Sunday, June 18, 2023

Shticky Fingers

Now that PLANET MOTHERFUCKER is out, I can talk a bit about some of the design choices I made with it. This post is going to be about the game's "Shticks"--basically the available character classes in PLANET MOTHERFUCKER.

The PMF zine presents seven Shticks. I've copy-pasted the flavor text from the zine in italics, then followed it with a commentary chaser. Here's mud in your eye.


You are a heathen devotee of extreme metal, empowered by the Metal Gods to go forth and wreak havoc on this blighted world.

Church Burners are basically the bards of PLANET MOTHERFUCKER, but true to the game's ethos they aren't about bolstering their friends by singing songs of great triumphs. Instead, they're extreme metal fanatics who bring extremely bad vibes.


You are a brute shaped by a lifetime of downtrodden struggle, bad luck, and hard times. Everything looks like a nail to you because you are a human-shaped hammer.

Face-Breaking Goons are designed to be simple to play; if "fighter" is the default choice in D&D, Face-Breaking Goons fill that role in PLANET MOTHERFUCKER. When you play a Face-Breaking Goon, your gameplan is pretty straightforward: approach every problem as something that can be solved with violence. It'll probably work.


Whether a born-again holy roller, a gun-toting nun delivering fire-and-brimstone sermons, or an apocalyptic cultist, you have been chosen to spread the “Bad News” of what’s to come.

Hellfire Preachers resemble PLANET MOTHERFUCKER's clerics, but they aren't relegated to the "healer" role by design. Since your starting ability is determined randomly, your Hellfire Preacher might having some divine healing, but you're just as likely to get kick-ass martial arts depending on how the dice land.


You used to be alive, then you were dead, now you’re somewhere in-between. You might be a zombie prostitute, a ghoulboy stripper, a Frankenhooker, or a vampire go-go dancer.

Living Dead Hustlers are built for resilience. Being undead has some perks; you're probably really hard to put back in the grave. One of the neat things in some of their abilities is the temptation to court death because you get some bonuses when your "hit points" aren't topped off.


You have made a pact with Satan and have been granted the eldritch secrets of the blackest magic. Hail, Satan!

Satanic Witches are the wizards and warlocks of PLANET MOTHERFUCKER, but their shit isn't all tied to spells spells spells. And, of course, their abilities are explicitly black magic--no "white" witchery here, my friend. This was the Shtick I probably had the most fun working on.


You are a thief, a sneak, a liar, and a cheat. And probably worse, if you were honest with yourself about how big a scumbag you are. But you’ve never been honest with nobody. So why start now?

Fuck your noble rogue with a heart of gold! Scumbags are what rpg rogues should be: morally compromised dirtbags on the make. Imagine if Han Solo had a meth problem and never came back to help the Alliance and you're on the right track with these shitbirds.


You are a road warrior, an amazonian barbarian, a badlands marauder, a high plains grifter, a monster hunter, or some other kind of shithead who travels the wastes looking for trouble.

Wastelanders are closest to D&D's rangers, I guess, but they're actually fun to play. Lots of unique shit in their abilities list: bitchin' motorcycle, feral kid sidekick, big fuckin' shotgun, etc. There's even a bit of Conan baked in as a possibility if the dice decide to hand you a big freakin' sword. This shtick probably has the widest range of interpretations.

Sound good? Buy a copy of PLANET MOTHERFUCKER and let the good times roll. I've got less than half the print run left, so don't be a slow-ass about it.