Movies, where gigantic monsters flatten bustling metropolises down to their constituent atoms, have been popular for almost a hundred years now, yet it’s been hard for role-playing gamers to get in on the stomping. There are good, logical, reasons for this.
The main action of these films, such as Pacific Rim, involve one giant monster fighting one giant robot. At a gaming table with six people, that action engages two of them. So if you want to make a role-playing game about kaiju battles, how do you make it interesting?
The answer is simple: emergency clean-up crews.
In Kaiju Incorporated you play the blue-collar schlubs who clean up after the kaiju who terrorize Tulsa, sack Seattle, lambast Los Angeles, and burn Beijing. Fearsome giga-monsters with names like Thorzilla, Queen Conga, and the dreaded Amanda, a fifty-foot intern.
And it is up to the players to deal with the on the ground ramifications of having a giant monster attack your hometown. They are stuck dealing with buses full of screaming children lodged in the side of skyscrapers. They are the ones that have to deal with kaiju mucous slowly rolling in a 20-foot wave down the street, drowning the elderly who cannot escape its goopy grasp. And when Queen Conga takes a dump, they’re the ones stuck jury rigging a crane into the world’s largest pooper-scooper.
The Wonders of Kaiju Capitalism
But wait, don’t throw those feces away! There’s gold in that brown hill.
Yes, corporations have discovered that they can take residue from kaiju attacks, and make them into consumer goods which will improve the lives of people all over the globe. In this gleaming future of kaiju capitalism, you the consumer can buy fertilizer made from kaiju droppings and”Kaijumodo Male Enhancement Pills” which promise to enhance your physique. You can even eat kaiju by ordering the Gutbuster Challenge at Dai-Burger!
Corporations in this world are building a better future through kaiju science. And none of these products have any unintended side effects. We are 100% sure.
So when cleanup crews are sent to the sites of kaiju attacks, they aren’t merely seeking to safeguard populations, but also enhance the bottom line of their corporate masters by securing the most salient kaiju bits for future commodification.
The Kaiju History of the 20th Century
The concept of the board game left Wieland with a lot of room to play in framing the history of Kaiju Incorporated. He created a fascinating rewrite of post-World War II 20th century history, but with more kaiju.
Daikaiju brings Tokyo crashing down, then Kudzus attacks San Francisco. Cold War tensions result in the Cuban Kaiju Crisis, and scientists attempt to keep kaiju safe from the world on Menagerie Island. Alcoholic divorcee mecha pilots fill the tabloids. Kaiju spy films are a hit at the box office, featuring the famous spy Ian St. James in flicks like Kaiju Are Forever. Oh, and of course someone tries building a kaiju theme park.
Wordsmith Rob Wieland said of the history, “I really enjoyed the alternate history aspect of it because nearly everything was out in the open. A lot of modern settings have rich hidden histories so it was fun to think about how the world was different because of the kaiju… and how it was sadly similar.”
So get on your overalls and get ready to save some lives and the corporation’s bottom line with Kaiju Incorporated!
Ben Riggs speaks five languages, and has lived in four countries on three continents, but still manages to lose his keys in the bathroom. A friend to man, animal, and werewolf alike, you can discover more of Ben’s thoughts on game, the universe, and everything on Twitter, or on the Plot Points Podcast, available on iTunes or Libsyn.