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Tabletop Game / Grave Robbers from Outer Space

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Grave Robbers from Outer Space is a card game released by Z-Man Games spoofing the making of low-budget horror movies. The idea is to have the highest Defensive Strength when someone plays a Roll The Credits card or the draw pile is empty. Defensive Strength is increased by playing Character (such as The Prom Queen or The Aged Vampire Hunter) cards into your "movie" and giving characters Props like The Chainsaw or Big-Ass 'Fro, and from Location cards (The Funhouse, Camp Lake Zirconia, etc.) Other players try to lower each others' defense by killing characters with Creatures (Dracula, Demonic God Up to No Good, Killer Vegetables, etc.), negative Locations, and using Special Effects cards that can be used to perform things like doubling a Creature's strength or destroying another player's Location.

Basically if someone made a card game based on this wiki, this would be it.

The series is made up of nine games, each covering a different genre of movies:

A Kickstarter campaign to fund a new run of the game in 2015 sadly failed to meet its goals.

Grave Robbers From Outer Space provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Some examples across the various games include the Jungle Queen from Cannibal Pygmies, the Vengeful Sista from Bell-Bottomed Badasses and the Heroic Babe from Scurvy Musketeers.
  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: Kung-Fu Samurai has a "Hentai Tentacle Monster" who has to take a female victim if he makes a successful attack.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The Way Too Pretty Elf from Berserker Halfings has the Male trait, but his special thing is that cards that normally only work on females also work on him.
  • Antagonist Title: All the games are named after the most powerful Creature card they contain.
  • Artistic License History: Subverted with the Re-interpreted Historical Figure Who Probably Wasn't As Evil As All This in Scurvy Musketeers. (Which is almost certainly a reference to how The Three Musketeers adaptations treat Cardinal Richelieu.)
  • Camp Gay: The Stereotypically Flamboyant Gay Guy from Bell-Bottomed Badasses.
  • Chainmail Bikini: In Berserker Halflings. It actually gives a respectable defensive bonuse AND makes the wearer immune to death by special effects cards. Assuming the wearer is female.
  • Chain Pain: An equippable item in Bell-Bottomed Badasses is "Five Feet o Chain".
  • Chainsaw Good: A chainsaw appears in the original game as an extremely powerful weapon.
  • The Chief's Daughter: Subverted in Cannibal Pygmies, where there's a card by that name, but, well...
    That's either a very ugly girl or a very pretty monster.
  • Chinese Vampire: Or "Hopping Vampires".
  • The Chosen One: The Predestined Hero from Berserker Halflings.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: The "Dastardly Villain" from Bushwhackin' Varmints embodies this.
  • Deader than Dead: In a lot of cases a character who's been killed can be brought back by special effects cards. If someone's killed by the title monsters in Cannibal Pygmies, though, they're specifically gone forever except for one specific card (from the same deck).
  • Distressed Damsel: From Scurvy Musketeers.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Demonic God Up To No Good from Berserker Halflings, who's about as tough as Creatures get and gets nastier for every magical Character he's attacking.
  • Elfeminate: See Ambiguous Gender above.
  • Evil Vizier: The Grand Vizier in Berserker Halflings. Complete with flavor text asking why the King even trusts this guy.
  • Final Girl: The "Bookish Girl With No Boyfriend" was clearly intended to reflect this archetype, as she has an incredible defense score of 5 and is immune to the various Sex Signals Death cards.
  • Flavor Text: On virtually every card.
  • Fountain of Youth: Appears as a treasure in Cannibal Pygmies, and can give characters the "Young" trait.
  • Fur Bikini: There's a card in Cannibal Pygmies that assumes all the women in your movie are wearing these by the end of the game, and they're worth extra points.
  • Groin Attack: Evidently used to see off the "Big Guy Who Takes it in the Groin" from Kung-Fu Samurai.
  • Heroic Dog: Skippy the Wonder Dog is a character in every single game. He's a Creature in a few, though.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: In Bushwhackin' Varmints. Even provides the page image.
  • Humongous Mecha: In, where else, Kung-Fu Samurai.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: "Why are you smiling?"
  • Killer Rabbit: The Berserker Halflings; who expects halflings to be dangerous, even if they are from The Dungeon of Dragons? Also "Killer Toys" in the original Grave Robbers From Outer Space.
  • King Incognito: Literally the exact name of one of the characters from Berserker Halflings.
  • The Load: The "Feisty Princess" from Berserker Halflings, who has a respectable DS of 4 but lowers the DS of all male characters in the movie she's in. Weirdly her flavor text is a take-off on Leia's first line to Luke, so it's unclear what the designers were going for.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: A potential location that appears in the Silent But Deadly Night deck.
  • Little Useless Gun: The derringer from Bushwhackin' Varmints has a negligible +1. Subverted if used in a gunfight with a character from another player's movie, where it jumps up to a +5, the same rating as most other guns from that and other games.
  • Mall Santa: Well, "Department Store Santa."
  • Never Say "Die": While the other games describe the act of removing characters from play as killing them, the Christmas game just calls them "removed."
  • Nitro Express: Most games have some kind of explosive item that gives a negative defense bonus, presumably because you're being extra careful not to set them off. Until you decide to, which gives you a giant one-time defensive bonus.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Scurvy Musketeers has a corset item, which actually multiplies a female wearer's defense strength. Presumably because of how they're providing too much sex appeal to be killed off.
  • Pimp Duds: In Bell-Bottomed Badasses
  • The Power of Acting: Making another player's character a "3rd-Rate Actor" lowers their Defense.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Several show up in Cannibal Pygmies, presumably meant as the treasure the heroes of the movies are questing to find. With the random nature of the game multiple can end up in the same "movie," for added hilarity.
  • Pun: Several cards have them in flavor text. For example, on a Crossbow, "What's a crossbow?" "Like a regular bow, but angrier."
  • Red Shirt: "The Guy Everyone Knows Will Get Killed" from Grave Robbers and "The Guy Who Dies to Remind Everyone This Isn't a Picnic" from Berserker Halflings. Their card's power is that any attack against their player has to target them first.
    • The Security Guard will always be killed first if Zombies attack.
  • Redundant Parody: From time to time, perhaps most obviously in the cards from Kung-Fu Samurai that are obviously taken from Big Trouble in Little China; the "Clueless Gaijin" is clearly Jack ("Relax, it's all in the reflexes"), the "Crazy Old Wizard" is clearly Egg ("You will come out no more!"), and the "Magic Potion" is, well, Egg's magic potion. Bushwhackin' Varmints has a Creature card that just outright is Mongo from Blazing Saddles.
    • Stealth-Jack's card also reflects the Indecisive Parody nature of the movie itself, since he has the "Dumb" trait, can't be the recipient of any card that makes a character a martial arts expert, and can't be equipped with any martial-arts style weapons. Nonetheless he has an absolutely unheard of base strength of 6, making him the biggest badass of any character card in any game in the series.
  • Running Gag: Nearly every game has a card with "Say, is that a tentacle?" in the flavor text. Every game has a Skippy the Wonder Dog card, though in a few he's one of the Creatures. There's also generally a priest or occult-knowledgeable character who gets extra defense against "Supernatural" Creatures.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: Worn by the "Sexy Department Store Elves."
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Bell-Bottomed Badasses has the "Huge Wad Of Cash" card which can cancel any other card by being given to the player using the offending card.
  • Shout-Out: It'd be easier to list what isn't, though one of the more noticeable shout outs is that the Guy Who Dies To Remind Everyone This Isn't a Picnic is obviously meant to be Boromir.
  • Silver Bullet: Shows up in Bush-Whackin' Varmints. Can be used to make the character more powerful in a gunfight, or to instantly foil a werewolf attack (even though the only werewolf card comes from a different deck).
  • Sinister Minister: The Corrupt Religious Official. "Is he a man of God, or a man of gold?"
  • Stating the Simple Solution: This, on the Killer Toys card:
    "It's a doll. Why don't we just kick it across the room?"
    "You can do that?"
  • Stock Slasher: Villains that have the "Psycho Killer" trait usually fall into this, meant to call to mind characters like Leatherface and Jason Voorhees.
  • Stop Motion: The only actual "monsters" in Scurvy Musketeers's Creature selection are a stop motion sea serpent and a generic stop motion mythological creature.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works
    "Hey Pierre, what's that little bitty sword going to do to me all the way over there?"
    "Who knew you could throw a sword?"
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Equippable items in Skippy's Revenge.
  • Treacherous Advisor: The "Shifty Guy" in Berserker Halflings. He's officially a Character and not a Creature, but having him in your Movie can count against you.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?
  • Word Salad Title: One mechanic is drawing a bunch of cards before play and coming up with the title of the "movie" the game represents forming one out of the random words on the bottoms of the cards note .
  • You All Meet in an Inn: Mentioned in the tavern location in Berserker Halflings.
  • Zerg Rush: The "Swarm" characteristic Creatures can have, which means the player being attacked doesn't get to count the defensive points they get from their characters having guns, presumably because there's too many guys for killing a few to matter. Which oddly means weapons like swords and chainsaws still count.
  • Zorro Mark
    "What is that, senor?"
    "It's a 'Z'."
    "Look more like a '2' to me."