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Super Squirrel

"Us" Campaign

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We are going to be experimenting with a role-playing game. We are each creating copies of ourselves as 25+25 characters. We then are given a start of 1 XP to represent any superhero power we want. Each game regardless of challange is worth 5 XP.

 

I'm GMing this and it should prove to be interesting. Anyone ever do something like this before?

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Not with HERO. But I did play in a Vampire game where we played our selves turned into vampires.(this campaign didn't last long as we didn't behave like the GM thought we should as vampires:D)

 

And in the original version of V & V the default character creation was to use yourself as the base character and then roll on the Powers chart.

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DON'T

 

I have done this kind of scenario three times in the deep dark early days of gaming. I can give you one sound piece of advice.

 

DON'T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

This little exercise in roleplaying becomes such a potential blastpoint of psychological problems that I would tell you not to do this.

 

1) There is the ever present arguments about who has what stats. That can be fairly damaging emotionally, especially if you have a wide diversity of stats in your group. We had a person with 16s pretty much down the board until we go to INT and EGO) and one person who had 8s pretty much down the board except for the 18 INT. The smart player realized he had lower stats than most, but it never was rubbed in his face. Yes it is honest, but it can lead to some damm bitter feelings, especially when people say I have a COM of 14 and PRE 18 and the rest of the group says (in unison) "No you don't.

 

2) Dying in game. I had people break down in tears when They died (or when their friends died). Death or game related trauma can be projected upon themselves. it can be pretty damaging. It really makes them feel like a failure (or makes them hate the GM almost pathologically).

 

3) The worst is when the character succeeds whereas the player is not that successful in his life. The player will really get into the game. Ego gratification taken to the extreme. He will push to play this game in exclusion of all other things. Even when everyone else has realized that this game is a bad thing, he will still be asking (begging and eventually pleading) to play this game. He will resentful and hateful when you say you are not going to run the game for him as a solo campaign or as a group campaign.

 

In short. Don't let your gaming group blow up.

 

I know what you are saying, "That will never happen to us".

 

That was what we thought after we did it the first time with our first group. We did it again in another group and the results were actually worse. Unable to disuade the third group, someone else ran it and the predictable results occured. You never know how it will come out.

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We tried several variants on this long ago, with the one I played in having the players being abducted by aliens. The idea was that we would gain control of a spacecraft and zoom off to adventures in outer space. I must admit I wouldn't do it again, but as far as I know no-one was psychologically scarred (or at least it was hard to tell...)

 

We did have the "I have 18 PRE" sequence, though. The rest of the group went BWAHAHAHA and then settled on 8. The player was offended, but got over it in ... oh, a couple of months.

 

For some reason, though such campaigns, just don't seem to have long life expectancy. Our games tended to run for months at least, normally years. These ones all died after only a few weeks.

 

As a side note, I got some morbid pleasure out of watching the response of one player after "he" had died, when his erstwhile buddies casually rolled his corpse into a ditch and then started arguing over who got what off the body....

 

cheers, Mark

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I had a friend play himself in a RECON game. He led a group of soldiers to find me and a new weapon I had retrieved from the enemy.

 

As for dying in the game, I intentionally killed myself off just as a surprise. He wasn't expecting that. Disturbing? Maybe, but it made for a good story.

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please do not do this

 

Many years ago a group of my friends did a "us" game. It was very distrubing to all involved. Roleplaying is a strong tool in psychology and it can be misused (usually by accident). I was the GM in that game and I had to end it.

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I really feel that the only way to run "Us" games is to use what I refer to as the Clairol Option; "Clairol - it's you, only better."

 

By this, I mean you let people create themselves, but with the additional bonuses they feel that they "should" have; Higher Pre, an obscene Seduction skill (no pun intended). My own conceit for such games is to give myself a high Dex (16+), acrobatics, breakfall, sleight of hand, and skill with thrown weapons; only my hand-eye coordination is even close to that good, and I occasionally suffer what I refer to as "twitches", but it's my fantasy, right?

 

I think this allows players to get what they feel they deserve in a character creation, while maintaining a common level of "We're all BSing here, so don't bag on anyone else, 'kay?"

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Ive never done this and never played in such a game, but I did join up with a long standing VtM group for a while who had characters that were thinly veiled ego-stroked versions of themselves. Of course I didnt know these people and noone came right out and made it clear that their PCs were wet dream versions of themselves. I didnt figure that out until several weeks later -- at first I just thought they were bad roleplayers.

 

My character on the other hand was a hard boiled gangster that had recently woken up "from a 50 year dirt nap" -- ie a Protean-enabled torpor in somebody's lawn. The other players werent really role-playing, they were just hanging out and rolling dice, saying whatever popped into their head (bcs hey -- the characters were _really_ them, so whatever they said must be in character right?).

 

They also revolved GMs, and everyone would continue to play their PC while GMing -- strangely each GM-PC in turn seemed more powerful than when their player wasnt also the GM.

 

The whole set up had several endemic effects on the game. Bcs nobody wanted to see their alter ego killed, every scenario was scripted in the PCs favor. Nothing was dangerous or challenging, and the PCs could get away with pretty much anything. The group also had several ridiculously powered up and terribly conventient magical items, like enchanted greatswords akin to something Elric might weild and a device that teleported the group to a idyllic pocket dimension complete with an ever-flowing fountain of blood. The twinkyness was not restrained to their kit either -- one of the Vamps had a Mystic Ability Merit -- defined as the ability to generate fire from his hands, which had the side effect of his hair being a column of fire like Firestorm -- whats that? Vamps are afraid of fire? News to these guys :rolleyes:

 

I got tired of their powergaming non-roleplaying, but it was that or play D-Uhn-D with some Monty Hauling hackmasters that had difficulty chaining 3 syllables together with any hope of successful communication -- real mono-brow hygenicly challenged types.

 

So, my turn to GM came around...I took the opportunity to institute several of the rules that the party had conveniently forgotten....you know, minor rules like Rotschrek, Frenzy, Willpower rolls, etc? And oh yeah, they were playing Sabbat vamps (primarily bcs the Masquerade so interferes with that brand of mongo-powergaming) -- but didnt understand what the Viniculum was and had never even calculated it for their characters. They were not happy when I rectified that discrepency -- afterall, by its nature it forced some of their decision making and required actual roleplaying to use. I also introduced their 5th and 6th Generation multi-disciplined bloated tick powermongered characters to Mages...using the Mage The Ascension rules rather than the lame capsule version in the back of the VtM book which the group had used before to generate speedbumps to their acquisition of "kewl magickal stuff". Introduce the Technocracy and a few Hit Marks and a highly modified Iterator later several of their characters were destroyed or had had extremely close brushes with destruction.

 

This session was wrapped up and then followed by another player I had joined this group with (Wily Quixote). He decided to follow up on some of the more ridiculous events that had occured since we started playing (like on the 1st night we joined the group and they dragged us along on a full frontal assault on the San Diego City Hall -- cameras what? "Oh, we all have Obfuscate on" -- Uh, you do know that Obfuscate is just a Mental Invisibility right? It doesnt work on Cameras or other recording devices? "Huh? Whatever" :rolleyes: So Wily Q has a special squad of the FBI come around for us using the Hunter books. After comments from the powergamers regaling their defeat of a pack of Garou in HtH combat revealed that they were again using the capsule rules in the back of VtM, he added in a pack of Shadow Lords as well coming after them for a different reason. Heretofore, the powergamers viewed non-Vampires as cardboard distractions, easily dominated and/or destroyed in pointless pre-ordained scuffles.

 

Wily Q came out of the box with this nasty internecine cross-plot that had the whole group befuddled and frustrated -- they couldnt power thru it and they couldnt figure it out bcs they werent used to using their brains. I was running around doing all the legwork, and my goal was to get things to a point where I could slip out of the picture and leave the dummys to their inevitable doom.

 

The group kind of got the feeling that their characters were actually in some kind of danger, although they were all too clueless to really understand what the danger might have been. Big suprise, they all opted to stop playing VtM before the final chapter of the FBI/Shadow Lord story. They didnt want their mini me's to die. ;)

 

So, my brush with this style of gaming indicates that it leads to a kind of incestuous, in-bred millieu with artificial challenges and a tendency to EGO-game rather than roleplay.

 

The principal skill used when assuming a role is projecting yourself into another character and interacting as you imagine they would interact, rather than how YOU would interact. If you just play yourself, youre really not "roleplaying" -- youre indulging in a power fantasy of yourself.

 

IMO YMMV, etc.

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Wow.

I don't want to come off as smug, but man, you guys play with some severely whacked out individuals.

 

We played ourselves as V&V Characters (like yer supposed to) a few times, had a ball. We got to submit our "wet dream" characteristics and the GM adjusted accordingly. No one went into catatonia because his Charisma was lowered.

 

Did the same thing in D&D and Hero it was fun. But yeah we did play Us only better... We had no choice, none of us had superpowers naturally...:D

 

But I guess if some of your players are borderline psychotics it might not be the plan for you...

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Originally posted by Enforcer84

But I guess if some of your players are borderline psychotics it might not be the plan for you...

 

It can also mean they get heavily into their roleplaying experience. I almost always have a more detached view when I roleplay, but I've seen some people just get a little too into their characters.

You got to know where that line is, and for some if they play someone based on themselves, they might not have a clue where that line is.

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Originally posted by Killer Shrike

So, my turn to GM came around...I took the opportunity to institute several of the rules that the party had conveniently forgotten....

 

Killer Shrike, remind me to buy you and Wily Quixote drinks if we ever meet. This capsule description sounds like most every WoD player I've had to misfortune to try to game with. You guys did well in spanking their overblown yet fragile egos.

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I ran a Vampire game where everyone started out as themselves - and stayed that way. It was hilarious. One of the guys started out in the insane asylum because his wife was convinced his belief in Vampires was the result of too much gaming and the others had to break him out (dear God, what a circus THAT was).

 

They were on the run from the Vampires and ended up calling me (but in game) "because I'd know what to do!" Glad to know they think I'm a psychotic vampire hunter. I ended up calling the player who had been committed's wife and telling her he'd escaped (and now the others were in on the delusion) because people who believe in vampires really are nuts.

 

She called the cops because she was "really worried about him." They managed to get from Portland to Seattle, with the vampires (and now cops) on their tail and found me - proving there were vampires. At this point the players insisted the "real me" would open up a can of whoop-ass and execute an A-Team Hanibal-esque plan.... So we did.

 

We took the Master Vampires stash and moved to the bahamas when it was all over.

 

It was an amusing 2 or 3 sessions.

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Originally posted by Enforcer84

Wow.

I don't want to come off as smug, but man, you guys play with some severely whacked out individuals.

 

Actually Enforcer, I have to admit I was the whacked out individual. My best friend was expecting to recue me (in the game), only to see footage of enemy soldiers amputating my fingers one at a time when they were questioning me. I got already gotten one arm blown off by a blast from a Pig (M-60). Eventually I was killed with a knife thrust to the throat. My friend's surprise was priceless.

 

God I love being a twisted individual.

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Originally posted by Captain Obvious

Killer Shrike, remind me to buy you and Wily Quixote drinks if we ever meet. This capsule description sounds like most every WoD player I've had to misfortune to try to game with. You guys did well in spanking their overblown yet fragile egos.

Ill take a coffee. WIly Q likes Jagermeister. Just ask him ;)

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Originally posted by Killer Shrike

Ill take a coffee. WIly Q likes Jagermeister. Just ask him ;)

 

Wily should try a "Dead Nazi"

 

Rumpleminz, Jagermeister, and Goldschlager...

 

As for 'us' games. I'd never really tried it. Maybe because my best friend in High School (a 'core member' of our gaming group), was one of those guys who seemed to get just little TOO into it. The line was blurry with that one.

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Sounds like of these guys take it too seriously. Some therapy needed? But I've (and my friends) have created characters that have basically had our basic personality you might say but we dont go crying for weeks because our character died. I myself got a little "out of kilter" when I lost a character, though it was more because I "lost" than actually lost my character. I've always been a bit comptetitive no matter what I am doing. Just my nature (you should see the chess games my dad and uncle used to have, LOL). After a couple of minutes I was actually laughing over the irony. Now though I just create characters that "any similarity in personality with me is purely coincidence". In fact most of the time almost nothing like me. I play to have fun. Once I started to learn the "how" of role-playing, it just became more fun to have characters different from me.

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