Wendy's surprised everyone when it released its own tabletop RPG earlier this week, dubbed Feast of Legends, where players fight an evil clown. While Dungeons and Dragons has enjoyed a resurgence in the past few years, the idea of a fast-food company releasing their own game still came off as a bit strange to a large portion of the internet. And while the move seems to be a mixture of a joke and marketing stunt, it still raises quite a few interesting questions about the lore of Beef's Keep, the game's campaign setting.
Yes, the entire thing is designed to poke fun at Wendy's main competitors, and it does do a good job of doing so without taking any serious jabs at their competitors. Though, it does mention a creepy king with a paper crown, which is some serious punching down. And while analyzing Feast of Legends is just a tad bit ridiculous, there are still questions about society in this fantasy world that are hard to ignore. Sure, there are other bizarre Dungeons and Dragons campaign settings out there, but Feast of Legends is a different beast entirely.
Where does this world's fascination with fast-food come from? Do the people of Beef's Keep and Freshtovia even understand what fast-food is? In Feast of Legends, players are tasked with finding and killing Hunger, which in itself is a harrowing thought. It's clear that this world exists in a time and space where food items aren't just eaten, but worshipped, in some manner, as gods. But would that, in turn, make each meal some type of ritualistic sacrifice? Eating Wendy's in the real world also grants bonuses to player characters. And while this can be dismissed as a simple game mechanic, it still raises questions about the actual feeling player characters would get as they gain these bonuses.
The game itself is surprisingly well thought out. It may not have the depth of other tabletop games out there, but it'd still be a good way to test the waters for those that want to know how to get into Dungeons and Dragons. Wendy's game may not be intended for prolonged play, it only goes up to level 5, but it's still a cool marketing stunt. At least, it's certainly one of the most unique marketing stunts out there.
Well designed or not, there are still questions about the world of this fantasy land that need answers. Throughout the included campaign, there are several references to Twitter. Specifically, there's a nod to the album Wendy's released last year, which includes the track "Twitter Fingers". That means that this is a world where Twitter is a thing and understood by the vast population. But, in a place without any apparent cell phones, is Twitter just a vast network of birds, carrying messages to and from various locations?
Or, there's a far more sinister answer. It's entirely possible that Feast of Legends takes place in a dystopian version of our own world. One where Fast Food icons have come to life to establish monarchies and totalitarian states. Entire nations brought to heel by titans of industry, citizens now forced to serve the restaurants that once served them. In a way, that would make this one of the most terrifying campaigns out there.
Day to day life for some of these citizens has to be a nightmare. They're forced to eat nothing but fast-food and live under the rule of immortal monarchs. The rulebook doesn't really touch on the religious aspects of Beef Keep, but it doesn't exactly seem like it would be a joyous place to be for anyone.
Still, even with all the questions that Wendy's game raises, it's still cool to see a brand try and have some fun - even if the goal is to just sell more stuff at the end of the day. There are still plenty of questions about society in this fantasy world that players probably won't ever get answers to, but Wendy's release of Feast of Legends will probably still be referenced years from now, albeit as a weird joke.
It'll be interesting to see if any other fast-food restaurants release their own games, or even just campaigns to go along with the setting. The world that Wendy's made may be weird, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth exploring further. Who knows, maybe the company will release even more campaigns that attempt to answer some of these burning questions.