Guns Blazing is an exciting tabletop roleplaying game that is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. Created by Basheer Ghouse, a Ennie-winning and Nebula-finalist freelance writer and cultural consultant based out of San Jose, Guns Blazing takes place in an alternate version of the 1920s. This scratch-built system is designed to capture the frantic momentum and risk of pulp fiction and first-person shooters. It has already raised $7,000 from its $10,000 goal, with 28 days left to go. The campaign ends on April 27.
The game is set in a world where monsters literal and political terrorize the earth. You take on the role of mercenaries, commandos, and international volunteers who are tasked with fighting these monsters. From industrial horrors that turn men into mechanical soldiers to the dying, violent gasps of colonial empires determined to drown continents in blood before relinquishing power, there is no shortage of foes at the end of the colonial era.
The year is 1925, but the history is not our own. Jinn have walked the streets of world capitals for nearly two hundred years, and enormous walking vehicles lumber across the countryside along early automobiles. The iron grip of Europe has begun to falter, and rising nations, independence movements, and ideologies are carving their way onto the world stage. Monsters new and old emerge from the shadows and prey upon the vulnerable.
In this milieu, colonial era enters its twilight. It is a world on the cusp of change. The old system, tyrannical and ruinous, cannot hold. The new is unknown, to be defined in the decades to come, in the wreckage of the old. There is only the now: Uncertain, violent, but full of possibility. It is up to you and those who dare take up arms alongside you to define it.
Guns Blazing uses a fully original system that takes inspiration from Genesys, Blades in the Dark, and modern wargaming. In combat, you manage stamina in an alternating activation system to act alongside your allies and react to your enemies. So long as you have Stamina, you’re always making decisions, even when it’s not your turn. Manage it well, and you’re a whirlwind of destruction scything through squads of foes. Manage it poorly, and find yourself isolated and overwhelmed.
In narrative play, you’re racing against a series of ever-ticking clocks: Escalating factional tensions between your allies, vile plots from your foes, and the simple, inexorable march of time. You’ll have to manage interpersonal and interfactional relationships in struggles far larger than you, watching the world slide towards chaos with every failure and beckoning a bright new future with success.
To build your Volunteer, you get six playbooks, each evoking a genre of modern shooters. From the steadfast, overwhelming Artillery to the mobile, improvisational Vanguard, your playbook defines a playstyle both on and off the battlefield. You’ll further customize your characters with an enormous variety of Perks that provide unique, powerful abilities in all facets of play.
The game comes with an array of enemies, including Parasitic Iram, False Ma’Jooj, and the Atom Unborn. Each of these foes has a host of minions deployed alongside more familiar threats like the British, Dutch, and French empires and various jinn.
Guns Blazing will launch with three Starter Scenarios, each spotlighting different foes, conflicts, and settings. Chaos In Hyderabad introduces India, Iram, and the British. Incident Eliph introduces the Ottoman Empire and the Majooj. Welcome to Aceh introduces Aceh and the Atom Unborn.