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comment by Devac
Devac  ·  968 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: When humour games aren't funny

    Reddit, I'm thinking of funny games I want to write. Can you give me examples and advice on RPG products that have inspired fun funny times?


OK…? As a general tip: when making boilerplate text to paste en mass make something like !!!__PLACEHOLDER__!!! to easily see if you need to change something while pasting ;).

That aside and going more into the meat of your post, I don't like stuff made with a purpose of being humorous. I do like systems that are open to make humour as an emergent possibility. For example: Orkhammer. Warhammer 40k can be surprisingly serious and in-depth, despite its superficial '80s hair metal awesome outlook, telling about people at their lowest. But concept of Orkhammer simply takes it into the lighter tone. It starts with 'what if Orks could infiltrate Empire of Mankind and despite their cerebral deficiencies steer everything from the shadows?' and you end up with something so crazy that you can't help but laugh all the way from creating characters up to playing as this motley crew.

Paranoia is also really cool. It takes post-apocalyptic sheltered society under the rule of not-really-malevolent-but-mainly-because-it-does-not-get-evil AI and encourages humorous play and outcomes. It can be grim. It can be outright cerebral with a good GM. But in the end, it should be like a Catch 22 turned up to 11.

Games that are made solely with the purpose of making you laugh often come as that guy who hears a joke, smacks you over the shoulder, and yells the punchline into your ear after about an hour or two. That's hard to get in a natural manner and keep the fire burning.

Added later:

As far as inspiration goes, I don't have any. I am pretty convinced that it is if not impossible than at least highly improbable to design it with such intent and succeed. To give an example of the funniest "we all got headaches from laughing so hard" I had with my group came from a Shadowrun game "Renraku Arcology".

It's a grim and very eerie place, an arcology controlled by AI that can withstand nuclear war etc… that suddenly sealed itself. No communications, no signals from the inside or coming through from the outside aside of a few skilled hackers who made it mainly to setup an IRC server inside for bragging rights. Visuals in the book are creepy as hell. We were a squad of corporate military forces set there for reconnaissance after some engineers were trying to breach one access point for us to get inside. It sealed itself immediately after we went inside. No contact from the outside. Nothing.

We realised that we are in a clean corridor, but there was nothing that was supposed to indicate that there was any life inside. As in "this place was crawling with over 200k people and we can't detect even bacteria on the walls" clean. Lights are started to flicker, GM informed us that we hear something like a generator fluttering at the other end of the section.

All this tension, genuine fear and suspense was concluded with one of the players trying to play 'the funny guy' movie trope and said

    Maybe Renraku just skipped on the last electric bill? Such a dishonour! No wonder they made this elaborate cover-up!

Rest of the campaign, despite maintaining a lot of eerie tones and creep factor was suddenly a big joke. We were cautious, but the moment we lost it completely was when my friend tried to play as a bait/decoy so that we could go around. He went into the open and yelled:

    Seattle debt collection official, freeze! I have some nasty paperwork for you guys!

when exclaimed at something that looks like The Thing spliced with Event Horizon monstrosities was too much for us. Rest of the campaign was impossible to recover in terms of tone. We went all out as public officials here to deliver elec. bills to core AI.

6d6rpg  ·  966 days ago  ·  link  ·  

sigh. I was so bloody careful with the proof reading. Sorry.

Devac  ·  966 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hah, don't worry. It's a jab at the situation, not being full-on dicks about it ;). Truth be told, if I was a bit less awake when reading I would be almost 100% likely to completely miss that. Having said that, I can help with proof-reading. That's a genuine offer, like others I made. Since English is not my native language I might actually end-up being more meticulous on the job.

Anyway, do you have some questions? I never even know if you get anything from responses you gather from others. I know it takes time, but you rarely if ever leave follow-up questions. That's not a criticism, just a general 'survey' style question.

6d6rpg  ·  966 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's mostly because I don't have any questions to ask.

In this I would say it is possible to make a game where the intent is humour. It works best when the game is the straight man. It presents an unusual situation, plays it seriously and lets the players be the source of humour, based on extrapolation of ideas.

Devac  ·  965 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, we might come from different paths here. In my, admittedly short, experience with RPGs it's rather hard and to pull off would need both recognizable and relateable premise while making it capable of twisting reasonable input into absurd (but fitting the setting rules) consequence. Feels much less doable straight from the get-go and fairly possible as something emergent in the setting. Paranoia seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

But in the end, it's about what person in question finds as humorous. Probably the most subjective aspect of personality there could be all things considered. I was not intending to crush your spirit or discourage, but that was my feeling of the situation.

As of lack of questions etc: noted. Sorry, that was not about forcing you to respond but I do prefer dialogue over stating opinion to hang there. Could you give me some tips on making a good points for you to purchase and go on from something, or are you not interested? That's not a judgement, I'm just wondering if there's a way to enable it if you think that's a good idea from your end.

6d6rpg  ·  965 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm always interested in what others are saying in response to the posts. The best way to get more responses is to ask questions of your own.

jadedog  ·  968 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    OK…? As a general tip: when making boilerplate text to paste en mass make something like !!!__PLACEHOLDER__!!! to easily see if you need to change something while pasting ;).

I agree with you. Unintentional humor is often the best. That gave me a chuckle.

This is like a 'send to all' email.