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Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by Imperial_Hammer, Apr 8, 2006.

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  1. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    Life is funny...but the galaxy is hard to make fun of

    I don't know about that, DVC. I think Star Wars has a potential for humour, and there's a heck of a lot of material to take the mick out of. The indestructible all powerful Glove of Darth Vader, anyone? The golden syrup god that was Waru? We've seen the jokes people often make about this kinda stuff, it could be done IC too, I think. Having said that, it couldn't be maintained for an entire game.
  2. dontlookatmethatway Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 3

    Let's get this straight: books do not equal roleplaying. This is because in books, the author controls all the characters and what they say. This makes it easy to set up jokes. In roleplaying, you only control a single character. You can only use a joke if you get the right response or situation. (D_V_C touched on this when he posted that sometimes he had a good joke, but he didn't get the response he needed from a fellow roleplayer to pull it off.) In a novel, you are in total control. You can set up the dialogue, you can set up the situation. So "I have read very funny humorous books" doesn't work as a defense.

    Then we have the argument already put forward, that visual humor doesn't always carry over into writing. Your point that there are different kinds of humor and that writing can still by funny is a valid one, but I want to mention this argument because it closes off some types of comedy and supports my other arguments both individually and as a whole.

    Now we come to the difficulties of running a game based around humor. The thing that keeps people engaged in a humor game is, well, the humor. If th/>
  3. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    In roleplaying, you only control a single character. You can only use a joke if you get the right response or situation. (D_V_C touched on this when he posted that sometimes he had a good joke, but he didn't get the response he needed from a fellow roleplayer to pull it off.) In a novel, you are in total control. You can set up the dialogue, you can set up the situation. So "I have read very funny humorous books" doesn't work as a defense.

    Dontlookatmethatway, I think most of your points are valid, but I don't agree with the one above. It's not necessarily true. You don't need your fellow RPers to create humour. To use the examples IH mentioned of the Discworld novels and the Hitchhiker "trilogy", some of the funniest stuff in these books comes from one character's thought processes or internal monologues. Like with Rincewind the wizard- it is the way he thinks, his attitude towards things and his general cowardliness that is funny, not just his interaction with other characters.

    However, if interaction with other characters is absolutely required, a comedy game could allow players to RP as NPCs to help the humour along, and to 'manufacture' humourous situations and dialogue.
  4. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Of course, this is assuming you can find people with a good sense of humor. Which is a difficult task. A majority of us aren't intentionally funny with any real degree of consistency. Of course, that all depends on your sense of humor, but if it's not shared by a lot of other people, you're not going to be funny to anyone else but yourself. Sure we may have moments where we blurt stuff out or do something humorous that gets laughs, but it's not something that's easy to repeat. And even the best have their moments when they can't get their act in gear.

    There's plenty of humor potential in the games, overly dramatic/incredibly stupid character actions to mock, offbeat oddities and quirks, satire and send-ups, witticisms and dry humor. And that's just the tip. True you get much from delivery, but text and word choice can convey an incredible amount of voice. Best way to do it is let it go as it will, since you have to let humor grow naturally. If you don't squash humor, you might get characters played by people who are actually pretty funny, even written out. It's been done before. But if you're betting the farm and making it the raison d'être of your game, you're probably going to wind up shirtless.
  5. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    I'd like to join this!
  6. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    This is one example that I think may work. I just made this up of the top of my head right now with limited time, but you'll get the idea:

    Caution! Caution!: This is by no means or deffinition a first post. I am simply speculating. Masterprenn is not responsible for any results and/or incidents caused by use of example...

    ***Star Wars: Lords of the Lounge***

    It is (enter the time frame you wish). The generic government of you choice is re-building after the Enter Name Here war, and a new fad has emerged in the galactic underground...

    Stand Up Comedy.

    It is your mission, oh brave comedic soldier, to lighten the hearts (and hopefully wallets) of your late-night audience. Perhaps you can even work your way up to The Big Time, the single biggest comedy club in the galaxy.

    But bewere oh fellow traveler, for there are many road blocks on your journey to the top. Shady agents, other comedians, late-night huslters, and many many more beings that frequent the venues you will be playing at, all trying their hardest to make sure to don't make it to the top. The road is long, and some fall.

    The choice is your's. Will you be a clean-shaved, niaeve, honest comedian, just trying to make a living for you self, and make some people laugh while your at it? Or will you be a husting, no good, shady low-life who is out to get as much many as possible, no matter how many backs you have to stab and people you have to climb on to get there?

    Chose wisely.

    Do you have what it takes to make it to The Big Time?


    Of course there would have to be a point system, rules, store, and a great GM, but I think it would work...

  7. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    This is the key problem in creating a humourous RPG: people seem to write as a character, not as a real person.
  8. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    Isn't the whole point of a RP to write as a character?
  9. dontlookatmethatway Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 3
    You make good points, Winged_Jedi. I find myself agreeing with you. But I still believe that a large part of humor comes from character interactions.

    I think I'm missing something here. Aren't real people characters? If you mean that people don't write realistic characters, that is a problem common to all RPGs. If that is the case, then I admit that I do not see how it is the key problem.
  10. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    What I mean is this: they write the way they think someone else wuld behave, not the way a real person acts. Jokes fall flat this way.
  11. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    Not necessarily. There can be some pretty amusing character traits if played correctly, such as various vices, phobias, habits, likes, confusions etc. And aren't those sort of charicatured jokes just as funny as jokes involving real people (if not funnier)?
  12. DarthSeti5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2001
    star 5
    One of the major issues that I see is that developed characters tend to display these traits more than more surface-oriented characters. I've never participated in a purely humorous RPG; however, it does seem (at least to me) that depth of character would often be sacrificed at the expense of some cheap devices in humorous RPG. I have found that the deeply developed characters of some RPGs tend to have some very funny moments because of their history and individual personalities. For instance, some of the funiest moments during my RPing experience has been in non-Humor-related RPGs (WOTG has many examples, as well as IBoP). This is not to condemn Humor-RPGs, I do think that given the right allignment of GMs, players, and characters humor can be the central theme of an RPG; however, I do think that the various "quirky" traits of some characters best emerge during the events of normal RPGs.

    ~ DS5
  13. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    This debate can go on forever.

    Also, I noticed a severe lack of Tyi-Maet Nefer in the RPF's.
  14. Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 5
    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v734/Imperial_Hammer/Prosperitythroughendeavor.jpg]

    ***Game Designers Guild News***
    Volume 1: Number 3

    ***Full Roster***

    Full Members
    - DarthSeti5
    - Winged_Jedi
    - YoungAngus
    - Penguinator-176
    - Dark-Enigma
    - BLemelisk
    - MASTERPRENN
    - SephyCloneNo15
    - darth_nemisis
    - Darth_Vaders_cousin
    - agap_afima
    - dontlookatmethatway
    - Despised1

    Partial Members - Put the GDG in your Sig or Bio!
    Jango10

    And Still Accepting Membership!!!

    ***Agenda***

    Now
    - General Genre Discussion: Humorous RPGs

    Next
    - Formative Genre Discussion: Humorous RPGs

    Later
    - Yearly Competition Number 1: *Topic to be Announced*
    - Gaming Mechanism Discussion: The Mathematics of Role Playing
    - Specific Game Discussion: *Accepting Volunteers*

    ***The Debate Continues***

    Thats the idea! :D

    As to the points made, I am inclined to agree with Wing's initial analysis, as well as everyones rhetoric about "pure humor" RPGs.

    First then, to make things clear, we shall draw a line and define some terms...

    Pure Humor RPG: A Role Playing Game focusing on humor as its sole purpose
    Light Humor RPG: A Role Playing Game dedicated to incorporating humor or a lightness of mood while pursuing standard RPing goals

    Now that this deliniation has been made, I am inclined to agree to outside of a style of game proposed by Prenn, pure humor RPGs cannot be made.... in the standard fashion.

    A way perhaps to get around this though is to RP together. If you are in contact with three or four other players in a game that focuses on humor, you may be able to achieve that unity of humorous purpose through outside communication.

    Now, Prenn's idea does capture my imagination. I think that style of game... competitive humorous posting... can work. Put the GM in a judgement role, structure it into competitions, run off my Podracer Engine.

    With that, it is highly likely that a pure humor RPG can be created...

    Thoughts? Comments?

    As to my idea, yeah.... I only make non-SW RPGs. Or at least, very very often. I agree that the SW Galaxy is much harder to work with. ESPECIALLY for humor RPGs.

    So, then what about light humor RPGs? How feasible are those?

    And when I mean light humor, I do mean a dedicated game that has humor incorportated within it. This actually was more along my original line of track for the debate.

    Personally, I think a wide variety of light humor RPGs can be made. The trick is to enfuse a traditional RPG with a humorous subtext. At its core, let it be just like any other game.... a plot, antagonist, etc. But on the top layer... the meat of the game.... let it be humorous.

    More thoughts? Keep it coming folks... we'll be lapping up the Discussion Thread in due time!

    -I_H

    *EDIT: For Despised/>/>/>
  15. Mikaboshi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2005
    star 6
    Don't forget me on that roster. :D
  16. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    The trick is to enfuse a traditional RPG with a humorous subtext

    Yeah, I agree. That's it exactly. A light humour game should be exactly like a normal game, just funnier. That is feasible, I think. Especially as we have a few players at the RPF who are naturally capable at that style of RPing anyway. In such a game, when the humour temporarily runs dry, you still have the core storyline to keep things moving. Might there be a lack of motivation from players, though, simply because the atmosphere is lighthearted and casual? I'm not sure.

    As for PRENN's idea, that could work well. The problem would again be judging though. If the GM has a different sense of humour to yours, then you can wave goodbye to any chance of progressing in the game. I do like the basic concept, though. There seem to be a lot of ideas around right now inspired by IH's Podracer engine, and I think that system works very well. It could suit a comedian-based game, but like I said, you'd need some way round the inevitable subjectivity.
  17. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Okay, I may have it...

    A humourous RPG can only exist as long as it takes itself seriously. A full fledged story is needed, not just a series of happenings that provide not-so-subtle locations for humour. The humour should not be something that you strive for, rather, it should come naturally in the appropriate situations.

    DNA's (RIP) works, for example, relied more on what happened naturally with the story and characters, instead of joke after joke. Even though he was making up the story as he went (in the radio versions of Hitchhiker's), it still progressed as one would expect it to.

    My point is this: a humourous RPG is merely a normal RPG with a casual, free-flowing style and feel.
  18. Jango10 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2002
    star 5
    I agree with Penguinator, the first and foremost thing you need is a good plot. I would think you could then open up the door for humour in your opening post by making it kind of lighthearted. You can only hope your players pick up on this and incorporate humour into their posts as well.
  19. Rayson Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 4
    I agree with the above statement. Just because an RPG is humourous doesn't mean it should withdraw from a storyline. The GM should ALWAYS have the plotline in mind as his game progresses. In my opinion, a humourous RPG should only be the same thing as any other game, except with certain aspects of hilarity. It doesn't necessarily have to be based on something funny, but merely contain funny aspects and occurences.

    For example, some of you may recall -Lord-Vader-'s RPG based on the "Railroadz". Something he and PoT took "seriously", but you put those two together you get a very entertaining read. Further proof that you can take a "serious" storyline, and with a certain level of stupidity create some hilarity and ..well, fun.


    I_H, I seem to notice a rejection of my name on your list of Guild Members ;)/>
  20. Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 5
    Oh Rayson?

    Well that will soon be fixed!

    Next Newsletter / Update to come hopefully early this week...

    Judging by the quiet here, seems the theoretical excerise of this genre is over...

    Therefore, unless mentioned, we will be moving on to making a game post-haste!

    Speak now on this subject before it heads into the open range, or forever hold your peace my friends... ;)

    -I_H
  21. Sith-I-5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 5
    dont wrote: Let's get this straight: books do not equal roleplaying. This is because in books, the author controls all the characters and what they say. This makes it easy to set up jokes. In roleplaying, you only control a single character. You can only use a joke if you get the right response or situation. (D_V_C touched on this when he posted that sometimes he had a good joke, but he didn't get the response he needed from a fellow roleplayer to pull it off.)

    Someone else may have said this, but I just skipped to the end so I could butt in.

    This is why I prefer to play with two characters partnered up; thus, when I think of a good joke, I can bounce it off between them, instead of relying on another player who doesn't know what I'm taking about, and hasn't had the script sent to him.

    And I_H wrote: The trick is to enfuse a traditional RPG with a humorous subtext. At its core, let it be just like any other game.... a plot, antagonist, etc. But on the top layer... the meat of the game.... let it be humorous.

    i agree wholeheartedly with this. I don't know how I would do in an rpg where it was dictated I had to be humourous.
  22. Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 5
    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v734/Imperial_Hammer/Prosperitythroughendeavor.jpg]

    ***Game Designers Guild News***
    Volume 1: Number 4

    ***Full Roster***

    Full Members
    - DarthSeti5
    - Winged_Jedi
    - YoungAngus
    - Penguinator-176
    - Dark-Enigma
    - BLemelisk
    - MASTERPRENN
    - SephyCloneNo15
    - darth_nemisis
    - Darth_Vaders_cousin
    - agap_afima
    - dontlookatmethatway
    - Despised1
    - Rayson
    - Jango10

    And Still Accepting Membership!!!

    ***Agenda***

    Now
    - Formative Genre Discussion: Humorous RPGs

    Next
    - Yearly Competition Number 1: *Topic to be Announced*

    Later
    - Gaming Mechanism Discussion: The Mathematics of Role Playing
    - Specific Game Discussion: *Accepting Volunteers*
    - General Genre Discussion: Romance RPGs

    ***Moving On***

    Alright then, as we move merrily along, lets go to something more substantive!

    Taking the issues we've learned, lets together, as a group, make a humorous RPG.

    This will be interesting, not only on making the RPG, but doing it together as a group...

    Group game making could be the next big thing! We'll have to wait and see... ;)

    So, since we know its all about making a light hearted twist on a traditional gamework, so we'll be sure to work with that...

    We know our Genre, Humor...

    And I will be setting this out as a Non-SW game to give everyone some ground to propose...

    The floor is open to general game subject ideas...

    -I_H/>/>/>
  23. Mikaboshi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2005
    star 6
    I had a thought. There has to my knowledge been no serious attempt at a good old fashion Indiana Jones RPG, and there is plenty of good humor to be had using that basic plot format, plus since there are many artifacts in the world there would also be many options as to how to keep the story moving forward.

    It probably isn't the most humorous of options, but it would probably be easier to played and GM with the humor aspect in mind and add an interesting twist to the standard adventure RPGs we see around here.
  24. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    If we are making a humourous RPG, then it must be in a world without spaceships. Something more medieval and/or Renaissance-y.
  25. Mikaboshi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2005
    star 6
    Maybe a RPG with a "Monty Python: Search for the Holy Grail" theme is in order. :D
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