MHI Employee Handbook and Role Playing Game

So there is going to be an MHI role playing game.

I announced this project back in June, and judging by the 500 and some odd comments, you guys are fairly interested.   🙂

I’ll have more details shortly, including which company is making it, what rule set we’re using, who the award winning designer is, etc. But contracts are in the mail.

What I can tell you is that the book is going to be a really big, hard cover, heavily illustrated, color, game book, with a whole bunch of original MHI fiction in it written by me. All of the rules stuff will be written by a guy who is really well known in the game business. But even if you aren’t into gaming, if you are an MHI fan you are going to want this for the fluff and the artwork. Think of it as a coffee table book, only with more monsters and guns.

Because we are making this thing really nice, it is going to be about $50. That’s pretty normal for big hardcover illustrated game books like this. Depending on the artwork used it might be a little bit over that. However, we are also going to offer a PDF which will be a whole lot cheaper.

As of right now we are planning on doing a Kickstarter for funding. For those of you that pay attention to that sort of thing, Kickstarters have sort of become the norm for funding pretty much every project in the game business. What I need from you guys, and if you don’t mind posting in the comments, are ideas of things that you would like to see relating to the Kickstarter, like ideas for awards tiers and stretch goals.

If you are not familiar with things like Kickstarter or Indiego, a company will put up a project that needs to be funded. You pledge to back it by buying one of the tiers. The tiers get increasingly expensive, but come with more cooler stuff. You don’t get charged anything until the project is done and the product is ready to ship. If we don’t reach our goal, then the project is cancelled and you are not out anything, so it is a win-win for the creators and the fans.

Stretch goals are little extra things that you add to the tiers as you reach your funding goals. Basically, if we reach our funding goal, then we set a new funding goal, and we throw in extra cool stuff. I’d like to hear your ideas about what kind of extra cool stuff you’d like to see. I’m interactive like that. 🙂

So please post in the comments if you’ve got any ideas or things you think would be fun. Keeping in mind that we’re not made of money, and any tier idea you have would have to cost enough to pay for itself.


The Burning Throne, Episode 38: In the Shadow of a Pale Oak
Fisking a Gun Control Editorial

106 thoughts on “MHI Employee Handbook and Role Playing Game”

  1. Minis, if possible, even if only a limited run of one or two characters. I’d go for Owen and Earl to start.

    Autographed editions with patches, Autographed hardbacks/collector’s editions of MHI books (may not be possible, but thought I’d throw it it the hat)

    Dice bags with MHI logo, could possibly use your cafe press account for that.

    WWAFD coffee cups, MHI window decals, or for the upper upper tier, MHI grips for 1911. Or the 1911. Your choice.

    1. I was thinking that was a good idea, or better lower level tier you get a cameo, higher up than that, you get a cameo with a gruesome death!

  2. Larry, I need to correct one thing you wrote: “You don’t get charged anything until the project is done and the product is ready to ship.” Actually, you get charged when the project is done, if the project meets it’s funding goal. The product might not ship for a long time after that.

    In regards to rewards, you might throw in e-books of the various MHI novels. Although I’m sure most of your blog readers already have them, people who just find you on Kickstarter might not.

    Popular rewards at high tiers include using someone’s name in a book, or using their likeness as an NPC in a game. Also letting them come up with some weapon or other item design.

    Personally, I’d like to see the PDF included with the hardcover tier. I don’t play pen & paper RPGs anymore, and the hardcover would pretty much be a “coffee table book” for me, but I could at least put the PDF on my Kindle 3 and read the fiction on it 🙂 Hmmm… maybe you could release the fiction as an additional e-book (mobi, e-pub) anthology? Now that I think of it, including additional short stories would make great stretch goals 🙂

  3. Things I’d think would be neat: MHI patches included at a low tier, MHI or Grimnoir Chronicle Cameo slots (prolly out of my payable range, but you never know…). PDF or dead tree version of the Burning Throne Serial. I’m sure there are other things, I’ll also mention that if this system works well and you want to do another such project the Grimnoir Chronicles system and setup would be another fantastic scenario to build an RPG system from!

  4. I seem to recall that at one point, if someone donated a certain amount to a specified charity, you would name a minor character after them and then kill them off.

    Are you still willing to do that?

    Anyway, thanks for writing entertaining material, and I’d really like to see Mike Hammer in the Grimnoir series.

  5. Andrew Sivula’s idea of a PDF is great. I’d also like to suggest, at an appropriate reward level, a place on the MHI memorial wall, possibly with dates of departure getting more current at higher reward levels up to and including the Night It All Went Pear-Shaped.

  6. Seeing that I was drooling over a review of Sig-Saur P226 this morning, $50 is something more inline with what I can justified in spending. But most likely I’ll be get the P226 in any event.

  7. Stretch goals? Hm. Separate sourcebooks, pdf + print on demand — for free to kickstarter bidders, otherwise sold as separate products. (I would say sold because I’d hate for them free to compete with the product for sale.)

    The big add-on I’d want to see is a sourcebook for the founding of MHI — the characters, the setting (social and physical), how the business worked, what is and isn’t known about the monsters, different frequencies of monsters, the weaponry available at the time, etc.

    A sourcebook for Europe, or even a specific country (or countries) could be nice. Writeups (or expanded writeups if there are brief ones in the main text) of the MHI competitors there, what sorts of monsters are typical, who hires monster hunters there, some snippets from daily life interrupted by monsters, how the locals treat foreign monster hunting agencies, etc.

    Other possibilities … online only artwork is a traditional one. These can just be given away for free if the stretch goal is reached; I don’t think they dilute the main product as much.

    1. The time and region sourcebooks suggestion makes me think of the various world and region books for RIFTS. An excellent idea. I can only imagine, for example, how deep the vampires have been involved in the various bloodbaths in Africa and the Orient. I think geographical is more useful than chronological, since there would reasonably be some historical information on each region’s handling of the supernatural. I would personally release the creation of Bubba Shackleford’s Professional Monster Killers as a campaign module rather than a sourcebook as such. It would be a blast to play one of the first professional Hunters.

  8. I’m assuming as soon as the KickStarter Kick Starts you’ll let us know.
    I await. Thank you.

  9. OMG, Want. Seriously. And I know that at least two of my “adopted work children” (aka our own versions of *Z* and *Skippy*) will want them as well. Just let me know when it’s up and running, and I’ll start budgeting now.

  10. Another vote for PDF copies and MHI dice.

    Lets see, you could offer spots in the playtesting group (for the first few of a certain level anyway). Stretch goals could include an additional scenario book. Umm, this is harder than I thought.

    1. I was thinking of a replica M14 autographed by Julie. If Owen doesn’t object, of course. (grin)

      Actually, I was going to suggest autographed photos of some of the characters as stretch goal rewards. Although choosing models for the photos might run afoul of a potential film cast. Okay, never mind that.

      How about a gym bag shredded by Earl?

    2. There is buzz about a “zombie gun,” that leads me to suggest that an actual weapon for use against zombies, would be a ten-gauge magnum with better capacity than a measly two shots.

      1. Actually I suggested to the show ‘Sons of Guns’ to produce a 10 guage version of a Saiga Shotty with Full Auto, Decked out like Abomination with a Silver folding Bayonet, all in in Black, with Full MHI Logos on everything including the drum mags. They said they couldn’t do it in 10 gauge. But adding this fantasy monster killing upgrade…Hmmm…

        I also say to allow a ‘Hard’ gift (Real money investment with no possibility of return. It’s gone to fund the efforts as a good faith gift.) and a softer ‘pledge’ mode. The ‘Hard’ gifts above $100 get a custom signed thank you gift of the author’s choice.

        As for minis and such. I want a complete recreation of the Enchanted Forest Trailer Park with minis for Elves, Trailers, Trailer trash red necks, miniature beer cans and a local convenience store called the ‘ Ye Old Convenience And Liquor Store’. YOCALS for short. XD

  11. Obviously one of the tiers could/would include a signed copy of the hardback. A high tier could include the backer or a character design of their choice included in the book. You could set up a sight that gives named credit to the backers. This could start at the lowest tiers ($5, $10, etc) and continue through all the tiers but be built on (maybe a BIG backer could have their name in the book itself, etc.).

  12. PATCH! There MUST be a patch for those who participate. Not necessarily a MHI team patch, but something like the “I participated!” patch that Rich Burlew made up for his Order of the Stick kick starter campaign. I need a patch. Also… Patch.

  13. I have no suggestions to offer, but I do have money.

    (And now I have an image of a strip club with Larry up on stage and his fans rushing in to shower him with money).

  14. Well, I’ve never been involved with a kickstarter program as of yet (but I plan to on this one!)
    Not sure what tiers would be appropriate but this is what I’ve got…some of which have already been mentioned…but I don’t supposed it hurts to reiterate some:


    MHI patch

    MHI Hat

    Character sheets

    custom/signed artwork

    design a character to be included in the MHI mythos

    design a group to be included in the MHI mythos

    unique KS exclusive module/adventure set


  15. Another vote for minis based off the book characters. And a patch is a must. Funders choice of coffee mugs and t- shirts from the store. For top tier donations, AR charging handles, ejection port covers or really any other popular gun part you can get an MHI logo on. Oh and the smiley face made into a red dot sight!

  16. Chris is right on with the minis suggestion- might be a higher tier though, since I guess you’d have to find someone willing to manufacture them.
    Maybe at $1k-$2k you get a set of minis hand-painted and based by yourself? Harbinger regular + wolfed-out, Owen, etc. Probably a limited run (25-50) since those things take WAYYY tons of time I’m sure.
    Also: Agent Franks would make an awesome mini.. but he’d be a very BIG mini

    upper tier again could be custom dice- maybe a d20, 2xd6, d4 with special emblems on the ‘6’ (MHI smiley face?) again, this would probably be a $500+ tier reward, unless you can get enough traction to make it a bonus for lower level tiers. Metal dice are cool, just sayin’

    Super high level bonus could be a game session DM’d by you with some of your author buds. ($5k?)- could be done over Skype possibly but actually meeting somewhere to do it would be better (of course) Travel/lodging not provided

    Other bonus could be one of the illustration of a character in the book based on a profile pic of the donater (donator? donatee?)

    Ridiculously super-super high level bonus ($10k+?), you give firearms training at a range somewhere in Utah with a M1911A1 + custom grip etching with the MHI logo as the parting gift- for those people who just really want to throw money at fun stuff because they are super 1% like that 😀

  17. I recommend a tier reward of lunch and/or range time with Larry – at a suitably high bracket, of course! Travel, accomodation, ammo, etc. to be covered by the purchaser – the project pays for lunch and/or range time and Larry shows up and is himself.

    No way I can contribute that kind of money right now (anyone in UT need a construction grunt?) but I know there have to be some members of the MHN that have that kind of cash. The rest of us can just enjoy the vicarious thrill of the AAR. 🙂

  18. How about a set of MHI logoed grips for $100 donation?

    Some kind of Earl Harbinger inspired N-frame grips for $200?

    An MHI AR grip for $100?

    An MHI window decal for $25?

    An MHI iPhone cover for $40/$50?

    An MHI iPad cover for $75?

    Shoot a match with Owen Pitt’s alter ego Larry Correia for $300?

  19. Maybe the creation/rolling of an NPC character (or the floorplan sketch) for what would be encountered in an included adventure.

  20. How about a chance to get a sneak-peek at the rules, and build one of the sample characters for the book?

  21. $25 pdf of rules
    $50 hard cover
    $75 both
    $100 both w/autograph
    $150 previous plus limited edition mhi tshirt based on artwork

    1. Kickstarter project rewards almost always (at least, the ones that succeed) offer savings over the final product price. Or at least throw in extras if there isn’t any discount.

  22. Wife just brought up that you really need a MHI range bag.
    I would definitely kick in to die horribly in a novel.
    Just tell me where to send the check

  23. How about Earl’s signature logo’d Zippo?

    And at what ever level I can afford I’m in.
    But if it cuts too deep into my AR build budget or the ammo fund I might be a little tetchy about it. 😉

  24. This is going to be so awesome! I hope the came allows for some dabbling in the occult on the parts of the hunters nothing the reaches the level of necromancy as that would be “evil” 🙂 but the idea of a puff exempt character working for a hunting outfit would rock.

    I also hope y’all use the Fudge system as it’s the most friendly to this type of dynamic game IMO.
    If you go traditional table top though I do have my Cthulhu themed gaming dice.

    I so wanna rock something puff exempt!

  25. I am so in.

    May I humbly suggest that at various levels you get patches or characters in the RPG based on your contribution – low level gets you a newbie patch/character, next level gets you team member patch/character, next level gets you team leader patch/character, then staff. Or if enough people kick in, start with the organizations listed in MHL.

  26. Patches. Maybe some legit looking MCB patches. Patches, patches patches. I don’t game anymore, but will probably be a kickstarter just to have moar MHI stuff. Did I mention patches??? Oh yeah, send me my R’lyeh-damned MHI patches. I know, you only check your email so often and send them out as a group, blah blah. Ohhh, what about special edition desert patches for backers?????

    1. Or what about a decent quality mcb natchy bottom survivor shirt? Something like a unit deployment shirt? I need new shirts for carbine classes, Magpul is like so last year!

  27. Patches work, MHI dice, MHI dice bag, Decals, Even cardboard cut outs of some of the monsters to use while playing. I love diving into a world when I RP and the more stuff on the table that looks like it brings the world to life the better.

  28. Oh hell yeah I’m in! My last gaming group went bust with constant party in-fighting but I’d buy the RPG just to have it.

    I’d love to see gaming miniatures. Reaper and Dark Sword Miniatures do limited run stuff, no idea of the cost of doing a batch though. Patches would be pretty cool too.

  29. I like the patch idea also.

    Also as an aside, how good will the binding on the book’s spine be? I’ve had one too many $50 RPG books fall apart due to sub-par binding..

  30. I would strongly recommend you look at the Shadowrun Returns kickstarter ( ) for some ideas. Of note was the $10,000.00 tier, where the head of game development at FASA for Shadowrun, Mike Mulvihill, would come to your hometown and run a game for you and five of your friends. This tier sold out well before some of the much, much lower level tiers.

    Another idea would be the right to design and/or pick an “official” MHI Team Patch, or possibly another company’s logo. Redshirts are going to be extremely popular, so don’t underprice it! 🙂

    I do like the idea of the MHI logo 1911 grips, but it’d be exceptionally popular I would think, so you’d need to line up someone who could produce them in quantity, and they would also need to be fairly expensive on the kickstarter scale to cover the cost.

    I will fourth (fifth? sixth?) the suggestion of the MHI logo Zippo. I quit smoking years ago, but I’d still give serious consideration to getting one just to have it.

  31. +1 on PDF+hardcover and patches.

    For one of the higher tiers: a piece of character art in the book based on the donor’s description, donor gets the original artwork.

    One of the very successful rewards during Rich Burlew’s Order of the Stick Kickstarter was one that let the donor nominate a character or group from comic for Rich to do a short story about, made available to all donors as a PDF download.

  32. Besides the obvious patches and MHI-logo’d gear, how about the option of having ourselves written into the book as NPCs? I’d be content to have my stats and picture (complete with my 1911 and/or rifle) with maybe a small blurb written by me or Larry. Not all of us are so keen on only dying once in a book. This allows unlimited DMs the chance to kill us in multiple ways! As a DM, it helps to have pre-written NPCs, or “cannon fodder” as I call them, to save my lazy arse some work.

    1. I really like this idea. An NPC of me a Voodoo practicing Physicist who likes to whittle and shake my cane at those darn teens/monsters on my lawn.
      I hope this option wouldn’t be too expensive though because now that I hear it I really like it.

  33. Since the artwork in those types of books is normally awesome, maybe release a poster set at one of the tiers. Also you could always do a one on one with you at the shooting range for the much higher tiers (providing the person can make their way to Utah). No matter what though, thanks for creating awesome worlds for us to enjoy.

  34. I can rarely get my old gang together for a board game night let alone Warmachine or an ongoing RPG but I will buy in a heartbeat and am already pledged for a game (Flash Point Fire Rescue) on kickstarter so I am farmiliar with the process. For stretches and tiers I would suggest the following:

    Signed Copies
    Artwork Prints
    MHI patches
    Additional Game Scenario
    PDF or Printed Cheat Sheet
    GM Screen

  35. Awesome. I’m buying the book – a little pricey for me, but well worth it. It will be my Christmas/birthday/Halloween/random holiday gift to myself.
    PS: I want a Franks mini. Oh, and how about a Magatsu mini? Maybe…??? He’d look so adorable with his tiny tetsubo and face paint. Not that I’d want to tell him that to his face – ok, I really need to get out more.

  36. $15 – pdf
    $30 – pdf + a set of patches
    $40 – book (lower than retail as a “thanks for believing in me”)
    $75 – autographed book
    $100 – redshirted, either in an upcoming book or in the RPG book somewhere
    $200 – stock NPC
    $250 – credited in the book
    $1500 – flown to Utah for game run by the creator
    $2500 – connected with a MHI cosplay hooker

    1. You forgot to mention: $5000–Dinner and drinks with the woman who inspired the Holly character

  37. Hm. Much confoosion combined with great ideas. My .0000000002cr here.
    Don’t mix the ideas of Pledge levels and options.

    Options I would (generally) suggest would be:
    MHI Wall plaque (not the same as being canon-ized…or is that cannon-ized? no matter!)
    minis (Hard to do, seperate product line altogether)
    Autographed books
    EXTRA patches (Official, from those mentioned in book only)
    Artwork reproductions
    Some of the pledge level ideas can be added here IN ADDITION to keeping them in the pledges (if you really gotta have a patch you made… or if you really want to be redshirted (excludes Dies Horribly and above levels)

    Pledge level ideas (order these in whatever way you like, combine, spindle, mutilate, delete etc)

    PDF of book (B&W, possibly little to no art)
    PDF of book (with art)
    PDF of book (color, with art)
    Book (with color PDF)
    Book with Patch (from here go with “…and preceeding levels, with color PDF as the end point)
    Signed Book with Patch
    Name in RPG book as NPC example (i.e. bob rolls 2dX to hit…)
    Name in Regular book (determined by author) as throwaway name (no lines, just a background extra, not even redshirted – maybe a name on the Official Wall of the Night It Went Pear Shaped)
    Character in RPG as example (Bill wants to make a cool Sniper Dood called Sniper Dood, so to create Sniper Dood….etc etc)
    Name in regular book with a few lines(yay you have hit talking extra!) (“So you are made it in the Noobie squad” “Yep”). May or may not ever be heard from again.
    Character in RPG canon (you now get to Do Something Cool in the rules and game world)
    Design an Official patch (Team Half-Wit!)
    Character in book (Redshirted, and probably dies horribly, but in an oh-so-cool way, and you get lines – but no cherry blossom scene, Larry decides if you live, die, survive but maimed horribly etc). May be mentioned again later on. Maybe.
    Book, patch plus a Tshirt (put here cause You Went There and Got The TShirt)
    Character in book, AND YOU SURVIVE! (well, at least in that book)
    Game Session with Larry (Tetsubo optional)

    For names in books (RPG or regular) you could bump in a level that lets you pick the faction (whaddaya mean I’m a FED??????!!!!!!)

    Stretch goals (no special order to this)
    Moar patch options ( you can pick the patch at the book with patch pledge level, default is MHI)
    GM Screen (PDF, then real, so 2 stretch goals)
    Modules (see gm screen)
    include X dice
    Supplement (the Compound, The Federal Handbook, etc)

    I think that is enough for today…

  38. I’m a pewter hound, so minis would be great
    can always use more dice (MHI D6s or D20s preferably)
    Earl’s zippo
    MHI patch
    most of what others are saying sounds good, but for me minis more than anything

  39. At some high donation level point , a .308 MHI branded lower AR receiver. Maybe as a lightly lessdonation comparitively, a 5.56 MCB branded lower AR reciver. I’m sure you can work out the details with some company to make those. Of course subject to background checks yadda yadda.

    Of course at teh higherst level, a weekend of shooting with the author expednding compious amounts of ammo woudl be cool… >:)

  40. A ton of great ideas posted!

    I like the following:

    The PDF/Harcover book options are pretty straight forward
    MHI patches (different patches at different levels)
    MHI Hat
    Character sheets
    Custom/signed artwork
    Design a character to be included in the MHI mythos (either for the RPG and/or to be included in a future novel)
    Design a group to be included in the MHI mythos (either for the RPG and/or to be included in a future novel)
    More RPG supplements
    Signed copies of your novels at different levels

  41. AR lowers bad, need transfers. But what about some logo’ed uppers? Maybe mad ogre could hook you up a small run?
    A lot of great stuff here, grips, zippo, dice, dice bag, patches, cameos, red shirts etc.

    Some things that first popped into my head that I haven’t seen mentioned as either lower tier items or add-ons:

    Calendar with artwork (+$ for signed by you and/or artist),

    Window/car decals,

    Coffee mugs/ water bottles,

    Backpack/gym bag/ tote bag or etc,


    For higher end:

    custom sketch of yourself in MHI gear/setting, does not have to appear in any book anywhere, just given to you

    On a total side note; I would love a Howard Taylor sketch of me in MHI logo’ed chef coat popping zombies or other bad thing with one of my Steyrs

  42. When Kratmann and Ringo came out with Yellow Eyes the cover art sucked so Tom (I think it was) asked an artist to come up with an alternate cover. Kratmann said it would have to be paid for by folks chipping in and buying a signed poster of the cover art. When they got enough they went ahead with various costs attached to different packages available. I want to say that my signed poster cost me about a hundred bucks or so. Now if you were to offer a large, signed and suitable for framing poster of one of the covers for the series I could absolutely see buying into that.
    I’m sorry if this isn’t as clear as I’m trying to be. If you’re interested you might hit up either Tom or John for details.

  43. While live would be cool for practicality sake dummy MHI 45ACP rounds, with the Powerball “silver bullet” and the casing engraved “MHI”.

  44. It would be nice if we could reccomended a person to be killed by a monster in a future book…

  45. I would pay $50 for the book. For the tiers, I like the idea of PDFs of the rulebooks. I really like the idea of Earl’s Zippo and MHI 1911 grips. Heck, if I knew where to buy them now I would.

  46. Since we don’t know which RPG system you’re using, it’s hard to comment on customized dice, but if it’s the FATE system, those are pretty easy to customize, since they only use symbols. Several other Kickstarter RPGs have offered customized FATE dice. With normal d6’s or d20’s, it’s usually just replacing the 1 or 20 with a symbol, so not as customizable.

    1. They are customizing the borders on a standard 6-7 dice set, I’ve got a Cthulhu themed set the borders of each face are tentacles and there is something on the 20 or highest value.
      I’m actually hoping for the Fate system for this, Fate allows for non gamers all the way through hard core games and the Fudge dice have way more face space to customize.
      The system just lends itself to this world in my head, it’s faster less rules and lends itself to on the fly adaptation and MHI is all about on the fly.

  47. How AWESOME is this!?! I am in and I am in faster than fast. I am in so fast that… “I will move so fast the earth will reverse its rotation and time will bend backward. Hello.”

    New tiny Bic lighters holders (are they called “Grippers”) with Earl’s logo on them, that way they are reusable. Absolutely a hat, must have a hat, MANDATE: A Hat.

  48. My suggestion:

    There’s a stretch goal ($5k, $10k, whatever) at which point various real life gun-blogger personalities appear in the book as example characters, with stats.

    Obviously you’d need permission from the various folks, but I, for one, would love to see Jay G and Tam as fully stat-ed up characters, complete with equipment load outs.

    And, you know, if I had to keep clicking “send more money” to get Tam in there, I just might…

    1. That’s something that your DM should do though. Create the characters you want to see in your games instead of having cookie cutter models that are the same for everyone. Appearing in game is a reward to fans who donate, but for real people you can add them yourself. In RPGs when you spec out something or someone that already exists you will alwayse have people who are unhappy with the results. It’s best to let he players create versions of existing people or characters that way each play group is happy with the character.

  49. +1 for all shooting and survival gear suggestions 🙂

    And add to that list universal magizine holders with MHI logo. Or possibly 1911 custom grips. Might be too expensive to make worthwhile to add to kickstarter, but maybe doen the road you could have some mhi themed gear like that in an online store for us addicts.

  50. I’m in for a few copies. One for me and the Players a few more for the over seas care packages. If you would like to see a professional play-testing and demo group put it through it’s paces then hustle it at a few Conventions feel free to drop me an email and I’ll send you a list of considerable credentials. Particularly for this kind of Genre….

    ~Rex, has a lot of credentials….

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