Tone

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PencilBoy99
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Tone

Post by PencilBoy99 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:16 am

The impression I get (somewhere) is that the game is geared to a comic tone. Am I right? If so, is there any way to not play it that way?

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finarvyn
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Re: Tone

Post by finarvyn » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:38 am

I'm not sure where you got that idea, other than the fact that some wacky things can sometimes happen via random dice rolls. Otherwise, the game is designed to be serious.

If you look at the source material (see threads in the Appendix N section for titles) you will see that most of the literature is dark and sinister rather than light and fluffy. A few (John Bellairs "Face in the Frost" and Jack Vance "Dying Earth", to name a couple) tend to be somewhat comedic, but I would say those are the exception rather than the rule.

Another guide is to peek at the DCC modules (number 67+). You'll find dark artwork and nasty monsters, not wacky slapstick situations.

This doesn't mean that you can't run a comedy campaign, only that the game isn't designed to be funny. (Compare this to Toon or Paranoia, where comedy is written into the rulebook.)

Bottom line is to make the game whatever you like -- serious or comedic, gritty or fluffy, realistic or cinematic -- and have fun with it. 8)
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PencilBoy99
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Re: Tone

Post by PencilBoy99 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:42 am

I actually thought what you said (thanks!). I ordered everything and the game is PERFECT. It comes off as a very cool Elric of Melnibone + Lamentations of the Flame Princess vibe! Someone HAS FINALLY MADE THE EXACT GAME I WANT.

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Crimsontree
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Re: Tone

Post by Crimsontree » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:09 pm

There are quite a few funny, cartoony illustrations in the rulebook. A few of my players initially thought it was a comical game.

PencilBoy99
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Re: Tone

Post by PencilBoy99 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:22 pm

I got the impression from (1) the comics and (2) the spellburn podcast. I like comic bits in my game, but I like to have serious parts too.

I'd also like someone to do for Zocchi dice what they did for Fate Dice - there's a gagillion places to get those darn things now. I demand Zocchi dice at every store!

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Re: Tone

Post by jozxyqk » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:50 pm

I would agree that it's hard to escape some inherently comic flavor in DCC RPG (which I like, myself). The randomness and corruption in the magic system in particular lends itself to hilarity. When a wizard gets elephant ears or five testicles or whatever, or has a mercurial magic that inevitably calls forth a swarm of chinchillas or something when he casts a spell -- guaranteed laughs. Also the funnel tends to be goofy -- a bunch of nobodies, usually named "Hobo Baggins" and "Elfish Costello" go into a dungeon and get obliterated, attempting to use hens and quill pens and things to fight monsters. I doubt there are too many people who play the funnel "straight." (How rough would it be if you actually took that bloodbath seriously? Geez. Everyone would be all tore up all the time).

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Skars
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Re: Tone

Post by Skars » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:29 pm

PencilBoy99 wrote:I got the impression from (1) the comics and (2) the spellburn podcast. I like comic bits in my game, but I like to have serious parts too.

I'd also like someone to do for Zocchi dice what they did for Fate Dice - there's a gagillion places to get those darn things now. I demand Zocchi dice at every store!
...if Evil Hat can do it, so can you! My new motto for the small publisher out there. Evil Hat puts out a high quality product at a reasonable price.

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finarvyn
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Re: Tone

Post by finarvyn » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:46 am

I like comedy in my campaign, but not in my rules set.

For example, when I play D&D or C&C or DCC or whatever, my players often find themselves in wacky situations. Sometimes of their making, sometimes of mine. That's okay, and we can have a great time together.

When I read the Hackmaster rules (designed to be a parody of AD&D) I found that the humor was too forced for my liking. I want my rules to be straightforward so that I can understand them, and don't really need hillarity as I'm reading the rules. Not just HM, but I had the same objection to Murphy's World and Paranoia and probably others I can't think of at the moment.

A possible exception to this is the DCC supplement Transylvanian Adventures. Scott's style of prose is laid back and often contains humor and is the kind of thing I might write if I was writing a RPG. While clearly not slapstick style comedy, and certainly not a lighthearted subject, TA has a fun writing style. That (to me) is very different from reading Paranoia, which is supposed to be a funny rulebook but somehow isn't.

Just my two coppers.
Marv / Finarvyn
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marshal kt

Re: Tone

Post by marshal kt » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:57 am

The random character generation, especially the items, a cow, a duck, a cart; initailly cause the idea of it being a comedy. Also the way zero levels can die by something simple.
At zero level, it's humerous. At 1st level, especially for casters, it gets serious.

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Skars
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Re: Tone

Post by Skars » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:00 am

finarvyn wrote:I like comedy in my campaign, but not in my rules set.

For example, when I play D&D or C&C or DCC or whatever, my players often find themselves in wacky situations. Sometimes of their making, sometimes of mine. That's okay, and we can have a great time together.

When I read the Hackmaster rules (designed to be a parody of AD&D) I found that the humor was too forced for my liking. I want my rules to be straightforward so that I can understand them, and don't really need hillarity as I'm reading the rules. Not just HM, but I had the same objection to Murphy's World and Paranoia and probably others I can't think of at the moment.

A possible exception to this is the DCC supplement Transylvanian Adventures. Scott's style of prose is laid back and often contains humor and is the kind of thing I might write if I was writing a RPG. While clearly not slapstick style comedy, and certainly not a lighthearted subject, TA has a fun writing style. That (to me) is very different from reading Paranoia, which is supposed to be a funny rulebook but somehow isn't.

Just my two coppers.
May I ask which version of Paranoia you are referring to? I got the exact same impression of Hackmaster but what's with all the hate for Paranoia? The first two editions of the game are great and share some of the same artists as our beloved DCC RPG. They are deep in the darkly humorous post-apocalyptic theme of Alpha Complex sure but the rules themselves don't reek of parody- you have a rather crunchy d100 skill based system for 1ed and probably the first true d20 game with 2ed as it used a d20 for everything and came out prior to 3ed D&D ;) You could easily strip away the dark humor theme reminiscent of feature films of the same genre at the time (A boy and his dog, brazil, Robocop, the running man, etc.) and go for a more serious style (ala THX-1138, Gattaca or Logan's Run) without any major modifications to the rules. Of all the rpgs out there that have tried to mix in a dark sense of humor it seems like Paranoia is just about the only one to have done it successfully IMO.

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Re: Tone

Post by smathis » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:16 pm

finarvyn wrote:A possible exception to this is the DCC supplement Transylvanian Adventures. Scott's style of prose is laid back and often contains humor and is the kind of thing I might write if I was writing a RPG. While clearly not slapstick style comedy, and certainly not a lighthearted subject, TA has a fun writing style. That (to me) is very different from reading Paranoia, which is supposed to be a funny rulebook but somehow isn't.

Just my two coppers.
Thanks, Marv. It's worth noting I've played/run gonzo games of DCC and TATG as well as very serious ones. It works fine either way.

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Re: Tone

Post by Skyscraper » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:46 pm

jozxyqk wrote:I would agree that it's hard to escape some inherently comic flavor in DCC RPG (which I like, myself). The randomness and corruption in the magic system in particular lends itself to hilarity. When a wizard gets elephant ears or five testicles or whatever, or has a mercurial magic that inevitably calls forth a swarm of chinchillas or something when he casts a spell -- guaranteed laughs. Also the funnel tends to be goofy -- a bunch of nobodies, usually named "Hobo Baggins" and "Elfish Costello" go into a dungeon and get obliterated, attempting to use hens and quill pens and things to fight monsters. I doubt there are too many people who play the funnel "straight." (How rough would it be if you actually took that bloodbath seriously? Geez. Everyone would be all tore up all the time).
I agree with this (and find it amusingly written to boot). Having a 100% serious game in DCC might be harder to achieve than with some other systems. So while the comedy is not written into the rules, it's hard to avoid it altogether. I'm fine with that, but if someone is looking for a humorless game, I doubt DCC is for him. Might as well accept it.
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Karaptis
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Re: Tone

Post by Karaptis » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:03 pm

Hackmaster got too goofy for me.

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Re: Tone

Post by IronWolf » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:10 am

PencilBoy99 wrote:I got the impression from (1) the comics and (2) the spellburn podcast. I like comic bits in my game, but I like to have serious parts too.
I am sort of surprised to see Spellburn mentioned. I wouldn't have thought we conveyed a comical nature to the game.

My long term game tends towards the dark side I think. The group is certain chaotic and dabbles in some pretty gray areas on occasion. Now my group talks outside the game like folks having a good time with the game which certainly leads to some laughs in retrospection.

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Karaptis
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Re: Tone

Post by Karaptis » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:24 am

Your group sounds like mine. :twisted:

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finarvyn
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Re: Tone

Post by finarvyn » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:05 pm

Skars wrote:
finarvyn wrote:I had the same objection to Murphy's World and Paranoia and probably others I can't think of at the moment.
May I ask which version of Paranoia you are referring to? I got the exact same impression of Hackmaster but what's with all the hate for Paranoia?
I wouldn't say "hate" for Paranoia, because I've played in some great games of it over the years. I just have found that some of the stuff in the rulebook just seemed to slapstick for my liking.

I can't back this up, it's just an impression. I used to own both the 1E and 2E boxed sets, along with the hardback Paranoia XP, and ended up getting rid of all three. So I don't have any examples handy.

My group just didn't enjoy playing it much. :oops: A shame, actually, because with the right GM and players Paranoia can be a fantastic RPG.
Marv / Finarvyn
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finarvyn
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Re: Tone

Post by finarvyn » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:09 pm

smathis wrote:
finarvyn wrote:A possible exception to this is the DCC supplement Transylvanian Adventures.
It's worth noting I've played/run gonzo games of DCC and TATG as well as very serious ones. It works fine either way.
It would be interesting to spy on your campaign. I'd like to see a session of "horror gone gonzo" in TATG. :lol:
Marv / Finarvyn
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, DCC Lankhmar trivia contest winner 2015; OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

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Re: Tone

Post by Ogrepuppy » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:23 pm

finarvyn wrote:That (to me) is very different from reading Paranoia, which is supposed to be a funny rulebook but somehow isn't.
Now, that's just downright un-American, commie. The Computer says so!

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Re: Tone

Post by smathis » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:05 am

finarvyn wrote:
smathis wrote:
finarvyn wrote:A possible exception to this is the DCC supplement Transylvanian Adventures.
It's worth noting I've played/run gonzo games of DCC and TATG as well as very serious ones. It works fine either way.
It would be interesting to spy on your campaign. I'd like to see a session of "horror gone gonzo" in TATG. :lol:
:D

It usually involves a group immersing themselves in the tropes of the 1970s vampire movie and just going full-bore with it. Think From Dusk Til Dawn.

What's interesting is that I've had the same group play with all the dials turned up to 11 one week and then come back a couple of weeks later and play a very atmospheric, creepy session. It seems to vary by what the group is interested in.

Which is one of the reasons I like DCC and (by extension) TATG. It doesn't force a group to be super-serious or to be silly. I tend not to like games that force me to play one style or the other all the time.

Sometimes I feel like a nut. Sometimes I don't.

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finarvyn
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Re: Tone

Post by finarvyn » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:23 am

Ogrepuppy wrote:
finarvyn wrote:That (to me) is very different from reading Paranoia, which is supposed to be a funny rulebook but somehow isn't.
Now, that's just downright un-American, commie. The Computer says so!
You seem to be pretty quick to judge, Citizen. What might you be hiding, I wonder? Perhaps the Alpha Complex will need to send some folks over to investigate you, too. :lol:
Marv / Finarvyn
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

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