A downloadable game

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You are a raccoon: a chittering, baggy-pants, ring-tailed burglar. You and your friends have built an implausible floating ship in the junkyard, and tonight you'll fly it across town to the suburbs in search of better trash.

Together, you'll navigate the treacherous neighborhoods, find a ripe, free-standing house with cable internet, steal as much as you can carry, and fend off the Neighborhood Watch—all while trying not to explode. In Raccoon Sky Pirates, it's all for one and one for all.

Flying a ship takes coordination and discipline. Unfortunately, you're a bunch of raccoons.

A game for 3–6 players

"Raccoon Sky Pirates is delightfully off-kilter! It knows exactly the experience it is promising, and it delivers. Pilot a janky-ass flying trash barge! Panic and make terrible choices! Steal a shiny toaster! This is madcap fun."
—Avery Alder, author of Monsterhearts, Dream Askew and The Quiet Year

StatusReleased
CategoryPhysical game
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(26 total ratings)
AuthorHectic Electron
TagsAction-Adventure, Casual, Comedy, Pirates, raccoons, suburbs

Purchase

Buy Now$8.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $8 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Raccoon Sky Pirates.pdf 5 MB
Raccoon Sky Pirates.epub 10 MB
Raccoon Sky Pirates booklet full size.pdf 3 MB
Raccoon Sky Pirates play sheets full size.pdf 21 MB
Raccoon Sky Pirates Complications card backs.pdf 3 MB
if you pay $10 USD or more
Raccoon Sky Pirates Complications card faces.pdf 2 MB
if you pay $10 USD or more

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Development log

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(+1)

Today we played Raccoon Sky Pirates.

Once upon a time, two racoons, two possums, and a pigeon built a janky airship in a junk yard out of a 72 VW Beetle, a Food Processor, and the Octopus ride from a carnival. It was rickety, well armored, and well-armed. It also smelled like corn chips, had sticky floors, was held together with duct tape, and was constantly playing broadway show-tunes.

They named their contraption: "the Dreaded Dumpster Fire Trash Can of Revenge"!

Its crew consisted of:

  • Antoinette Cornflake the pigeon
  • Princess Todd the mama possum (and her troop of joeys, all named Todditha)
  • Raccoona Matata the muscle
  • Rac-kit the baby-face raccoon
  • and Zort the sleepy opossum

They set sail across the neighborhood, were spotted flying over an electrical substation, and finally arrived at a McMansion house in the suburbs.

They broke in through the sliding glass doors and spread out through the kitchen, dining room, foyer closet, and powder room, stealing trophies, remote controls, hats from the closet, apples, eggs, and flower, an extension cord, and other various items, before waking the dog, then the owners of the house.

With that they made their hasty exit. On their way back to the junkyard, their engine began to overheat but was cooled by Antoinette's wings. They were intercepted by another airship from a rival junkyard over the electrical substation! Racoona Matata used the octopus to throw the VW beetle at them and they escaped!

They made it back to the junkyard as heroes! Legends whose deeds will live on - until the next time we play! See less

Epic! Thanks Christian!

I have two open questions:

  1. The structure in the house is unclear to me. Are the raccoons supposed to bring new found trash back to the ship before carrying on and stealing more? Is moving back to the ship an action on its own. Like moving? But the rules state that you often don’t have to make a roll for moving to the ship. Can players have a turn without rolling dice? Do raccoons move from room to room? Is every move here a turn? This would result in a lot of moving turns and therefore roles.
    My handling of the house was: Every turn a player has to make a role. A raccoon can either explore an unexplored room or steal trash in an already explored room. Stealing trash includes bringing it back to the ship.
  2. When the residents wake up every raccoon has to make a final test to flee to the ship. What happens on unhelpful roles? Do we start checking problems for the ship here already? Can we still play complication cards? My idea was: For every unhelpful role the raccoon has to leave one item of trash behind. 
  1. I like your idea for when to roll in the house. My thought was, when you're in the house, and you want to move to a new room or take a stolen piece of trash to the ship, you only have to roll if you think it would be interesting. Otherwise, you can assume that it happened automatically.
  2. I also like your idea for the final roll to flee to the ship. Leaving a piece of trash behind is what I had in mind. You definitely don't need to start checking off problems for the ship yet.

Thanks for your answer. Looking forward to play the game again ;-)

When we played last Sunday, we said that moving into a new room in the house required a roll. Moving into already explored rooms do not require a roll. If there was a question about whether a movement required a roll or not, I (the facilitator) polled the group and left the decision to them. 

Returning to the ship required a roll but you could move all the way through the house to return to the ship.

We also had the raccoons leave loot behind during a botched escape. Raccoona Matata had the option - drop her cherished hat or loose the ship's home appliance. She chose the appliance. 

What a great game. I think there is an animated six episode mini series in this :-) I wrote down some notes for my next round. Maybe they are helpful for the next players:

The rules in short are: Every round a raccoon can move or steal trash (or land the ship or find an entry into the house). Every round a raccoon has to test if his action is helpful or unhelpful. if the action is unhelpful a new problem on the problem track is marked. Players can play complication cards to postpone the problems. It's a good tactic to play cards with tags for problems that are already checked, the problem that will be checked next or tags that are already on played cards. If the last problem on the house track is checked, the raccoons have to leave the house. If the last problem on the ship track is checked it explodes and the raccoons lose everything.

The following things are “just” for roleplay purposes they don’t have any impact on the rules:

  1. Everything about the ship (how the ship floats, strength, liabilities, the three things it’s made out of and their actions.
  2. Some things about your raccoon: Look, Personal Goal (Advanced Rule), Relationship
  3. The action “Deal with unforeseen consequences.”
  4. The text on the complication cards and the problems. Even if you wake up the dog or the ship get’s caught in the trees you can just keep on moving or stealing trash.

Nevertheless it’s recommended to include these things in the narrative. Especially checked problems and played complication cards. For example if the ships is stuck in a tree the next move of the ship could include a description of how the raccoon set the ship free.

I love the concept of the game, the art, and spirit; it's wonderful. 

I haven't actually played in part because I worry that I'm getting a rule wrong. Getting to a house (4 space of movement = 4 roles), boarding the house (2 roles) and getting home (4 roles) requires 10 successful Action roles (even if you don't do anything extra/fun on the way). Since Actions have a 50/50 chance of working, that means marking 10 Problems - which is 4 more than you need to explode. 

Complication cards can help, obviously, but mostly (unless you're very lucky) I think will just postpone the Problem. 

So it seems like most voyages should end in disaster - players would have to be very lucky to make it home with sweet, delicious trash.

Am I missing something? (Maybe clever Complication use can help - I haven't run the odds on that.) Or some other mechanic? 

Don't fret! You don't necessarily mark 10 problems. I've played several games where we sailed through with very few Ship Problems, and in more than half the games, we managed to make it home in one piece. I think it owes a lot to the simple fact that no dice reproduce their odds perfectly: Sometimes, you roll well ... and sometimes you don't. 

The Complications cards tip that equation just enough in your favor, especially if you play them strategically. For instance, if you play a card that's tagged with the kind of problem you'd mark next anyway (or with one you've already marked), it doesn't cause problems to snowball.

I encourage you to give it a whirl. You might be surprised!

Thank you for the encouragement! Mostly wanted to make sure I wasn't missing some rule or process top tip the odds (especially if playing with kids and/or easily frustrated people...though those probably aren't the target audience) 

(+1)

Awesome game!  Lots of fun chaos, and a good balance of mechanics vs. player freedom.  I have a full review on TTRPGkids to go over more, but my main points with this are that it's great for playing with kids and/or grown ups AND it's got mechanics that drive the story forward and are fun to mess with. 

https://www.ttrpgkids.com/2023/12/07/review-of-raccoon-sky-pirates/

(+1)

bought this a while ago for a friend, finally got it to table last night. we laughed our fool heads off, so great job there.

however we had a couple of rules questions (yes we have the 2e PDF) that I hoped you could give clarity on:

  1. the ship Strengths...do nothing mechanically? We took "tightly fastened together" and our very first Problem in Scene One was that the ship was shaking itself apart, "rivets loosening". that was jarring and we were sure we missed something.
  2. "Deal with unforeseen consequences" is in the main rules as an option for every Scene, but nothing describes what it does. Does it actually uncheck a Problem or clear a Complication from the table? 

Again, these are minor quibbles and we had a good time (even if the dice failed our 50/50 odds approximately 9 out of our first 11 rolls...), just wanted to see if we missed something to make next time run smoothly.

(+1)

Thank you for buying the game! I’m so glad you had fun with it. 

  1. The strengths and liabilities are just there to give you ideas for ways to narrate how things go wrong or are helpful, but they don’t mechanically make it harder or easier. I agree that can sometimes make for weird juxtapositions. You can house-rule it that the ship’s strengths allow you free, “extra” plays of Complications Cards.
  2. “Deal with unforeseen consequences” is in there to allow you some flexibility in what you narrate for your turn. But it doesn’t get you any closer mechanically to a particular goal.

In general, despite all the board gamey elements and the total randomness, a lot is left in your hands as players in how you narrate your moments. I hope this helps!

(1 edit) (+1)

Hi Chris, this is Christian,

Played RSP last year (2022). Instead of using the houses in the box, we used the huge wilderness lodge where we were staying. We literally pointed to where our raccoons would be scurrying and pointed out what we stole. It was a blast!

Planning on running it with some other friends this year.  My players wanted to create their own characters, so I just allowed them to pick the closest archetype to what they had in mind and just changed the name on the PDF. Any future plans for additional varmints? One of my players wants to play a squirrel pretending to be a raccoon. Since squirrels are preppie snobs who are loved by humans and look down on trash, she's ostracized by squirrel-kind and viewed with suspicion by raccoons. So she smeared grease on her eyes and tail as a disguise.

Hi Christian! Thanks for buying Raccoon Sky Pirates. It sounds like you had a great time, for which I’m so glad. I love the idea of playing in the building you’re in.

I don’t have plans for other trash animals, but maybe I should! Gulls, coyotes, and maybe crows are some ideas. And then trash-adjacent animals like your ingenious squirrel.

(+1)

Hey HE!

Thank you for this game. Already ordered a physical set, but in the meantime is it possible to get a pdf of the Complication deck? Something i can print?

Thank you!

Thanks for the suggestion! I've just uploaded PDFs for the faces and backs.

FYI: I just bought 2e (having already owned 1e) bc I love this game; I haven't played it yet, but just reading the book made me cry with laughter.  Two prehensile thumbs up!

Unfortunately ... the PDF has some serious issues in the MacOS Preview app. Haven't tried on my iPad but I'm assuming it'll have the same problems (since it's the same Apple PDF code.)

  • The house maps are mangled. The floor-plans are squished vertically and split into pieces, making them unusable. This would be a deal-breaker if I didn't have 1e to fall back on :-(
  • Most of the TOC links don't work; that is, when I display the TOC sidebar and click an outline item, nothing happens. It's fairly random which items work and don't work, but consistent.
  • The character sheets and house sheets aren't in the TOC at all.

No idea why this would happen, since it looks like the PDF was generated by Adobe InDesign. Did you run it through any other program afterwards that might have altered it? (It's also possible these are bugs in Apple's PDF library, but I'd be surprised since it's a long time since I've run into any.)

(I know I can download Acrobat, but I hate having Adobe bloatware on my computer, grumble grumble...)

--Jens

(+1)

Ack! I will update the PDF and fix these problems. 

Hi Jens— It looks like the compression that I did to reduce the PDF's download size is mangling Preview's ability to link internally or display the house maps. I have uploaded the booklet and the play sheets as separate files, both uncompressed. Please let me know if you aren't allowed to download them. (I do like Acrobat, but to each his own!)

You can always just open PDFs in your web browser of choice to bypass any issues

(+1)

I just played my first game of Raccoon Sky Pirates today, and holy trash pandas is it FUN!

It is a very well designed game, playful, silly, co-op, and really everything I could personally want in a TTRPG. 

10/10 experience.

Thank you! I'm so glad you had fun.

Hi, Chris! I bought your game after hearing your interview on the Plot Points podcast, and ran it with my group. We all loved it! I especially loved that it was GM-less, letting me get in on the fun.

I had a question, though. We played over Roll20 and Discord, so I made some complication cards to share virtually. To put it kindly, they were really ugly. I remember you mentioning during the podcast that you were working on some physical cards. Would you also be able to make some virtual cards available for purchase so nobody else would be subjected to my ugly ones?

Hi @statsjedi! Thanks for the question. I've just updated the PDF and EPUB so that they have a link to a set of online playing cards! If you download it and unzip it, you can upload it to playingcards.io/import. There is also a link to an online character keeper, made in Google Sheets, that you can copy to use.

Wow! Thank you!