I don't even have words for how fun this game is. We've created this vegan restaurant that's totally not a front in a supernatural small town, and challenges have ranged from the cook's favorite skillet is dirty to a spy from the National Onion Association is breaking in to sabotage us and carve threats into our vegetables. There have been several fires, corn ghosts, and dragons. My busser has been kidnapped by serial killers, the bar back fought an angry Karen in a Walmart parking lot, our sommelier is secretly dating the sommelier of the rival bar. Dish Pit Witches is such an absolute joy to play.
DISH PIT WITCHES
COMMUNITY COPIES AVAILABLE FOR FREE BELOW
to those who are marginalized or experiencing financial insecurity.
CONTENT WARNING: service industry capitalism, alcohol mention, violence mention.
this is a game where you play as queer witches who work in a restaurant, using brute force, magic, and the power of gay to handle whatever your GM (General Manager) throws at you.
i wanted to experiment with making a game that is explicitly designed for the GM to be antagonistic toward the player characters, in a way that mirrors real life power imbalances most of us have had to deal with.
please be sure to discuss safety tools before running the game. this may become especially important in a game explicitly designed to have a hostile GM role. see the TTRPG Safety Toolkit by Kienna Shaw & Lauren Bryant-Monk for a thorough survey of commonly used safety tools and consent mechanics.
this game works best with 3-4 players and a GM. each player will need 2d6, a blank sheet of paper, and a pencil. it is designed in such a way that sessions can be very short or very long, depending on the amount of detail the GM decides to include.
cover image & illustration made with Canva using public domain art. fonts used are Bungee and Anonymous Pro.
this game was created on the occupied land of the Duwamish people, and its creator currently resides on the lands of the Osage, Kaw, and Očéti Šakówiŋ. this creator supports returning all lands, ceded and unceded, to the care of Indigenous people.
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $2.50 USD. You will get access to the following files:
Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.
copies of this content are available to be claimed for free by any person who experiences marginalization or economic instability, or who works in the service industry.
if you do not fall under any of these categories, please do the honorable thing and support the creator by paying full price.
- DISH PIT WITCHES v2.0 available to general public!Mar 20, 2020
- DISH PIT WITCHES HAS JOINED KICKSTARTER ZINE QUEST!Feb 02, 2020
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Thank you to everyone who supported the community copies! dishwashers of the world unite <3
Dish Pit Witches is an all-caps, zine-style yell about how food-service workers rely on each other to survive their job---and about how the food-service industry squeezes value from its workers while giving as little as possible back.
Dish Pit Witches has a strong, clear aesthetic and thematic black and white illustrations throughout. It's also really unambiguous whenever it wants to communicate something, and this makes it extremely easy to read.
Dish Pit Witches does curse a bit (it's about working food-service,) and it's probably going to have the strongest resonance with people teen and up, but its engine is super easy to understand, and I think it could be run with some modification for any age.
At its core, Dish Pit Witches has you problem-solve small catastrophes, slowly accumulating stress from your failures, and quitting if the built-up stress ever pushes you over your limit. It never clearly defines its setting, so you can go as wacky or as bleakly realistic as you want, but the game flows neatly from shift to recovery period to shift, catching you up in its mechanics.
There's no real escape for the PCs (short of hitting maximum stress and quitting, which the game designs to feel like a failure,) but characters level up at the end of every shift, slowly acclimating to the environment.
Basically, it's a really effective simulation, but not one that has to be soul-crushing unless you want it to be.
Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone who has worked in food service and gotten out.
This is fucking superb, a critique, a game, and an object lesson in tight, elegant design wrapped up in one. The layout is clean and readable, love the use of bold in paragraphs to draw my eyes to relevant mechanical declarations.
The teamwork/stress rules are awesome, they pull me into the space effectively enough I flashed back to working as a pizza boy. The recovery/game structure reinforces this, making for a nice (by which I mean: evocative) loop.
One thing I think might be worth including is a sort of permanent stressor optional rule where something like a critical failure may drop your tolerance by one - because my experience working retail/food was similar in that I sorta tallied up major frustrations and let the minor stuff slip until I finally had to or could bounce.
This is so hackable, I could see using this underlying system for say, selling shoes (another terrible job I once had).
This game is awesome and one of my favorite kitbashes from GoonJam!