11 August 2014

#RPGaDay: Day Eleven - Weirdest RPG Owned

HOL: Human Occupied Landfill
It takes a lot for me to consider any RPG "weird." Regardless of the setting, we're talking about a fantasy world, right? So stuff is liable to be different from the reality we know. There are some I'd consider a bit "different" or "kooky," though. If I had to pick just one of those, I'd probably choose HOL.

When HOL originally came out, I didn't consider it a game you could actually play. I thought of it more as satire with rules, similar to Violence: The Roleplaying Game of Egregious and Repulsive Bloodshed. After all, the acronym "HOL" stands for "Human Occupied Landfill," and the game itself is set on a planetary trashbin used as a dumping ground for, well, everything. The entire document is hand-written, and all the illustrations are presented inline with the text. It's incredibly humorous, irreverent, and vulgar, and it doesn't take itself very seriously.

None of this stopped a friend of mine from running it, and I suppose he had some measure of success at doing so. I remember trekking through this bizarre world of garbage, violence, and debauchery with Mr. Bungle blaring on the CD player in my garage. These were the days of our lives in the mid nineties, youngsters. Pull up a chair and listen to my tales of old.

HOL's character stats included "Greymatta," "Meat," "Mouth," "Feets," and "Nuts." Some of the more useful skills included "Organize Fundraiser," "Cause Hellish Agony," and one of my personal favorites, "That Psycho Bruce Lee Shit." Appendix 5 of HOL details several beings that might challenge players during play, such as Cannibalistic Accountants, Dump Technicians, and Sodomy Bikers. Obviously, this isn't a game for people with any interest in serious drama or soul searching.

As far as I know, HOL released a single supplement entitled Buttery Wholesomeness, and it contained a ton of new rules and options for characters. Things like random charts to give your character more depth, such as Table P, "Parental Misunderstanding." There's also a chart of homeworlds to roll on, including vacation spots like "Hug Me IV: The Porcupine Planet" and "Fabio IV: The Beefcake Planet" (yes, all the planets are "Name IV"). You can even get a totem for your character, choosing from powerful and unique options like Parakeet, Lemming, and Earwig (the best of them all).

And if that's not enough, you get a free RPG named "Freebase" tucked quietly away within the scrumptious center of Buttery Wholesomness. Laid out in a small book formatted to resemble the presentation of 1st Edition AD&D, Freebase is billed as "Live action role playing in the World of Reality". It's just as funny, irreverent, and debased as HOL, and is a satire within a satire. Even the alignment system makes sense in a twisted sort of way.

I'd never run HOL, but I still like reading through it from time to time, especially when I need a good laugh. I find something new just about every single time I do this. I'm not sure how hard it is to find these days, but if you're looking for something to give you a chuckle or two, and your humor tends towards the scatological, you'll probably benefit from the purchase.

NOTE: It appears as if second editions of both HOL and Buttery Wholesomeness are available on Amazon, so what are you waiting for?


lyn said...

Is this the one that had Buttery Wholesomeness as a little bonus add-on thing inside?

Gary said...

"Freebase" was the little bonus add-on inside of "Buttery Wholesomeness." One of the best pieces of gaming humor I've ever seen.