but scare/gone now. This is a nice 50's primer and definitely useful for GM's and players.

Greasers & Ghouls is a fantastic addition to the SURVIVE THIS!! line. It works particularly well with the more horror-centric books in the line. Again, because the game is set in J'town, I feel like this one is a must have for fans of Dark Places & Demogorgons. You could do a really cool generational or parallel game if you had both. Characters have a character in the 50's and the 80's and you could weave the events together. Now that I say that, I might have to do it myself.

Where to buy: pdf, hardcover

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