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Never Knows Best: Ashcan Edition (Physical Book + PDF))

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Never Knows Best is inspired by an anime called FLCL (Fooly Cooly) and wears this influence on its sleeve. This game and its rules focus on my own interpretation of the source material, rather than attempting to emulate the anime as closely as possible.

Never Knows Best (NKB) is a roleplaying game about middle school kids facing impending adulthood, growing up, and society’s­—sometimes nonsensical—expectations and obligations. It’s designed for three-five players plus a game master (GM) who facilitates the game.

This game uses absurdism, metaphors, motifs, and literalization to represent the struggles and growth these kids go through. Society’s obligations and expectations manifest as outrageous forms—creatures and monsters not of this world. The kids combat these creatures by transforming into robots. Whenever a kid transforms, their robot takes on their unique strengths and traits representing how they reject society’s attempts to make kids conform and obey.

In this way, the internal conflict kids face when growing up becomes something real and seen. Battles are metaphors for their inner turmoil about who they are, where they fit in, and who they want to be.

This is an ashcan version of the game not be the final version. Based on playtesting and feedback of this version, mechanics may be tweaked and changed. It is somewhere between a Quickstart and the final product.