Whiplash and Barrel


Whiplash and Barrel are the publishers of the satirical role-playing game, Way of the Geeky.


Whiplash and Barrel is the trading name under which S Passaris Limited publish role-playing game products, a minor part of their business activities. S Passaris Limited is a private limited company incorporated in the UK (registered company number 6553490).


I had a dream last night
And she looked just like a dream.
She was on fire last night
And I was breathing gasoline

—Butthole Surfers, Whatever (I Had A Dream)

A strange thing happened to me on the morning of the first of December, 1997: I had a dream. Not so strange, you may think, but this dream had HöL in it. Hmmm. You may be thinking that I am a sad, strange, little man to be dreaming of the gloriously perverse monstrosity known and feared as HöL, but it's worse than that. This is roughly the excerpt of the dream that was pertinent to the aforementioned gaming jewel...

Let there be a company. Let this company's name be Whiplash and Barrel. A curious name for a company, but a name nonetheless. Let this company's workforce consist of a scant handful of lunatics who sleep all day and drool nightly into cups of stale coffee, whilst poring over reams of meaningless scrawl. Let this company produce role-playing games. A good enough start, I feel.

I dreamt that Whiplash and Barrel had decided that their designers should simply write down every thought that came to them, and keep them all. I think you can all appreciate quite what a foolish notion this may be. But this was their world, and they set to with vigour. My vision was an article describing some of their work. Only ten or so games were pictured. They produced well over fifty. To give you an example of one of them, I shall endeavour to describe the third in this series of miscarriages:

The blurb was along the lines of: "Sci-fi adventure in a universe of guns, madness, and cows." Imagine a universe in which every single denizen has either got BSE, CJD, or both. Pleasant. Now add to that mixing pot a high-octane conglomeration of heavy artillery and battle cruisers. We're talking major geek territory, but the geeks are fucked up twerps who torture cats. Oh dear.

Of the ten games described, I can only remember the details for this one. That, and the fact that the fifth or so game described was HöL. This makes me feel uneasy. My subconscious mind comes up with these things? Mein Gott im Himmel — what kind of a fiend am I? I leave that question for you to answer. Perhaps somewhere, hidden in these pages, lies the truth.