This Free New RPG Rockets Science and Magic to 1930s Venus (Where It Belongs)

This Free New RPG Rockets Science and Magic to 1930s Venus (Where It Belongs)
Image: Stardog

Satirical in tone and tongue-in-cheek in its presentation, the absurdist science-fantasy Dr. Grordbort’s Scientific Adventure Violence is a Dungeons & Dragons adventure setting and sourcebook, first devolved by Greg Broadmore, an artist, writer, and director at Wētā Workshop of Lord of the Rings fame in Aotearoa. Full of pulpy, old-school, retro-fiction images and ideas, the text lampoons colonizers, sexists, and toxic masculinity within its pages, creating an excessive and exorbitant world that is built to destroy those who seek to destroy it. And now you can visit that world yourself.

This stand-alone, ready-to-play adventure module is available for free by distributor Exalted Funeral, and throughout the year, more supplemental materials and additional adventures will be produced. And as you might expect from a book that had its basis in prop-making, the retro-futurism rayguns depicted in the pages of the book are available in real life from Wētā Workshop.

Even Guillermo del Toro has called the ultra-violent steampunk worldbuilding of Grordbort “a dazzling ‘Uchronism’ that works both as a satire of our times and as a convex mirror for a future that never was. A violent, vibrant Neverland, witty and brilliantly realised,” in a blurb he provided for the book Dr. Grordbort Presents Victory!, published by Dark Horse.

Click through to see some of the fantastic and fantastically absurd art produced for the new version of Dr. Grordbort. And don’t forget to download the Gizmodo-exclusive adventure module at the end of the slideshow!

The Deal Maker

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If you’re coming for Dr. G, you’re going to get detailed retro-futurism guns, and Broadmore is here to deliver.

Science Wiz

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Grordbort takes science wizardry to new planets.

Robot Break-In

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A key to creating the setting is merging high-tech adventure with lo-fi hardware.

What if?…

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Old-school propaganda poster styles are emulated throughout the book, helping create a sense of history.

Set to Detonate!

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Weird alien designs and bright, poppy colours mark out Dr. G’s books, going for a pulpy, absurdist tone rather than a serious or literal interpretation.

The Brink of War

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Putting the violence in ultra-violence, Dr. G looks on as Venus starts to go to war.

A Futuristic Femme Fatale

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There’s something about these absurdly silly, wonderfully earnest pulp action posters that I really love. The Velvet Vixen of Venus can take over my ship any day of the week.

Robot Monster

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And here’s the cover to the Gizmodo-exclusive Dr. Grordbort’s Scientific Adventure Violence! Play as a group of wannabe violenceers as you attempt to infiltrate a Venus-bound dirigible and investigate the mysteries aboard the airship, all while having to deal with zeppelin-to-zeppelin combat and a very nasty crew of Earthlings.

Designed for immediate, stand-lone play, this third batch of Quick Start materials, works with the fifth edition of Very Famous Dragon Game (i.e. “5e”), contains two new pre-generated character sheets, a new Aerial Encounters encounter table, two new vehicles, and the third of five Adventure Paths. Download the Quick Start from Crowbar Creative here.

The full Dr. Grordbort’s Scientific Adventure Violence book will be Kickstarted in August 2022. (Sign up here to be notified when the Kickstarter goes live and grab Day One backer exclusives)

Want more Gizmodo news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.