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Do you have silly adventures occasionally?


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As the title says, do you have silly adventures occasionally for the players? In the campaign I'm in, definitely yes. I'll tell you some of them:

 

- If you've seen the silly movie 'Inframan', the PC's had to fight various monster baddies eventually ending up fighting Princess Dragon Mom.  Yeah, that name is horrible.

- I doubt you've ever seen the very old cartoon series 'Clutch Cargo' where just the lips moved, I had Foxbat make a cartoon series with himself in that style. The heroes (and players) joked about that for a couple of weeks.

- If you've ever seen the old tacky series 'The Banana Splits', Foxbat had 4 supersuits make to look like the four, um, characters... and he was the fifth! "The Foxbat Splits!"

- The old Thundercats cartoon series was used: the heroes went to a different dimension and fought Mumm-Ra, defeating him with finality.

- He-Man's Skeletor has shown up a couple times; got trashed both times. The last time, I suddenly ended up having in midgame to beef up his PD, ED & Stun but it didn't make him last much longer; the heroes were just on a roll. :)

 

Those are just a few. I often use Foxbat for fun episodes because now & then, the players need something like it.

 

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I don't get excessively silly. But I definitely do "wacky".

 

I don't remember exactly how the power was written up but there was a pixie (mischievous elven spirit who wasn't familiar with Earth) going around town granting "wishes".

 

Basically it gave the person a few character points of a power plus the ability to give that same power/skill to someone else. I think it was based on 5 CP not counting the "give it to a friend" ability but it may have been 10.

 

So children were suddenly doubling their strength and getting even with bullies (resulting in parents and police getting involved). Some teenage boys became more "charismatic". Women were shooting their harassers with untraceable blasts. Some people became expert acrobats or safecrackers. People were flying around everywhere. Some people were making their own superhero/supervillain costumes and wearing them in public and either saving people or trying to commit crimes. Police were going frantic with calls. Some minor supervillains took advantage of the chaos.

 

Many people at first didn't know they could pass along their ability, which caused further confusion at first as random people were gifted with abilities without coming in contact with the pixie or knowing how they got the ability. 

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My favorite kind of "silly" adventure (which will come as no surprise to anyone who's heard of my Challenge of the Superfriends games or read Digital Hero #11) is the very earnest, cartoonishly-flavored game.  The only things about the adventures themselves that seem very silly are the villains' goals (which are typically ridiculously grandiose, like stealing the moon or something).  The characters in-world take it all quite seriously.

 

And that's the gag.  The characters are very earnest and sincere, but the players are laughing at the absurdity of it all. Playing it straight is much more fun, in my experience, than actually trying to be silly.  :) 

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This was one of Aaron Allston's better bits of advice in Strike Force: vary your adventures.  Mix up types of adventures: a long series with a few short ones, a serious one with some goofy ones, etc.  Some genres have so much flexibility you can really go nuts with varieties of adventures.  Champions, you can literally do anything and Fantasy is extremely broad as well.  A lot of it depends on the players because some will like that more than others, but it can be a nice break.

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1 hour ago, Tech said:

As the title says, do you have silly adventures occasionally for the players? In the campaign I'm in, definitely yes. I'll tell you some of them:

 

- If you've seen the silly movie 'Inframan', the PC's had to fight various monster baddies eventually ending up fighting Princess Dragon Mom.  Yeah, that name is horrible.

- If you've ever seen the old tacky series 'The Banana Splits', Foxbat had 4 supersuits make to look like the four, um, characters... and he was the fifth! "The Foxbat Splits!"

I so vaguely remember both of those, yes, though I always heard the villain's name in Inframan as "Dragomon."   

Did Foxbat and his 'splits get hazed by the Sour Grapes?  I'd have brought them in and had them becom the PCs' self-declared side-kicks and 0-pt DNPCs, maybe given them 5 STR martial arts with penetrating.

 

So, yes, obviously, I'm not shy about doing silly stuff for my games.  I've had 'batman villains' commiting goofy themed crimes, sly -or  painfully obvious- nerd culture references, goofy theme villain groups, the genre lends itself to comic relief at times.  

 

I've also gotten silly and gone dark, simultaneously, like when nanites took over the It's a Small World ride...

 

 

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Oh, yes. Sometimes even on purpose. Other times the players made it so through their choices. And sometimes it was just the dice.

 

There's a reason my Supermage playtest campaigns ended up dubbed "The Keystone Konjurors." One PC reducing Power cost with Actiovation and Side Effects is, hm, risky. Three of them doing so practically guarantees adventures going off the rails. Frequently. Well, it helped me develop my skills at improvisation. "Oops, I rolled another 18 on my Control Roll to EDM the group. Where did we end up this time?"

 

Dean Shomshak

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As much as I appreciate a few chuckles and the slapstick offered by Foxbat, CLOWN and other less serious characters in Champions, I am not the right GM for that kind of chicanery. So I generally don't do allot of goofy humor stuff. Lighter tone for my table is silver age/4 color style vs my typical bronze age or darker iron age super heroic stories.

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Like others have said, often circumstances and player reactions will make things funny and silly out of nowhere.  The hapless VIPER agent who keeps fumbling and rolling poorly, hitting themselves with flash grenades, etc.

 

I haven't ever used goofy villains from printed stuff (except the Gweenies) because I couldn't see any scenarios to use that wouldn't be a waste of time.  It would be useful if someone would come up with a Foxbat Adventures or something with lots of silly adventures to give players a challenge and adventures that feel like they're worth doing and not just messing around with a goofball.

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On 4/3/2021 at 9:18 PM, HeroGM said:

The comic that inspired Foxbat is going for auction. He realizes it's HIS comic...the one from when he was a kid and MUST get it back...

Oooo, I like this! Gotta do this episode.

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Foxbat has featured in a number of silly adventures in past Champions campaigns of mine.

 

There's the one where he decided to kidnap Adam West and Burt Ward at a mall opening, and had his group (the Foxbat Five) dress up as various villains from the 1960s Batman TV show.  He also had the Photonic Optiocal Waveform (POW) hologram generator to produce visual sound effects (POW!  BAM!  CRASH!) throughout the fight.  Before even running into the Foxbat Five, the heroes had decided to ALSO dress up as Batman foes, and managed to pick the exact same 5 characters.

 

There's also the time he broke into the Federal Reserve - not to rob it so much as to replace the money inside with bundles of FoxbatCash with his face, and the faces of his Foxbat Force teammates, replacing the presidents.  Another "update" included the replacement saying "In Foxbat We Trust".

 

Had a non-Foxbat adventure where a group of vampires were trying to steal something that would have made them very powerful.  For the minion vampires, I included one who had been an Elvis impersonator before getting bit.  I rewrote the lyrics to a number of Elvis songs - Don't Step on My Blood Red Shoes, Undead Hotel, etc. and sang one of on each of his Phases.  Keeping in mind this was a minion, not the big bad or even one of her major minions... but half the hero team ganged up on Vampire Elvis just to shut him up. 

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Yes, I've employed some wacky elements in Champions that are a shout-out to nostalgia and allows me to use the voices as a GM. Two immediately come to mind:

 

1) Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living from the ThunderCats cartoon, especially for lower-powered heroes like Batgirl and Booster Gold where a sarcophagus is unveiled at a museum and it opens to reveal Mumm-Ra.

 

2) Pinky Pie from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon as a supporting character to the players who serves as the "voice" of the GM as needed. If you read her profile on Death Battle featured on YouTube, her power level is surprisingly high. 🙃

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On 3/30/2021 at 11:27 AM, Tech said:

As the title says, do you have silly adventures occasionally for the players? In the campaign I'm in, definitely yes. I'll tell you some of them:

 

- If you've seen the silly movie 'Inframan', the PC's had to fight various monster baddies eventually ending up fighting Princess Dragon Mom.  Yeah, that name is horrible.

- I doubt you've ever seen the very old cartoon series 'Clutch Cargo' where just the lips moved, I had Foxbat make a cartoon series with himself in that style. The heroes (and players) joked about that for a couple of weeks.

- If you've ever seen the old tacky series 'The Banana Splits', Foxbat had 4 supersuits make to look like the four, um, characters... and he was the fifth! "The Foxbat Splits!"

- The old Thundercats cartoon series was used: the heroes went to a different dimension and fought Mumm-Ra, defeating him with finality.

- He-Man's Skeletor has shown up a couple times; got trashed both times. The last time, I suddenly ended up having in midgame to beef up his PD, ED & Stun but it didn't make him last much longer; the heroes were just on a roll. :)

 

Those are just a few. I often use Foxbat for fun episodes because now & then, the players need something like it.

 


   Yes I remember Clutch Cargo.....because I’m OLD!  Thanks for reminding me!    
    If you’re gonna steal from the Banana Splits you should do a series of episodes going through history like those Huck Finn live action/animated things or crash land the heroes on Danger Island.   “Uh-Oh, Chongo!”   (As a kid I actually ruined one of my mothers good steak knives cutting the handle section off of a whiffle ball bat and using some clothesline to make that staff weapon Morgan carried.)  

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18 hours ago, BoloOfEarth said:

Had a non-Foxbat adventure where a group of vampires were trying to steal something that would have made them very powerful.  For the minion vampires, I included one who had been an Elvis impersonator before getting bit.  I rewrote the lyrics to a number of Elvis songs - Don't Step on My Blood Red Shoes, Undead Hotel, etc. and sang one of on each of his Phases.  Keeping in mind this was a minion, not the big bad or even one of her major minions... but half the hero team ganged up on Vampire Elvis just to shut him up. 

 

I hope you had a version of, "Don't Be Cruel" ready.

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I don't do silly adventures, but my default villains, and thus the scenarios they appear in, are a bit silly.

 

The nefarious Doctor Nefarious is always up to something nefarious. It usually involves a McGuffin and/or a DNPC.

 

The Red Herring is the villain you run into by accident when you take a wrong turn while investigating the latest plot of Dr Nefarious.

 

Just yesterday, I invented the mysterious Rando the (haven't quite found a suitable synonym for Weird). He's that weird guy you run into and wish would go away. Except he has magic.

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9 hours ago, assault said:

I don't do silly adventures, but my default villains, and thus the scenarios they appear in, are a bit silly.

 

The nefarious Doctor Nefarious is always up to something nefarious. It usually involves a McGuffin and/or a DNPC.

 

The Red Herring is the villain you run into by accident when you take a wrong turn while investigating the latest plot of Dr Nefarious.

 

Just yesterday, I invented the mysterious Rando the (haven't quite found a suitable synonym for Weird). He's that weird guy you run into and wish would go away. Except he has magic.

 

Rando the Munificent

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I don't know if I would call it outright silly, but I did run a game that got really strange. The villain I created used illusion powers to pretend to be a pair of card-themed villains.

 

More clearly in the silly column, I ran a game where one of the players settled on "textile powers" gained from "a freak textile mill accident." The whole tone of the campaign shifted to this sort of Silver Age parody crossed with Doom Patrol. One of the players made a brooding, intangible assassin with a Russian accent, which seemed somehow even more hilarious in context.

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50 minutes ago, archer said:

 

Rando the Munificent

Rando Calrissian?

 

10 hours ago, assault said:

Just yesterday, I invented the mysterious Rando the (haven't quite found a suitable synonym for Weird). He's that weird guy you run into and wish would go away. Except he has magic.

Weird in the archaic sense might just work.  Or Wyrd, if you like.

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I've learned the hard way that you need to use discretion if you decide to do something silly in a campaign, especially if your humor differs from your players'. You may think something is funny, but the players won't see it that way and may even become annoyed with you for adding that element.

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My all-time favorite home-brew Foxbat Adventure was when he stole a time-machine in an elaborate scheme to make the Star Wars Prequels better.  He actually succeeded & The PCs just decided to let it slide.  In my ongoing Champions campaign everyone acknowledges the Prequels as superior to the original movies and Lucas Studios has bought Disney.  Episodes 7-9 are still fairly controversial, and Foxbat is scheming....

Black Harlequin once launched a scheme to steal all the hot toys of the Christmas Season & Foxbat was the one who turned him in to the PCs for being a creepy jerk.


As I'm running a Teen Hero game I'm also seriously contemplating doing "FoxBat Beyond", where the old Foxbat retires after developing Tennis Elbow and Shin Splints & a few months later the PCs have to deal with the "new" Foxbat, a teenager who spends half his time arguing with the voice in his earpiece.

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