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We played Dungeons and Draperies tonight, one of the submissions in the RPGGeek 48h RPG Design Contest, created by Steven Desjardins. It was a smooth feelgood game with lots of laughter and hilarity.

The game features a band of goblins that have moved into the hills next to the Baron’s mansion. The baron’s servants have one day to clean up the Goblins’ den and make the goblins presentable, or the Baron will run them off and they can forget about sleeping in on saturday.

The baron’s servants know how to run a household—but can they teach an unruly goblin tribe to be good neighbors? They have only twelve hours to make the goblin den sanitary and presentable, prepare a reception for the baron, make an assortment of appetizing hors d’oeuvres containing absolutely no rat meat, and teach the goblins basic court manners. If they succeed, the baron will reward them; if they fail, they earn the baron’s wrath, and the goblin tribe will be evicted!

The game is written in clear (mostly clear, we were lightly unclear on perhaps two points) language that is very funny and sets the mood perfectly. I love this excerpt on how to decide who plays the goblins:

Decide which player has the worst personal hygiene. That person will play the goblins. If the group is unable to reach a decision, then the player who has gone the longest time without a shower is deemed to have the worst hygiene. If the group isn’t able to determine which of two or more players showered earliest, then whoever has gone the longest without having their hair cut is the goblin player.

(I already have some choice feedback about the formatting of this document – it doesn’t cut and paste well at all!).

We managed to play a compete game in less than two hours, and had a lot of fun. I certainly loved the many, many opportunites to gross people out with my trash-collecting, excrement-stained, poodle-eating, pornography-watching goblins!

We thought it would make a great convention game, and loved the time tracking mechanic. Our biggest suggestion would be a cheat sheet for the players to chart the many moves to ameliorate your dice roll.

Great job, Steven! I will definitely take this game to all of the gaming weekends we have planned this year.

You can see our working document of the game here.

You can download the game (and the other contest submissions) on RPGGeek.com or here

(It did occur to me (especially with Goblin background questions) that there’s a concurrent and far grimmer story buried here somewhere about refugees in general, and how they are often not seen as human until they’ve (forcibly more often than not) accepted all the local customs of their receiving country.)