Visigoths vs. Mall Goths is a tabletop roleplaying game and dating sim about the conflicts and romances among the warriors who sacked ancient Rome and 20th century spooky teens, set in a suburban Los Angeles shopping mall during 1996. There are a lot of bisexuals.
Imagine a surreal combo of The Craft, Empire Records, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Clueless.
The plot structure of Visigoths vs. Mall Goths resembles an open-world videogame RPG. Designed for either one-shot or campaign play, each adventure episode offers several quests that you may choose to pursue (or ignore), and the mall setting is packed with many strange retro marvels to discover. Or you can just replay the game over and over to kiss all the kissable clerks.
Also a LARPer-friendly introduction to tabletop.
Bonus: you can also use this setting and these supporting characters (NPCs) in other roleplaying games! Expand your universe with goths!
* * * Featuring writing and game design by Lucian Kahn of Dead Friend: A Game of Necromancy, art by Robin Eisenberg of Thrasher and Vans, Lluis Abadias Garcia of Dungeons & Dragons Retroverse, and Vee Hendro of Good Society, maps by Olivia Fields and Jackson Tegu, and adventure episodes by Liz Gorinsky of Goth Court, musician Mabel Harper, LARP designer and games theorist Jonaya Kemper, and runes expert Maja Bäckvall of Civilization VI and God of War.
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“It is the 21st century and I can finally get my Bisexual take on That Bit In The Mall In Bill'n'Ted and the world is better for it."
- Kieron Gillen, creator of The Wicked + The Divine and DIE
“A fun romp of a game that’s compelling for veteran roleplayers and casual gamers alike, employing comedy, nostalgia, and teenage drama." - Sharang Biswas, Indiecade and IGDN winning designer of Feast and Verdure -
"I love this project for its inherent comedic genius, ‘90s nostalgia, and because of how queer it is.” Trin Garritano, Games Digital Outreach Lead at Kickstarter, in “Projects We Loved: 15 of Our Favorite Kickstarter-Funded Projects from 2019”
"VG vs MG combines everything I love: occult time travel, the '90s, and queer culture, with things I never knew I needed: an emo grudge tracker and a turf war that shouldn't really make sense but totally does. Lucian makes magic with his games always, and this is no exception." - Hannah Shaffer, designer of Damn the Man, Save the Music! –
I ran The Little Mx. Scare-All Pageant adventure with a group of six a few weeks back and we all had a blast. It involved a lot of Visigoths flirting with Mall Goth-aligned clerks, fainting goat drama, and queer accessorizing. And someone wrote a full poem for the pageant at the end!
It was my first time playing or running the game, and I'd run it again in a heartbeat: extremely manageable and extremely fun.
I played this as part of my Discord-based birthday activities yesterday and loved it! We lost a player partway through and wound up having a much more collaborative Goths experiences, which was still incredibly fun and silly in all the ways I wanted. As a bisexual medievalist, I was all for it!
Speaking personally, this game is so much fun to run. Speaking for my players, they absolutely loved it! So much laughter and excitement at the table the whole game. It is quick to learn and teach, and also has great replay value.
This is such an indulgent game, which is immense praise! It was a joy to dive into this world in our convention game at Big Bad Con. The Visigoths are melodramatic, the mall goths are melodramatic, the PUNS oh my goodness the puns. Every second of the game felt like the best moments from every 90’s teen mallrat romcom put in a blender with a medieval fantasy soap opera. It was joyously queer & superbly over the top. The game comes with the mall setting completely fleshed out, with punderfully named stores and shop clerks you can’t help falling in puppy love with. We played one of the premade scenarios in our game and it was a blast!
I cannot wait to play this game again, I adore it!