Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Dauntless

Cartoon genre?

Recommended Posts

I don't know how or why this popped in my head, but has anyone ever played a cartoon series with the Hero system?

 

For some strange reason a vision of playing Dudley Do Right versus Snidely Whiplash came popping into my head. Then I started thinking about the Looney Tunes characters and some of the other MGM and WB characters. I for one would love to play those two mice that terrorize Claude the cat.

 

Obviously using Hero for anime or other action oriented cartoons like GI Joe would be a good fit. But I was wondering if Hero would be overkill for something like Looney Tunes characters? How about Disney shows like Tailspin or The Rescue Rangers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, someone's obviously thought of doing it at least. The 4th Ed Hero Rulesbook had a multi-genre picture on the back with a cartoon dog among the space marines, cowboys, wizards, etc. Champions in 3-D had a short writeup for Cartoon World.

 

I would never do such a thing, because I've found that in most cases, games that are meant to be funny are just overboard with the corniness. I'd have control over a cartoon Hero game that I built from the ground up, but I honestly don't think I could really do it without going corny. Or losing interest either, for that matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if a rules heavy system really favors the cartoon genre, which is pretty free wheeling, anything goes, and downright silly.

 

Toon.

 

I recommend Toon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it depends on what you want, Maybe the TOON game (I don't know if it's still around) would be better for Loony Tunes games. If you're looking for anime, HERO or Big Eyes Small Mouth would work better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hero works for those....

 

I would use it for any cartoon that did not require cartoon physics and tooniness. Tailspin is just a furry pulp adventure. Rescue Heros is an Agents level game. Any number of semi realistic cartoons, like HeMan, SilverHawks, ThunderCats, and the list continues, would be perfect Hero games.

 

Most of the WB and MGM cartoons with explosions and smashed head, they are toony and needs a game system like Toons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't get Looney Tunes adventures for role playing. The Silly Cartoons usually don't have too many team elements to them. They usually don't really have a plot, more like an "occurrence." There is no real definable goal. It seems that Bugs, for example, just tears into some poor character until they lose their sanity or resolve. How do you get 5 people around a table for that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Toon, the sample plots were pretty elaborate. I suppose, even more involved than most cartoon shorts. I can recall one about a haunted house and another about being in the toon olympics.

 

I don't know about playing a whole cartoony game, but you could use hero to simulate cartoony things for other genres. Like a super hero that had cartoon like powers or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've played in and run many Cartoon Hero games. My first experience to heroic-level Hero was a long-running GI Joe campaign.

 

Since then, I've written up and run a Scooby Doo game, a big brawl featuring Warner Brothers toons versus Disney toons, and other cartoon-related games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While going over the top physics-wise is certainly an option, there are viable ways to run this type of thing (what I call Saturday Morning Hero) in a game.

 

Two examples of team dynamics in a toon world include USAcres (a companion piece to the old Garfield cartoon; I don't know whether it came from a strip or not) and the Mighty Heroes. Both have a certain amount of "cartoon physics" (one episode of USAcres, in fact, was a treatise on cartoon physics), and both involve members of a group working together for a common goal. Even the Warners of Animaniacs fame were a classic team effort, especially when they deemed someone their "special friend."

 

Also, as mentioned above, one need not go over the top with cartoon physics. Mighty Heroes, Hong Kong Phooey, Scooby-Doo, Wacky Races, and many other programs only used bits of cartoon physics.

 

And some of my examples above show that, while blending standard Saturday morning fare is quite legitimate, it's not necessary. USAcres and Wacky Races are both really good examples of standard cartoon fare that would work really well in a normal RPG environment (assuming, of course, that the players could keep interest).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even in the off the wall Cartoon type shows, there was still something of a chase in virtually everyone. Obviously you couldn't kill anyone in cartoons, but there was still some element of chance (even Bugs got beat by the Gremlins).

 

So while I think more action oriented cartoons like Gargoyles, Gi Joe, The Visionaries, Jackie Chan's Adventures, or other similar cartoon styles would easily extrapolate to the Hero system, I think it would be possible at least to use the Hero system for cartoony series as well.

 

The trick would be explaining how no one dies or takes lethal damage as I'm sure Wile E. Coyote would hate to have to take lethal damage from falling all the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Cartoon genre?

 

Originally posted by Dauntless

I don't know how or why this popped in my head, but has anyone ever played a cartoon series with the Hero system?

 

For some strange reason a vision of playing Dudley Do Right versus Snidely Whiplash came popping into my head. Then I started thinking about the Looney Tunes characters and some of the other MGM and WB characters. I for one would love to play those two mice that terrorize Claude the cat.

 

Obviously using Hero for anime or other action oriented cartoons like GI Joe would be a good fit. But I was wondering if Hero would be overkill for something like Looney Tunes characters? How about Disney shows like Tailspin or The Rescue Rangers?

 

Adventurer's Club #27 had an article entitled "Funny Animal Champions" by Chris Cloutier and Greg Lloyd.

 

The damage rules were that all combat is non-fatal and BODY Recovers at the same rate as STUN.

1 or 2 STUN Character notices something.

1/2 STUN Hey, that hurts!

Stunned Character stiffens and falls over like a board.

Unconscious Birdies and stars circle head until character recovers.

1 or 2 BODY Swollen thumb, tail on fire, fire-blackened face.

x1.5 BODY Head flattened, face punched-in, character tied in knots.

x1.75 BODY Character loses head...literally, hair, feathers, or limbs removed.

x2 BODY Character is turned into a pile of ashes, squashed flat, or blown up.

 

Characters mentioned include:

The Harebrainer of Justice (The Blue Bunny Bonker)

Squeeker

Obsimian

Jaguar (a cartoon jaguar who turns into a ferocious alley cat)

Quantlamb

Soliterrier

Duckfender

Dr. Duckstroyer

Mechamouse

 

 

The mice were Hubie and Bertie, by the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by tkdguy

I guess it depends on what you want, Maybe the TOON game (I don't know if it's still around) would be better for Loony Tunes games. If you're looking for anime, HERO or Big Eyes Small Mouth would work better.

 

I guess I consider anime to be distinct from cartoons. When I think cartoons I think Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Animaniacs, The Warner Bros Cartoons (Bugs, Daffy, Road Runner), and that sort of thing.

 

Things like GI Joe are also in cartoon format, but they're more like animated comic books than cartoons to me. For GI Joe, R Star Blazers, Robotech, and the like hero would be fine, but those fit into other genres (sci-fi, military) and not the "cartoon genre".

 

When I think cartoon genre I think rules light over rules heavy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good way to simulate cartoon physics may be to have a package that every character must buy with odd powers like flight with the same " as the characters running and a -2 limitation of only when the character doesn't realize he's not on the ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah...Toon is your best bet.

 

The biggest problem with role-playing cartoons has been stated -- in your Looney Tunes and your Tom & Jerry cartoons, there's not so much a plot as there is a premise: Bugs and Daffy fight with Elmer over what hunting season it is, Jerry's Uncle Pecos comes over, etc. This leads (invariably) to a series of loosely-connected scenes of mayhem and chaos.

 

And they're funny for many reasons, but the key one is this: CONTROL. Yes, cartoons are silly and goofy and seemingly all over the place. There's an illusion of wackiness, of free-form zaniness, of loss of control.

 

The truth, however, is that those cartoons -and all comedy, really- depend on TIMING, and timing means control. Knowing when the anvil falls, when the guitar string breaks, when the dog wakes up. Dying, it is said, is easy; comedy is hard.

 

How many bad comedians are there? Okay, now how many good ones? Now, how many of those good comedians work well together? And howe many work well spontaneously, without rehearsal?

 

If you can get 5 to 6 gamers who can improvise together, hit every timing beat and excercise great and amazing control in improv situations, get the hell away from the table and get an agent.

 

Cartoon writers, animators and directors hash out each cartoon during production. They time out every joke, they map out every beat. It's magic when it just happens, but more often than not, it's craft.

 

 

 

I'm not saying you shouldn't do it. But I am reminding you of what needs to be overcome in order to do a good, successful, emulatory cartoon game, and of why there are so few of those around, in theory and practice both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dr. Rotwang-

Funny you have Justice Inc., NPC as your tagline. Speaking of comedic players and impeccable timing, the most hilarious game I ever played was a Justice Inc game at a convention with a player who created a character called Magico the Magician. Basically he was 3 parts con-man, one part sleight of hand with the grace of Rowan Atkinson and the mouth of Eddie Murphy.

 

He had the whole group cracking up with his antics and trying to rob people or con/persuade/manipulate them out of something. He always had just the right crack to say at just the right time, or would do something incredibly bizarre right out of the blue just to confuse people.

 

So you're right, doing a Cartoony series campaign would be very difficult, and I'd only attempt with very good roleplayers. As for the issue of control, if the GM controls the "Elmer" type NPC's, it could be fun for the players. I could also see someone playing a "Daffy" role (the straight man) and another player playing the "Bugs" role...and as long as they both realized it was non-competitive, I think they could definitely play it off each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Dr Rotwang!

If you can get 5 to 6 gamers who can improvise together, hit every timing beat and excercise great and amazing control in improv situations, get the hell away from the table and get an agent.

Cartoon writers, animators and directors hash out each cartoon during production. They time out every joke, they map out every beat. It's magic when it just happens, but more often than not, it's craft.

Things are actually a little simpler than that.

 

Y'see, pretty much the same process as what you describe is experienced when making a science-fiction TV series, a superhero comic book, an action-adventure movie, or even a Broadway musical. Every detail is carefully planned to make sure each part seamlessly contributes to the whole.

 

However, the process for an RPG is considerably different. It's more like a "reality" show than any of the above -- yet plenty of funny stuff happens on those "reality" shows (I'm a big fan of The Amazing Race and The Mole).

 

With movies, TV, and the like, the writers and director have to deal with an audience of millions. With an RPG, the audience consists mostly of the people sitting around the table, so the only real requirement is that everyone "gets" the genre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by BobGreenwade

With movies, TV, and the like, the writers and director have to deal with an audience of millions. With an RPG, the audience consists mostly of the people sitting around the table, so the only real requirement is that everyone "gets" the genre.

Well, I wrote a big, long reply to this, timed out, and lost it before it could get posted.

 

If that ain't funny, what is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Agent X

I don't get Looney Tunes adventures for role playing. The Silly Cartoons usually don't have too many team elements to them. They usually don't really have a plot, more like an "occurrence." There is no real definable goal. It seems that Bugs, for example, just tears into some poor character until they lose their sanity or resolve. How do you get 5 people around a table for that?

 

 

That sounds suspiciously like what happens to me in EarthDawn.......

 

:(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Dr Rotwang!

If you can get 5 to 6 gamers who can improvise together, hit every timing beat and excercise great and amazing control in improv situations, get the hell away from the table and get an agent.

 

Not only that. 90% of all gamer humor is in-jokes and Monty Python quotes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Armitage

And puns. Don't forget puns.

And puns are, of course, a major staple of Saturday Morning humor.

 

So are in-jokes, taken in the broader sense (meaning references to popular culture, rather than personal in-jokes).

 

Throw in way-over-the-top slapstick and you have the three basic elements of toon humor. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I guess no one would be interested in my Twilight 2000 based rules set for simulating the Captain Caveman milieu?

 

(heh, used "milieu" in a gratuitous manner, serious roleplayer credibility established now beyond any doubt)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Armitage

And puns. Don't forget puns.

 

Right, 90% of all gamer humor is in-jokes, Mony Python quotes and puns.

 

And slapstick.

 

90% of all gamer humor is in-jokes, Mony Python quotes, puns and slapstick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...