Nerding it up with Homicidal Transients

Homicidal Transients! The game of being homeless and psychotic!

Now, you might say it’s in incredibly poor taste to make a game that makes light of the very real tragedy of homelessness. A game that trivializes perhaps the greatest failure of our society. A game that only contributes to the culture of stigmatization of a group least equipped to combat it.

You might then say playing this game is even worse.

And, I dunno, maybe you guys are right.

Homicidal Transients has this to say on the matter, “The setting is whatever you want. I had considered for a few moments that it would technically be a fantasy setting, but in reality just be a bunch of insane homeless people going on violent rampages until the police killed them to stop the horror. Instead of some kind of deep social commentary, the game works better as a joke, but you do whatever you want.”

So, y’know, calm down. If you really need to resolve the game with a sense of social consciousness, check this out: Homicidal Transients is actually 8-bit Theater: the RPG.

It’s a rules light game by which I mean the entire rulebook is twelve pages long. You can play with any kind of dice so long as everyone playing is the using the same kind. Character creation involves picking what kind of homicide you will excel in, what kind of transient you are, and then allocating some points between half a dozen skills related to killing, looting, and lying.

To be fair, the “lying” skill isn’t specifically about lying, it’s called Talky Bits and appears to revolve around non-violent resolutions to conflicts. But, let’s face it, you’re a mass-murdering hobo. If there are words coming out of your mouth, and they are coherent, they are not the truth. At least not the truth anyone else is privy to.

The game doesn’t even admit there’s anything but murder you could possibly do within its framework, so it is literally the game of murder, larceny, deception. As I said, 8BT: the RPG. Which isn’t too surprising, really, as both are based on the central joke that most fantasy RPGs turn you and your friends into violent hobos wandering the countryside and leaving naught but blood and fire in your wake. Homicidal Transients even has rules for monsters ranging from Not Big Monster to Huge Fucking Monster — and depending on how you emphasize that last one when you say it, yowza, terrifying — which might be literal monsters because you live in the World of Darkness or merely hallucinations because you live in the World of Darkness.

There’s exactly enough rules to get a group of people to laugh at the cartoonish ultra-violence the game forces them to create. You’re not going to give up your weekly game for this, but you’re not meant to either. Homicidal Transients is what you get up to when there’s a last minute cancelation, or you completely threw the GM under a bus (metaphorically, not homicidally) and he needs an hour to figure out where the campaign ought to go next. For a mere $2.00, Homicidal Transients offers a lot of atrocity per dollar per page.