Big Mutherf***in' Crab Truckers ("Campaign" and Character Sheets Inside)

You don't buy this system at a store. You don't download it on DriveThruRPG. You find it, scrawled in crayon, on a stained napkin at a bar room floor. You wonder, "Who left this here? This building has been condemned for so many years, since the incident." But still, you're compelled to play. Big Mutherf***in' Crab Truckers is a one off roleplay system that can be played in less than an hour -- or for eternity. Possibly you have already started playing. Maybe you'll never stop.

What is Big Mutherf****in' Crab Truckers?

[If you want a campaign and character sheets for this, skip to the bottom.]

You're crabs. About 300 pounds of crab each. And you truck. You take truck loads back and forth, at the mercy of your crab Queen. You don't question it. You're a simple crab, leading a simple crab life.

You roll d8s when you want to do something, and the GM can roll against you when they don't want you to do something. Everything is always 2d8s, except if you have a trait that relates to the task you perform. Then you get a third d8, and you drop the lowest of the three numbers.

Everyone has four traits. Traits can be anything from Driver to Delicious Flavor. That's it. Now you know how to play Big Mutherf****in' Crab Truckers.

A Surrealist Nightmare in Improvisation

BMCT isn't supposed to make sense; in fact, it's better if it doesn't. But the problem with running it is, of course, that there's nothing really there. It really is just two pages. So in preparation, I did create a story hook and character sheets, which I've made available here:

You can also find the outline for Big Mutherf***in' Crab Truckers here, concept by "Myles" and writing by "Myles and MaleBox." (Seems legit):

Rather than create an actual story I setup a loose framework for how it might go. My three player group had wildly disparate reactions to the character sheets:

  • Captain Crab immediately took to the water, expertly crafting an elegant backstory about a failed law student and military strategist. 
  • Crabby Chaos created a Haitian astrologist crab whose primary trait was being full of delicious flavor. This would be our navigator.
  • Crabby Patty stared in horror at his sheet for a good 30 minutes without filling in a single thing. Eventually, he settled on driver.

And that's sort of the downfall of may of these systems: you really need to get on board immediately or you'll be completely lost at sea. But it was a good mix: a player playing it straight, a player trying to be as disruptive as possible, and a player completely goddamn lost. 

That Long and Winding Road

We established, of course, that crabs would stack on top of each other, with one crab "navigating" by looking outside and the other crab "driving" by mashing pedals and pulling levers. Because crabs are quite wide, so it would only make sense that they would stack. BMCT is one of those worlds in which you can all generally agree that certain things would make sense, even if they make no sense in your world. 

Captain Crab opted to stay in the back with the "squishy" scientist, which was actually nothing more than some form of sentient sea sponge in a laboratory coat. They gunned down the road, at which point the first random event was triggered: a message across the CB radio:

"We need help! We're at the Mollusk Motel and we're surrounded!"

Though billboards had passed stating that the Motel was at the next exit, the navigator failed their navigation roll when consulting the stars -- insisting instead that it was six or seven days away. They passed by the motel, but the same random encounter popped up again the very next roll.

"Well, I guess we'd better go into the obvious trap."

Once there, they encountered lobsters. But not large, sentient lobsters. Just lobsters. About 48 of them. The Captain managed to stomp them off and then, using his failed law degree, convinced themselves to put themselves under citizen's arrest. Crabby Patty ripped off a gold-plated arm and swung it at them. Meanwhile, Crabby Chaos prayed to their god to be set ablaze, but instead failed their role, and became gently steamed. The gentle steaming made them even more delicious, prompting the lobsters into a fury.

At this point, Captain Crabby took the explosives they were supposed to deliver and began to wire the motel to explode. But they failed in doing so, nevertheless being saved by the Crawfish Cops, who were, of course, a lobster's natural predator. The Cops arrested the tiny lobsters, using rubberbands in place of handcuffs. 

On the road again, this time they saw a police car coming up in their rear view. They continue to drive, as they recognized the police as being human -- and who cares about them? Another car followed, and another, until the Crabby Patty dropped a few mines -- which of course they had -- and blew the two cars up. Now helicopters followed overhead, and they dropped on them a large, powerful crab net.

Using his fight ability, Captain Crabby attempted to launch a rocket out of the net. The rocket crashed into the ground, setting a small forest fire, while the net burned ablaze and set them free. They then took off and smashed through a barricade, and in the distance heard a lone voice go, "We only wanted to check your registration."

But it didn't matter; through clever driving, they had lost their weak, human pursuers. Finally they found themselves at the site of the Big Space Truck rocket launch. As the scientist began to talk to them about their final mission, to get the cargo aboard the Space Truck and deliver it to its final destination, guards came up by them.

"We don't answer to you," objected the crabs. Crabby Chaos began to launch into a long speech about their childhood, which immediately entranced two of the guards, while the scientist desperately stabbed another. Captain Crab got onto the CB radio to ask whether or not they were, in fact, supposed to deliver the explosives to the Space Truck. Captain Crab was told to hold.

As they waited, another eight guards showed up, being again entranced by Crabby Chaos' speech and also delicious flavor. A few of them attempted to arrest the scientist, who fought back and was near fatally stabbed. Captain Crab got a call back on the CB radio, "Oh yeah, him? He's totally trustworthy. Absolutely."

Brought back briefly through the power of delicious flavor, the scientist was able to give them a set of mysterious coordinates, before dying. By rolling a 16 on astrology -- not astronomy, astrology -- Crabby Chaos was able to determine the coordinates led to the stars. 

The crabs now marched into the unprotected lab and, decked in high visibility vests, proceeded to be so convincingly authentic that they got some interns to help them load the explosives on the Giant Space Truck. Ripping out parts of the machine in order to fit the cargo, they crammed their bodies in and jettisoned themselves into space, where they unceremoniously landed on (or rather, slammed into) an asteroid. There they received their final directive: get the explosives onto the asteroid and blow it up. After all, they're truckers, aren't they? 

They consulted for a moment with each other, and then came back with a plan. 

"OK, we're going to blow up the door of the ship, and then everything will get sucked out."

"...Are you sure?"

"Yes."

"You succeed. You blow a hole in your ship. Everything, including you, is sucked out. The explosives dangle just close to the ground. They do not go off, because they are not attached to any type of detonator. You hang there, in space, helplessly."

"Oh."

Everyone else was frozen and stunned, except for Crabby Chaos. Crabby Chaos spoke: "I pray to the crab goddess to reverse time for one minute."

"What? ...Roll"

"16."

And just like that, time was erased, and everyone came back to the Space Truck feeling curiously like they shouldn't commit themselves to that plan. Instead, they dropped the explosives slowly to the ground, detonating them from inside the truck, this time. The Space Truck sailed through space, miraculously untouched, but without additional fuel or anything to get them back home.

Play It At Least Once -- With the Right Group

This game was an experience. From start to finish, it ran about two and a half hours. It could have been more or less depending on the random encounters I had chosen to add, but at the end, I felt like I was right about creating some form of structure (though not too much). The nature of the traits and the ability to do anything in the game makes it impossible to create any sort of long-term plan. 

It sounds ridiculous, but the game just works, primarily because it's such a specific conceit. Tell someone that they are anyone within the vast, uncharted world, and they'll get confused, but tell them that they are a giant crab who works as a trucker and they have something to latch on to. At all moments, they knew that they were allied with the Crab Goddess, and that her mission was of the utmost importance. This kept the game from utterly falling apart.

But it has to be a short game and you have to have a very rough framework for it. This is one game where planning ahead will just hurt you. 


Big Mutherf***in' Crab Truckers Campaign

(See also: Character Sheet - Big Mutherf****in' Crab Truckers Character Sheet, Official Site - Big Mutherf****in' Crab Truckers)

Look. I ain't happy about this either. No one's tellin' me nothin'. But here's the mission. Ya get in yer truck. And ya drive.

Yer load? One unhappy mutherf***in' squish scientist and a whooooole shit ton of 'splosives. Yer destination?

We'll talk about that later. For now, just keep on truckin'. 

Chapter One: On the Road, a Friend?

You've all piled into your dirty, busted-out big rig. Over the radio, you hear the crackling voice of your supervisor, Crustacean Slim. "We're all countin' on ya down here," he says. "We don't know what for, but we're countin' on ya. Ya gotta take the explosives. And ya gotta take them to the destination. The scientist'll tell ya what to do."

Random Encounters (Roll 1d8)

  1. A Strange Hitchhiker. Whiskey Whitney needs a ride. She will try to steal all the cash from the load and then she'll get out. She will offer the driver some whiskey.
  2. Something's Wrong With the Load. The scientist will say that the chemicals are destabilizing and they need to be restabilized and mixed. If they aren't, they become an acidic solution. 
  3. Flat Tire! The gang will experience a flat tire and will need to figure out a way to fix it. They have a new tire but no jack available.
  4. Outta Gas! The gang forgot to get gas! They need to go get it, but the service station is curiously empty. Also, they may or may not have had their money stolen earlier. 
  5. Blockade! There's a liquor checkpoint up ahead. Oh shit, try to play it cool. 
  6. Help! There's an urgent call on the CB. They ask you to pull in at a Mollusk Motel. It's a lobster gang, run by Clawboy, Code Red, and Rock Lobster. Also they're just lobster sized.
  7. Is That a Cop? Get pulled over because the registration is with the Queen of the Sea. Cop is friendly
  8. Nothing Happens. You amble down the road singing old religious songs about a lovely woman dressed all in carapace. 

Chapter Two: I Think We've Got Crabs

As you arrive, the scientist says, 'I'll take it from here. I need to go do something else, something that you don't really need to think about or really acknowledge. Just -- just don't worry about it. Your job is just to get the load on the big ol' space truck -- and get aboard with it Before he leaves, Squish tells you that the explosives are heavy, so you're going to have to remove, well, some extraneous stuff from the space truck. Again -- don't worry about it. Just follow the diagrams.

Objectives:

  • Get the Load into a Big Ol' Space Truck. 
  • Truck it!

Chapter Three: Crabs... in SPAAACE

Alright, so here's the thing. Youse guys were the best truckers we had and that's why we had to send ya, because you gotta send a trucker for a space trucker's job. Those stupid humans, they don't know anythin' about nuthin'. Definitely didn't know that a big hunka rock was comin' up on the earth all shady like. So this is what all ya gotta do: set those explosives on the ground out there, and then radio us in."

Objectives:

  • Truck the explosives to the ground.
  • Detonate!

Miraculously, you don't fall apart. Instead, you find yourselves being immediately jettisoned into space, as the small rock you were standing upon explodes into a shower of debris behind you. "Hey, youse guys still there? I guess we oughta told you, that stuff youse removed, well, that was the only way back. Yer kinda stuck out there now, but don't be worried. Yer crabs! You'll all find a way to land on yer -- " the radio signal cuts off.

Stay tuned for the next adventure: BIG MUTHERF***IN' SPACE CRAB TRUCKERS!