A Whole New Kind of Contest

edited April 2006 in Story Games
It's time, I think, for gamers and game designers to laugh at gaming.

If you've laughed before, brilliant. You get extra credit. But I have to have seen it for it to count.

There's a contest, the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest, where entrants are asked to submit the opening line to the worst novel never written. This contest will be a cousin. What do you think is bad? What do you think is so bad it's funny? What do you think is so bad it's comically awesome?

Your goal is to provide, in this thread, a summary, maybe 100-200 words, of an as-yet unwritten game that's unbelievably, hilariously, awesomely bad. Include whichever things about the game you think we'd need to know, like what you do, what's in the game, how conflict is resolved, etc.. Imagine the gaming equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space, or Springtime for Hitler, etc.

The trickiest part is this: for it to qualify, we, or at least some of us, need to believe that someone out there just might earnestly attempt to make such a game. Be subtle. Less is more.

Entries that are game supplements, like, say, GURPS: Six Feet Under, detailing embalming skills with various charts of violent death modifiers, cost to maintain funeral homes, the structural integrity of a hearse, and so on, get half credit.

Oh, and try not to be mean spirited about it.


  • Airstream - Based on Thomas Pynchons "Gravity's Rainbow", Airstream is an Immersionist game of parapsycologists in the occupied zone just after the second world war. The game is actually a system for regressing the players so they can relive their past lives in the alternate universe where the events happened.

    Character creation is based on description of the character the player is channeling. those nine descriptors are converted to numbers using standard Gematria techniques used in "The Bible Code" the nine numbers are then placed randomly in a three by three box called the Nones which is understood to represent the effects that whe four elements of nature play on the character.

    Conflict resolution - When the characters are brought into conflict, The regression coach will ask a series of guided questions to determin the elemental aspect of the conflict. The players Nones will be turned to represent the forces of nature and the Players position in the conflict will be determined by whether they are a Larry(someone who knows nothing about the situation), a Moe( someone who is using the situation for personal gain) or a Curley (someone who is using the situation to fuck with the forces of the universe) to determine the target number (again by applying Gametria to the numbers) If the player Rolls over the number they get to narrate the outcome of the situation, if they roll lower than the number they have to take a shot to relax themselves while the Regression Coach guides them back to the correct story.
  • Brilliant! Hilarious! Hooray!
  • the really sad thing is that this game resides on my hard drive. All I did was look back at the game and write it out (though I did fix a few typos while I was rereading).
  • edited April 2006
    Adventurers and Abbatoirs

    Prepare yourself for the greatest experience in the history of fantasy role-playing! Adventures and Abbatoirs gives the power to YOU, the player, to control the fantastic fate of your fabled fighters! The unique DUAL-CLASS system allows you maximum customization over your character class with over 100 possible character combinations. 17 CHARACTER VALUES give maximum focus on the character's abilities, and the combat system is the most realistic ever seen before, while maintaining operatic-style flexibility. Can you face the challenges set before you by the ADVENTURE MASTER? The only way to find out is to order your copy of ADVENTURERS AND ABBATOIRS today!

    DUAL-CLASS SYSTEM -- you pick two classes, one of which is an Description class and the other of which is a Role class. Your Description class advance at even levels, your Role class at odd levels.
    Description Classes: Mighty, Barbaric, Arcane, Laser, Fey, Dark, Mysterious, Noble, Veteran, Lost.
    Role Classes: Warrior, Wizard, Healer, Thief, Assassin, Knight, Demonologist, Sage, Prince, Princess, and Elder.

    CHARACTER VALUES -- An interlocking system of your character's physical, mental, spiritual, and moral capabilities. Lots of derived attributes and dividing things by 7.



    P.S. Man, to I want to play a Laser Princess.
  • edited April 2006
    Thor: Dude, that's not sad. It's all the more awesome.

    I'll try and submit one when I finish my Milton homework.

    (edited to clarify I was responding to Thor, not Ben)
  • Hey Ben, the '100' might be the best part for me. It's like "even more classes than Talislanta!"

    What's kinda funny is that a version of Danger Patrol had a kinda cool take on dual-concept characters.

    It's pretty interesting how subtle changes can make a difference.
  • Yeah, the funny thing is that I kinda want to write this now. I can't stop thinking about class names and abilities. Man... just what I need. Another game to work on.

  • Laser Princess.

  • Okay, here's one before I go out to breakfast:


    In this game you play parasites trying to gain control over the small intestine of an animal. The awesome totally innovative new concept is that the players get to create the animal using a special world generator. In the advanced setting you play in a human, where you have to watch out for extra dangers like pepto bismol and various antibiotics.

    The book includes dozens of microbial species, over eleven character classes, plenty of perks and flaws to round out your character, and optional rules for psionics, plus pages and pages of cool equipment.

    Resolution is handled by rolling 3d10, taking the best two, and then comparing that result to a multi-page skill/attribute matrix that determines not just whether you hit, but also how much damage you do.
  • A Fey Demonologist with intestinal Parasites. W00T!!!!!
  • Ben stole my idea. Basically I was going to meditate on the IMAGINE system PR pages again and produce something similar. Ben beat me to the punch. I'll have to rethink.

  • edited April 2006
    Matt, that actually reminds me of a game proposal I wrote for Skotos. Never mailed it in though. It went like this:

    Möbius: Life on the Strip

    Möbius is a 2-dimenional world about 5-inches wide and hundreds of meters long, connected at the ends with a half twist. On the world of Möbius live a group of colonists from Flatland, who have the appearance and physical abilities of Tetris shapes of various colors. Möbius is an interactive puzzle world. The colonists have discovered that, by interacting with their environment (pushing things, sticking parts of themselves into openings, arranging themselves or other objects in specific ways, etc.), they can alter the world of Möbius in a complex, transformative way. The loop becomes larger or smaller, objects and architecture shift, doorways open and close. Solving one puzzle only creates several more. And, the half twist in the loop means that every situation can be viewed from two different sides. If you don't understand a puzzle, perhaps it makes more sense inverted. And, most exciting of all, when the entire puzzle of Möbius has been completed, who knows what will happen then?

    Horribly pretentious and silly, perhaps. But I still think it sounds kinda fun. Like Tetris: the MMORG.
  • Forge: The indie RPG about writing indie RPGs


    Why play games about fighting dragons, when you could play games about writing games about fighting dragons?
    In The Forge: the indie RPG about writing indie RPGs, you play a Designer. Your mission is to produce the best game, and reach endgame with the most Community Respect.


    Throw strength and constitution out the window! With The Forge, your character has all new and completely unique attributes:
    -Game Knowledge
    -Source Material Knowledge
    -Spare Time
    -Writing Skill

    You'll use all six attributes in order to garner Community Respect in the ever-changing and exciting world of The Forge.


    Winning the game means gaining the most Community Respect - a complicated task when you consider all the evils plaguing The Forge.

    Navigate such thrilling and chilling obstacles as:
    -Ron Edward closing threads
    -Dumb Question gnomes
    -Sidetrack Conversation gnomes
    -Idea Stealing gnomes

    You will gain experience (in the exciting world of The Forge, called "Post count") as you successfully overcome these nussances. Can you get the Post count, fight back the challenges and obstacles, and get a popular game that will generate the Actual Play reports?

    Ron Edwards

    The gamemaster (in the world of The Forge, known as Ron Edwards) always has a trick up his sleeve.
    One player will play the role of Ron Edwards. His job is an exciting and fun one: represent the world of The Forge that exists outside the player characters.

    He is responsible for writing the Forge Theory (setting), for which the game is played on.
  • Matt, I would play that.

    Not without some hesitation, but I'd do it.

  • edited April 2006

    V.A.P.I.D. is a role-playing game like no other. It is the goal of VAPID Games to astound and thrill those who seek a role-playing game based on contemporary and pop-cultural accuracy, realism, and detail.

    V.A.P.I.D is a game of celebrity culture. The gamemaster creates a "Brat Pack" or "Entourage" or "Posse" of young, beautiful stars and starlets, and the players engage in challenging encounters with these mercurially moody glitterati.

    In V.A.P.I.D., players have the ability to play as many different classes of people. Well, the lower classes anyway. Players play such character classes as:

    Busboys, Parking Attendants, Waitstaff, Court Clerks, Sheriff's Deputies, Drug Counselors, Nightclub Bouncers, Nonfamous Recently Dumped Childhood Friends, Offspring With Unfortunate Names And Probably Not Age Appropriate Access To Cocaine.

    In their celebrity survival adventure, they'll rely on such Abilities as:

    "Dodge vomit"
    "Resist Open Hand Slap"
    "Accomidate Impossible Request"
    "Negotiate Tabloid Bribe Fees"
    "Hide Bedroom Video Camera"
    "Dispose of Dead Hooker"
    "Convincingly Compliment Person With No Discernable Talent"

    And Many More!

    Can players weather high speed collisions with the out of control Hummer of pop-hyperfame with their karmic Civic Hybrids on the Santa Monica Freeway of the imagination?

    Find out in V.A.P.I.D.!
  • Ha, I think Ben is mocking me and my latest game a bit, there. No interlocking or derived attributes, but I do have a magic system and plans for a race/class system that combine ten elements of column A and ten of column B for 100 possible combos.

    Here's an idea for a so-bad-it's-funny RPG I've been toying with for a while: "Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth": The Roleplaying Game. The concept is based on this song:


    Which, in turn, is based on a dream someone named John Salt had:

    It involved a parlour-game, which I should think would need quite a large and well-furnished parlour for the game to work successfully.

    The game is called "Pumpkin, Mrs. Farnsworth". It needs numerous players of all sexes to play it, and somebody called Mrs. Farnsworth, who carries a plate of cakes and distributes them among the party.

    The object of the game is for pairs of players to secretly have sex with each other without being noticed, and then shout "pumpkin!" before Mrs. Farnsworth can offer them a cake.

    In the RPG, this would be toned down a bit: you can have any degree of romantic interaction, from a kiss to full-out wokka chikka. The whole thing is played out as a farce or comedy of matters: the setting is a social event at a country manor, with scenes occuring in different rooms with different combos of characters. Each player secretly marks down one other character's name for each of the following:

    • romantic action with (specify the action: steal a kiss, full makeout, get naked, wokka chikka)
    • rejection of
    • rejected by
    • unwanted advances from
    • interruption with

    Players not involved in the scene introduce interruptions from servants or other characters to block fulfillment of secret goals, if they suspect the scene is a goal scene. The risk is that one of the goals is to get interrupted while with a specific character, plus the scene might be a red herring. When a player gets all five goals, they shout "Pumpkin, Mrs Farnsworth!" and everyone reveals what goals they checked off.

  • "White Space"

    White Space is the ultimate storytelling game. The stories you can tell are limited only by your imagination! As players, you start with pure White Space. Where will your game be set? Which characters will you play? It's all up to you.

    Using White Space's revolutionary Open Rules System (ORS), you can tell your story, your way. Will you use cards or dice? What attributes will you use? Will there be characters at all? Deciding the rules is part of the game.

    In White Space, players bid tokens to control the story. Or maybe they don't. By imposing no restrictions or rules, your imagination is free to run where it will.

    White Space. The game where there's only one rule: and you decide what that is. Maybe. If you want to.

    (Yes, I know it's a bit wanky, but I liked it.)
  • And Advanced White space where you get to decide if it will be a game or a novel or a fishwrap.
  • Hey, John --

    Not targetted at you at all. I just thought it was a cool idea.
  • edited April 2006

    The sea, cold hard and blue, is unforgiving and ready to nail you to the cross and stab you like a Roman soldier stabbing Christ. Each morning before dawn, Papa rises to fish this cold hard and blue sea. His boat is an old boat painted white the same color as his beard, and the motor take four pulls to start before it sputters and kicks, and you accompany him to sea. You follow him out of respect for the man he was, and when the fishing was good, you'd bring in a Marlin or two every day, but Papa's luck has run out and the fishing has left him, and today as you follow him from his shack on the beach it is raining.

    In Hemingway, the rpg, you take the role of a child following an old salty Papa. It's your job to keep him safe and restore his luck. This game has special rules for:

    • Bull Fights
    • Fishing
    • That Little Death
    • Boxing
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Race Car Driving

    You are rewarded for keeping Papa: Alive and Salty

    The resolution system requires a copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls, and five six sided dice.

  • This game was a good game. This game is the Faulknerian Idiot Man-Child RPG. You roll the dice. Dice you got from Cash. Cash your brother made the dice. He said the dice were good, but he said he won't make you no more after you left them in rain.

    The dice are a fish.

    1. You play Vardaman.
    2. The GM is Cash.
    3. If you are good, if you behave yourself, if you do. You might get more dice.
    4. Otherwise you don't get no more dice.
    5. You say, don't hit me please. Don't hit.

    The Lord giveth. The Lord giveth the Faulknerian Idiot Man-Child RPG.

    An early movie tie-in game, MEGAFORCE sought to capitalize of the limited success of the eponymous film. MEGAFORCE focused on an elite U.S. military strike force that fought evil in missile-firing custom dune buggies dropped from airplanes.

    The MEGAFORCE rules set was generally unremarkable, but had an interesting approach to character generation - players allocated points to determine how many dice they rolled for their individual stats (Manhood, Dexterity, Driving, Shooting, and Wisdom). The player characters were pre-determined, and represented the protagonists in the film. The player with the highest Manhood played Ace Hunter (Barry Botswick's character), the player with the highest Driving stat played Taylor, and the highest Dexterity played Dallas. The only exception to this rule (and possibly a reason MEGAFORCE never caught fire among gamers) was the role of Zara (played on screen by Persis Khambatta) which was assigned to the character rolling the lowest Manhood. This surprisingly elegant mechanic ensured that the characters of Ace Hunter and Zara would always appear in play (presumably so that romantic sparks could fly).
  • Brendan:

    You forgot about endgame, when you roll to determine that Darl sets fire to the barn.
  • edited April 2006
    "You forgot about endgame, when you roll to determine that Darl sets fire to the barn announces that he's leaving the Forge for good this time."
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