This free, fan-made Dark Souls tabletop-RPG puts you in the shoes of those awful NPCs who speak vaguely and end sentences with condescending refrains like “heh, heh, heh,” or “…mm.”
“Fucked Up Little Man,” a roleplaying game by Grant Howitt, comes with just one downloadable page for instructions on setting up, playing, and completing your tabletop journey with some friends. You can download the version with images and the text-only version via Howitt’s Patreon (opens in new tab).
Here’s the text-based “trailer” at the beginning, from a viral tweet (opens in new tab):
“Ahh,, fucked up little man. youre so fucked up, and nasty. everything, it sucks soooo bad. only you , thje most fucked up and nasty of guys, can make it suck less.”
So, essentially, the plot of every Dark Souls game boiled down to its most basic fundamentals. As mentioned before, you’re not the hero in this story, or at least for most of the game you aren’t. You’ll mostly play as your own fucked up little man, “or woman, or non-binary person, or whatever,” and you’ll roll a die or choose from a variety of common Dark Souls NPC professions, like blade merchant, “scheming loiterer,” “regretful physician,” or my favorite, “tooth enthusiast.”
You’ll also get to pick from one of the many NPC traits Souls fans will be well familiar with, like “generous but impoverished,” “effete, elitist, incompetent,” and, “kind of… horny? Maybe?” You can also choose from a variety of useful refrains like “ah…,” “alas…,” and “heh heh heh heh.”
The rules of the RPG are pretty standard. You’ll inhabit one area of the map as your fucked up little man, and when the “Damned One” enters your space, you’ll be able to offer advice, supplies, support or “otherwise stick your oar in and make comments.” If you choose to speak, you’ll need to do so under the following guidelines: “1) Don’t give a straight answer. 2) Retroactively justify previous bullshit. 3) Utter your refrain often.” Having so recently played Elden Ring, I felt a pang of frustration mixed in with the hilarity reading those requirements.
Once it’s your turn, you’ll abandon your horrible NPC (presumed hiding/missing in the story) and take control of the Damned One, at which point your goal will be to make it to the final area and beat the boss. Each time you do something risky, which will happen all the time, the group calls for a roll which will decide whether it “goes badly, and you die,” “you fail, and are hurt, “you succeed, but are hurt,” it was a “narrow success,” or “you succeed with aplomb.”
Now, I can’t attest to the game’s playability, but at the very least it seems like a fun riff on the Dark Souls format that should provide some laughs for fans of the series. Plus, the whole game exists in a single page, so there’s plenty of room for gamemasters to get creative with the formula. That said, Howitt clearly knowns FromSoftware games like the back of his hand, so it’s probably safe to expect an unforgiving experience regardless.
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