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Kensen
2009-01-15, 05:25 PM
While killing time on tvtropes.org, I came up with an idea: to create a tongue-in-cheek & rules-light RPG based on TV tropes. Characters, NPCs, settings, locations, bad guys, equipment and even storylines are based on tropes found on the site.

For characters, tropes are much like feats and flaws. You choose five tropes that are the main strengths of the character and two tropes that are his/her weaknesses. For example:

Strengths
Ace Pilot
Revolvers Are Just Better
Invulnerable Knuckles
I Can Fight
Dynamic Entry

Weaknesses
Can't Hold His Liquor
Bad Dreams

Whenever a scene involves one of your strengths, you're more likely to win a fight or succeed at completing a task. The bonuses are cumulative. In your narrative, you have to roleplay your tropes to get the benefit. For example, if you make a Dynamic Entry when piloting an aircraft like an Ace, you get a huge bonus. Conversely, weaknesses give penalties.

To give your character some more flavor, you can choose up to three characterization tropes (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CharacterizationTropes). The characteristics cannot grant any mechanical benefits or drawbacks; such tropes are strengths and weaknesses.
Examples:
Angry Eyebrows
Bicep Polishing Gesture

Finally, you'll give the character a role (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Characters). For example: Knight in Shining Armor (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KnightInShiningArmor). The role is not a straitjacket, it just gives an idea of how other characters are likely to perceive the character and how you intend to roleplay him/her.

What do you think?

Samurai Jill
2009-01-15, 05:33 PM
To give your character some more flavor, you can choose up to three characterization tropes. The characteristics cannot grant any mechanical benefits or drawbacks...
Then don't have them. It's easy enough to assign some metagame resource to specifically reward role-play, you know.

Finally, you'll give the character a role. For example: Knight in Shining Armor. The role is not a straitjacket, it just gives an idea of how other characters are likely to perceive the character and how you intend to roleplay him/her.
Is there a mechanical benefit? If not, don't have it. Frankly, I don't see how roles can be meaningfully separated from strengths/characterisations, and I don't see the need for it.

Otherwise, it looks quite interesting. What kind of resolution mechanic did you have in mind? Something like Risus?

afroakuma
2009-01-15, 05:36 PM
I'd design a villain with Nightmare Fuel Unleaded as a strength. :smallbiggrin:

Thanatos 51-50
2009-01-15, 05:37 PM
This (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75973) was posted a while ago when we tried to do a TVTropes PbP, it fell flat on its face for a reason I can't recall. It may help.

Ascension
2009-01-15, 05:37 PM
I like the sound of the OP's system, characterization tropes included. Role, maybe not so much, but it'd be nice to have at least a couple of little characterization quirks as part of your sheet. As for resolution, I don't think this requires mechanics at all. It's a TV Tropes RPG, so there's pretty much no chance it's going to be serious... just run it freeform, with the character sheet simply serving as a loose guide to what the characters are best and worst at.

Innis Cabal
2009-01-15, 05:52 PM
So you mean...make a character like a regular character? Just using fancy joke titles....

How is this different then making a free form character? Its not. Thats probably why it didn't take, there is already a system for this. Its called your imagination.

Knaight
2009-01-15, 05:52 PM
This could work really really well with Wushu, which is free.

Samurai Jill
2009-01-15, 06:08 PM
This could work really really well with Wushu, which is free.
That does sound like a decent match.

Kensen
2009-01-15, 06:12 PM
Then don't have them. It's easy enough to assign some metagame resource to specifically reward role-play, you know.

Is there a mechanical benefit? If not, don't have it. Frankly, I don't see how roles can be meaningfully separated from strengths/characterisations, and I don't see the need for it.

Otherwise, it looks quite interesting. What kind of resolution mechanic did you have in mind? Something like Risus?

I was thinking of a die pool system, similar to Over the Edge. For example: You roll 2+x die, where x is the number of tropes applicable.

Interesting, the PbP thanatos5150 mentioned looks somewhat similar. I'll have a better look at it.

Knaight
2009-01-15, 06:21 PM
Wushu is a dice pool system, you count dice as successes if they roll your skill or under(so a 5 is really good, as all numbers except sixes count). The amount of dice you get depends on how elaborate your description is, which could change to how many tropes you invoke. So you might have "revolvers are just better" at 5. Saying "I a 'double barreled bad ass' with 'more dakka' while making 'pretty little headshots' would get you three dice. If you roll 1, 4, and 6 you get two successes.

Saint Nil
2009-01-15, 09:52 PM
It sounds interesting, you could cause the role to also give a bonus die if the role fits the action you are taking

Ex. KiSA with BodyGuard Crush is protecting his person, he could get a bonus from both of them.

Moose Fisher
2009-01-15, 10:10 PM
I also think Wushu (http://www.bayn.org/wushu/wushu-open.html) would be a great system to use. Try a test run before working on a separate system.

Some tropes can be skills to assign points to, while others can be a conditional modifier.

Example: Making a Dramatic Entry is one time only, granting an extra 2 dice (possibly going over the set limit?).

alchemyprime
2009-01-15, 10:36 PM
I prefer the RISUS (http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/risus.htm) system for this. Let's face it, I think they read TVTropes while making it...

Enlong
2009-01-16, 01:17 AM
I also think Wushu (http://www.bayn.org/wushu/wushu-open.html) would be a great system to use. Try a test run before working on a separate system.

Some tropes can be skills to assign points to, while others can be a conditional modifier.

Example: Making a Dramatic Entry is one time only, granting an extra 2 dice (possibly going over the set limit?).

Agh! Curse you! You've reminded me how awesome Wushu is and how much I want to play it.


Hey... anyone feel up to DMing a Wushu game? We can make it TVTropes-based...

To add to the discussion, I think Wushu is perfect for a TVTropes RPG. Just use various tropes as your Traits. (A Gadgeteer Genius with More Dakka and Powered Armor, with Why Did It Have To Be Snakes as their Weakness, for example)

Inyssius Tor
2009-01-16, 01:31 AM
Or Spirit of the Century, maybe? I dunno. Non-D&D systems are not my strong suit.

Kensen
2009-01-16, 05:31 AM
I'll have a look at both Wushu and Risus and probably I'll borrow a few ideas.

I don't like the idea of having skill ranks. Rather, the tropes are like feats: either you have it or you don't have it. Generally speaking, the tropes you choose give you two things: the ability to do something spectacular, and a bonus when taking such an action. For example, BFS, Dual Wielding and More Dakka allow you to wield ridiculously large swords, wield two melee weapons at the same time and use heavy automatic weapons, respectively, and you get to roll a bonus die when doing so.

Characterization tropes and character roles don't have a direct mechanical effect, but the GM may award story points (or plot points or action points, whatever you want to call them) when the players invoke the tropes in imaginative ways. The story points can be used, for example, to boost your rolls.

If there's enough interest, I'll DM a tv tropes game here on GitP.

Okizruin
2009-01-16, 06:55 AM
Would "We Do Not Know Each Other" be a weakness?

Kensen
2009-01-16, 09:08 AM
Would "We Do Not Know Each Other" be a weakness?

I'd say no. Weaknesses usually fall into one or more of the following categories:

Inability to act under certain circumstances
Vulnerability to a substance (e.g. Kryptonite Factor)
Mental disorder
Physical disability (but not anything Cursed With Awesome)
Irrational fear of something (e.g. Why Did It Have To Be Snakes)
Dependency/addiction (e.g. Anything That Moves)


Why did you ask? Are you already creating a character? :smallbiggrin:

Inyssius Tor
2009-01-16, 09:55 AM
I would totally play a D&D-flavored Spirit of the Century character with the aspects We Don't Actually Know Each Other and Talking Is A Free Action. Possibly also the aspect "Keeping Player And In-Character Knowledge Separate? What Craziness Is That?" Or "Minmaxer King."

(You invoke it: "Why, you do seem like such a sweet young man; of course you can be our treasurer." DM compels it: "Do you actually know he can turn into a dire Tyrannosaur? He looks a lot like a frail old wizard to you... :smallwink:")

(You invoke it: "--lots of gigantic intricate planning--"; DM compels it: --"Your plan to keep the villain monologuing works wonderfully. By all rights, it should be plenty of time for the Watch to arrive--but wait, isn't 'talking a free action'?"

(You invoke it: "Hey, look at that thing! Those are supposed to be incredibly rare, almost unique! --they're from Codex Diabolus IV. They hunt in packs of seven and are vulnerable to loud noises." DM compels it: --well, it turns out he homebrewed the monster. In your panic, you have no idea what you could possibly do to it.)

(You invoke it: "Die beneath the wrath of my Twin Empowered Dimensional Flash Frost Maximized Lesser Orb of Sound!" DM compels it: "Oh. Literacy? Yeah. I, uh, traded it for another +1 to hit. Oops.")

Hey, now I really want to do this. Maybe combine it with the Spirit of the Century Last War thing they had working over on RPGnet.

Zeta Kai
2009-01-16, 11:41 AM
Outrun the Fireball (Ex): at Xth level, once per day, you can make a move action as a swift action; you cannot move more than your speed with this action, you cannot use this action to move more than 2 your speed, & you cannot use this action while running (moving at 4 your speed) or while performing a full-round action; this speed can be increased by extraordinary (such as Fast Movement) or magical means (such as Expeditious Retreat); at Yth level, you can do this up to twice per day, at Zth level, you can do this up to three times per day, & at ZZth level, you can do this as an immediate action

Kensen
2009-01-18, 05:11 AM
Zeta Kai's post was slightly off-topic, considering that we're discussing systems other than D20. Interestingly enough, the thread Thanatos mentioned died shortly after Zeta Kai posted the feat in the thread... :smallbiggrin:

Anyways, I'm thinking of taking a different approach to the rules than the people in the aforementioned tv tropes project. Rather than defining everything, I want the core rules to be very compact. The rules consist of the following:

Character creation, including
Perks (tropes that the players can use)
Hooks (tropes that the GM can use to make the characters' lives more interesting), and
Action resolution, including
Difficulty levels (when no-one opposes the action)
Opposed rolls (when a character challenges another)


Character creation describes how you create a new character. Basically, you pick X Perks and Y Hooks and add some flavor.

Perks describes how you pick the Perks and why. The setting may limit the selection of Perks. For example, you cannot take Nigh Invincible unless superhuman characters are allowed or More Dakka if the game is set in medieval Europe.

Hooks describes how you pick the Hooks and what the GM can do with them. Contrary to what I said about Weaknesses in my earlier posts, Hooks can also be plot devices. Thus, We Do Not Know Each Other is a valid Hook, as is Worf Barrage. (The idea of Hooks was stolen from Risus. :smallwink:)

Action resolution covers the core mechanics of the game: The die pool, rolls vs a difficulty level and opposed rolls, how Perks and Hooks affect your rolls and so on.

Advancement and Equipment are optional rules. The GM decides whether the players need to keep track of their gear or the characters are assumed to have everything they need.