Fanfic Adventures: The Mary Sue Addendum

edited July 2008 in Story Games
So I had this little idea:

Primetime Adventures is built on a foundation of televised entertainments, yeah?

What if we rebuilt it on a foundation of fanfic, instead?

I'm not sure there's anything more to the idea. But maybe it's enough.



  • I think you might accurately simulate much of FanFic if you allowed players to give themselves Fan Mail.
  • Tony, that's badfic. On the other hand, my personal opinion on this topic is that roughly 1/4 of all gaming essentially is fanficcing.

    You can almost definitely get fic-like results from PTA if you start with established characters and franchise. I worry that it'll go off the rails fairly quickly, though - it's amazing how much TV is actually not all that well motivated from an issues/conflict standpoint and just gets by on snappy dialog and shiny-shiny.
  • Well, snappy dialogue IS rather hard to do in a game. Writers often have to wrack their brains to get a conversation even going on paper and then actors and the director have to parse it, making it a chain of at least four or five people that a single line on a TV show has to filter through.

    On the other hand, in an RPG, even PtA, you can get by with humming and hawing your way through a scene where you're not quite sure what to do and then feel grateful for any decently delivered line you or a fellow player manages to drop. If there's not a truck stop between it and the last line someone delivered, so much the better!

    Why is this? Because no one is paying you to be entertaining, would be my guess. If someone is demanding you play a friendly RPG at the entertainment level of a professionally-produced TV show, you ought to think twice about playing with that turd. You're being underpaid.

    As far as fanficcing up a Prime Time Adventures Game: I agree with Mark W to some extent. I'd go so far as to say that 50% to 75% of all roleplaying is fanfic.
    If you really want to use Prime time Adventures for fanfic, just pick up another RPG with all the related stats for your favorite show and have the players "cast" themselves into the roles they want to play.

    Some variations:
    Spin off: players can only "cast" themselves as secondary or "throw-away" characters, people you've seen in one or two episodes (or that one guy who always plays the office clerk.)

    Worlds Collide: players can "cast" themselves from any TV show or movie they enjoy. The poor producer has to come up with a reason these two shows are mixing together (easier with modern procedurals, harder with space ship dramas.)

    Slash fic: you may want to look at Adam Dray's entry from the last (April 2008) Game Chef, "Sex Magic" for this one.
  • Urge to run Ranma 1/2 (only with real gender Issues explicitly dealt with), rising.
  • edited July 2008
    I think Marks got a point about alot of gaming already being fanficing. Which would make it nearly completely self referential.

    Take it one more step and rebuild prime time adventures on the foundation of primetime adventures! It's the awesome game about gamers playing an awesome game about gamers playing an awesome game!
  • Interesting comments, folks. This is starting to gel up in my mind a bit.

    I guess what I'm talking about here is a game that's related to PtA in the same way Hackmaster is related to D&D.

    A parody, in other words. An attempt to turn away from modeling a show that's so good it's great, and towards a show that's so terrible it's awesome.

    Tweaking the fanmail mechanics the way Tony has suggested seems like a good idea. Possibly something like a super-spotlight, where Mary Sue's stage presence is pumped up to 10 or some other ridiculous level, could also support it.

    It's still a little idea in my mind, but it's starting to grow a bit.

  • You might consider something like the letters column from With Great Power, too.
  • So... what you're trying to do is make fun of story gaming?

    It's still a little too new to have any real solid features to make fun of in any accurate way.

    "All story games are variations of pass the stick" is one I heard the other day. Try that one on for size.
  • Whatever Mary Sue wants to happen, just happens. No resolution is required.
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