Mork Borg

Posted 15 Sep 2021 to Fantasy

Metal fantasy in a pre-apocalyptic world.


XP Card

Sessions GM'd: 0
Sessions as Player: 5

I Used

90 page PDF. The book includes setting information and a sample adventure. The rules are very lite and engagingly presented in a style that is chaotic and fun. The online character generator was brilliant and useful, especially if your players just want to play without reading any rules.

We played the sample adventure at the back of the book in one session. Then spent 4 sessions playing the "Box of Shadows" sandbox adventure. Remarkably, we survived, but did not get rich.


This art-house RPG was quite something to behold. The apocalypse has started, and the darkness is closing in. During these last days, our characters set out to try and adventure while the sky is falling. The lite rules are perfectly serviceable for a short campaign, and the character prompts that emerge from chargen are gonzo and messed up in a way that encourages players to jump with both feet into playing a disposable character.


The Good

  • Strong flavour. You know what you are getting yourself into when you play Mork Borg. It is all style and very light substance. The layout of the book is metal, and I found myself grinning as I beheld several pages in the PDF. For example, most games have a weapons table, where the damage of different types of melee weapons are listed in a table. In Mork Borg, the weapons table is a drawing of a man with various weapons sticking out of him and damage dice scrawled next to each. Some people complain about the layout - understandably. It is not uncommon to see 3 or 4 different fonts on the same page, and black-on-pink colours. It didn't bother me. I could make out everything I needed to.
  • The setting is completely absorbing and good. The regions of the setting are each described in a short paragraph. The words are compelling and revolve around how the world is dying and reality is decaying. Sketchy details are given on each region, but there are enough evocative ideas for me to run with it and fill in details. It is intended for a short campaign where the world building can be thin.
  • Roll to avoid being hit. The GM does not roll dice to attack. They just announce who is being attacked, and the player rolls to avoid. I like player defence rolling. It is fun. Less dice rolling for the GM is good, and the players feel like they command their own fate.
  • We used the online character generator. It was great. Check it out.
  • Rulings on the spot. Some game effects are vaguely described, and left to GM to invent on the spot. For example one of our PCs could brew potions and chemical bombs. One such potion that caused disorientation. Now "disoriented" is not a condition described anywhere in the rules, so the GM had to interpret this as needed. Some players might be freaked out by this lack of clarity. I actually enjoyed this, and it adds to the gonzo madness. I believe it only works when the players accept their characters are disposable, and so won't try to enter a rules discussion mid-game. They need to just laugh and accept whatever ruling the GM makes and move on.
  • Omens. This is a metacurrency to save your character, reroll dice, buy max damage. I like this. You don't have many (d2) but they replenish after a rest, so I felt free to use them and not hoard them.
  • No grid or tactical map required. This is baked into the rules. For example, an area effect spell just says it affects d2 creatures or whatever.
  • Low Hit Points. Your PC will have around 5 or 6 hit points, and weapons do around d6 to d8 damage. Zweihander swords do d10. You are incentivised to avoid being hit, rather than take any damage at all. There are mechanics that allow this - for example Omens described above. You can also sacrifice a shield to avoid all damage once. This makes it exciting!
  • Suitable for short campaigns. There is little in the way of progression. I was happy with that. It reinforces the idea that your character is disposable, and will likely only accrue scars and (if lucky) money by adventuring. Not awesomeness. Nobody gains that.
  • A wealth of content is available. The community just seems to have gotten excited about this game and there is a long list of adventures, classes, and add-ons (like firearms) that have been written up. Go wild and enjoy.

The Not-So-Good

  • Lots of dice rolls. Mainly this is caused by armour, which provides random damage reduction. So the enemy attacks you. You roll to avoid being hit, fail. Then roll damage for the enemy. Then roll armour damage reduction to reduce that. This feels like one dice roll too many. Our Roll20 character sheet handled most of it, but the macro required all information (including enemy damage dice) to be input every time.



I really enjoyed our short dip into Mork Borg. I would happily play it again, for a short campaign.



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