Follow TV Tropes


Tabletop Game / World of Synnibarr

Go To
No, really.
World of Synnibarr is a tabletop role-playing game, the brainchild of one Raven C. S. McCracken. In the opinion of many who've tried to play it, it is a serious contender for worst role-playing game ever, or at least the second-worst to FATAL which is bad for altogether different reasons.

The setting is a nigh-impenetrable mish-mosh of high fantasy, dark fantasy, and over-the-top elements, with wars lasting for tens of thousands of years and 72-headed hydras, all of whom may or may not be living inside a hollowed-out planet Mars bound for another star system.

Online reviews of it can be found here, here and here.

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Level 600.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The section detailing the Aquarian race notes that there's a Blind Owl tavern in the city of Terra. In the example adventure, while the PCs are staying in the city of Terra they decide to go there.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Six-ton sea otters are one of the listed monsters players can face.
  • Attack Reflector: Weremen can absorb a number of different attacks, choosing from physical, magic, psi, earthpower, mutations, alchemy, energy and chi. At higher levels of power they can reflect absorbed attacks back at the source.
  • Advertisement:
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: One piece of gear is called a Midnight Sunstone Bazooka.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Some spells can be enhanced by spending points of Constitution while casting them, thus increasing the effect of the spell (such as damage done).
  • Character Alignment: In-Universe. Has its own take on the system, called "auras". Stray more than one or two marks from the median, though, and characters rapidly turn into sociopaths who are mandated to kill anyone of the wrong alignment on sight.
  • Designer Babies: Amazons psionically teach and shape their children in the womb.
  • Deus ex Machina: An actual game mechanic. You get a dice roll to see if your chosen deity is willing to help you when you're in serious trouble.
  • Door Stopper: 473 page rulebook; later editions go "well over 500"
  • Game-Breaker: This is presumably the entire point of the game.
    • Pelleum, a metal 11.5 times as dense as steel, costs $1000 an ounce. A 2.7 lb, 1" ball of pelleum for use in a sling? $1.
    • Advertisement:
    • Cybernetics add their hit point total to your character's hit point total. In other words, you can drop $5,000 dollars for 50,000 life points at level 1, hitting the mortal cap.
    • Ain't No Rule saying that you have to pay the extra cost for a Pelleum arm blade when you spend skill points.
  • I Know Your True Name: The Amazon special ability Call Spirits requires the user to know the name of a dead person in order to summon their spirit and speak to them.
  • Language of Magic: Venderant Nalaberong is a language that was used by the Elder Gods to create the Centiverse. Anyone who knows how to speak it can perform ultra powerful magical spells that are the strongest force in the Centiverse and can't be stopped by any other power.
  • Munchkin: This game is made for this kind of player. It's the only TTRPG where it is codified in the rules that players may override the GM and be rewarded for doing so. Only a masochist or complete fool would agree to run a game with strangers.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Player Characters can be Bio Syntha Cyborgs (B.S.C.'s) but are forbidden to be Omni B.S.C.'s because Omnis are created only to do evil.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: Cattars have the lower body of a tiger and a humanoid upper body.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: A Dwarf Hammer will return to the dwarf who threw it from up to 1,000 feet away. This ability only works once per Character Level of the dwarf per day, and takes a while to do so.
  • Random Number God: Die Rolls determine everything, including your Character Class/Race.
  • Railroading: Enforced; see below.
  • Rules Lawyer
    • Rule Zero of every role-playing game is supposed to be "The GM is always right," right? Not so in the World of Synnibarr! The GM is required to write his adventure notes down before the game begins, and then show them to the players after the adventure is over — and if the players can show that the GM deviated from his written notes, the GM is required to award them bonus experience points.
    • On page 332, it states that the GM "may not, however, deviate from the rules as they are written, for if he or she does and the players find out, then the adventure can be declared null, and the characters must be restored to their original condition, as they were before the game began."
  • Science Fantasy: Seems like the authors were aiming for it. The end result is... weird.
  • Telepathy: The Aquarian race has telepathy that works on sea creatures. It allows communication as well as hypnotic control.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: