Ducks in A Grindhouse Fantasy Game – A Review of DUKK BÖRG

DUKK BÖRG

Author: Dan Phipps, Kali Lawrie
Artwork: Rob Hebert
Publisher: Gem Room Games
Page Count: 36
Available Formats: PDF
PDF (DTRPG) – $12

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.

– Doctor Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park

So you’ve been playing Mörk Borg for a while. You totally rock Ducks in A Grindhouse Fantasy Game – A Review of DUKK BÖRG”the world of pitch-black apocalyptic fantasy RPG about lost souls and fools seeking redemption, forgiveness, or the last remaining riches in a bleak and dying world.” The world has ended a few times, and every time it has ended, you’ve followed the directions and burned the book. (Y’know it occurs to me that you might be able to get away with not burning the book). But you want something more. Specifically, you want to cross it with Duck Tales.

Gun Room Games and Nerdy Paper Games have you covered. Enter DUKK BÖRG. Notice the umlaut moving from Mörk to Börg. Because, of course, it did. To quote the presskit,

“DUKK BÖRG is a grindhouse fantasy tabletop game about duck-human hybrids banding together in pursuit of death or treasure before the world ends. Inspired by the beloved Saturday morning cartoon DuckTales, DUKK BÖRG introduces characters, places, and treasures found long after the McDuck clan’s adventures have finished, the moon has exploded, and the sun has turned red in its dying days.”

I had described Mörk Borg along the lines  of “[i]t’s as if your high school buddy, a total metalhead, made a notebook of all his ideas for a bad-ass D&D variant.” DUKK BÖRG keeps this style—it’s 32 pages of drawings, different fonts, maps, etc. This time your metalhead buddy went on marathon watching bender over the weekend re-watching videotapes of Duck Tales, Indiana Jones, and Thundarr the Barbarian and decided it’d make for the perfect campaign setting.

DUKK BÖRG bolts on several new character generation options. It introduces the idea of playing an anthropomorphic game—centered around ducks while also being open to pretty much any other animal, with dogs and other birds being mentioned specifically (though rules-wise, there is no distinction between animal types. You also generate a clan for your duck, with tables providing you with basic history, coat of arms, etc. We’re not talking Pendragon-levels of detail (hmm, perhaps an idea for another Mörg Borg supplement), just a few tables.

DUKK BÖRG introduces four new classes.

  • The Treasure Hunter, an Indiana Jones type explorer
  • The Oath Sworn Titan, a walking tank
  • The Gizmo Speaker, a genius inventor with questionable ethics
  • The Devotee, an adventurer extraordinaire, who is quite likely to have things like a flashlight or a fishing rod…

Tables are essential to character generation; for example, in the Oathsworn Titan’s table, you might discover, “you have never done your taxes, and the collectors know about it.”

Several pages are dedicated to the accursed city of DUKK BÖRG, underneath the shattered moon, a moon that was shattered in the pursuit of treasure. I’d take that as an aspiration for future adventuring ducks. There are places like Beagletown, an extreme kleptocracy, and Mallard Aerospace. There are organizations like the Merchant-Emperor’s Clan, ruled by an Undying Miser who looks a lot like an undead version of Scrooge McDuck (did I write that?).

After various NPCs, there’s a pair of pages of random treasure and artifacts, with tomes, potions, maps, and magic lamps.

Given this is a brief book, this review is a bit on the shorter side. I imagine for most gamers, the most significant value in this supplement is as a reference of ideas to mine, though it’s certainly possible the details of the setting will just click with you, and you’ll be inspired to play in it as-is. It is also a great example of what is possible with the Mörk Borg game. The only mild disappointment I had with it was the lack of a sample adventure or two—I think the inclusion of some in the Mörk Borg RPG really helped add to the game’s feel. However, those adventures certainly could be adapted for a flock of adventuring ducks.

Note: Gem Room Games provided Rolling Boxcars with a review copy for this article. If you have an item you’d like Rolling Boxcars to review, please visit our Product Review Request page.

~ Daniel Stack

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