Hulks and Horrors
is a Tabletop RPG
made by John S. Berry III. It is a Space Opera
setting made using the Open Gaming License 1.0a rules system. It is available for download as a free PDF at online game stores.
The game's premise is that when humanity finally reached the stars, they found that a plague had wiped out most other sentient races. Now it's up to the players to investigate ruins and abandoned ships, facing the horrors
in them, in order to find great rewards.
You can play as four human character character classes: Pilot, Scientist, Soldier, Psyker (psionic) and three alien races (also treated as character classes): the Sl'ettexik (hovering squids), the Red-Red-Chartreuse-Blue (a race of giant one-cell organisms, with a color-based language, called Omega Reticulans by everybody else) and the Urr-A-Arfruf (Bearmen.)
The game allows for a wide array of World Building
, from designing your own devices, spaceships and monsters to planets and star-systems. It includes dozens of ready-made monsters and artifacts as well.
Tropes in Hulks and Horrors include:
- Apocalypse How: Class 3. The Great Plague, a disease of unknown origin, completely wiped out the previous interstellar civilization; the survivors were mutated into monsters.
- Bears Are Bad News: Subverted with the Bearmen (though they do suffer from berserk furies.)
- Blob Monster: The Reticulans, and a few monsters.
- Body Horror: The Great Plague. Also, many monsters have attacks that have similar effects on their victims.
- Character Alignment: Not for PCs, but for monsters. It ranges from "docile" to "killer."
- Character Class System: combined with racial character classes.
- Dungeon Crawling: In spaceships, planet surfaces and abandoned cities.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: The Hovering Squids, and one or two other monsters.
- Indo-European Alien Language: There are several languages a PC can speak, including "tradespeak."
- I Thought It Meant: No, it has nothing to do with that Hulk.
- Or with Space Hulk, another RPG.
- They seem to be using the word "Hulk" the same way.
- Mood Whiplash: Though mostly an action-adventure setting (with some horror elements) the setting is peppered with humorous bits as well, such as artifacts that sell used underwear, or the fact that Cajun gumbo is a universal dish.
- Psychic Powers: The Psyker uses them. An optional rule allows other classes to learn them as well.
- Recycled In Space: Dungeons & Dragons In space!
- Starfish Language: The Reticulans' color-based language. Humans can "speak" it with a wrist-mounted signal device.