Games with Crazy Hijinx

edited July 2012 in Story Games
The inestimable sliska, whom I know from my sad years of degredation as one of the few liberals in Colorado Springs, has mentioned her search for a game that lends itself well to wacky hijinx, particularly those of the non-lethal variety. Can anyone help with suggestions about games that escalate, not into violence and death, but into slapstick and comic chaos?

A few have been mentioned, including InSpectres (which I think is the best of the lot) and I think there are wonderful comic applications for Ghost/Echo, if you specify "slapstick" instead of "danger." - You also might want to re-work the background.

A game that eventually resolves this madcap tension into a positive (i.e. comic as opposed to tragic) resolution would also be appreciated!


  • Ack! An evil, future Eppy has come back in time and doubled my post!
  • Fiasco works for this if you are intentional, and sometimes if you aren't. I played a session yesterday that devolved into savage church league bowling and horrifying bouts of fried chicken entrepreneurship.
  • Since this is actually a split from another thread:
    Rafu, thanks, I'm really looking for something GMless if possible, it's not just knowing how to run the game but the mechanics of GMless that I prefer. Just to clarify, when I said mission, I didn't mean something like Oceans Eleven as much as I just meant that the group has a mission to accomplish, it might be rescue someone, or find the treasure, or whatever working together. In comparing this to Fiasco, most of the activity in the game is characters going after their individual or small group goals and working against each other. So good point about cooperative games with missions usually having a GM vs GMless games tend to have players with more individual goals kind of working against each other. I'm not sure there is something out there like I describe but that's why I am looking around for it.
  • All thanks for the suggestions but so far I haven't found what I am looking for, I like toon a lot but it has a GM and I'm not really looking for the game to turn into that cartoonish, just be sort of like the Disney movies from the 70's/80's.

    Epidiah I will need to check out your time travel game, if for no other reason than it has time travel. I've rarely been allowed to bring time travel into a game, except by Arpie who opened this thread for me. Once a Con GM allowed me to bring time travel in as my super hero skill, but the play was still kind of nixed by a fellow player and friend who happened to be an physicist in real life. In recent history we not only had time travel but multiple images of ourselves running around in an IOU game, we also had a reason to not fear the paradox effect of interacting with ourselves. So that was a rare treat, although it was a difficult for all of us to keep straight which image of each character knew what over a 3 episode game, that spanned a couple of months.
  • Jason_Morningstar I can't tell you how much I love Fiasco and we play it all the time! We did a play test recently to see if the Muppets fan created play set would turn out kid friendly enough that I could present it for an event. I don't know if my group is so used to Fiasco but even with the Muppet play set, the soft Tilt and a super soft Aftermath (learning experience) that Arpie wrote, the game was still more than I'd offer for teenagers to play at a public event. Still the game was as fun and funny as always and Fiasco is the game I keep using as a benchmark.
  • Since other designers have suggested their games, I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't suggest Coming of Age. It's GMless, has setting sheets much like Fiasco's playsets, and gives a happy, upbeat finale. I've facilitated it at conventions even with preteens.

    I figure it might be what you need. And it wouldn't be hard to convert a fiasco playset into a coming of age setting sheet (or vice versa). Enjoy!

  • edited July 2012
    wyrmwood, thanks I will definitely check this out, it looks promising.
  • FUBAR was never really intended to be a gonzo hijinx game...but more than half of the games I've played have headed in that direction (...and the general release is a free product released under creative commons).
  • Maid RPG I think fits the bill. "Combat" is basically any opposed roll, and the loser takes Stress points. Take more Stress than your Spirit rating, and you have a Stress Explosion where you keep role-playing, but you have to do whatever activity you rolled for your Stress Explosion at character creation (violence, shopping, crying, prayer, etc.) for a number of real-time minutes equal to the Stress points you've taken. Even if you don't care for the maid theme, it's an idea well worth stealing. :3 The use of random event tables is also one of the more inspired things in it. I very rarely manage to design a game without at least a little bit of Maid RPG influence.

    Teenagers From Outer Space basically works like Toon except it's called "Bonk."

    I've been working on an Apocalypse World hack called Dragon World for "90s comedy fantasy anime" (a la Slayers and Dragon Half), and it uses a binary "falling down" concept, though I think it needs more work.
  • edited July 2012
    For GM-less hijinx, you must check out Panty Explosion Perfect. Whenever the dice are rolled, it's the player's rival or best friend that describe the result. (OK, the game technically has a GM called the supervisor, but the rules specifically state that the super can play as well since most of the 'GM' work is done by the other players at the table.)

    If school girl anime is not your thing, it's very easy to convert these rules to other settings.
    Jake's charming setting examples; Harry Potter, WarHammer 40K, Naruto, X-Men, and Star Wars.

    Oh, an actual play series I was in... Porcelain Llama Theater: Panty Explosion Perfect

    Uh, yeah, I do like the game. ^_^
  • Neko, I think your Dragon World has some awesome ideas. The highest compliment? I'm swiping some of them for my own hack! (with credit given, of course). I love the roll +bloody-minded.
  • slliska,
    Have you looked at Remember Tomorrow? Admittedly, it would require the player to ad the madcap, but the mechanics don't force any tragedy like Fiasco does and there is no GM in this system.
    Also, Ensemble fits this bill pretty well:
    It has not been updated in years, but it is a GMLess game in the style of PTA and works pretty good to follow the player's moods.
    I have other suggestions that might work, let me know and we can get you rolling in no time!
    Dave M
  • John Wick's Yesterday's Tomorrow is good for hijinx. You spend 'peril' to roll dice, but the only way to get 'peril' is to place yourself in peril.
  • edited July 2012
    Everyone thanks for all the suggestions, I'm still trying to check many of them out. A friend has a game store event at the end of the month and so I'm looking to help him out at little.
  • How is everyone not mentioning Keep It Sunny?
  • edited July 2012
    Speaking of which, I'm putting the final touches on my Adventure Time hack for KIS. When it's done and prettied up, I'll be sure to mention it here!

    The system so far seems like a startlingly good fit.
  • Awesome! I've never heard of Adventure Time, so I'd love to be your guinea pig if I can find some folks to play it. I'll cry if it isn't on cards though. Also, darn you, Joe, for not making cardbacks!
  • edited July 2012
    To give you a taste, here's the character card for finn:
    • Take a coin when you cause new problems by trying to do what's right.
    • Cash in three coins to save the day using blunt tactics and inappropriate violence.
    • Don't forget to ask: How would a bookdumb twelve year old male approach this issue?
  • Mathmatical! I would LOVE to see an Adventure Time game.
  • I'll suggest Jenn Steen's Project Ninja Panda Taco, which is on Kickstarter even as we speak (!

    NPT is a game about evil masterminds enacting their three-step plans for world domination, aided by plucky minions and opposed by their nemeses (who are really just other masterminds, and are jealous). It's a game of zany hijinx and unlikely plans coming to fruition. Highly recommended.
  • I've heard a friend's podcast of the interview with the designer of Project Ninja Panda Taco, it sounded interesting. So many games, not enough time, thanks for the suggestion.
  • edited July 2012
    In RE: Keep It Sunny/Crazy Hijinx: The Gang Tests the Emergency Response System.
  • edited July 2012
    Since other designers have suggested their games...
    Link to current draft here:

    See especially the AP reports scattered through the above thread. SFBK was almost designed to be the answer to your question . I know it's my own game but I really do think it's just what you're looking for. And we still haven't had enough playtests yet. Two things though: in one of your earlier posts you mentioned kids playing it. Is that one of the conditions? If so no problem: although the game was designed with adult gamers in mind you could shift it to a teenage setting, like a High School, where the Dean is replaced by the head teacher. And GMlessness: well, it is GMful, but the GM is really no more trhan a facilitator, and the system looks complex but really isn't, and I'd be happy to walk you through it.

  • edited July 2012
    I have two forums of where I am looking for games and they are extremes. The main one is a family game store, games should be PG at most and able to include all ages old enough to game. On occasion (like this end of month Fairy Tale and Fantasy event) I'm looking for something on the lower age range of role playing, rather than the usual age 12 or 14 and up. The other forum is just our home game group, we are all adults and probably horrible people as nothing really shocks us and few things make us uncomfortable, but we have some general preferences on genres (no military, no D&D, etc, games tend to be about paranormal adventure or like some kind of a TV program, Fiasco is something we play a lot ). I'm mostly looking for one shots for both, as even our home groups hadn't had time to play a continuous story arc in awhile, and also looking for GMless story games for both forums. Thanks for the suggestions, I will check them out.
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