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FOG! Chats With Lee Keeler and Geoffrey Golden, Creators of The ‘Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp’ RPG

Camp Firewood is back, which means jean shorts, friendship bracelets and questionable adult supervision in the new Kickstarter campaign for the Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp Role Playing Game. 

Having already reached it’s goal, the Kickstarter campaign has already reached it’s first stretch goal, which doubles the number of pre-made characters in the Fantasy Camp manual from 15 to 30, including such characters as McKinley, Lindsay, and Can of Mixed Vegetables.  I had the opportunity to discuss the project with game creators, Geoffrey Golden and Lee Keeler.

*   *   *   *   *

FOG!: What was the genesis of the Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp RPG?

Lee Keeler: I had previously written some smaller books for The Devastator over a couple years and was looking to do a bigger project. We were all hanging out this one afternoon at a theme park and downing some beers and it struck me as odd that The Devastator had already created an RPG and also worked with Joe Lo Truglio. It seemed like somebody should try to make a Wet Hot game as well, and that somebody should be Devastator Press.

Geoffrey Golden: We decided Fantasy Camp would be a classic pen-and-paper tabletop RPG with mini-games based on camp activities. We wrote a draft of the game, play tested it a bunch, reworked mechanics, launched on Kickstarter, and here we are today!

How did you approach David Wain for the project and what was his initial reaction?

LK: We approached very carefully! His initial reaction was a joy for us because we found out that he liked the idea so much that he started looping in his producers and licensing people. That was crazy.

Did David Wain or co-creator Michael Showalter have any notes or specific opinions on gameplay?

GG: Mostly, they’ve just been supportive and approving. Like I wish my father would be… *Tear runs down cheek*

What is the premise of the game? Are you a new camper or a previously existing character? How are the established characters integrated into the game?

GG: Players take on the role of a camper, counselor or staffer at an insane camp. They have one day to achieve their Big Camp Dream, which can be anything the player chooses from gettin’ laid to winning an after hours 6-man street fight.

LK:  If you create your own campers, which most of our test players optioned for, the Camp Director can integrate running into the “classics” during your campaign as part of the natural story that he or she has constructed. It’s been wonderful because you kinda know that Gail is going to freak out on you, but you don’t know how Gail is going to freak out on you.

According to the Kickstarter, cast members Michael Ian Black, Joe Lo Truglio, and Marguerite Moreau are also providing game tips. Have you reached out to any other cast members?

GG: We have. Hoping to reveal them soon, kind of like in Super Smash Bros. “New Camper Approaching!”

What separates the Wet Hot American Summer: Fantasy Camp RPG from other games?

GG: Unlike most RPGs, throughout the game are activities like arts & crafts, dance lessons, and even softball (or sneaking out of softball practice, depending on how you play). Also, since every player is trying to achieve their own Big Camp Dream, the experience is different from a classic group quest RPG – there are a lot of individual stories that overlap in fun and unexpected ways.

What are some of the rewards for the Kickstarter?

LK: Oh God, you’re trying to get me to say the words “dick cream” again, aren’t you? Well, dick cream dick cream dick cream dick cream dick cream. You can also become a character in the game, which is pretty nuts. I want my own Monopoly piece now. THE POWER.

It’s 1981 and you’re headed to Camp Firewood. What are your five favorite songs of the summer?

GG: “Jesse’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, “Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones, “You May Be Right” by the incomparable Billy Joel, “Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson, and completely ignoring the irony – because it’s my favorite song of all-time – “September” by Earth Wind & Wire.

LK: “Do you remembah-?!” So good! Oh God, I was a major dork at going-to-camp age, so it would have to be some equally amazing garbage like Abba, Foreigner or Foghat.


To pledge and enroll in Camp Firewood, click HERE!


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