carry. a game about war.
Narrative roleplaying in our memories of Vietnam
carry is a game focused on the experience of being a soldier in the Vietnam war. Heavily inspired by the films Platoon and Full Metal Jacket and the novel The Things They Carried, carry is designed to provide a serious roleplaying experience in the tradition of these sources.
carry is available as a 8.5"x5.5" 76 page softcover book and as a 47 page PDF. It was originally released in 2006.
print $15 | pdf $7
Downloads & Resources
The following resources are currently available:
Errata Document - contains updates made to the third printing of the game.
3x5 Squad Cards - printable character cards.
Squad One-Sheet - One-page (front-and-back) character descriptions.
Quick Reference Sheet - Play aid created by Adam Dray. Thanks Adam!
How soldiers behave in war is a difficult topic, and the game focuses more on dealing with that difficulty than on celebrating violence or exploring tactical and strategic choices. The way that players have described a session is “fun, but in the way watching a really serious drama is fun, not fun like popcorn and beer fun.”
carry is structured in a short-form style. It plays out from start to finish in one three-to-four hour session. Over the course of the game, characters deal (or fail to deal) with their Burdens and the pressures and difficulties coming from the other characters, and from the GM. At the end of the game, everyone has a chance to talk about both what happens to their characters in the end, and how these characters are remembered in the aftermath of the events of the game.
Kenneth Hite - Out Of The Box (09/2008) "It’s a tragedy of inevitable human failure set not even in the Vietnam War but in our hazy cultural recollections of it. I could see the same engine powering stories of the Civil War or, hell, the Trojan War. But in all cases, the engine drives the story, not the other way around. But it drives it directly, interestingly, and well from a base of recognizable, genuine human concerns."
Play This Thing (11/2008) "carry is not a game of war. It is a game about war, and the mechanics serve to give some insight into what war can be like for those involved, from the point of view of the people on the ground. carry is a game that may make players nervous, and it should. There is a tendency in RPGs to address serious issues through a lens of fantasy, but carry makes no compromises"