Table Notes 23: Rat Queens One Shot

July 27, 2017 20:45 |


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Today on Table Notes we’re going to talk about two of my favorite things combined: tabletop role-playing and comics. 

More specifically, we’re focusing on the comic Rat Queens, written by Kurtis J. Wiebe and published by Image Comics.

First off, if you’re a lover of role-playing (especially high fantasy), you need to read Rat Queens. It’s a delightful tongue-in-cheek story making fun of, and reveling in the weirdness of, high fantasy role-playing. The story revolves around four female adventurers who call themselves the Rat Queens.

However, we aren’t here to talk about comics. Instead, we’re taking this whole thing one step deeper. We’re going to be talking about a Dungeons & Dragons module set in the Rat Queens world; in essence, a D&D game based on a comic about D&D. Wild.

The one shot, much like the comic, is absolutely ridiculous and filled with debauchery. The players take on the roles of the Rat Queens themselves and must retrace their steps as they try to recover their memories after a heavy night of drinking (this module is in fact called The Hangover).

The whole thing is pretty short. It’s only eight pages long and would probably take about an hour or two to run, give or take role-playing scenes. The brilliance of the whole thing comes in the writing, which should be no surprise due to the fact that it’s written by the creator of the comic. It’s such a smooth transition from one medium to another that almost nothing from the feel and flow of the comic is lost.

While absolutely hilarious, the game is also genuinely creative. Kurtis Wiebe really does understand the construction of a good role-playing game (again, this is evident in the comics as well. Seriously, go read them, they’re a delight). Wiebe sets up a fun premise, gives the players some solid ground to take the lead on furthering the plot, and subverts players’ expectations of given scenarios to create some funny and deep moments.

Now, describing the game too much would give away a lot its joy, since it’s got a bit of mystery to it. It’s best left to play through it for yourself to fully enjoy it,. or at least read through the comic if you don’t have the means to play it at the moment. The game is free to download, after all.

f you are at all curious about Rat Queens and wondering if you should take a closer look at it, let me tell you that this adventure includes idiot bandits, a suitcase crammed full of gnomes, and a spelling bee. All of these moments are absolutely hysterical and worth experiencing for yourself. This is a standalone adventure, so you don’t even need to be familiar with Rat Queens to really appreciate it; you just need to be a fan of good role-playing.  

If you want to experience a Rat Queens hangover, you can find the download link for the module and character sheets for each of the four Rat Queens right here. 

Remember, both the comic and the game are recommended for mature readers only since they can get pretty lewd and crude. I hope y’all enjoy as much as I have.