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Review: The Weird

By Jason Campbell

The Weird is a RPG book by Monte Cook Games. The book is 256 pages with really interesting artwork and design. The Weird is not a rulebook and it can be used in any RPG. It’s a tool to introduce strangeness into any RPG no matter the setting or system. 253 of the pages are devoted to tables using percentile dice to determine the results. A GM is given “dials” to turn depending on how strange results they want to get. This is done by having four columns for each table so that each column gives you a different array of results. The columns are in the categories; “interesting”, “surprising”, “gonzo”, or “whimsical”. You roll percentile dice and decide which category you want to use, then look up that number on the table to find your weird result. 

The Weird - Cover

The tables have an extraordinary diversity of subject, for instance; “weird cures for curses”,” weird PC backgrounds”, “weird space anomalies”, “weird crops to grow”, “weird rumors”. In the index the tables are sorted for their suggested genres like fantasy, sci-fi, modern, horror or superhero. But most of the tables work for any genre. In fact I’d suggest trying a table that does not match the genre you’re playing, if you really want some strangeness. 

I recently used this when running a one shot of Kids on Brooms. In that case, whenever a PC failed a spell casting roll, instead of it just failing, I would use a table like “weird side effects”. It really made the game silly, weird and sometimes spooky. Then I continued using the book to determine weird locations, dungeons, halls, etc. In this way you could run a weird RPG with near zero prep. 

It’s worth noting that the artwork and layout are just as weird as the results in the tables. This means that each table has a different color scheme and artwork, which some readers might find disturbing. But as its main use (in my opinion) is as a tool, rather than reading it cover to cover, this shouldn’t be a problem for most GMs. 

You can find the book on Monte Cook Games’ website.

 If you’ve read or seen the Weird, let us know what you think in the comments!