Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Zack's 10 Easy Steps To Kitchen Sink Gaming

Wanting to play some no-holds-barred kitchen sink gaming, but aren’t sure where to start? Your worries are over! Simply start with any setting—Greyhawk, Eberron, Imperial Rome, The Roaring Twenties—and follow the simple steps below. And behold—Instant Kitchen Sink!

1) Playing in a fantasy game? Add sci-fi. Playing in a sci-fi game? Add fantasy. All others: add both.

2) Choose an indigenous life form. Give them some manner of natural laser, force beam, plasma burst, or heat ray. Other types of ray (gamma, death) will also suffice. Repeat as desired.

3) Choose two or more indigenous life forms, and combine them into some sort of wretched mutation. Repeat as desired. (Example: dragons and slugs give us the dread Slagon, a scaly monstrosity which hates salt and leaves a fiery residue as it oozes across the landscape).

4) Add a Mutations Table. Use it.

5) If you have guns, give at least some of them mystic, sword-of-legend type abilities. If you have swords of legend, give them pseudo-scientific, gun-like abilities (example: Excalibur, but Excalibur generates a mini-gravitational field to rend and tear opponents. Or something).

6) If there are gods in the setting (and this being kitchen sink, there should be!), they should have statistics for combat, if not be members of an adventuring party outright.

7) Choose 7 different historical eras, books, movies, cartoons, RPGs, your choice. Choose a character from each of those, and drop it (or a similar character with the serial numbers filed off) into your setting.

8) Somehow, somewhere, people are ruled or enslaved by apes.

9) Even if the entire world has been devastated and isolated by the plague, Kung-Fu never dies out, and will be known by robot and man alike.

10) More Lasers! (pay careful attention here. This never fails).

11) Take it to Eleven.


Stargazer said...

Hmm, why not just play RIFTS? ;)

Zachary The First said...

Oh, you! :)

Well, for one system preferences, or wanting to mess with an existing setting (or make your own) But that's always an option, along with Encounter Critical and others... :)

Stargazer said...

Hehe, I am just kidding. You're post is just awesome and I would love to play in a campaign created by following that 10 steps. :)

Adam said...

ultimate old school style kitchen sink game :)

Mark Gedak said...

This is an awesome list.

Now I might have to add Slagons to the DM Sketchpad.

Dale said...

That's called Exalted.

Jeff Rients said...

Allowing Exalted, RIFTS or even Encounter Critical to do all the work for you misses two important points:

1) Following Zack's plan will lead you to your own idiocratic setting. Sure you can play in someone else's sandbox, but why not make up your own?

2) Making screwy stuff up is fun!

Zachary The First said...

No, Exalted has dinosaurs peeing heroin, which while Taking It To 11, is also sorta gross. :)

Zachary The First said...

@Jeff: Yes, precisely!

@Mark: If you want, I will stat up a Slagon for you, in appropriate Swords & Wizardry or Mutant Future stats—unless someone else wants to take a shot at it. Should be easy enough. ;)

Mark Gedak said...

@Zachary - Mutant Future plz.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

All hail the ape overlords

1d30 said...

2) A Bunny-Eating Tortoise with an organic Bunny Beam on its back. The beam has a chance of turning you into a bunny. 1 in 6 is an unfortunate B-ET in that its Bunny Beam points backward and it suffers blind-fire penalties when firing.

3) The dreaded Cog. With the loyalty of a cat and the cleanliness of a dog.

5) A sect of warrior-monks with mental powers who use Chainswords to fight - elegant weapons from a more civilized age.

7) Falstaff, Moe Szyslak, Charlie Brown, Anton Shigur, Daniel Plainview, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Leeloo.

10) All seven have lasers.

Zachary The First said...

@1d30: Your #7 and #10 especially mark you well as a guiding light of the Kitchen Sink Coalition.

Helmsman said...

I have a rule. If I love the post and want to post a witty comment, but cannot find one to match the awesomeness of the post after 10 minutes then I leave no comment. I fail in this and in following my own rules today.

Josh Cornwell said...

Good advice, Zack. I love kitchen sink settings.

Although it is currently on the backburner, my Spectrum Shock setting is a pretty good (if amateurish) example of this.

Check out:

Zachary The First said...

@Helmsman: Thank you for the really wonderful compliment! That made my evening!

@Josh: I'll have to check it out! Thanks for the link, sir!

mgibbons said...

Zach awesome post- have you ever looked at this

self serving comment is self serving!

Zachary The First said...

Dude, the Metal Earth is beautiful madness. I approve.

Age of Fable said...

12) At least one element should be a distinctive feature of a well-known fantasy or science-fiction work (sandworms, or witches with a hypnotic Voice, mystic knights with laser swords, teenage vampire slayers, a race of creatures of pure logic), but customised to be just on the right side of plagiarism.

13) If there's an element of surprise when people find that the author is an adult, you've done your job.

Age of Fable said...

It should have at least one type of 'cyber-[thing that has nothing to do with modern technology]'

Age of Fable said...

14) Huge varieties of classes!

10 warriors, 10 assassins, 5 fighting-monks and war-priests, 5 war-mages, and 1 each of the other AD&D classes.

At least 1 class should be a race of Larry Elmore women.

At least 1 class should have the word 'Rune' in it.

Age of Fable said...

You should warn the reader that the book contains mature content. But be sure not to include actually mature content.

Zachary The First said...

@Fable: You've done this sort of thing before, I see. :)

Age of Fable said...


I think maybe all fantasy and science-fiction settings are kitchen-sink settings.

D&D isn't talked about as if it was the same kind of thing as Rifts. But you can easily have a D&D game where a robot (Warforged), a ninja, a Conan-like barbarian and a hobbit team up to fight dinosaurs, demons, or underground acidic Jell-O.

I think the difference might be that, in the case of D&D, most of the audience became familiar with the combination before they became familiar with the individual elements. So D&D seems like one thing ('fantasy'). The mixture of Rifts might not have any more elements, it's just that people are familiar with them seperately.


15) Balance is important. It means that characters should have roughly the same amount of rockets on the left shoulder as on the right.

Dyson Logos said...

I've been reading the Hawkmoon novels and just bought the classic Chaosium Hawkmoon RPG boxed set, and it pretty much handles the whole kitchen sink fairly closely.

Fantasy Based - check
Sci-Fi Added - check
Indigenous Life forms with ray attacks - sadly no
Merged Lifeforms - check
Mutations - check
Mystic Guns - pretty close
Gods You Can Kill - check
Characters from 7 Different Settings - check
People Enslaved by Apes - nearly check (in the Champion of Garathorm)
Kung-Fu - no
More Lasers - Check!

Anonymous said...
VIAGRA BESTELLEN eur 0.85 Pro Pille >> Klicken Sie Hier << BESTELLEN BILLIG VIAGRA CIALIS VIAGRA Rezeptfrei BESTELLEN Viagra im Internet
[b]VIAGRA® kaufen
VIAGRA Deutschland
VIAGRA online kaufen
VIAGRA on line
VIAGRA alternativ
VIAGRA rezeptfrei
VIAGRA Apotheke[/b]

Telas said...

Wait - Isn't this how Synnibar got started?

Seriously, I don't know if I could pull this off as a GM, but I'd love to play in it.